What’s more important: SEO or content marketing? Link building or relevant content? These questions plague the minds of many, since Google updated its Penguin algorithm in 2012. The question has been discussed with even more enthusiasm after John Mueller declared that he would allegedly like to avoid link building completely.
The idea under discussion is that since the Penguin algorithm was updated back in 2012, any efforts to build links through spammy and low-quality tactics were destroyed. Moreover, further updates and data refreshes are just making the system better, so Google can track if your website is involved in black-hat SEO tactics. Taking into account this fact, SEO experts, marketers, bloggers and other specialists involved in SEO have been divided into two camps: those who believe that link building is dead and those who think that link building is still alive and will be alive for a very long time.
So, where is the truth? Is link building already dead? And, if yes, how should we promote our websites? And if no, how is link building changing? These questions have bothered me since I started my career as an SEO expert. And as a professional, I owe it to myself personally, as well as to my clients, to find out the answers.
As such, I have started to study the most important matters that could influence the destiny of link building.
Content Marketing vs. Link Building
Good content is what makes people link to your website. This axiom is plain as day and, day-by-day, it becomes even clearer that content matters. The times when you could build a few links spamming in forums and get into Google Top 10 are long gone. But what about link building? Is it still relevant?
Some say it is. But most of SEO experts (and I am inclined to believe them) say that content marketing and link building complement each other. At Search Engine Land, there is a good article about how link building and content marketing fit together. By the way, Moz also has a great post about what to choose when promoting a website: link building or content marketing; you can check it here.
Having read tons of articles about what content marketing is, what link building is, and which of these two are more important, I have realized a few things:
Content marketing and link building are not interchangeable;
Content marketing can build links;
Link building can make great content visible at the top of Google’s SERPs;
You can’t read, hence, share the content that you can’t find, which means that findable content is a key to content marketing
• Yes, content marketing is still important;
• Yes, low-quality links result in Google penalties;
• No, link building is not dead; quite the reverse. It is an essential part of a successful content marketing campaign.
Is it possible to rank in Google without links?
You have probably heard that Google has stopped focusing on link building and now, instead, concentrates on the quality of the content. That’s why the discussion about the death of link building has surfaced.
Moz has addressed this claim: Its recent research has shown that almost all of the websites that rank in Google had an external link pointing to them. The top 50 Google search results for 15,000 keywords were examined. And the results were astounding: 99.2 percent of websites had at least one external link. This shows us that ranking high with Google without link building will be difficult, if not impossible.
Links are the backbone of the Web
The other reason that makes ranking without links almost impossible is Google Penguin. Links are a significant part of the Penguin algorithm and, in fact, links are how Google determines a website’s relevance. So, until the algorithm operates this way, link building will remain important.
When I was searching for information about what Google thinks about link building, I came across an interview with Matt Cutts, who confirmed that links continue to be a valuable ranking factor.
Of course, Google can control the quality of links and change the rules of how links should look, but links will invariably stay one of the primary ways information is shared on the Internet.
Funny news, I also discovered this while searching the topic: Google Chrome was caught buying links for $35,000. I think that proves the fact that quality content is not the only thing you need to pay attention for.
Does Google punish you? It was the last question that disturbed me. Here’s what I fount out:
One of the reasons many believe link building will die is because of the strict rules Google has concerning black-hat SEO. But you should remember one important thing – Google does not punish you, Google wants the information to be valuable.
Google doesn’t care if you have links to your site, but it does care if you place links on thousands of low-quality websites. Link building is not bad; it can be that you are doing the wrong type of link building. Only in that case will Google will penalize you.
Factors that influence your ranking when you’re doing link building:
So as you see, backlinks aren’t the full solution to boost your ranking. What link building techniques do you use?
Karin Foster is a SEO and Sales Consultant at LinksManagement. SEO is her passion. Her main purpose is to help entrepreneurs and website owners get their websites in top 10 on Google.The post Why Link Building Will Never Die appeared first on SiteProNews.
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