Google has repeatedly said that buying links is in, “violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.”

So if buying links is against the rules, what is a website owner with a legit service or business to do? This is where many of my clients first come to me.  They have a business or website and want to rank higher in the search engines, but no matter how much content they add to their sites, no matter how much time they spend working on their site, it still doesn’t rank higher.

How can I rank higher without buying links?

Start building links!

There are many different ways to build links, here are my two favorites that are working right now, in 2011.

1. Guest Posting

Guest posting is not easy.  It takes a lot of time.  Here are the quick steps.  Contact 10 website owners related to your niche. Email back and forth with 7 of them.  Find 1 or 2 that will allow you to submit a guest post.  Write a great post that they will be happy to publish (poorly written posts will be rejected). Add your links in your bio (you did negotiate to allow a link right?). Submit your post.  Two weeks later follow up with website owner to see why they haven’t published the post.  Wait another couple of weeks to see if they still want to publish the post.  Hopefully after a month it will be published.

Like I said, guest posting is not easy, it takes a lot of time and often ends up with a lot of wasted time and energy.  Taking that into consideration, it can still be effective, especially if you can outsource most/all of it.  I’ve done guest posting for a few clients and they’ve all be very happy. It helps to have connections to people, and a reputation for high quality content.

2. Hire a link builder

When I first started hiring link builders, I looked at hundreds of resume’s and tried to filter out anyone who didn’t have experience.  Then I hired a few link builders.  After a few months of paying my new employees, my websites hadn’t moved in the search engines. What was I paying for if the links they were building weren’t actually helping?

That’s when I started doing my own link building, I knew what worked, but I couldn’t seem to convey it.  That was 2006. What worked in 2006 no longer works, forum profiles and high PR blog commenting are a waste of time and resources so I had to revise everything I was doing.  Now in 2011, what works is different, and I’ve learned that doing link building myself is ridiculous especially since I need link building with a much larger volume that a single person can do on their own.  Right now I have a team of 13 link builders (and always hiring more).  The reason I have so many is that what I’m doing right now works, and my websites (and my client sites) are benefiting.  Many of my clients who start with one link builder, have grown to 3 or more link builders.

So if you want to hire your own link builders, you first have to evaluate how much added income they’ll bring in.  You need to know what a #1 ranking will bring in terms of income to make sure they cost of a link builder is worth it.  Secondly, you’ll need to hire and train a link builder.  Most will want to do manual blog commenting, Angela and Paul style forum profiles, article submission and other link building that will not do anything to your rankings.  Check out my SEO test for a little proof using an exact match .com domain.

So what will you have your link builder work on?  That’s up to you.  I’m constantly working on training videos for my link builders.  Every month I evaluate what is working, and what is not working.  I train and re-train them to do new things. This is a big project, do you have time to handle it all?

Hiring a link builder is too much work!

You’re right, hiring, training and managing a link builder is a LOT of work, trust me I know first hand.

If you couldn’t tell, I was setting you up for my link building service.  But in reality, link building isn’t as simple as hiring a link builder and letting him go crazy.  The links that he’ll likely build will not help.  Just check your search engine rankings after a month of link building.  If you haven’t moved in a month, you’re not getting real results.

What do you want out of your link building efforts?  Do you want real results (moving up in the search engines), or do you want to feel like you’re saving money while still “link building”.

When you’re ready for real results and ready to stop spinning your wheels paying for something that isn’t working, let me know.