There’s a lot of debate in the SEO world over link building. It’s an ongoing, ever-heated, and much contested discussion.
The truth is, link building used to be easy and fast. You could create some content packed with keywords, make sure your keyword was in the title, and create a link back to your site with the keyword as the anchor text. Post it on a satellite blog or content directory, and you were set. Rinse and repeat all over the net.
It didn’t even matter too much about the quality of the content – there were plenty of services out there to help you ‘spin’ your content – essentially creating several multiple versions of one piece of content that you could paste all over the web.
The days of thoughtless link building are gone
Things have changed and those tactics not only no longer work, but they will get you in trouble, losing you rankings and potentially even getting de-indexed.
So what changed?
Google got smarter. In the beginning, Google really had no idea how to know whether a link was:
- Paid for or not
- Linking to or from high quality content
But now they do. The name of the game in 2015 is quality. Building fewer links from higher quality sites will get you far greater results than building a whole host of low quality links. But then the name of the game begins to change anyway.
Focus on serving your audience and giving people what they want
When it comes to content creation, it’s actually better these days not to focus on link building at all. If you create content that is of high enough quality, you will find that the links will appear naturally all on their own.
When you create good stuff, people will link to it because it’s good!
It’s far better to spend your time engaging with your audience on your blog, on social media and via email. Get to know them, get to know your competition, and get to know your business inside out.
Once you have all the knowledge and experience, use it to focus on your overall marketing campaign, including creating deep, informative content that your audience will lap up and begin to share all over the web.
Yes, the links still matter and the traffic / SEO benefit will still exist, but the point is that we are not focusing on link building anymore. We are focusing on quality.
What else can I do?
With all this free time you now have, let’s get focused on the most important things you should be doing to increase your SEO.
1) Create regular, in-depth, well-researched content that people really want. As mentioned above, this is key. If you cannot do this yourself, another option is to use professional copywriters to help you produce your content.
2) Develop your social media presence. Don’t be passive on the internet – get involved. Talk to your community, network, make relationships and encourage people to support your brand.
3) Optimize your site. Make sure your site is optimised for mobile and your navigation and internal link structure is organised and smooth. Google rewards this.
4) Be shareable. In everything you do online, encourage people to share your content by being shareable. Write things and create images that people care about and can get behind. The people sharing will become ambassadors for your brand.
Old-school link building may be dead, but that doesn’t mean that links don’t matter; quality links are still one of the most important ranking factors in Google. Focus on building relationships and expanding your network, and in time good quality links will start to appear. The links and traffic will flow naturally from this.
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