What is link building in 2021?
We may be able to anticipate the answers to these questions, but that is not to say that we can know exactly what a highly optimized link building strategy will look like. In the year 2021, I predict, we will likely be approaching the point when long-tail keywords will likely stop being the primary driver for the success of site rankings. Instead, we will see a greater emphasis on good content writing, social network sharing, and link-building on webpages in the social graph.
Our cover team’s most effective linking strategy for authoring marketing content is one that utilizes different levels of authority through different social media channels. Consider the content marketers we work with. They include link building in their content marketing strategy, but not in their list of priorities. How do we explain this to them?
We often say to them, “Look, we can get your article to rank on the first page of Google, but that isn’t the only metric we need to look at in terms of our link building strategy.”
For example, there may be millions of users that will look at your content, and do some Google searching. They will read some content on your site, then go to a social network where they will share the content they’ve read on your site. Those people will share your content by commenting or sharing on social media, and those comments will then turn into links pointing to your article on those networks. These social interactions and user activity are referred to as the “social graph.”
This social graph is one of the most powerful tools for creating content authority, and one that you can utilize with a link building strategy.
Next, social media platforms change, and people find that they need to leave the social graph and make some changes in their lives in order to maintain a healthy social graph. They may begin to utilize more different channels and find new users to connect with. These new users may have different connections to the social graph, but they will still feel the effects of social influence. This effect of social influence on the social graph will, in turn, lead to different social interactions that can be used to link to the content.
Here’s an example: An author uses a link building strategy that focuses on long-tail keywords. After ranking on the first page of Google, they put together an article on optimizing their CMS. Instead of publishing this article on their own site, they publish the article on an SEO specific social network. This type of link-building strategy is known as a Social Keyword Strategy (SJS). The same social interactions on the SJS, as on the organic site, can be used to anchor the social graph. These anchor links can drive traffic to the content through organic search as well as the social network.
To explain how this works, let’s take a look at what’s going on when you interact with a social network.
The first thing that happens when you use a social network is that you type a query into the search bar and look for what you want.
Your intent is to find information that will satisfy your particular use case. If you are looking for local business information, then the social graph will comprise people that live in your geographical area. As you move to the next query, your intent may have changed. You may now be looking for information about a particular person, or a specific industry. The social graph is designed to reflect that intent.
In addition to your previous use case, you may have additional information on your mind. Maybe you’re looking for a particular company. If you’re in a particular industry, you might be interested in making a purchase. Your intent may be to purchase or learn more about the product, and the social graph will reflect that same intent.
Every time that you type something in the search bar, an element is created within the social graph. This element can be structured in a few different ways:
Posts are “snippets” of text that are related to some post in the social graph.
are “snippets” of text that are related to some post in the social graph. Pages are more formal, and typically represent content that is complete in itself.
are more formal, and typically represent content that is complete in itself. Conversations are the most informal, and often contain links to other posts in the social graph.
are the most informal, and often contain links to other posts in the social graph. Queries are the most complex of the elements and represent searching for information that has a specific intent.
So, every time you search, this is reflected in the social graph. If you type in a query, it will create a link to an interaction between two or more people. This interaction could be a link pointing to a post, or a link to a user profile page. The location of these interactions will depend on the behaviour of the user and the network.
So, when a user engages with the social network, the effect of social influence is leveraged to assist in the link building strategy. This is accomplished by creating an anchor link.
Your social network can be used to create anchor links in the following ways:
Branding links, to try to increase brand awareness.
Search engine queries, that link directly to the content.
Search engine result links, that point to content that is relevant to the user’s intent.
It’s the anchor link that makes the link building strategy work. It can be a branded anchor link, or a link pointing to content from a user’s social graph. In the above examples, the user had a Google profile and used the social graph to connect with others. This was used as the anchor link to lead back to the original content source.
This type of interaction is a lot like the organic search results page. I described how you can build an anchor link in this post.
Want to learn more about link building?
I will post, very soon a new blog where I will mention a new way and some sites list where you can easily create backlinks.