Did you know that as many as 93% of internet experiences start on search engines, and that, according to Google, 88% of users searching on mobile devices will take action, like calling local businesses, in less than 24 hours? With that in mind, the importance of SEO and link building is pretty hard to dispute. Google, however, continues to introduce updates and changes to its search formula, raising questions like, what is the future of link building, and how is SEO changing?
A Shift From Quantity to Quality
Shifting the focus from quantity to quality is the answer, all across the board. Google updates demand high quality content, and top-notch company websites. Where does this leave link building campaigns? Link building programs need to make the same shift. Link building experts should concentrate on the quality, rather than the quantity, of links, and, thanks to Google updates, it is not a matter of wanting to do it, it is a matter of needing to do it.
Avoid automated link building tools, stop posting unrelated links in comment sections, and consider ways to organically score links. Social media and recently manual social bookmarking, on sites like Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, etc., are great platforms for increasing traffic, and the number and quality of company links. When in doubt, marketers can refer to Google’s “Webmaster Guidelines.” Marketers can keep in mind all restrictions, and work from there to achieve high quality link building.
Strong Content = Strong Links
High quality content is an essential link building tool. Link building experts, however, need to be aware that, just like link building, content creation is evolving, and changing. Google plainly lays out its quality expectations, “Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging,” and “make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.” In order for content to rank, it must be high quality, of some value to consumers, and it does not hurt if content is current, or even news-worthy, when possible. Northwestern Professor Don Schultz gives his two cents, “I really believe content marketing is the future of all marketing.” That sentiment can, and will, hold true, as long as content remains well-written, well-researched, and valuable.
Link building experts need to be realistic. It is no longer about quantity, but quality, of links. Promote discussion and sharing on social media and increasingly popular social bookmarking sites, and produce original, well-thought out content.