Link Building, Is It Still Relevant For SEO In 2016?

 

Link building has been through some serious changes recently (see video and other resources below). Back linking or links that you receive from other sites used to be the number 1 factor that allowed a website to rank well within Google and other search engines. Google over time became aware of the SPAM sites this created, it was bad for the internet and it was bad for users. In a way Google was contributing to decreasing the quality of web instead of improving it as it does so effectively now. Google could see low quality websites in it’s own results and it could see it in the rise of a gaming SEO industry service as link building services started to pop up everywhere. 

Google then did as Google does, it innovated. It put together a new team of spam fighters headed up by Matt Cutts and to cut a long SEO story short they cleaned up the web and SEO industry. For us here at SEO Melbournee we couldn’t have been happier as it meant a more credible SEO industry and a better web for all. Google Penguin was born.

 

So where are we today? Is link building still relevant?

While link building is not the major cog in the Algorithm’s wheel, it is still important. What can be said now with clarity and conviction is that less is more and the small amount of links that you are awarded to your site need to come from relevant and credible sites. If this is the case then rest assured your links will be quality and your site will be treated to better search results in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).

What is a relevant site to obtain links from?

A relevant site that awards your site a link is one that is within a spectrum of content relevant to your site. So for instance, if i were a site like Cabin Porn (no its not what you think it is) a site that features various cabins and nature houses obtaining links off other nature cabin feeds/sites would be important. This is logical and straightforward. However, what if there were a website that was highly credible and popular that focused on nature and walking tracks in California? Would this be relevant. The answer is yes, as a conclusion can be drawn here, people who would find walking tracks in California interesting would also most likely find Cabin Porn’s cabins in nature interesting. There is a direct correlation between the subject matter. Now what would be more valuable here, a link from the specific exact match cabin nature site or the nature walking tracks site? Both are good to achieve, but obtaining quality links for popular and respected websites are preferred over many links from exact match not so popular websites.

How Would I obtain a link?

The best way to obtain a link is to approach link building in a targeted and refined way. An example of targeted link building is to post on your site and create great content, from here link out to sites relevant to the post that you would also like to obtain a link from. So in the above case Cabin Porn would post an image of a walking track in California and link to the nature and walking track orientated site. From here, Cabin Porn would approach the nature and walking orientated site and mention that they just did a post on them. A request of a link within a relevant post to Cabin Porn or mention on their socials follows this. Cabin Porn could also ask to guest post, which is another great way to obtain a relevant and credible link from a respected site.

Back linking works and will always work to improve your ranking IF and that was a big IF the links come from credible and relevant sources. Respect needs to be flagged in some way by the Google Algorithm to then find credible sites to place in Google’s SERPS. This respect could be earned by gaming the system pre 2010/11 as mentioned above. You could buy sites, create sites and link towards your target site or you could pay for link building from various link building services. These days are well and truly over.

The days of targeted and refined link building are here. 

Targeted Link Building Other Resources:

Google SERP’S Whimsical Change Or Are SERP’s Becoming Dynamic To Trend & Seasonal Data?

Google Penguin – Again!!

SPI 176: Backlinking—What’s Working and Is It Even Still Important with Brian Dean from Backlinko.com