One consistent point to come from the now infamous “Penguin” update at Google is a renewed interest in “relevance” of backlinks to your website.
Some decent data showed that sites with a higher percentage of their backlinks coming from pages that could be deemed to be in the same niche “neighborhood” seemed to fare better when Penguin came flapping.
And it makes sense. Only people who do SEO know that you can get backlinks from sites that have no relevance to your own. Totally “natural” webmasters just “write great content” and let the links attract themselves, as is Google’s dream for all of us. Getting links that way means you get mostly links from other webmasters in your niche. Rarely does someone just willingly links out to an unrelated site. So Google has noticed this, and tried to make it a part of the algorithm.
Of course, for those of us really trying to make waves in the search engines, this poses a challenge. Highly relevant backlinks can be hard to get, particularly for affiliates, since whatever market we’re in, a percentage of the “quality” sites in that market frown upon us as the scum of the earth.
The first step to getting more relevant backlinks is of course… to not be the scum of the earth. I don’t want to go on a “quality content” rant like so many others but all affiliates seeking search traffic can afford to create better content; that’s not in question. By this I mean both content for your own sites but also quality content for others in the form of guests posts – an old but underrated form of link building.
Outside of that however, there are other options.
The best way to get more relevant backlinks without hassling other webmasters is to create more relevant properties of your own and use them for backlinks.
It fell out of fashion for some reason, but building wikis, lenses, hubs, and other “social content” type platforms for the purpose of link building now has more value than ever.
You have a site promoting acne creams on someacnedomain.com (fictional) and by building someacnesite.wikidot.com (or any of hundreds of other similar sites) you have a resource for unlimited relevant backlinks to your site, without ever having to write a guest post for some snobby blogger.
Not only that but you have a backlink on a root domain with big “authority”. That helps a lot.
But perhaps most of all, employing this technique gives you a greater chance of traffic too…
It’s been noted that since Penguin, the “domain authority” filter has been jacked way up, meaning that now, sites like Squidoo, Ehow, Blogspot, Youtube etc are ranking better than they ever have. Now by building more hubs like these to get better backlinks, you also give yourself a greater ability to rank for some of your long tail keywords. Want a great traffic tip? Look at your existing search traffic, and on the keywords that are bringing you the most visitors, build out a new hub style site with an exact match URL on the closest keyword you can, create some content, and work on owning an extra listing on that page. Reinforce the rankings by linking them together and you’ve got a slowly developing monopoly on that space.
This technique of properly utilizing hubs like these is old but misunderstood and misused. It;s more important than ever to be implementing now and it allows you to keep Google happy with ease, while claiming more traffic and better rankings. Oh and it’s fast. And easy. Really no reason not to add it to your SEO arsenal if you haven’t already.
Andrew Hansen is an affiliate marketing trainer with more than 6 years of experience in monetizing high converting affiliate offers with free traffic. He’s also the creator of the popular Unstoppable Affiliate course and big fan of Offervault. He doesn’t usually write in 3rd person but he’s grateful to have had the opportunity to do so for you all today