Recently there have been arguments all over the web as to whether Link Building is now redundant or not. You can understand the reasons why as well. With the ever popular Panda and Penguin Google update still sending websites reeling after reclassifying sites, a lot of fingers have pointed at backlinks being the reason for this.
Reason being, a lot of the sites that have tumbled down the rankings will have a skewed Link Profile. A good link profile should look natural and varied. You wouldn’t expect a regular website to have 90% links all from PR4 directories would you? So why should Google prefer a site that has a link profile like this?
That’s not to say steer clear of directories either. As with most things SEO related moderation is key. A website with 5 directory links, 5 forum links, 5 blog comment links and 5 natural links is more likely to perform better than a site with 18 directory links and 2 natural links.
Google also seems to have implemented a policy that rewards sites for link earning rather than link building. Link earning is all about creating quality content that is worth linking to and relevant to the website. Rather than creating a generic post about SEO in Manchester and adding the keyword in a few times, creating a compelling article that will encourage interaction and sharing is a much better idea.
If your new post is a hit and starts to get linked to, that’s when you will start to see the benefits of link earning. Google can see that you have worked to create quality, worthwhile content and that it is worth linking to as links to the post have appeared naturally.
Contrast that to a blog post that only has links from directories, and it’s clear who’s content is more worth listing in the top ten.
So is link building really dead? I’d have to say yes and no. Yes, link building as we knew it is dead and Link earning is now a priority, but no it isn’t dead as a healthy link profile is still beneficial to Search Engine Optimisation.