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Four Good Reasons to Keep Building Links

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Published: June 20, 2014

Despite the fact that Google’s anti-spam team has been attacking the practice of link building with a vengeance aka Penguin, there is simply no better method of gauging the authority of a website right now or in the foreseeable future. Links will continue to play a vital role in improving the search engine ranking of your site even as the list of acceptable link building tactics continues to shrink.

The core philosophy of successful link building that you must embrace if you want to boost your site’s position in the rankings without incurring the wrath of Google to increase your ranking.

  • Be natural. Gaining 2,000 backlinks to your website overnight just doesn’t happen naturally and Google knows this.
  • Be patient. This goes hand-in-hand with taking the natural approach. You’re not going to kick a well-optimized, established website off page one of the search results in a single week, at least not without resorting to black-hat loophole tactics that are going to eventually get your site penalized or even banned.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Not all links carry the same weight or provide the same amount of SEO juice. A handful of high-authority backlinks will trump hundreds of spammy, low quality links every time.
  • Diversify your link profile. Again, this goes back to the natural philosophy. A naturally growing website will attract all sorts of links from all sorts of places – high authority, lower authority, social mentions and shares, blog posts, and press mentions just to name a few. Make sure that your link building efforts give your site a natural-appearing mix.
  • Pay close attention to your anchor text when building links. Use a mix of different anchor text terms, and avoid stuffing the anchor text with your target keywords.

Why Links are Still Critically Important to Your SEO

  • Links remain a major factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. In a recent webmaster video, Google’s Matt Cutts called backlinks “a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results.” This was reinforced by his colleague Amit Singhal, speaking at a recent industry conference. According to Singhal, “Links are clearly an important signal about the importance of your content. They’re still very valuable.”
  • Link building helps you build your brand by reaching a new and diverse audience. Even a nofollow link, which conveys no actual SEO ranking juice, is helping promote your brand to your target audience. Assuming your content is both useful and relevant, a portion of those readers will follow the trail back to your website for more information. That’s the whole purpose of SEO – exposure of your brand through increased website traffic.
  • Quality backlinking reinforces your overall marketing effort. Backlinks create more opportunities for promoting your content, improving your social media outreach, and building a positive online reputation.
  • Building quality backlinks can help your website overcome a bad linking profile. The more poor quality links your site has, the greater your chance of being penalized. A combination of removing or disavowing bad links and replacing them with relevant high quality links sends a positive signal to Google, and may prevent your site from a drastic drop in rankings.