3 Reasons Why Link Building Is Not Dead
Every once in a while, Google stirs things up with its updates, the latest of which has been Fred, thus sparking various discussions about the importance of its ranking factors. As far as we know, and we have to emphasize this because the search engine is extremely secretive when it comes to confirming details about its algorithms, there are about 200 components or signals used to rank websites. As of recently, it can be said that link building is an obsolete and outdated strategy.
Moreover, a statement by Google’s webmaster trend analyst John Mueller said link building can harm SEO efforts and that this practice should be avoided in general, which has led to an internet death hoax in which this strategy was declared dead. Despite all this, link building keeps on ticking, so let’s debunk this fake news by providing reasons why it’s here to stay.
Building and earning backlinks is still one of the most important SEO practices, as they signal to Google that your website is relevant, helpful and offers quality content on a particular topic. Of course, what has changed is that Google has mastered the skill of recognizing bad and spammy links, so if you don’t want your website to meet its demise and be catapulted to the last page of SERP, you should take a couple of things into consideration:
- Link score. Google calculates this score based on each and every incoming link’s quality score, and the number of backlinks that point to your website. In other words, both the quantity and quality of the links matter, and if your website is full of links from shady, third-rated sources, your rankings will suffer. Another important detail is that you can’t fool Google by acquiring links from the same domain, as only one of them will be used for your link score evaluation. So, in order to have a stellar link score, you need to obtain a number of quality links from various linking domains. This handy link prospecting tool can help you search for blogs in your niche and to find high-quality, authority links.
- Anchor text. Don’t overlook this element because it’s also one of the signals that Google uses for ranking. Namely, instead of using generic anchor text, you should come up with a string of words that is relevant and descriptive to the page you’re linking to. In order to optimize anchor text, make sure to use different types of anchors – branded text, unique text, naked URLs, long tail anchor text, exact match anchor text, and partial match anchor text, as well as to hit the right balance.
- Content. Logically, in order to be able to attract high-quality links that point to your website, the content you produce has to be unique, fresh, helpful, and relevant. To cut a long story short, it has to be exceptional. However, apart from having top content, it’s also important to have a content strategy. In other words, you need to know the how’s and why’s behind your content creation, management, and curation. Basically, you need to write your content for people and optimize it for robots.
Amplify the power of social media
Although Gary Illyes, Google’s webmaster trend analyst, claims that search engines don’t take signals from social media into consideration, you can still make the most of your social shares and likes, and boost your rankings by means of social engagement. As you know, social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn play a key role in content distribution, which in turn generates engagement.
It’s a no-brainer that if your content is shared and liked a lot, your website will get a substantial amount of traffic. And guess what? Google does take traffic into consideration when it ranks websites. Of course, in order for this synergy of social media and your SEO effort, including link building, to work, your following has to be precise and accurately identified. In the same vein, you can reach social influencers, engage with them, and earn backlinks through social media platforms.
Increase your exposure and visibility
Natural backlinks to your website will expand your reach, increase the trustworthiness of your website, and make it more visible. Basically, from Google’s point of view, backlinks to your website mean that others are willing to vouch for the relevance, quality, and uniqueness of your content. They’re actually signals to search engines that your website is credible and that your target audience will definitely benefit from visiting it. This, in turn, prompts search engines to give your website higher rankings.
Although what we’re talking about here is link earning rather than link building, it’s still effective and creating superb, targeted content and promoting it across various channels will attract shares and links, and the result will be similar to that of link building – a rise in the popularity, recognition, visibility, and trustworthiness of your website.
These three reasons are important enough to keep link building alive and kicking in the future.