Top Tips for Non-Spammy Link Building — Whiteboard Friday

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In December of 2022, Google announced that they did a link spam update, and they told us that they tried to nullify “spammy” links at scale. So, how do we exactly build non-spammy links? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Debbie goes through five tips to do so.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. This is Debbie. I am the Global SEO Manager at Dialpad. Today we’re talking about link building, one of my favorite areas in SEO. So last year, in December of 2022, Google had announced that they did a link spam update.

So in this update, they told us that they tried to nullify spammy links at scale. So how do we exactly build non-spammy links then? So today I’m going to cover five tips for non-spammy links. Before we jump into that, I wanted to kind of share that I’ve kind of split the tips into a few that are related to the mindset that you should have.

So how you approach link building is really important on how you can build non-spammy links. So how you think about link building is very important here. Then the second part is the tactics. What are specific tactics that you can try that will help you build non-spammy links? So now, first tip is who, who do you want to link to your content, to your site?

So are they like your journalists or content writers? You want to think about who you want links from and then look at what they are linking to. Are they linking to certain types of guides? We’ll talk about more of like content that you can create that they might be interested in linking to, but make sure you do that research beforehand to understand your target audience.

So when it comes to link building, your target audience are those journalists and people that you want links from. So you really need to understand them. So who do you want links from? What do they link to? Then also putting yourself in their shoes. So it’s important to think about what do journalists want. One thing is data.

They really like data. They like to quote data. If you read a news article, they might start off with like X percent of Americans, blah, blah, blah. So this is where you need to really understand what your target audience as a link builder, what do they want to see. Whenever you do outreach to them, which we’ll talk about later, you need to make sure you put yourself in their shoes and really understand what do they want, what type of content would be interesting to them.

So make sure to keep that in mind. Now, second, which is related to the first, is you have to make sure that your content, whatever linkable asset that you’re trying to create has some sort of value. No value, no links. So the way link building works fundamentally is your content needs to have some sort of value.

It needs to provide some sort of value in order to get a link. If there’s no value, no one is going to care about your content and no one is going to link to it. So when we think about content and providing value, I think we often think about we might want to make sure our content provides value to our customers or our potential clients, but then we don’t always think about the kind of broader audience out there.

So what content that might be valuable to the industry as a whole? So that’s one area to think about. Another thing is to think about what content would be informational and helpful for the content writers that you want to link to you as well as journalists. So these are things to make sure to keep in mind, and keep in mind the reason why there’s a scale here is that each group that I mentioned earlier, they kind of value different things.

So you might do a piece of content that is very helpful to your customers or anyone who comes across your blog, but then that content might not be super valuable to like journalists or other content writers or people you want links from. So you need to make sure to keep that in mind that your content might only serve this group of audience.

But if you want links from another group of audience, you need to understand what content they value and make sure that that value shows in your content. Now, next tip is the actual tactics. So what can you do, what content can you create to actually get links to your site? So here are a few examples that I have found that are pretty popular within different industries.

You want to make sure that you understand what works for your specific industry. So my industry, it might be something like a research report, but then for other industries it might be something like tools. So to quickly go over those types of content, for tools, an example would be like some sort of free tool that you can provide people.

That’s something that tends to get a lot of links. Another example of a linkable asset would be guides. Guides work really well in certain industries, and a guide is just essentially a very long-form piece of content that really nails down how you do something. Then the last one is glossaries. So when you target a keyword like how to something, like how to do content marketing or what is content marketing, that type of content, it can be really helpful for someone who is just starting out.

They hear certain terminologies, they’re not sure what they mean. So these types of content are very helpful to readers in general, but they can also get a lot of good links if you can make sure that your content is helpful to that audience. Next is stats and research.

So as I mentioned earlier, people like journalists, content writers, they really like to cite numbers. So being able to, for example, compile a bunch of different statistics on a certain topic, so like content marketing stats, for example, I would scour the internet for a bunch of different studies and pull all the interesting numbers into this one blog post.

Then that itself can be very helpful to anyone who is writing content on my topic, right? I’m essentially kind of helping them do a bit of their homework. So that also can drive links to your page. Another example is doing your own research. So earlier I was talking about you can compile other people’s research, but you can also do your own research and find really interesting things through doing a survey.

You can scrape existing data or even look at your own product data to see what are some of the interesting trends that we can turn into a report, into a story that we can pitch to like journalists. When journalists are able to cover something like that, this can also drive more links to your page. Lastly is don’t spray and pray.

So I think as a link builder you might get tempted to try to find a bunch of prospects, like hundreds or thousands of emails, and try to like email everyone with the same template, with not really providing them with value. So instead of trying to email everybody, really figure out who is most likely to link to your content, who will actually find your content valuable again, and try to do more targeted outreach and really think about, again, what value can my content provide this person receiving my email and making sure you highlight that in your email.

All right, so there you have it. Those are my five tips for non-spammy link building. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @justdebbb and we can talk more about link building there.

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