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How to Think About Links in 2014

These days every other person you come across will tell you that link building in order to enhance your search ranking is dead.

While some of the old ways to acquire backlinks to your pages have certainly become toxic, backlinks still matter, as confirmed by the Google link spam monarch himself, Matt Cutts: “Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover (how relevant or important somebody is) and maybe, over time, social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that.”

Since it’s now clear that the Wild West days of link building are gone for good, they do still matter, and we’ve put together some of the best practices for link building in 2014.

Internal linking – Linking to relevant and useful content within your own site is viewed by Google as helpful for visitors to your site, and this doesn’t mean simply slapping up a Related Posts widget and calling it a day. Link from textual content to other textual content, and steer clear of the temptation to over-optimize with multiple menus and tags.

Google+ shares – Posting to Google+ gets you pages indexed nearly instantly, and this could only help you in the freshness aspect of the ranking algorithm. Also these are dofollow links, and from a rather authoritative source!

Think about guest blogging – Long used as a good way to get links and traffic to your pages, think also about being the site that accepts and promotes guest posts. This can be a boon to your own site authority, content and links.

Curate popular content on your own site – Every now and then we find a post or piece of content that has gone viral in our market and is of interest to your readers also. Curate this onto your own blog, giving attribution of course, and encourage your own readers to share it with their social circles, thus sending them to your pages!

Relevance and diversity – A while ago you could simply have a ton of links form practically anywhere and the site with more won. No so these days! Google is rewarding relevance now, so relevant links and diverse anchor text are the order of the day!