Links are one of the internet’s basic building blocks, without them we couldn’t navigate between pages. So why so much controversy?
Unfortunately, the practice of link building – the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other sites to yours, has some skeletons in the closet.
Over the decades, the link building landscape has repeatedly changed. From SEO’s making dummy websites stuffed with pointless links to their client sites, to buying toxic links by the thousand from third world link farms. The SEO industry has a lot to answer for.
Fortunately, the hot mess has generally improved. Sadly, many sites have been badly stained and worse, many SEO’s still use the same short cuts.
Do links still matter?
Links remain one of the most important and challenging aspects of SEO.
They serve two key purposes; to help users and search engines find new pages, and to decide how a page should rank.
Google’s quest for user focussed websites that are unique, valuable and engaging is heavily influenced by links. In theory, sites are ranked according to these attributes along with relevance to the given search term.
Originally the theory was that a site would only link to another if it deserved to. Perhaps it was quality information or a related post – the volume of links was generally proportionate to the value of the content.
The search for links
With the burgeoning volume of web content, the competition for editorial links continues to escalate.
As a result, the need for exceptional content that attracts links keeps growing, causing SEOs to look for creative ways to acquire links.
Many of the these “creative” link building techniques have little to do with quality content, making it harder for the search engines to correlate them with value. This has led to an ongoing tug of war between link builders and the search engines to understand the true value of a link.
Our relationship with links goes way back
Every SEO has their own approach to link building. Most swear they use only ethical methods and to respect Google like their own mother.
The truth is it’s just not that simple. While Google’s Webmaster guidelines goes some way to explaining what are acceptable “white hat” techniques vs manipulative “black hat” ones, many popular SEO tactics fall more into the “grey hat” category. This is where experience and expertise are important.
We’ve been working in the industry since the dawn of the internet – we’ve seen fads, trends and penalties come and go. We know what works and why. We bring this knowledge and experience to every website we work on.
Built for now, and the future
While new backlinks can skyrocket your rankings, the wrong ones can leave them lost in orbit, never to be seen again.
Like everything we do, it’s about the long game. We have no interest in potentially harmful quick fixes. We believe the only successful outcome is to share the journey with our clients over the long term. And that means delivering sustainable value, month on month, year on year.
If you’d like to see the value of quality links for your business, let’s talk.