Link Building or Link Earning: Which approach will you choose?

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Google’s dynamic algorithm is a challenge for SEO companies – especially for link builders. Earlier week, I had a brainstorming session with my partner about link building strategies and link earning. We were able to raise the following questions during our discussion:

  • Which is better for SEO? Link building or link earning?
  • Why is one better than the other?
  • What are the long term and short term effects of the two?
  • Which is more practical?
  • How do we need to implement our strategy?

Before we answer all of these questions, let us first identify link building and link earning.

What is Link Building?

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Link building is the process of placing hyperlinks, anchor text, or the link itself on a webpage. It helps the search engines discover web pages across the internet – more like a bridge between web pages. Generally, SEO companies use link building to generate more traffic, increase page rankings, and get ahead of their competitors. Each company has their own link building techniques. I cannot say what kind of technique is better, but I can assure that most of them produce good results.

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What is link building’s role in SEO?

Link building had always been a factor in computing a website’s rankings. A few years ago, Google determined the ranking of a web page by the number of the links pointing to that particular page. In short, it was a matter of Quantity over Quality during those years. Now, Google is prioritizing Quality over Quantity. A Quality link is a link that comes from a website that has a high trust flow and has a good number of visits. More high quality links meant more SEO juice, which will also equated to higher page rankings.

What is Link Earning?

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Link earning is a way of earning referral traffic through content marketing. In this strategy, an internet marketer “shares”, “markets” or “promotes” share-able content. A sharable content can come in a form of an infographic, image, blog, slideshow, video, etc. Since the content is catchy and engaging, it normally gains referral traffic from relevant sites, followers, audiences, and blog citations.

What is link earning’s role in SEO?

Link earning is a long-term process, but is proven to bring success. (see the work on the topic by Rand Fishkin, Bruce Clay, Kris Jones) Earning referral traffic does not happen overnight. The company sees the results of link earning once their content has already earned some good reputation. The company or their content can build-up their reputation through referrals, citations, advertisements and endorsements. Related Articles: Essential Websites to start Generating Traffic.

So back to these question, we will be as brief as possible and provide answers thats relevant to todays algorithms.

  • Which is better for SEO? Link building or link earning? Link Earning
  • Why is one better than the other? Reaches a broader Audience
  • What are the long term and short term effects of the two? Link Earning provides loyal and long term readers. 
  • Which is more practical? Both are needed at some point especially for start-ups but once standard links are placed, its a fight for content marketing and Link Earning. 
  • How do we implement our strategy? Focus on the Content Generation and Distribution Process. 
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