Variety of anchor text
External anchor text can be a poisoned chalice. It has historically been an incredibly powerful tool for SEOs to target certain search terms but comes with considerable risk. The chances of exactly the same (non branded) anchor text occurring on multiple sites is reasonably low and can therefore be a spam signal for Google. Regardless of the risk, many SEOs cannot resist the powerful temptation of exact match external anchor text which can in turn lead to them exposing a website to possible penalties. It is this attempt to control your backlink portfolio that can lead SEOs into troubled waters. Link earning on the other hand leaves the choice entirely in the hands of a separate webmaster. Any anchor text used will be what said webmaster deems as the most appropriate and useful within the context of their webpage, decreasing the possibility of spammy anchor text.
Retain onsite content
Onsite content is a valuable tool in an SEOs arsenal. It is a useful method of demonstrating authority on a subject which is an essential function in a website’s ability to rank for relevant search queries. The issue with link building is that in order to gain high quality links you need to solicit high quality content to other websites. This is awesome content that will be contributing to another website’s authority rather than your own. Of course you do gain a backlink and therefore association with that content, so it is not all bad. However, content that successfully earns links is the best of both worlds. Not only do you manage to retain your best content on your own website, but you also gain links because of this content. Win win. In addition to this, if your awesome content is being hosted on another website you potentially receive less credit and brand awareness than if it is hosted on your own website. Obviously this depends on the reach of your own website compared with the website you have targeted for link building, but you get the point.
An honest appraisal of content
Clearly earning links via content creation can be incredibly useful. However, the concept of link earning can also be of high value to webmasters and marketers alike. It provides a very honest appraisal of your content creation strategy and whether it is providing value. You may have read ‘providing genuine value’ many many times on the Yellowball site and that is because we consider it to be fundamental to any successful SEO campaign. If your content is earning links then it demonstrates that it is of value to others and can highlight trends which you can capitalise on. Conversely if your content is not earning backlinks then it can help identify issues in an inbound marketing strategy such as lack of quality or ineffective marketing of said content.
Whilst you may not embark on a link earning campaign it is a concept that has gained considerable popularity and should always be a consideration when producing content. Furthermore, it is a concept that will help you more accurately assess the effectiveness of your marketing as a whole. Having awesome content is all well and good, but if you don’t spread the word about it you are unlikely to earn links. Just another reason why search engine optimisation is not just about keywords and links. A great SEO campaign will require all other facets of marketing and the concept of link earning will demonstrate how well you are utilising other marketing departments.
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