Building or Buying Links – What Works Best?

Once a person gets beyond the initial learning stage in internet marketing - they know how to build a website, they've done their keyword research, they have figured out some ways to "drive traffic" - and not only that they have learned how to turn a profit with that traffic - this (business) person starts to look for more and better ways to "drive more traffic" to their website(s).

Building Links Still Works

Now that the dust seems to have pretty much settled from the last horrific Google update it turns out that according to many "experts" (who have something to sell you) that building or buying links still works - you just can't go about it in a spammy way.

Tools of the new Spam

There are a few old (now refurbished) spam engines that one can use such as SENuke xcr (dangerous in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing - such as Becker), and the ever updating Synnd who seems real proud of their new video submission software, but seems unable to figure out how to game G+ and Facebook.

Maybe they just need better programmers to stay ahead of Facebook and Googles spam police.  (I'm sure there's a good article out there about that - probably on Wired Magazine or something)  Oh - here's one on Outspoken Media.

Are you Branding or Gaming Google?

I'm a big proponent of Branding.  I try and build all my sites without the thought of trying to please Google and get all of that free search traffic.  If I build something that is useful to people - answers their question(s) -  and generally leaves them satisfied - then I figure I don't have to do any work at all to get Googs attention.  If they favor me (my site) then great - but otherwise I still get traffic - and convert.

That's the idea anyway - but I too still occasionally find myself  "doing things the old way" - thus the title of this article.

Build A Brand While You're At It

There is a lot of noise out there about Branding, but one of the most succinct ones that is probably worth a read (by you - I already read (most) of it) is Brand Against The Machine by John Morgan.

Lots of good ideas in there.  Check it out.

But I Digress

So if you are trying to game Google should you build links (by article writing, outsourcing articles to be written, guest posting, and the like) or should you just go ahead and buy some links on high PR sites to help with your ranking?

The Answer

The answer to that question is.... I don't really know.  I really don't.  It depends what kind of person you are, and whether or not you've fallen into the "get rich quick - push button internet marketing" mindset or not.

If you are looking for a quick(er) payoff then go ahead and spend some money and buy some links - or use one of the spam engines like SENuke (although if you learn how to use it properly and not just build links directly to your site it can be effective - just use good content).

Just don't expect to build a long term stable business off of those links if you don't do it properly.  Plan to always be chasing the rainbow instead of "being the rainbow".

I should also note (again) that it can be a short term effective strategy and if used properly can really propel a site/business forward quickly - but it is important to have a quality Brand/Product at the end of your (spam helped) rainbow.

Chasing Rainbows

Not that there is anything wrong with chasing rainbows.  It's lot of fun.  Been doing it my whole life in one fashion or another.

What About Long Term Stable Income?

Not sure there is such a thing as a long term stable income anymore, but let's pretend for a moment that it exists.  How does one acquire it through "Internet Marketing"?

Build A Company That Will Last

Maybe it's time for you to stop going for the "one hit wonder" and start building a real business.  A business that will last.   A brand with a following.  How would one go about doing that?

Time and Money

It takes a little bit of time and money to build a brand and have it provide you with a "long term stable income".  Think of building a franchise.  Build something that you can duplicate.  Build yourself something with promotion worthy content like Kurt Simula talks about in this post at Mad Progress Marketing.

-- More resources to follow ---

Does SEO Still Work?

Things have changed a lot in the last 6 months or so in the internet marketing world - at least for those who built their business on the premise of getting free traffic (free advertising) from Google.

image of crying kidIt turns out that the big G didn't like getting gamed so they changed the way they rank sites.

What this means is that in many cases, people who were earning a living (sometimes a really good living) by getting free traffic to their websites by having a listing on the first page of the Google search results (that is no longer there) have been (almost) wiped out.

Boo Hoo...

I've said on this site - and others - that that was not a viable business model.  It was while it lasted - but as in most things in life, things change.

So what to do now?

There are some folks who say it is important to build a brand. (I'm in that camp)

There are others who say they have the search engine game figured out again.  One of those is Chris Rempel.  (nice guy, excellent marketer - he even commented regarding my thoughts on this matter down below)

Once in a while I make my way over to his Lazy Marketers blog to see what he has to say.

Chris feels that it is a total waste of time to try and build a brand because Google can just wipe your site out of its listing whenever they want.  This is true.  If all you ever do is try and game them. Which has been his business model from the beginning.  It's probably true that you can still game them - and says he has proof.  But why?

Ignore Google?

Why not just ignore Google?  If you happen to rank - great.  You get some free traffic.  If not, no big deal - because you are building a brand (and a customer base) that doesn't rely on Google.

Things are ever changing in not just the internet business, but in every kind of business.  If you want to make a living (and have a business that will last) by selling stuff to people you need to make them happy.  The thing about SEO in the past ie. gaming Google - was that you really didn't need to have a product that was all that good.  You just needed lots and lots of (free) traffic.  The percentages took care of themselves.

Now that it is much harder to "rank" in the SERPS - and that Google is putting more and more "paid" advertisements on their front page people are finding that they have to have an actual product that people are willing to pay for in order to make any money.

Can the SERPS still be gamed?

There are plenty of companies in the SEO business that will tell you that they have the "new secret key" for getting a site ranked on the first page of the SERPS.  This is still probably true.  But the days of using the search engines as a business model are drawing to a close.

I think that in less than five years SEO as a business model will pretty much be dead.  The search engines are very quickly becoming relegated to just another "app" that one downloads onto their smartphone or tablet.  One will still be able to get some traffic and business from them, it will just be a lot different in years to come.

Branding with Pinterest, Apps, and Others

Sites like Pinterest, You Tube, and others such as Instagram have come along and made it much easier to build a brand and drive traffic and in many cases paying customers right to your site.  One does not need Google anymore to make money online.

I'll write more in the future about how to ignore Google, build a brand - and still build an online business, but for now...

Good luck out there,