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  • Writer's pictureMark A Preston

Natural Link Building (Crafting Connections) in a Pay-to-Play World

The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving, with link building remaining at the heart of successful SEO strategies. However, as the internet matures, the challenge of acquiring quality links naturally becomes increasingly complex. In a recent discussion with Charles Floate, an authority in the SEO space, we explored the possibility of securing these valuable digital endorsements without financial transactions, delving into the essence of natural link building.


natural link building

Link Building: A Game of Investment and Reward


Charles Floate emphasizes...


"You can build free backlinks. It's just that your time is going to be significantly more investment than your cash will be."

This statement hits home for many small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to boost their online presence without depleting their resources.


Leveraging Time Over Money for Link Acquisition


  • Creating Share-Worthy Content: Crafting content that naturally attracts backlinks is about offering value that others find worth mentioning.

  • Building Relationships: Engaging with bloggers, industry experts, and community members can lead to organic endorsements.

  • Being Active in Communities: Whether it's forums, social media, or webinars, active participation can earn you recognition and links.


The Changing Tide of Digital Economy and Link Building


Charles observes a significant shift in the digital landscape...


"It's gone from around 15% of people when they reply to our emails asking for money to 80% to 90%, because I think there's kind of an evolution in the digital economy."

This insight reflects the growing awareness of the value inherent in digital real estate.


The Ethical Quandary: Supporting Bloggers Versus Competing Fairly


The discussion also shed light on the ethical considerations within link building. As Charles notes...


"I'd rather put money in these small little bloggers' back pockets. I don't see where it's slightly anti-competitive is that obviously if whoever has the biggest budget wins with links, that's not fair in terms of competition."

His sentiment speaks to the core of the current debate:


How do we balance supporting individual content creators while ensuring fair play in SEO?


Moving Forward: Natural Link Building Strategies


For businesses looking to navigate this complex domain, it is crucial to approach link building with a blend of creativity, integrity, and strategic thinking.


  • Outreach and Engagement: Personalized outreach remains a cornerstone of natural link acquisition. Tailor your communication to align with the values and interests of potential linkers.

  • Guest Content: Offering to write guest posts can still open doors for natural links, provided the content is original, valuable, and well-matched with the host site's audience.

  • Brand Advocacy: Encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences online can organically generate links and testimonials.


As the digital world grapples with the value exchange of links and content, it's clear that there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Charles Floate’s insights highlight the nuanced nature of link building today and the need for a balanced strategy.



Mark A Preston’s SEO Training: Your Gateway to Natural Link Building


Unlock the potential of natural link building with expert guidance. Mark A Preston’s SEO training equips you with the knowledge to cultivate a strong link profile, no matter the size of your business or the depth of your pockets.


Embrace the art of connection without the cost. Reach out to Mark A Preston today, and embark on a journey to mastering SEO and elevating your digital presence.

About the author

Mark A Preston

Mark A Preston: SEO trainer & speaker with over 2 decades (since 2001) experience in the SEO industry. Host of 'The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast'. Author of 'The Business Side of SEO' and 'The SEO Freelancer Survival Handbook', SEO Business Books.

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