Recently, many bloggers woke up to discover their blogs had suddenly dropped in rankings. Was this a mistake? How could this happen? It was no mistake. It was the result of a poor backlink strategy and Google’s newest algorithm update, a.k.a. Fred.
According to Techwyse, the newest update from Google targeted poor quality backlink strategies. This meant that blogs were penalized for poor quality backlinks.
Web developers who chose shortcuts to raise SEO rankings were shocked. Using websites without relevance or authority for backlinks caused many websites to drop drastically rankings overnight. It was a web developer’s nightmare.
The “Fred” algorithm update seems to have targeted people that were trying to cheat the system for fast SEO results. Building high quality backlinks with a sound backlink strategy takes time. Instead of earning a reputation, web developers tried to speed up the process and this has backfired on them.
What Makes a Backlink High Quality?
This is a debatable topic in the SEO universe, as Mark Walters of SEO Mark points out in his post, “What Makes a Backlink a High Quality Backlink.” Generally, a high quality backlink is a backlink within the text of a high authority, reputable website.
To earn this, you must have great content that high authority, relevant pages want to link back to. If your content isn’t up to par, this isn’t going to happen. In the SEO universe, content is king. It dominates!
That means that you need to create high quality content in order to earn those backlinks. They are the bread-and-butter of your SEO strategy.
Creating a Secure Backlink Strategy
Google updates its algorithm constantly. This is what makes their search engine the world’s best. Naturally, a blogger must please this moody algorithm to be ranked favorably. It’s the nature of blogging, so learn to embrace it.
There are a number of ways that you can boost your SEO (if your need more info about SEO, check out this post) Backlinks are a huge part of any effective SEO strategy.
The trick with backlink strategy is the make sure that you are earning high quality backlinks. What can you do to ensure you are creating high quality backlinks? There are two excellent methods that have stood the test of time; creating high quality content and guest posting.
Write Awesome, Engaging Content
As a blogger, you know when your content is great. You receive an awesome response and your post statistics go through the roof. It really is an awesome feeling. It’s what bloggers work for and dream of. You want to strive to do that every single time. So, how do you do that?
Plan Your Posts
I use my Blog Post Checklists to plan every single post. I originally created these for my own personal use and realized other bloggers may benefit from them as well.
If you want to download your free copy instantly, simply fill out the form below. It’s an instant download, so you will receive it the moment you click submit.
Planning a post ensures that I begin my post with a solid foundation. I start by performing keyword research and creating a SEO friendly title. Once I have planned my links, everything seems to fall into place on its own. The checklists keep me on track, which is my favorite part (I tend to be a wanderer).
Update Old Posts
For people to link to your blog posts, you will need to provide up-to-date information on each one. As part of your backlink and SEO strategy, go back to outdated posts from time-to-time and update. Review your posts for relevance and outdated information.
Update old posts with new information that you have come across since you wrote it. It also doesn’t hurt to spice it up and make it more appealing to audiences while you’re at it. A freebie, infographic, or new eye-catching graphics (check out my post on creating graphics) can be added to help improve the post.
Blogging requires learning. As you grow, your blog should reflect that growth. You want every post to appeal to your audience. That means updating old posts is always an excellent part of your backlink strategy.
Earning a guest post on a high quality website in your niche is one of the best ways to get high quality backlinks. The problem; this isn’t easy or fast for most bloggers. In order to earn a guest post, you must work for it. That means writing high quality content on your own blog and plenty of networking.
Start networking right away. Join Facebook and Pinterest groups. Another way to do this is to contact other influential bloggers. They tend to be pretty awesome and supportive.
When you write a post and link to a high quality website, send a link of your post to that person or entity. Most of the time, this will go unanswered. However, if the recipient likes what they see, they may share your post, which is free advertising. It will also boost your SEO rankings.
This can result in good things. Guest posting opportunities, backlinks to your blog posts, and a boost in your credibility are just a few of the things you can expect from networking. It is a great way to get a boost in your niche.
Pitch for Guest Posts
Once you have established some great pieces of content, it is time to pitch your services. Pitching is a bit scary and that’s okay. You have to leave your comfort zone to grow. You will be shot down, and that is perfectly NORMAL! Expect it. It will happen.
Also, bear in mind that just because a website says no once, doesn’t mean they will say no to you in the future. Wait a while and try again. Build up a portfolio of three to five posts that best represent your writing. Once you have these, pitch your booty off.
Jorden Roper of Writer’s Revolt always provides sound advice to writers. I do have one disclaimer: she sometimes uses fowl language, don’t say you weren’t forewarned. However I highly recommend her posts. Her advice on writing a guest post pitch is spot on!
If you are still afraid, think of it this way: What if they say YES? All it takes is one good pitch to open up a new world of possibilities for your blog. It is well worth the risk.
Implementing Your New Backlink Strategy
Go over your old blog posts every few months and update them. Once that is done, write down some reputable websites you feel that you would be a good fit for. This should be easy, since you would use these as sources in your own posts.
Once you figure out who you want to pitch to, choose three of your best blog posts that are relevant to those websites. Write a pitch and email it. It’s really not that complicated or time consuming and it will be well worth the effort.
If you have any other advice that others may find helpful, please share it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post and want to read others like it, please sign up for the email list below and receive your free download of my Blog Post Checklists instantly.
Thanks for reading!