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Hello, hello, my SEO friends! What is link building going to look like, now that Google Penguin has been around for awhile? Search Engine Academy teaches what Google recommends, but I swear, it’s changing faster than you can stay on top of it.

Recently, I wrote about the change quietly made in Google Webmaster Tools on moving away from emphasizing links to creating high quality content. I told you I felt relieved, because it’s been an uphill battle the last several years to find and place high quality links.

It’s had to be done manually, it’s exhausting, and the ROI seemed miniscule, didn’t it? I hope the world is moving on from the morbid obsession with “gotta get links.” But with that being said, some links need to be developed. Here’s what I hope link building is going to look like in the future – these are just my thoughts and opinion, umkay?

Social media links – yes, they are pretty much “no follow,” but if Google wants a natural linking profile – whatever the hell that’s morphing into – and since there’s such a huge emphasis on doing social media AND sending your followers to your relevant interior pages, perhaps someday the link building analysis will be emphasizing the quality of the social media platform, the type of interaction, and the quality of the landing page from the social media site to the host domain.

Limited directory submissions – perhaps what will be the most important directory links are those that are business listings from authority sites, like the typical business listings in Google, Yahoo! and Bing, as well as recognized business listings for Super Pages, Yellow Pages, Thomas, Patch, City Search, etc. Hopefully, local chamber of commerce listings will still be considered authoritative sites and good citations.

Links from blogs – I could see a link analysis that factors in the blog’s age, the quality of the posts, and how many guest bloggers have Google Authorship established. I think that’s a fair evaluation; what do you think?

Inbound marketing links – from newsletters, white papers, webinars and podcasts that you create to develop clients in the sales cycle. As long as these marketing materials adhere to what Google claims is high quality content, I would hope that even if these are internal links, that they be given some weight.

Anyways, these are some of my thoughts. I’m all for keeping it simple and stupid. 🙂

What are yours? In light of recent developments with Google Penguin and the change in guidance in Google Webmaster tools, have you stopped your link building efforts to figure out what to do next for your sites and your client’s sites? Let us know in the comments, would you?

And as always…keep it between the ditches!

All the best,