Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Build Relationships, Not Links.”

Once upon a time when the Internet was new, interesting and relevant websites were difficult to find. Link building was easy in those days. It was often just a matter of letting webmasters know that your site existed and they could link to it. Things have changed in the last couple of decades.

creepy handshaking dudeWebmasters today are jaded. They’re bombarded with requests for links, offers to receive hundreds of links for one low price, and comment spam, among other things. Approaching a blogger or site owner today out of the blue with a request for a link is akin to this guy walking up to you on the street and asking for $50. Chances are you’ll run away faster than he can flash his 100 watt smile.

In this new social era of Internet marketing, to get a link you’ll need to build a relationship. Relationship building as part of search engine optimization is a difficult concept for ecommerce sites to understand. Imagine bragging your weekly status report about a Facebook thread that included three back-and-forth replies from a relevant and influential blogger. Ten years ago your boss probably would have told you to go do some real work. If your primary goal is building links, building that relationship on is “real work,” and that Facebook thread is relationship gold.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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