Link-Building the Right Way: "Generating" Links instead of "Building" Them.

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Hello everyone!

I have been watching the newsfeed for a couple of days now, and I noticed how some newcomers are still simply not aware of the bare basics of what it means to generate -I like to use the word generate instead of build exactly because the phrase can be quite misleading sometimes - links to a website.

If you are a business owner or an SEO working for a client, you are probably aware that Google favors sites that strive for EARNING links instead of actively BUILDING them. In my mind, and hopefully in all of yours, the difference between earning links and actively building them is huge.

What is that difference?

Well, if you keep on reading this article you might have the chance to find out soon enough. BUT, to quench your thirst in advance, if you focus on earning links instead of stressfully chewing on your fingers to build them, your content marketing efforts WILL end up earning you links, improve SEO and even gradually grow your business in the process without you needing to lift a finger.

My problem with building links vs. earning them.

I don't know about you guys, but when I hear the phrase Link Building, I think of it as if it was a troublesome process that HAD to be done and not something that MUST be done. If you are still unclear as to what I mean, let me rephrase: The process of link building for me is like an active process, and I know many of you think it should be.

On some level, you are right.

The term link building has been in use since the beginnings of SEO, but the negative connotation of the term -building as a tiring, troublesome and lengthy process- somehow cannot escape me till this day.

Earning a link, however, is a different story. The word itself, if you say it out-loud a couple of times, sounds more focused even though you all probably know that earning is not an active process. It is in fact a passive one that is out of your control.

And that is the beauty of it.

The links you will GAIN/EARN will have more profound effects on your marketing efforts than anything else you have ever done -beside the obvious SEO foundations you need to lay down before commencing link earning - See how I used the term earn instead of build there?

Now, let's get down to the gist of all this.

Even the prevailing SEO wisdom supports the Earning of high-quality links that mainly come from:

*Major media sites such as Forbes, The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Maybe even from Cat Fancy or Four Wheeler, depending on your industry.

*Prominent business organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.

*Context-based sites. Let's say that a link from ESPN would be helpful for a sports-based business while a link from a tech site would NOT be as beneficial.

Links from spammy and manipulative sources AKA Low-quality links:
* Article Directories
* Sites publishing low-quality articles with little to no meaningful content
* Sites selling links
* Fiverr gigs promising 1000 backlinks for $5

Even though I would like to say that the distinction between high-quality and low-quality links is clear, it is far from being the complete truth.


Because with Google changing/upgrading its algorithms on a daily basis (there are at least 500 algorithm changes every year) it is starting to become unclear as to what is acceptable and what is not. What is ok today may not be cool tomorrow.

This is why I believe that EARNING links by creating great content (evergreen, media-rich, entertaining, meaningful, the usual)should be the goal.

The Difference Between Links And Shares

It is important to understand that there is a significant difference between links and shares. Although, it does not mean that one is more important than the other. It is more like about focusing on both for the benefit they will collectively yield.


Links connect one website to another. They can help increase your site's traffic, awareness and overall SEO. Google and other search engines weigh them very heavily and use them to organically boost your site's ranking. Remember: The quality of links can and will change overtime, and thus you need to keep track of them.


Shares, usually done via social media, connect other social media accounts or link a social media account to a piece of content on a website. As a social indicator, they are very helpful for driving traffic and awareness at the time they€™re shared, but they do very little to improve your site's SEO and search engine rank.

The moral of today's post can be summarized in 2 points:

1. Stop purely SEO-focused link building
2. Focus on EARNING top-notch links by CREATING top-notch content

It is better to earn your links than to pay for them, or beg for them or to do anything else to get them!
And just so you know that it is not just my opinion, let's read and hear it from Neil Patel, a New York Times best-selling author and co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar who helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue:

Avoiding penalties while building links isn't about luck. It is about earning links. The types of links that Google penalizes sites for are low-quality or bought links. If you can buy it on Fiverr, it is not a good link. Period. -Neil Patel
I hope I have not offended anyone as it was NOT my attention. I am just trying to figure out a way to influence young marketers to make a shift towards a more customer-focused content writing and SEO.

Looking forward to your replies and questions. I really want this thread to become a venue for new and fresh ideas as to how we can make our content more enticing, entertaining and evergreen (EEE) for an endless amount of both traffic and revenue.

Let the debate begin.

#building #generating #linkbuilding #links

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