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This is part of Burst Marketing’s ongoing series, success on search engines in a post-keyword world.

Don’t Build Links, Build Authority

Since the dawn of the SEO industry, otherwise smart marketers have fallen for link building scams - paying unscrupulous vendors for thousands of quick links back to their website.

This doesn’t work anymore. Why not?

Because effective search engine marketing isn’t built on links. It’s built on Authority.

What’s the Difference?

Think of website authority the same way you think of a persons authority. Say, a doctor. If you need information on the inner workings of your brain, you’re likely to trust an article written by the world’s foremost brain surgeon. Chances are good that he knows what he’s talking about on the subject.
Web authority is similar. If you were looking for information on the workings of your brain, you might visit That’s what authority is all about.

4 Ways to Build Authority

  • Boost Link “Juice”

“Juice” is a slang term for the power your website gets from an authoritative link. A link from a website that has very little authority gives you very little juice. A link from a site that has lots of authority, for instance, gets you lots of juice.
Think of it like a celebrity endorsement, or how powerful it is when the President of the United States endorses a candidate for governor.

  • Boost the Diversity of your Links

1 Powerful link is great. 30 links from different authoritative sites is even better. To continue the analogy from above, if everyone in your industry says you’re an expert, your authority grows.

  • Boost Links over Time

Building authority is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s far more powerful to actively build authoritative links continuously over time than it is to suddenly add lots of links and then stop. Google sees the slower, more natural pattern as more indicative of a site’s growing authority.

  • Boost Links to your Entire Site

All links should not point to your homepage. Think about it - if you’re actually an authority on a topic, wouldn’t most of the pages on your website have some kind of value? That’s Google’s theory. And that’s why you need to build links to lots of different pages in your website.

Need more tips on link building? Download our white paper “Building Authority” for a more in-depth look on the topic.