Tom Willis
Tom Willis 10 October 2017

Link Building and Acquisition Tactics Ranked and Scored by Quality

If you're looking for tips and advice for building and earning links to your website then check out this handy guide: the periodic table of link acquisition for SEO.

The future of search may be in the hands of artificial intelligence and voice search but for now, building links to your website is very much an essential part of SEO if you want your website to compete in organic search results.

In this article I will outline the main techniques for link building and acquisition which I believe to be the main areas of focus for SEO and content specialists in 2017. The visual which contains the 22 tactics is called the Periodic Table of Link Acquisition for SEO. Tactics are represented by elements and split into three categories to help distinguish the good form the bad and the ugly. The takeaway here will be understanding the methods to invest in that can help rather than hinder your progress, and to compliment the activities running in tandem, whether that’s content, email, or paid search.


Do backlinks still matter in 2017?

Google has been around for almost 20 years and so much has changed for the SEO game during that period. Back in the day the major score factor for assessing the quality of a page or website was PageRank. That has since been replaced with a labyrinth of rules and regulations issued by Google to help it understand what the user wants from a search query and how well the web page serves the user’s needs. Backlinks were the ultimate line of attack for manipulating the quality score of a website and the tactics considered fair game long ago are thankfully no longer useful nor valuable in the eyes of Google. Building backlinks remains an essential ranking factor, however, it’s how you’re doing it that really counts.

Introducing link begging tactics

If a backlink looks out of place on a website there’s a strong chance it was dumped there as part of a link scheme or VPN to pass through SEO value to a common denominator website. And often is the case that sites charge a fee for placement of a link. “Begging” through a link scheme leaves a trace on the web and if Google picks up the scent it can learn to assume that links have been sourced from a bad neighbourhood. It tarnishes them as worthless and the website will not receive value it may be relying on. These tactics should be avoided in favour of more organic methods to truly make any positive impact.

Elements listed in the periodic table of link acquisition for SEO include:

  • Paid blogging
  • Text links
  • Advertorials
  • Competitions
  • Scholarships


Introducing link building tactics

Building a link still suggest a certain unnatural level of methodology although there are scenarios which I’ll outline here where this makes perfect sense. When starting out with link building, it’s the basics that count. A business should explore the many ways in which its website can connect with local entities to appease Google’s positive stance on localisation as a ranking factor. Setting up links in local places also helps build a presence for the right audience. Other standard practises should learn towards assessing the number of broken external links which may have expired or been misplaced by third party websites. In addition, a business can audit the number of internal links – pages already ranking well have potential to pass through traffic and link juice.

Elements listed in the periodic table of link acquisition for SEO include:

  • Local news
  • Local directories
  • Local forums
  • Local job portals
  • Broken links
  • Page interlinking


Introducing link earning tactics

Content marketing is a term used too often on the web, but it fits in neatly here as a way of describing the situations as to why a links are at the forefront of a marketer’s mind. Linking naturally to another site often happens these days because of the quality of information or application of content in the many shapes it takes (articles, video, photos, interactive). In order to encourage sites with optimum SEO value to link out, the content has to sell itself. A journalist, blogger or influencer within the online space can shift immense traffic, social engagement and link juice through simply endorsing or referencing a content piece on the web. Or it may choose to accept a third-party content piece because it will benefit the audience there and then. Either way, content works as the vehicle to attract and earn links for an SEO boost.

Elements listed in the periodic table of link acquisition for SEO include:

  • Partnerships
  • Bloggers
  • Non-profit
  • Influencers
  • Web mentions
  • Educational
  • Social
  • Communities
  • Interactive
  • Authorship
  • Newsjacking
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