Many brands and site owners are dropping the practice of link building for more appealing and complex SEO tactics. But as alluring and effective as the world of paid search, content marketing, and other SEO practices can be, link building still remains a fundamental way to improve the ranking of your website. So, if link building is still such an integral part of optimization, why are people shying away from it?
One major reason people turn away from link building is for fear of penalties. Thanks to black hat/spam link building scams, the practice has earned a reputation as being somewhat of an inauthentic, fraudulent tactic. Coupled with big brands that have received link building penalties, and link building starts to look like a fast track to getting on Google’s bad side.
Another reason people are rejecting the practice is the belief that link building simply doesn’t work. Because link building (when done correctly) doesn’t return instant results in a site’s ranking, it gets written off as an ineffective SEO method. The average site owner doesn’t have time to waste on practices deemed outdated and unsuccessful, so they opt for PPC or SMM and ditch link building altogether.
Despite these commonly held opinions of link building, the practice still plays a crucial role in SEO and can make the difference necessary to boost your site ranking. In fact, a recent report clarified that links back to your website are among the most important ranking determinants to date.
In case that study isn’t evidence enough, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google (Andrey Lipattsev) confirmed the holy trinity of site ranking signals: RankBrain, Content, and Links (in an unspecified order). Links are part of the backbone of the internet, and effective link building should remain a part of your SEO strategy for the foreseeable future.
It’s important to remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to link build. Trying to get a surplus of low quality links is a good way to end up on Google’s penalty list and take your site ranking more than a couple steps back. There’s no high quality way to automate link building, so when building a healthy network of link signals, keep these tips in mind:
- Create worthwhile, helpful, high quality content that is worthy of a link on another site.
- Engage with other sites actively and participate in discussions, comments, and forums-be a regular!
- Use link building in conjunction with your other SEO practices. Don’t just rely on any one practice.