With the overall competitiveness and saturation of the online market today, it can be difficult to reach top rankings, not to mention keep them once you do. You are certainly welcome to follow SEO trends and updates, but Google is well aware of all the loopholes you find. The search engine algorithms that it uses are constantly improved to read between the lines and only offer top positions to websites that truly earn it. And one of the ways to achieve this task comes through the implementation of tactics such as link building and link earning. However, there is a difference to be made when it comes to link building vs. link earning. Today, we tap into this topic to try and explain what that difference is.

Although not complete opposites, there are fundamental differences between building and earning links for your website. So, we will start by taking a closer look at each of these tactics individually to draw a clear parallel between them. We start by explaining that link building is not a bad strategy to start off with. But as your moving company grows, so should the quality of the links that lead to its website. And that is where the application of link earning comes into play.

A short guide into what link building represents

Building links is a traditional SEO approach that focuses on generating a large number of backlinks for a website as soon as possible. The goal is to get as many as you can, with little to no devotion to the actual quality of those links. And at the time is started, this made complete sense in accordance with search engine standards. However, time changes everything, and thus it changed the value that backlink quantity can bring into the equation. And the Google Penguin update made sure of that.

link building vs. link earning - Penguin Update
The Penguin Update brought about many changes when it comes to link building vs. link earning.

Therefore, you can no longer spam your way into building a valuable backlink profile by using black hat SEO tactics. Search engine algorithms can now recognize attempts to bomb other website comment sections with links to your website or to use a few websites to generate daily backlinks. And as a result of that, marketers are now forced to adapt and weigh link building vs. link earning.

Common link building strategies that companies use

In the beginning, it proved productive to use link building as a strategy to build a backlink profile for your business. The two most effective ways to establish a large number of links to your website in the minimal amount of time were:

  • Article Directory Submissions
  • Posting Comments on Websites

Article Directory Submissions

While still among the pillars of ranking high in SERPs, SEO agencies worked hard on mining for websites and directories that accepted article submission with no questions asked. They, of course, didn’t bother as much with looking for directories that had any real quality to them but instead focused on getting as many links back to their websites as possible. As a result of such article directories, there were huge amounts of submissions on low-quality and suspicious websites.

Even with the implementation of the Penguin update, this strategy is still valid for link building, the difference being that you now need to check the quality of the sites you submit articles to. Otherwise, you risk gaining no real value for the backlink or even earning potential penalties from Google for posting on blacklisted websites.

Posting Comments

Given that there was a time when SEO operated on the principles of the Wild West, everything was fair game. Hence, you could find plenty of marketers that engaged in link building through posting spam-filled comments on other websites, with links to their own websites. And it did the trick – you gained a large number of links from other websites which contributed to higher rankings and more traffic. But once again – Google updates brought about sanctions and penalties for applying such tactics.

Comments section in WP
Comment used to be a common way to build enormous amounts of links.

A general overview of what link earning represents

Unlike its old-school competitor, link earning brought about a fresh and more legit approach to creating a strong backlink profile for your business. The results it generates are not only legit but they also promise long-term value as new search engine updates appear. So, how does one go about earning links to their website?

Quality content that is engaging and inviting for all that come across it. So long as you offer online users content that not only answers their basic needs but exceeds their expectations, they will be more inclined to share that content with others and link back to it on their own websites. And this peak of interest serves to increase your overall website traffic while contributing to your backlink count at the same time.

Four effective link earning tactics marketers tend to use

Link earning tends to attract a lot of value nowadays. Therefore, it is only practical for you to apply the most effective ways to earn links if you hope to make use of this strategy. These are the four primary approaches to have when it comes to link earning:

  • Content That Clicks
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Contests & Giveaways
  • Freebies

Content That Clicks

When the concept of optimization was first introduced, the primary focus was to satisfy the needs of search engine algorithms. The topic of link building vs. link earning started with the concept that building links was a great way to gather quick points with Google. However, a lot has changed since then. Search engines have stepped down from the primary goal and are now more interested in what it is that you can do for online users and site visitors.

Person clicking on mouse
The more clicks to your content you gather, the higher the chance of earning links will be.

As a result of this, link earning starts and ends with content that invites people to click and explore it. Great content ideas, informative articles, interesting and useful data, engaging and well-positioned CTAs – these are all essential for gaining value with online visitors. The more expectations you meet, the stronger the connection between your content and the person reading it will be. And when people come across quality content, they tend to share it with others. They acknowledge your insight and reward by linking others to it – which in turn sends Google a clear signal that it is worthy of being ranked high.

Social Media Marketing

Linking directly to the attempt to create content that has worth and is likable, social media marketing introduces the factor of it going viral. As one of the most popular ways to advertise your business today, social media carries great potential, especially for content that is:

  • Humorous
  • Relatable
  • Educational
  • Inspirational

By targeting as many social media networks as you can, you enable your website to earn an endless amount of links towards it. And sites that appeal to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest users tend to gain favor with Google and other search engines. All these social media networks are globally recognized brands and recognized as such. So, receiving shares on these media channels earn you a lot of points in terms of ranking high on Google search results.

Contests & Giveaways

Nothing like an online contest to get some shares flowing and blood boiling among present and potential customers. People are competitive by nature and are thus always in the mood to compete for awards from their preferred companies. And even more importantly, giveaways have a series of clauses that people go through, increasing the time they spend on your website. This boost of traffic can easily earn you backlinks from participants.

If you are not sure about the types of contests and giveaways out there, there are always examples to be found. all you really need to focus here on is how to attract as many people as possible. So, you basically need an engaging and creative pitch for your contests.

Freebies

Consumers never grow old of getting free stuff from businesses, no matter how small or insignificant it is. So long as it has a company logo and is free, people will appreciate it and spread the word. And this turns out great for companies, as they can advertise their business through unofficial channels, all at a relatively low cost.

Planner with Make It Happen written over it
For example, a complimentary planner can make an impression as a moving company.

The hook here is to have a freebie enticing enough for your target audience to bite. Also, simply putting it out there won’t be enough – you need to sell it in a memorable manner. Invest the time into thinking of a way to reel people in, helping them realize just how much they need that freebie.

So, in a battle between link building vs. link earning, digital freebies can definitely shift the course of earning links to your website. The more catchy the campaign you create is, the more hype it will generate among potential customers. And the best part is that you can experiment a lot here, using different methods and strategies on a monthly basis, to see which works best for your company.

Link building vs. link earning – how it has evolved

There are four essential ways in which establishing a strong backlink profile has evolved from building to earning links:

  • Spam emails have been replaced with personalized outreach emails.
  • Building links is no longer enough – you now need to create engaging content.
  • Instead of submitting articles, marketers are now more oriented toward guest blogging.
  • Rather than investing in one-time links, companies invest in long-term partnerships with others. 

Ending Thoughts

As search engine algorithms change through updates and trends, so must your SEO efforts involve. Companies need to remain on top of current changes so as to maintain their online presence and preserve the overall strength of their brand. Therefore, when comparing link building vs. link earning, one must look at it from both sides. Consider how the effectiveness of building links diminished with the simple introduction of the Penguin update and how everyone today focuses on earning links through quality content and rich backlink profiling.

  • For more useful guidelines on how to improve your moving company SEO, go through some of our other blog posts or contact Movers Development directly for a professional consult. We welcome the opportunity to help your business grow beyond the moving box!