Since Eric wrote an excellent post about blogging yesterday which was centered around the single word of Passion, I thought I would continue with this style and write my own post centered around a single word.
Because Eric already used his post to talk about blogging, the subject I want to discuss today is link building. After I decided that I wanted to write my post about link building, I sat down and started thinking about the one word that can help you take your link building efforts to the next level.
After doing a considerable amount of thinking, the word that I decided on is Authority. If there is a single word that can describe how to take your link building results from average to exceptional, I am confident that authority is the word that best describes this process.
(photo from macwagen)
So, what exactly do I mean by authority? When I say authority, I mean that your website is viewed as some kind of trustworthy resource. Whether you cover a ton of topics (such as Wikipedia) or an extremely niche topic (collector’s currency from the WWI era), the important thing is that you establish yourself as a resource that can be trusted. Once people trust you, they will have no problem linking to you (because they know that their audience will not be disappointed when they read what you have to say).
Now, you may think that I pulled this idea of authority being the single word that best summarizes link building out of nowhere, but that could not be farther from the truth. In fact, after I decided that this was the word that I wanted to focus on, I started doing some digging online, and it did not take long for me to come across some interesting resources that supported this concept.
For those of you who prefer video to traditional text, I highly recommend taking the time to watch the “What is a Self Reinforcing Authority (and a Self Reinforcing Market Position)?” video from Aaron Wall of SEO Book. In this video (which is just over seven minutes long), Aaron does a great job of explaining why websites that achieve a position as an authority and/or resource can be extremely hard to beat in terms of search engine rankings.
The main reason that even an aggressive link building campaign may have a hard time beating an authority website goes back to the idea of self-reinforcement. While a non-authority website will most likely require a completely hands-on link building campaign to attract any new links, sites that achieve an authority status can build links without their owner(s) ever lifting a single finger or paying a dime to an SEO firm.
So, at the end of the day, if you are serious about gaining as many links as possible, you need to look at your specific market and competitors, and figure out what it is going to take for you to not only separate yourself from your competitors, but for you to place yourself in an authority position that is above your competitors.