What Do YOU Consider To Be "Natural" Linking?

4 replies
Hi guys,

Based off of the outcome of a discussion in another thread, I started to get curious about what most of you think of as "natural activity" in regards to linkbuilding. So, how exactly do YOU define "natural activity", and thus "natural linkbuilding"?

As I mentioned in another thread, I think the essence of what we do as offline consultants/internet marketers/SEOs is increasing our own or our client's web presence by "simulating natural activity". To me, this basically describes any type of manual linkbuilding that is done with the primary goal of increasing web presence/rank through link acquisition. No matter what you are doing, at the fundamental level you are building links that would not be there without your presence/intervention/promotion. I am NOT talking about blatant automated spammy backlinking methods here, JUST manual link building of all shapes and sizes.

I've noticed that some on this forum seem to believe that certain types of manual link building are "OK", and thus "natural" in Google's eyes.... Yet some manual backlinking strategies are not "OK" and can be described as "unnatural activity".

Just looking to gather some opinions from those doing their own online work, but also doing SEO work for their clients. What type of manual backlinking strategies do you see as "natural", and what type of manual backlinking strategies do you see as "unnatural activity"?

By the very definition of what we do, in my mind, we are actively manipulating the search results for our own gain and our own client's gain. Are some manual link building strategies NOT "manipulation" at the most fundamental level?

What is a "natural", manually-built backlink these days, and what sites are ranking #1 in competitive industries using ONLY these "natural" links? I'm talking about personally owned "commercially-driven" websites operated by people like us...so no cnn.coms or wikipedias don't count. Sites using adsense/affiliate ads/lead gen etc in the ultra-competitive niches like law, finance, health etc.....

- Jim
#linking #natural
  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    These "natural" sites are out there, but they're few and far between. Let's be honest: most people buy links. That's just the reality within the SEO community. If you want good rankings in ultra competitive markets, you need to buy links. I also create widgets users download and stick on their own personal websites which bring me tons of links each day.

    Profile links, forum signatures, blogging, etc... will eventually only take you so far - especially if you're under "time" and you want your website ranked yesterday.

    As for "natural" link building, I typically mean the anchor text of a domain. When I first start out my link building for website through profile links, forum signatures or blog posts, I'll use specific anchor texts:

    - click here
    - www. domainname.com
    - domainname.com
    - Domain Name

    After a few months of that, I'll start throwing in some anchor text links that match the keywords I want to go after.

    Some links will be contextual (within content), some will be in the footer, sidebar, top, etc... I diversify all link building activities whether it be linkwheels, web 2.0 links, blog networks, widgets, press releases, blog commenting, etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Originally Posted by jsherloc View Post

    What is a "natural", manually-built backlink these days

    - Jim
    Jim, according to Google there is no such thing as a "natural", manually-built backlink. What Google says is that you need to bother with only the content of your website and let the community find, evaluate, like/dislike and give backlinks, share your content etc.

    I highly believe this is where the internet is headed right now and I am glad for that.
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    • Profile picture of the author arttse
      Having said that Matt Cutts supports "link baiting" activities.

      imo link baiting and content syndication (if both done correctly) are the ultimate methods to create natural backlinks - the ethical way.

      You should browse the wordtracker.com site if you want more information on these 2 areas.

      Originally Posted by Nail Yener View Post

      Jim, according to Google there is no such thing as a "natural", manually-built backlink. What Google says is that you need to bother with only the content of your website and let the community find, evaluate, like/dislike and give backlinks, share your content etc.

      I highly believe this is where the internet is headed right now and I am glad for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author jsherloc
    Thank you for the honest feedback/responses so far guys! Please keep them coming!

    I'm just trying to get a "feel" for what the general consensus is on this forum, as it seems some people believe certain links are "OK with Google", yet some linking strategies are "not OK with Google". What is "natural activity", and how do you actively promote natural activity for your clients WITHOUT "simulating natural activity"?

    As I mentioned, I think anyone that is actively doing SEO work is "simulating natural activity" for their own gain or their client's gain. (high rankings - increased presence - more leads - more business, etc is primarily achieved through MANUAL search engine algorithm intervention/promotion from people like us)

    Thanks!

    - Jim
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