What Happened to SEO Link Building?
27 January 2016
It did not surprise me that when I searched for ‘Link Building News’, the first SERP’s page was littered with news and information sources roughly 3 or four years out of date. Why?
Fierce link building for SEO has come unchained.
But why, you cry, even when there is roughly 364,000,000 results returned for this query?
The answer is that Google clocked on to what it considered to be spammy, black hat techniques and wrote algorithms to detect and penalise them.
This is because, essentially, users were having bad experiences because the most valued SEO technique of the day was to gain backlinks wherever, and however, possible.
This SEO practice was defeating the purpose of SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is about optimising a website so a search user’s enquiry is matched correctly, efficiently. Although humans are want to circumvent an ideal and safe system, this was leading Google to provide the wrong answers for users.
And we may forget, but we have all been subject to those kinds of SEO practices. Remember the days when you would search for ‘Britney Spears’ and be given a ranked 1, 2 or 3 page which would end up shipping you off to a foreign-language E-Commerce site?
Or how about the days when your favourite fishing enthusiasts underground blog began publishing articles aimed at selling you that expensive rod that only a few months ago they would have ridiculed for being capitalist rubbish?
This is all because of the surge in what SEO Managers and their clients believed to be best practice. In fact, it was best practice at the time.
Link Building, as it is known, is the process by which an SEO agency or website owner purchases links or exchanges links with another website to in order to build their site(s) credibility through what Google calls PageRank. According to Google, PageRank is Google’s opinion of a page or site based on incoming link signals. Google says, “PageRank is an important signal, but it’s one of more than 200 signals we use to determine relevancy.”
This is typical of Google. To admit and then deny the importance of something, and it is Google’s way of remaining impartial to the techniques and practices of web masters, which helps Google to rank higher or lower the pages in question based upon the content they hold, and how they hold it.
The best SEO agency in London… hell, the World… knows that great SEO is a mixture of great content, great site architecture, and healthy incoming signals. Placing all of your sites importance on the empty incoming links from questionable sources is a dangerous precedent to set, and a dangerous gamble.
But, you ask, what makes a good incoming source?
Tim Soulo from Search Engine Land argues that “The most common reason for getting penalised is a poor link buying choice from an SEO agency.” Which means to say, a good way of not being penalised is to create backlinks through credible sources.
This means, sources that are relevant to your site, and who themselves have a good ranking by Google. Sites with human, mid-way optimised content are far more likely to be a good source that the blog you have never heard of before which offers you 500+ back links for a cheap, one off price.
If you want good SEO Link quality, you have to start with a great website. Having a great digital marketing agency on your side who pushes you to develop and redevelop your marketing practices and search user optimisation practices is key.
And, you shouldn’t be using an agency who allows you to get to the point where you need to disavow links which are causing havoc because they are, essentially, poor link sources.
So, set yourself up right with an SEO agency who believes in the power of your product or service, and get them to work with you to develop your identity. Don’t go in for quick wins, but rather, invest in lasting SEO successes.
If you wish to speak to an agency which puts your needs first, speak to one of our SEO Managers here.
About Avenue Digital
Avenue Digital was established in 2015 and has fast become a leading digital marketing agency, proving SEO, PPC Management, Social Media Management, and Umbraco Design and Build expertise. This strong growth has been achieved through a steady accumulation of consumer and professional service based clients and a significant strategic acquisition.
Existing Avenue clients include Rothesay Life, LPC Law, Convergen, Lomar, Venesta, Bureau Van Dijk, Mount Anvil, Benoy, Shrieve, GLH Hotels, Ella’s Kitchen, Levi Roots, Shop Direct, Farrell Clothing, Anna Freud Centre, and Blesma.
Although a specialist SEO agency in London, Avenue Digital is performance focused and a provider of digital marketing including:
• SEO Management
• PPC Management
• Social Media Management
• Umbraco Design & Build