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Link Earning vs Link Building | Which Is Preferred?

By winniewong on December 20, 2015

link earning vs link building

Website competition is stiff. Consequently, staying at the top of the Google ranks is a tedious task. The task is doubly difficult considering Google’s latest SEO updates. Google is well aware of loopholes that individuals exploit in search engine algorithms and so they generate updates quite often. There was a time when link building was the core SEO concepts which could really take a site to the top ranks.

However, with the Penguin update, a lot of sites are penalized with nominal link building techniques. A new strategy is taking off as a much more effective and update proof technique. It is called the link earning strategy.

Link building and link earning aren’t diametrically opposed, but there are significant differences between the two. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two and how exactly you can leverage the most out of link earning.

Before continue, be clear about one thing. Link building is not a bad strategy.

Yet, you need to understand that focusing solely on acquiring back-links and not on their quality will not get you the results you’re seeking. Sites desiring to stay at the top ranks will need to target link earning methods. Let us dig deeper into these details.

What’s Link Building – An Overview

Link building is not new. It is an “old school” SEO strategy that aims to acquire as many backlinks to a website as possible. The concern was mainly on quantity. SEO agencies made it a point to submit the articles to numerous different directories to maximize backlink quantity. At that time, this made sense because all the search engines cared about was the number of links which any website had.

Then SEO agencies started scouring unfair means and some of them even posted spam filled comments on other websites with a link to their own. It doesn’t matter how these links were posted and the kind of content which these sites post.

The Penguin update hit this strategy badly. Google realized that simply getting links to and from a site should not be the basis for great ranking. In fact, it hurts the quality of their product.

The Strategies for Link Building

When link building was used as a strategy it was quite productive. Here are some of the key concepts which were implemented by link buildings in the past.

Article Directory Submissions

article submission directories

When link building was one of the core SEO strategies, SEO agencies worked around the clock to find out websites and directories that took article submissions. Articles with links to their own websites were published on such directories. These submissions were done in huge numbers regardless of the quality of directories where they were posted to.

Although this strategy can yield results output even with the penguin update, there is on major thing that you will need to do to avoid problems. Check the quality of the website which is offering you a backlink.

unhappy penguin

If you skip this step, Penguin will catch up to you.

Posting Comments

spam comments

Since the old focus for link building was to merely gather links, there were sites that were posting spam filled comments with a link of their website on as many sites as possible. These comments accounted for the links and aided in better ranks and higher traffic.

Once again, this strategy can be successfully implemented even today. However, the comments which you post must not be constituted as spam or else you’ll be penalized by Google.

What’s Link Earning – An Overview

Link earning is a newer and more proactive approach to acquiring web traffic. Most SEO agencies have reverted to link earning because the results which it generates is legit and is likely to stay intact even with newer updates from the search engines.

Link earning basically uses a great content. When you furnish others with material that is actually useful and substantiated with facts it is often good enough to generate true interest in your site. This, in turn, will increase your overall backlink count.

How To Earn High-Quality Links

There are various strategies which are used for the sake of building a great link earning model and the key components and strategies which are used are as follows.

Content That Clicks


It is important to come up with engaging and fresh content which can actually help your readers connect with it. Regardless of how long it takes; your focus should be on formulating great content ideas.

Google has been placing a huge emphasis on the kind of content which you offer. Your readers need to find great usability and your content should offer them just that. If you can offer these features, it will bring in more readers. The idea is to curate content which is shareable.

Take a look at the content that goes viral every day. Have you ever tried to decode what makes them viral? Why do so many people view and share such content?

The answer lies in the likability factor. Either the content is humorous, relatable, highly educational or it inspires. So, you will have to come up with content ideas that urge people to share it. This is the best way to build a repository of links.

Contests and Giveaways


Hosting contests and giving out free sh*t is the best way to earn links.

Contests and giveaways are yet another successful link earning method. There are plenty of contests and giveaways which can be launched.

Mostly, it is seen that giveaways have a series of clauses which needs to be fulfilled for people to participate in it.

So, when your giveaways attract ample traffic, you can build a lot of backlinks. These backlinks are least likely to be from spam sites. Therefore, they will allow you to build your ranks in a legitimate manner.

If you do not have a lot of knowledge about it, follow a few top rated contests and giveaways. Give people some sort of an incentive to participate in these and let them be successful. The numbers of links which can pour in may be amazingly whopping.



Everyone loves free stuff!

Freebies are one of the best ways of attracting huge amount of people. Almost everyone is on the lookout for free stuff. You do not need to offer something hugely expensive.

The idea is to have a freebie exciting enough to rope in people. Simply offering a freebie isn’t enough as you should also try to promote your freebie offer in an exciting manner. Give people ample reasons to opt for the freebie and once you manage to do that, you will see the kind of traction it can generate.

So, design a great eye catchy plan when it comes to freebies as they can help you attract a large client base. You can also keep the details of the freebie secret.

Many sites do this by not disclosing what the freebie is until the last moment. This technique often generates a lot of hype, especially if the site has a record of giving quality freebies.

Feel free to fiddle with a few strategies and methods until you are able to generate the exact attention and traffic which you intend to. Have a strong call to action and actually make people share your content in order to get the freebie.

Social Media Marketing

social media marketing

This has become one of the most popular media channels. You absolutely need to target social channels as they can help you procure numerous links. Think of the top sites whose content is shared extensively on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn.

These sites are consistently ranked on top pages of Google because the new algorithms place a great amount of emphasis on social marketing influences. Social shares occur mostly when people relate with the content and this is why you will need to sit back and analyze the kind of content you can come up with.

These are four of the top strategies which can help in efficient link earning programs. With these link earning strategies, your site can see a commendable spike in traffic and it will surely reflect on the visibility of your site as well.

Ending Thoughts

SEO strategies keep changing over a period of time. Every time a new update is launched, there will be shuffling and changes will be needed. Link building and link earning are both useful methods, but you need to be sure that you are following the details in an apt manner.

Link earning has been substituting link building in most cases, but you have to understand that it is wrong to write off link building completely. If you can find out sites which are credible, offer quality content and you can scour backlinks from those sites, it will help in building the right links.

Interesting content worthy of share is what should be your top priority. When people like what you write, it will automatically give them the urge to share it. The larger the share on social sites, the better will be the visibility, and it often leads to a chain reaction. Link building is one of the most effective and efficient strategies which can really push the success of an online firm.

With the Google Penguin update, the search algorithms want to give users the best content. Those sites which can actually help the readers get some meaningful content deserve to be on the top of the ranks.

Now that you are aware of the key differences and strategies of link building and link earning concepts, you can come up with your own business plan and implement them. It is surely going to help you take your business to places.

Check out this cool infographic created by MySiteAuditor to have a better understanding on the differences between link earning and link building:

link earning vs link building

Related Links:

  • How We Earn Quality Backlinks That Drive 3.4k Visitors To Our Pages Monthly [Case Study]
  • Link Earning: Starters Handbook To Earn Organic Link
  • 50 Simple Ways To Build Quality Backlinks
  • 6 Link Building Tips I Learned From Google Patent
  • Unlock Your Free Step-by-Step Link Building Tutorial Now!

      Now that you know how important links are in SEO, discover 7 of the most effective link building strategies that even experts use!
      We have also inluded detailed step-by-step guides so you can replicate success for your own website, you do not want to miss this.

    Updated: 16 April 2024


    About Winnie

    Winnie is an aspiring copywriter & internet marketer in the vast world of digital marketing. She's as curious as she can be; constantly hunting for answers to her questions, never saying no to new experiences. When she's not spending her time typing up a storm, she is at home keeping up with her never-ending movie marathon & books.

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