Here at BackLinks we consider ourselves to be expert link builders in a world where building connections has been undervalued.
Some in the industry have signaled the end of backlinking as a strategy. Even to the point where Google’s own John Mueller recommended businesses avoid link building.
But, why are such high ranking people in the online marketing world telling us this? It goes against everything we’ve been taught.
The problem is rooted in definitions. What do you think of when you think backlinks? If the first thing that comes to mind are active and vibrant links that lead to the content you expect to see, then you probably aren’t in the John Mueller camp.
But if the first thing that comes to mind are useless or broken links, then yes, backlinking is dead.
We are here to show you why this simply isn’t true and to help you get immediate results this year with backlinks.
1. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: Why Backlinking Is (still) Important
Search engines still monitor website quality through the number of quality links back to its content from other sites.
Google might be the giant in the search engine world, but it still doesn’t have a human brain.
While it can’t determine “quality” like humans can, it can use the number of links connected to a website (and the authority of those sites) to make a “relevance” judgment call.
Take this Moz study. They looked at the top fifty Google search results of 15,000 keywords to find out what correlated with higher search rankings.
They found that 99% of top rated websites had at least one external backlink and that 77% had at least one link extending outward to another site.
You need backlinks for your site to rank. The correlation is there. And, if the top rated sites are still using backlinks to rank, you should too.
Backlinks bring traffic. No matter your opinion on how they change your SERPS, you know they’re effective.
The only way you can rank without backlinks is with obscure search phrases. But then, again, who types in “Candle Pancake Glowworm” unless they are extremely bored?
That’s not a way to get traffic.
2. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: How Now Shall We Backlink?
Create links to content users want to read. As with YouTube’s engagement algorithm where YouTubers could get an audience to create false engagement to trick the machine into ranking videos higher, so it was with Google’s pre-Penguin algorithm and backlinks.
Spam was king pre-Penguin, and many businesses probably took part in the hack fest. It didn’t matter what you linked back to, as long as you had more links back to your content than the next guy.
Once Google figured this out, they changed the algorithm, thus changing the game.
Now Google looks at quality links and somehow factors the accuracy of the link into their algorithm. (Plus, spam is so 2001 anyway.)
Although, numbers still count. It’s no longer just the number of links.
The lesson here is that quality links will influence your rankings better than poor, inaccurate links.
And if you have many quality links, that’s a double benefit for you in the long run. Not only will you have more traffic, but those users who do click will find what they were looking for.
More satisfaction means more positive vibes for your brand.
A Quick Word on Guest Posts
For a time guest posts were hugely popular. Then, two years ago they were dead. We’re surprised nobody threw a wake.
But why were they considered dead? Well, just like the spam of yon pre-Penguin days, guest posting was also abused to trick the Googlebot into ranking websites higher.
Yet, as long as you use the tool appropriately, it will work as intended.
If you allow other bloggers to post thin, unrelated content, you will surely push away your audience.
Poor curation of your guest blogs will bring about a bad name for you and your brand.
To curate your guest posts properly, bring in bloggers from other areas of the same industry. If you are a tabletop gaming company, bring in top reviewers in that industry to write excellent reviews of games you sell.
3. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: How Fast Could You See Results
Link building takes time. This is one of the reasons why some in the industry have declared link building useless.
But those who studied the turnaround time between link creation and elevated SERP ranking used too large of data sets and extremely difficult keywords.
It’s best to look at smaller studies with smaller businesses farther down on the SERP. Searchengineland.com did a small study with their own legal clients and found much faster results.
The company performed four case studies. The words that stand out in each are “immediate” and “persistent”. None of this waiting two to three to six month for your rankings to increase.
These small businesses proved the thesis correct. That with smaller, lower ranked businesses we would see major gains in traffic and SERP ranking.
The four case studied businesses experienced immediate traffic gains from 14-65%. For a small business, that is a massive increase.
Either way, you look at those results, you cannot deny the impact link-building had on real world businesses.
Conclusion: Create Connections
As link builders, we would like to leave you with one more piece of advice. Link building is about creating connections. You want to network with people and businesses you respect and for whom you would return the favor.
Later on, partnerships and deals might arise because of earlier exchanges meant to merely help each other climb the SERP ladder.
The field of marketing is increasingly becoming a place about respect and co-creation.
No one is an island in this sea of internet connectivity. If we can’t stand together, we will never improve or survive.