In our business, the word “link building” generates a mixed response. People have different definitions for it and there is much debate about why and how to do it. Many feel that linking their website with other PR sites might hamper their uniqueness and individuality.
But I think that link building is simply a way for your website to socialize with the rest of the internet and drive your inbound marketing efforts. If people cannot find your site, how will they know how great it is?
Link building is just a way to reach out to more people.
What if I told you that you could learn link building from Harry Potter. Intrigued? I know it’s irresistible, especially when we are talking about Harry Potter and his magical school Hogwarts, but take a breath.. Pheww! Relax.. OK.
Here while talking about Harry Potter; we are actually referring to “your website”. Hogwarts is our “search engine”, preferably Google.
Remember Harry’s first day at Hogwarts? He was all puzzled and equally excited about everything. People already knew his name and history. They admired him for his uniqueness. But sadly, he himself was not aware about his capabilities. Then he met his principal, Professor Dumbledore, someone who is powerful, strong and inspiring.
Professor Dumbledore is our Google Webmaster, a site which connects to other webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of your website. Harry was happy but felt incomplete. He had no one of his age and he surely could not hang around with Dumbledore all day.
Then he met Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They were like social media sites, he could talk to them all day long. Sure they used to fight for silly reasons, just like social media ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ go up and down. But our Potter boy was very happy and most of the time he was busy sorting their arguments.
One day his Sports Coach, Madam Hooch announced a ‘Quidditch’ match and luckily Harry was selected. Gryffindor and Slytherin were ready for a face-off. Draco’s dad had gifted the Slytherin team an updated collection of brooms and Harry’s broom was an outdated one.
While watching the strength of his rivals, he felt discouraged and confused. They were strong and his only friends didn’t know how to play. Harry was clueless.
Next morning at breakfast, an owl dropped a parcel. It was a gift from Professor McGonagall. It was the latest broom, a Firebolt!. His parents advised him to have faith in himself. The unflinching support from Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Neville, Ginny and many more, turned the tide in his favour.
In muggle terms, your website just got a backlink from a very credible, high PR site. You can get more such backlinks by sharing your content in any form i.e. text, video or image and in any format i.e. blog, presentation, PDF, image, quote, video and many more. All this support, makes you stronger and more confident.
And the story continued. As the challenges became more difficult, Harry gained more allies.
Support from educational or organisational website can be compared to Harry’s Godfather, Sirius Black, whose presence made him feel confident, special and happy about himself.
Professor Lupin, Cedric, or the Order of Phoenix’s support was equally strong as forums, guest blogging, Q&A sites. Harry became confident that he is strong enough to stand against Voldemort!
Wasn’t that fun? Oh wait, one more point!
Remember “Dobby” and how desperately he wanted to help Harry? Well, Dobby had great intention but horrible execution strategy. Thrice, Harry got thrashed because of Dobby’s deeds. The best solution to this type of company was to gift them a pair of socks and free them. What we mean is, get rid of links to low PR sites. Instead of supporting, they might deteriorate your website’s quality and thus ranking. After all, Draco would have been better off alone, rather than with friends like Crabbe and Goyle.
People do say “Something is better than nothing”. But at times “Nothing is better than Nonsense”. Your friends make you. Choose them wisely. And remember to choose quality over quantity.
As wise man Dumbledore once said,
“IT IS NOT OUR ABILITIES THAT SHOW WHAT WE TRULY ARE. IT IS OUR CHOICES.”
– Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)