Once you’ve done the research to find out what keywords you should try to rank for and how many links (roughly) that you’ll need to rank for those keywords, the next step is to actually go out and get links to your blog in order to rank for keywords.
Before actually going any further, there are two things that you must know about building links to rank for in search engines, Google in particular:
- 1. All your links especially inbound links shouldn’t be exactly the same.
- 2. Don’t build your links too fast. Let’s talk about each of these things a little bit.
1. All your inbound links shouldn’t be exactly the same: While it’s true that Google favors inbound links with the exact search terms as the anchor text more than any other kind of link, Google figures that it is “unnatural” for all of your inbound links to look exactly the same. Google likes natural link building!
That is if you are trying to rank a site for a certain keyword say “make money online” for instance and every single link you get has the same anchor text “make money online”, that throws up a red flag at Google because it’s just too “unnatural”.
What this means is that you need to vary your anchor text a bit so that you can have some variety. I’ve found that using a 60%-30%-10% rule works fine!
This implies that 60% of your links should contain the exact keywords that you want to rank for as the anchor text, 30% should contain a variation of those keywords, and 10% should contain something else.
So if you’re into the “money-making” niche, for example, 60% of your links would have “money-making” as the anchor text. 30% may contain something else probably a long-tail keyword such as “making money online today” will do and 10% may contain something else like the site URL, domain name, etc.
By varying your anchor text in this way, you’ll avoid throwing up any red flags in Google’s algorithm.
2. Don’t build all your links too fast: Just like Google acknowledges having all links to a site being exactly the same as “unnatural”, it also sees getting way too many links to your site at a short period of time as being“unnatural” as well!
Think about it: if a site that was previously unknown suddenly got a thousand links to it overnight, but then never got any more links after that, what would you expect Google to think?
Though! This situation can a bit complicated because sometimes sites do get tons of links to them all at once (say some big media event happens that brings a website a lot of attention).
In order to allow for this natural occurrence, here’s what Google will do: when it sees that a site gets a ton of links all of a sudden, it will rank that site well for a few days (in case it was a true surge of popularity), but unless new links keep coming in, the site will fall out of the rankings after the links stop growing.
That makes sense, doesn’t it? If some media event caused the site to be very important in the world of sports or entertainment or whatever, it would make sense for that site to rank really well for a brief period of time. After the popularity dies down, though, it is no longer so important and falls out of the rankings.
You need to understand this because it affects how you go about building links to your site. If after having done your keyword research, you find that you’ll need about 200 links to your site to rank for a set of keywords in Google, you don’t want to go and get 200 links really fast!
If you do, your site will only rank well for a few days, and then it will fall out of the top results. No! What you want to do is build up your links pretty slowly, say from half a dozen to a dozen per day on average.
Once you get to your goal of 200, don’t stop getting links completely, but you can slow down a bit more. Unless! of course, you find out that you really need more than 200 links to rank.
In that case, keep getting links at half a dozen to a dozen per day until you’re ranking where you want to be, and then slow down. Doing this sets Google’s expectation for your site.
If you set that expectation too high or too fast by acquiring 200 links immediately and you can’t sustain that kind of momentum, then your site won’t rank well for very long.