Is link building dead?
As the curtains were drawn on yet another SEO from Brighton, I was interested to hear discussions about how Google was going to devalue links in the future.
Is this another chapter in the whole “SEO is dead” novel, or is this just click bait?
To give some context, the focus on links came up during a Q&A session that included Google’s John Mueller. He lives his life as a “Search Advocate”, which makes him one of the search giant’s most public faces and he bridges the gap between search engine engineers and the web community. In short, it’s a big cheese and you have to listen to what it says.
The question about the value of links, and its answer, can be heard in the excerpt below:
In true SEO community style, his feedback has been used to predict link death as a ranking factor and many link builders have left building to fall on their swords.
In the real world, it is important to understand that it is NOT declaring links worthless and simply saying that the weighting given to links might not be so high in the future. If you can’t listen to the audio, relevant comments from Mueller are:
“Well, it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the links. At some point, this will diminish a little because we can’t understand a little better how the content fits into the context of the entire web. And to some degree, links will always be something we care about because we have to find pages somehow. It’s like how do you find a page on the web without referring to it? »
“But I guess over time that won’t be as big a factor as it sometimes is today. I already think that’s something that’s changed quite a bit.
This is a potential softening of the impact of certain links, not a general announcement that links are dead. This is actually nothing new as the longest of us will remember that Matt Cutts said much the same thing many moons ago. If there’s one thing you can count on in life, it’s SEO “experts” putting their pants up after every statement from the search giant 🙂
There is no doubt that links are extremely important for SEO and still the best way to demonstrate your website’s credibility. Otherwise, why would someone link to your content if they didn’t rate it well? Of course, link building can be played and it’s really important to focus on quality rather than amount when trying to attract links to your website.
I guess that’s really what he’s suggesting. Don’t waste your time searching for links en masse. Focus on your users and create engaging content that to win back links. I know I’m a little preachy about this at times, but good content really is the cornerstone of good SEO. While it’s good to amplify your content and try to get other sites to link to your amazing content, your initial focus should be the content you post. Ask yourself if you would link to it – if the answer is “probably not”, then you have to ask yourself if this content actually deserves links from anyone. Good quality links remain essential to a successful SEO strategy, but are only one piece of the complex puzzle.
In short, link building is not dead, whatever you may hear on the SEO vine.