Links are like health food because sometimes better quality items may take more effort to get your hands on… and may be a little more expensive. I know – no one wants to hear that part, but it is true. Either by way of your own time or spending a little money you will have to invest something to get those quality backlinks that you so basdly need.
You wouldn’t really think that there would be a difference, but in fact there are some links that are better than others. We all knew this deep down, but until these recent updates the “junk food” links, still provided some love for your search engine ranking. Just like we “know” junk food is not that good for us, it doesn’t kill us right away so we still eat it. The new Google Panda update as well as updates by both Yahoo and Bing have shown us that this diet of junk links has caught up with some sites.
Like health food, “Good Quality” links may require us to drive a little further and look a little harder for the stores. Finding “Good” links require us to do more than a couple of Google searches and dropping some BS blog post comments. Just like buying “Good” health food requires us to be engaged and read the label and do a little research, Finding a “Good” site that will give you back links will require you to look at the actual content of a site before engaging in dialog with them. Better foods and links are often more expensive. Maybe not in just dollars, but the investment of time or energy to cultivate them (or paying someone else to). This is because better quality is worth it in the long run (with both food and links, so my analogy is still strong – keep reading!).
Junk links are like junk food, they can sustain you for a little bit, but if that’s all you rely on, you will find your (or your site’s) health will be in jeopardy. Junk directories and article farms are like the fast food hamburger, a quick hit, but not one you want to use long term.
You will find people working in health food stores are often more approachable and knowledgeable about the products on the shelves. The same applies to places you will find healthy links from. Get links from communities or like-minded sites that are as excited about your product or service categories as you are. You will also find that the people at these sites are also approachable and knowledgeable. Treat others with respect and develop relationships. You might be competitors, but you likely have similar passions or at least goals.
Just like changing your diet, if you (or your site) has been surviving on junk, it will take time and energy to get back into shape. Focus on health and it, and those healthy links will come.