One of the hottest discussions in recent past is whether Google is phasing out Link Building or whether its role is being changed thanks to new algorithms being released by the company at regular intervals. Arguments have flown from both sides, but here are a few indications that link building may be on its way out as a strategy and a process.
The goal of link building is ultimately to earn profits in a direct or indirect manner. In terms of organic search, the profits may arrive by way of qualified traffic, which in turn comes from desired search engine locations. Desired search results can come after you acquire links by way of various domains that command high authority in the eyes of major search engines.
Such a scenario actually calls for more link building, but that is not the case when you look at the big picture. Direct link building is basically what link buyers and spammers do, and this process is now heavily penalized by Google. You need to engage in link earning, which actually goes much beyond merely focusing on link acquisition.
While link data is excellent for several tasks such as delivering insights for current campaigns, locating potential targets for marketing, and providing details on current rankings, it should not be the sole focus of your campaign. Google itself advocates people to first write about something that they think is good and then link to it rather than going about it the other way around.
Webmasters and marketers that have tried to fight this new principle of Google have found out the hard way that it is now either Google’s way or no way. One must get ready to accept the Penguin’s new wishes as well as consider that fact that more such updates may be in the pipeline.
While it is not fully understood just how Google uses links for rankings, it is clear that links are used to filter bad and spammy sites while promoting sites that are linked to others that are perceived to have high authority and popularity. Google understands and correlates between brand mentions and social shares by way of rankings.
The exact importance of each signal that affects ranking is also not clear and so focusing merely on link building at the cost of others will be detrimental to your rankings. You actually have the ability to boost several other metrics as well as build higher visibility with or without the help of Google.
The problem is that every individual has his or her own definition of a good and bad link. There are constant arguments as to what constitutes as high-quality links. You must understand that rankings and links are not actually processes, but benchmarks. They are only methods to track your progress towards your actual goals that include witnessing higher qualified traffic as well as sales and revenues.
While asking others to add your links or modify existing links can be awkward, focusing only on purchasing or renting links can be a waste of time and money. Rather than concentrating only on links as the only goal, you can save a lot of energy and money by engaging in simple tactics such as guest posting. Such a tactic will enhance awareness as well as bring links in a natural way.
Site owners and marketers too sometimes get pressurized into opting for paid or spam links just because their competition is doing the same. The result is a sharp peck from the Penguin, which in turn requires a lot of effort to get back lost rankings and reputation. In the current scenario, if you are engaging merely on link building, then you are engaged in online marketing or spamming links.
Hence, you not only need to change talking terms and metrics, but also need to change tactics to achieve your ultimate goals. You need to better understand the changing needs of search engines as well as methods of traffic generation and then reset your priorities.
As mentioned earlier, while guest blogging is a fantastic tactic, it is also important that the guest post is written by someone that already commands some level of authority and following. Once you locate your target audience and provide appropriate guest blogs then you will be able to raise awareness as well as create a brand over time. You will no longer need to sneak in links since you will now be able to place links within the natural flow of a related article or blog.
You should also opt for high visibility rather than focusing merely on high authority. At the end of the day, you actually need to deliver what the people want. This simple philosophy will ensure that people love your products and your company simply because you love to do what you do and listen to the needs of the people.
Once people love what you have offered, it will naturally be shared and linked. This is exactly the opposite of someone trying to merely engage in link building without actually offering anything of value to the people. So, while Google may be phasing out link building, you too need to phase out your outdated strategies and focus on providing people what they want. The rest will come naturally.