Regardless of what’s happening in the industry, inbound links are very important in your SEO strategy. However, it’s considered a gray activity if you request links. In fact, if you actively ask for links by giving something in return, such as links or money, it’s not a natural way of obtaining links.

Fortunately, there are still ways to request links to other website owners without getting negative implications and penalties from Google. SEO professionals should be able to tell the differences between natural linkbuilding and negative link schemes. If you are asking for links, it is quite likely that you won’t get natural links and it may be a violation to webmaster guidelines. Links can be considered as part of link scheme, if they are intended to manipulate site’s rankings and PageRank. When someone is giving free content for links, it’s very likely not something that they do it from the goodness of their heart. Their primary aim would be to get links for their websites for higher ranking positions and better exposure. It’s proven by the fact that guest bloggers often demand to get backlinks with dofollow tags. Nofollow links may still provide direct traffic, but little to no SEO benefit.

In this case, links can be considered as goods or services, when they are traded with content, money or other links. Guest bloggers often create keyword-rich content, so their links will be placed in a highly relevant webpage. There’s no real problem with guest blogging and it’s a good thing for experts in the industry to share their thoughts. In fact, we see that major publications share news with relevant backlinks to the contributors’ websites. Major news websites often republish latest news without linking back to the original source. They only cite the original publisher of the news, but it’s not an active link. SEO professionals also need to syndicate carefully and you should know what content that’s ideal for your website. When you content is syndicated, make sure that you get a proper link that goes back to your webpage. This is a better way of gaining link.

When your content is syndicated, in essence, you are also asking for links, but you do it more genuinely. Algorithm is always changing and Google is seeking to make sure that only reputable and legitimate links that can contribute in pushing the ranking of the website. After the implementation of various Penguin algorithm changes, the value of many links is reduced automatically. Because some of the links are not as valuable as they used to, your ranking positions can be affected as well. Only website owners and SEO professionals know whether their links are genuine are not. It’s a good thing for website owners to be patient and wait until their reputation goes up. When your website becomes more reputable, it will be much easier to gain backlinks. This is a much more natural way of gaining natural backlinks and your website will have much better rankings.