Linkbuilding is a term we use in SEO for the practice of generating inbound links to the website we’re trying to optimize. It’s a lot like the practice of public relations as if we’re trying to gain media coverage of our client’s brand in a publication. Chances are, if you’ve been practicing PR in the last decade, you probably have already generated some serious SEO link building. I’ll get into this a little more later but first off, here’s a crash course in why we “link build”. (In my opinion).
Google, and other search engines, typically base the priority of your site’s indexation based on the number of quality inbound links to your website, blog or press release. When a given website – or page of a website – has a significant number of credible in-bound links from other web domains, the probability of your site – or page of your site – having a higher page index rank, both in the short and long-term, in Google is poised to be much better.
How PR can help with Linkbuiding Strategy:
Let’s say, you issue a press release on a wire service and you’re trying to build the page-rank of this release to increase inbound search traffic. Maybe your client is offering a new service and you wish to use this release on a third party website as credibility to your new product.
Scenario A: You launch the release with little to no fanfare or pitching. Chances are, you might have one or two links from your company’s own social media pages and hopefully a link from your company’s blog. Therefore, you’ve managed to build a few links to your press release but nothing really out of the ordinary. After the initial indexation period, You might see a pop in initial search ranking based on the social links but it’s not a healthy, long-term strategy. Of course, this is based on the saturation/competition of your targeted search terms.
Scenario B: You launch the release with a full pitching, social and email marketing strategy. You receive media placements, with inbound links, from some local press and some trade blogs, plus a handful of links from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and your company’s blog and email newsletter. Now, you’re cookin’ with gas. Not only have you planted the seed for brand awareness through traditional media relations, you’ve generated some significant inbound links to your press release which will – for the time being – assist with your releases indexation in organic search.
Is Linkbuilding a “Blackhat” approach to SEO?
SEO, much like public relations, has some gray areas. There are many SEOs out there building link strategies based on plans to foil Google. These can be black-hat – or gray area – approaches that can ultimately lead to penalization and possibly being de-indexed. The scenarios I outlined above are all standard practices and – in my opinion – are all standard approaches to SEO.
Sources for links: (At your own risk)
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Media Outlets
- Guides and Directories
Make sure you ask publication, blogs and newsletters to please link to your client’s website and or blog. If you didn’t read anything above, this is the simplest approach for how Public Relations can assist with SEO Link building.