link-building-mark-f-simmonsWe’ve all likely seen those posts entitled “Is link building dead” and started to think about the work we’re doing in the SEO world. It’s true that things are changing, but how are they changing? Google took a look at a new way to run the search algorithm without links. The results they found were quite interesting…

Google ultimately did not like the results they received in their “link-less” test. This is good news to SEO’s everywhere. Links aren’t being removed from the algorithm. That said, they are diminishing in value. As we look at the many components Google uses as ranking signals, there must be a shift. It’s simple physics. If other signals are added to the formula, that space has to come from somewhere. So, it’s not that links are going away or of no value, it’s that they are less valuable in the grand scheme of all signals.

What does this mean for SEO?

Simply put, a change is required. If you haven’t realized this in the last year or so, now is the time to get on board. The biggest shift needed is to look at the types and quality of links you’re pursuing. It makes sense to get the biggest bang for your buck by pursuing the highest quality links. Now, this is a practice our team has always employed for our clients. The only changes we’ve made recently is to get even more selective about what links we seek out. By sticking with the highest of the high – in terms of quality –  we get the best results.

Non-Link Activity

There is always going to be activity that doesn’t immediately lead to a link. This includes actions that result in brand awareness, perpetuation of your position as a thought leader and other non-link related benefits. These activities should not be ignored. In fact, it makes sense to pay more attention to them and step them up. This type of activity is considered more natural and may be rewarded with a link down the road. It’s important to plant as many seeds as you can, even if they take time to come to fruition.

What to avoid

Most certainly, it’s important to focus on editorial links and avoid non-editorial ones. You don’t want to take any actions that may put your site or your client’s site in jeopardy. Going after any and all links is not sound strategy. It doesn’t take much to set you back.

Link building has been a longstanding practice in white-hat SEO and one that’s not going anywhere. In the changing world that sees a great emphasis on a number of new signals, including social, it’s important to keep up and adapt. Failure to do so will only result in your competitors passing you by. So, don’t be alarmed when someone says link building is dead because you’ve been paying a consultant to do this it doing it yourself. Just understand that it’s all changing. Then, change with it.

 

If you have an opinion on this topic, please leave a comment below.

 

Yours in success,

MFS
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