rel links“Building relationships is a new beast to tame.” – Search Engine Watch

The process of building a relationship as opposed to just building links takes into consideration many new factors. Trying to influence people necessitates a certain understanding – resulting from conversation and connection. Cultivating an alliance with individuals online should be approached in different ways depending upon the industry and individual. Ultimately, the outcome should greatly increase value in enriched relationships and links.

Building relationships takes time – contrary to the instantaneous results often desired online. This is appropriate and to be expected in both relationships and links, as explained on Search Engine Land: “You would never ask someone outright to marry you, so why do you ask someone outright to link to you?”

Link building should not be looked at as a quick, impersonal way to improve SEO, but as a way to enhance authority, trust and relevance – while also improving visibility. Therefore, increasing linking opportunities by way of fostering relationships has many benefits.

At the SES New York session “Screw Link Building, It’s Called Relationship Building,” the benefits discussed include: longevity, lower cost, reciprocal gains and the fact that you’re not left worrying about Google updates.

Relationship building leads to longer lasting results because you aren’t just spamming for links – you are growing and expanding over time. Maintaining those relationships will likely lead to more links in the future. Not paying for underhanded links also (obviously) saves money.

Offering value to others by way of free knowledge is another tactic in link building – and often doesn’t even require you to ask anything of them. Blogs, white papers, timely commentary, etc. all benefit those within your industry and aid in building relationships by demonstrating worth. Along with building SEO and links organically, company content can help you rank for specific niche keywords.

Social networks open doors when it comes to networking and building relationships. Identifying influencers is a great way to start building relationships. Find those who are well-respected within your industry and connect with them by way of common interests and goals. Outreach is a vital first step toward the primary objective: establishing a relationship and building links.

Have any questions about SEO, social media or link building? Contact ZOG Digital today.