What Is Natural Link Building? Is all SEO Unnatural?

Since the whole Panda / Penguin thing (totally different, but get bundled together all the time now) people have started to ask some pretty dumb questions. The newest question I am seeing people ask (what people? provide references! No, can’t be arsed) is “what is natural link building?“. (is a full stop required when there is a question mark in a bracket?).(?)….

Today I got a new spammy SEO email (Akismet passed it). This is what the SEO guru said to me today. I shall call this “an example of unnatural link building”.

An Example of Unnatural Link Building

We provide a S.E.O. Special Offer going for the following package: –

1. 150 Directory submissions
2. 10 Social Bookmarking Submissions
3. 10 Article Submissions (1 article x 10 article directories)
4. 10 Press Release Submissions (1 press release x 10 press release
websites)
5. 10 Blog Submissions
6. 1 unique, 400 word article written
7. 1 unique, 400 word press releases
8. 15 One Way back links with mix PR
9. Meta tags changes suggestions
10. Keyword research
11. Competitor Analysis
12. Heading tag changes
13. Alt tag changes
14. Interlinking wherever required.
15. Keyword Density in site content.
16. HTML Site Map
17. XML site map and Submission in webmaster tool

Best rates for this package are: USD150 per month per project.

The usual drivel. What is really worrying about this is no. 17 – never give them access to your Google account!!!! Numbers 12-16 are pretty dangerous too – should you let an SEO company like this start hacking away at your website? No no no!

OK, so that is not natural link building. Now, when I saw this I thought, “hey, this would make a cool infographic”. But I am crap at designing and drawing, so instead, I decided to blog. So, now an example of Natural Link Building. I shall call this “An Example of Natural Link Building”.

An Example of Natural Link Building

As you can see, I am in a silly mood this evening. Anyway, this is natural link building.

  1. Build a nice website. A crappy website may work pretty well too.
  2. Write something.
  3. Write something.
  4. Hope someone reads your Facebook wall post and shares the link.
  5. Hope more people see the page.
  6. Hope Google picks it up because someone Tweeted it and then someone else aggregates Tweets and then they get scrapped somewhere else and for some reason this gets it indexed.
  7. Hope more people read the page and like it too.
  8. Then one day, someone will link to it.

See the difference there? In short, these are the rules of un/natural link building:

  • Natural Link Building – you hope other people build links without you even knowing about it.
  • Unnatural Link Building – you build your own links.

Simple really.

Of course, the question people should really be asking is, what sort of unnatural link building is useful to people and search engines, and what sort is considered spam and hated by search engines?

It is at this point in a blog that you would expect to read the line: “We will discuss this in the next post“. But I doubt I will write a post on the topic.

To be honest, this whole post is just me procrastinating. I really do have more important things to write about, but suffering a bit of writers block right now, so drivelling SEO bollocks instead.

  1 comment for “What Is Natural Link Building? Is all SEO Unnatural?

  1. July 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Perhaps a simple definition of natural link building (simple to say, not necessarily simple to do) is to invest yourself naturally in the community you are targeting and build an authoritative reputation for yourself. It’s a lot of work, but the dividends will be rich.

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