Last year brought about quite shake-up to the way many sites were used to building links. Google's decision to take on link buyers left quite a few folks feeling a little paranoid about both seeking links and linking out. With that in mind, Justilien Gaspard tackles the Top 5 SEO and Link Building Challenges for 2008 in a column at Search Engine Watch today.

Justilien lists the five biggest link building challenges for this year as:

1. Webmasters Scared to Link Out
2. Overuse and Abuse of NoFollow Tags
3. Neglected Link Building Destroys Top Rankings
4. Google Paid Links Assault: Collateral Damage
5. Scarcity of Link Building Resources

I'm far more worried about issue one and four than the others. I've already started to see a bigger reluctance to link out on the parts of webmasters and I think it will only get worse as word of Google's paid link crusade starts to spread.

I'm also concerned about how Google may continue to expand their definition of paid links. There's already been some buzz about the possible need to nofollow every link in a sponsored post, even those who point to third parties with no financial interest.

The key to overcoming these obstacles is education and common sense. As much as business owners shouldn't have to hang on Google's every word, it's starting to look like it will be necessary. At least it will for the sites who haven't managed to diversify their traffic sources enough to keep from relying on Google traffic to stay in the red.

If nothing else, all this fuss about linking serves as a good reminder of the need to continue diversifying your traffic sources.


January 10, 2008





Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.





Comments(3)

Any amount of research into top ranking sites shows that Google favors sites with the most incoming links. This new paranoia on linking could change the ranking landscape in the years to come. I have already been asked by one webmaster

"How do I know that what I am doing right now will not be banned a year from now?"

That is a good question that I do not have an answer for.

Jennifer,

I like your list, and I too am concerned about item 1 especially.

I recently launched my first site to market my sales training and certified sales coaching business, and my intention was to build an inbound link network through reciprocal link requests.

After developing a great deal of content, and launching a my sales tips and techniques blog with postings at least every week, I am concerned that my original intentions to build rankings through link requests will just be a lot of wasted time.

So...I leave you with this question...What do you advise we all do to deal with number 1 above?

Scott

I agree that there is a growing sense of fear in this community and among current and potential clients I speak to.

I have spent a majority of time working in Automotive SEO for car dealerships and also small business targeting local audiences.

With car dealers in particular, link building has always been difficult. Imagine if you will, how many people willingly link to a car dealership? In a literal sense they have poor reputations and provide little value or content to most webmasters linking out.

Many of the traditional linking strategies that I used with other clients would not work for car dealers, so other strategies which are unfortunatly way more time consuming had to be used.

Often for brick and mortar businesses, you can put them to work for you to connect to their direct offline b2b contacts - and use them online.


There really is a pattern of fear I see online today concerning link building. It makes me wonder how long until every client I have, will be as time consuming effort wise as a car dealer.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Five Link Building Challenges to Overcome