The practice of link building has been the groundwork for search engines since the beginning. Search engines like Google have used the linking building algorithm as a way to distinguish between many different websites. Google was the first to create an efficient pattern of distinguishing websites by how many other authority and relevant sites link to each other. However, many people the recent changes at Google can only mean they are trying to de-value the power backlinks play in SEO. Over the years, many people have creative ways to manipulate search engine rankings by building spam links and even private blog networks to link to each other. Even though this use to be a successful technique it’s no longer as effective after the recent Google Panda and Penguin update.
In today’s series, I want to discuss some factors which are making me believe link building won’t be as effective as it was before. I’ll also go over some elements that are replacing the common SEO methods and what to expect going forward. Let’s get started…
What’s best for Google?
When looking at link building and how it’s changing you have to pay close attention to Google and what they consider valuable. For example, you’ve probably noticed over the past several years Google has been making a shift towards user engagement and relevance in keywords. You see an onset of LSI and long-tail keywords with less emphasis on link building. When link building is involved, there is a great focus on authority and relevance which never use to be the case before. You have to remember many websites were out-rankings others by simply manipulating the SERP’s through bulk link building campaigns. Going forward you have to ask yourself this question: What does Google consider valuable and authority?
This can be broken down to the following:
Social Shares â€“
You’ve probably noticed the type of impact social media is having on blogging. Social media has changed the way people find and engage with content, however, has provided vital clues to Google too. Essentially if a website has enormous social shares, it’s safe to say it provides value and should NOT be underestimated as a resource for visitors. Google is trying to find clever ways to use this data and they have made progress throughout the years. Have they included it into their search algorithm? I am not sure, however, consider this…
If they can find a way to divide authentic social shares compared to manipulation, then you can be assured they will definitely add it to their algorithm. I encourage everyone to start paying close attention to social engagement and always include it in their marketing strategy.
It’s important I mention backlinks will still be important within the SERP’s however I think the value they play might decrease. They’ll always be a part because you have to remember they are the backbone of Google search algorithm however the importance will change in the following ways. First, relevance will be more important and each link MUST be from a site in the same niche. Secondly, the authority of the website will matter greatly because this will add value to the actual link. For example, the higher the authority of the external website the more juice the link will hold. This means more link juice being transferred from 1 website to another. Third, be very careful with anchor text because the user search pattern is changing and you have to incorporate related keywords. When building links, the following will matter even more:
- Close related keywords
- Long tail keywords
- URL anchor text
- Name and URL based
In part 2 we’ll be exploring â€œ2â€ more important elements that might decrease the overall value on backlinks in the near future. We can see some of them beginning to actually take shape now so it’s important to implement almost immediately.