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Link Building in a Post Penguin World

Now that Google’s Penguin algorithm update has been with us for nearly two years, those of us working in the SEO industry have a pretty good handle on what is and isn’t recommended in terms of link building. Google didn’t stop with the roll out of the spammy link busting algo though – not long ago Matt Cutts announced the near-end of guest blogging when he said the following:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links

Some in the industry thought that might well be the final nail in the link building coffin but there’s definitely lots we can still do as marketers to encourage others to link to our stuff. Like all good link building tactics, I’d approach this as a way to primarily drive qualified traffic to your site – the bump in rankings will come later. The good thing about doing it this way is that you’re very unlikely to get a penalty as you’re genuinely making the web a better place, and that’s one of the 10 things which Google “Knows to be True”.

So, how do we go about getting people to link to our stuff without guest blogging, without directory submissions and without crappy old-fashioned infographics? As ever, the answer lies in really high quality, engaging content so I thought I’d write a quick post to show a few examples of interactive content which have been super successful at attracting links. Cyrus Shepard wrote a great post on this at the end of 2013 so I won’t recreate it here and just get on with my own favourites in no particular order.

The Guardian – Women’s Political Rights Around the World

The Guardian

Links from external sites: 53
Facebook shares: 38
Facebook likes: 44
Tweets: 48
Google+ 1s: 327

Google – How Search Works

Links from external sites: 742
Facebook shares: 10,074
Facebook likes: 7,971
Tweets: 11,164
Google+ 1s: 31,412

Wind Map of the US

Wind Map

Links from external sites: 1,657
Facebook shares: 125,000
Facebook likes: 138,000
Tweets: 37,022
Google+ 1s: 12,133

Thomson – The Evolution of Music


Links from external sites: 296
Facebook shares: 39,929
Facebook likes: 84,078
Tweets: 12,277
Google+ 1s: 1,605

Swissotel – The Ultimate Guide to Worldwide Etiquette
Swiss Hotel

Links from external sites: 74
Facebook shares: 1,199
Facebook likes: 1,484
Tweets: 869
Google+ 1s: 353

Evans Halshaw – The Evolution of Bond Cars

Evan Bradshaw