Historical Analysis of Link Building from 2005 to 2018: Experts View

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Historical Analysis of Link Building

Disclosure“’Link Building is very tricky! This article is based on my personal opinion, experience, and research of almost more than 13 years. I would like to share my thoughts about my struggle and success with different techniques and strategies for link building, which helped me to become a successful link builder with a period of time.” Varun Sharma CEO KVR Webtech

To my surprise, I recently came across a postcard in my mailbox about building links for my company. The postcard was presented in such a personal and good way that it gave me a thought to talk to the guy who sent the postcard. This is also one of the reasons which triggered me to write this article. 


Rapport is what makes link building work, and nothing surpasses interacting with someone in real life. 

According to Brian Dean an eminent SEO Advisor said: “Even though Google has made thousands of changes to its algorithm since then, backlinks remain a key ranking signal.”

Link Building

Link Building is mainly based on 3 broad factors: 

  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Quality

These factors are getting stronger with the passage of time.

  • There is an excellent podcast by a renowned SEO expert Eric Enge on Cemper’s link building where he talks about the importance of backlinks from quality and authoritative websites.

In order to fully comprehend, I would like to take a must journey back in time to 2005 when SEO professionals had the rug pulled out from underneath them.

Manipulative Era of Link Building

Spam Attack

In the earlier days of SEO, Link building has been a source of victory and disappointment. When it first came to SEO professionals’ understanding that links from other sites increase search engine rankings, they immediately started adding links to irrelevant websites which were not related. At that time search engines were activated with the task of knowing link quality. 


In my initial days of SEO, link-building was in its most disordered phase of existence. SEO companies would do blind link building without considering its quality. Link building was considered as the main ranking factor for Google’s algorithm. In other words, the more your inbound links, the more Google would prefer you in its search engine rankings. Quantity of the links and keyword stuffing were the main focus rather than quality.  The chaotic turmoil of backlink spam and reciprocal linking was very much flimsy to me. In order to fight spam and control link quality, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft jointly introduce the “nofollow” attribute. 

  • In order to further control link spamming Google’s Jagger update rolled out in 2005 to target low-quality links, including reciprocal links, link farms, and paid links.
  • These were the challenges which I faced during my initial years and these bustles changed my strategies from time to time. With my experience, I have analyzed that Google starts giving hints long before confirming the update. Therefore SEO experts who understand how Google go ahead with things can really be the winner in link building strategies. Adaptation to current updates is the best way to get your website in top ranking position.

At that time SEO professionals like me who adapted themselves to Jagger quickly saved their businesses, and survived to link to the new era. That was all before major Penguin update came along.

  • From my point of view, you should always adjust yourself to its changes only then you can benefit from them and can catch the wave of visibility to benefit your own business.In April 2012 Google launched the Penguin Update.Google Penguin Update
    Its main aim was to hook the websites which were suspected to be spamming its search results and especially those that used the practices of buying links or getting them through link networks which were mainly designed to push Google rankings. Google evaluated “Anchor Text” and penalized websites for using the majority of keyword specific anchor text for linking. The tide shifted from exact match anchor text links to brand specific and phrasal match keyword anchor text links. Another major blow came when the green bar in our toolbars measured the PageRank of the website came to an end. Higher the page rank of the website more popular it becomes among other websites. PR was used as an element for link sale. Getting the links from them is considered of great value. All the websites were linked and evaluated on the basis of it. 
  • But since March 2016, Google has officially disclosed that they have decided to terminate the Toolbar PageRank. It was a big blow to SEO industry as their judgement of a particular website was based on it. In 2016, Backlinko evaluated over one-million Google search results pages. The thought behind the analysis was to find what components lead to higher rankings of websites.


They found that link building was still important for the ranking of any website. Google’s algorithm is becoming more logical and smart day by day. Therefore we have to be more smart and intelligent in getting the links.

Google has a come up with many new strategies for link building to guide SEO professionals that quality is the keynote of link building, and its likely to have a long way of development ahead of it.

Era 2018: The conventional mindset for building links has changed

  • Era 2018 Link BuildingIt is wrong to assume that link building strategy is dead but it doesn’t work like it used to work before. Now, instead of using inimitably related and poor quality links by the dozen, a single inbound link from a genuine player in the territory is the best way to go. This leads to a more refine and logical link building strategies like link outreach and developing exceptionally linkable content as a boon.
  • One of the bestselling authors in New York Times and a top influencer on the web, Neil Patel said in one of his latest blog, “Links give context and power to pages that Google considers authoritative.”
  • Therefore it clearly shows that link building means getting good quality links from authoritative websites in 2018.Good Quality Links

Industry-specific guest blogging, mentioning influencers in your post, use of images and infographics are some of the main focus in 2018 for getting the best backlinks for your business.

From my understanding of 2018 link building strategies have become more specific and smart. You have to give something good to get something good. Google gives more weight to websites which have unique backlinks from different authoritative domains and don’t give preference to websites which get many links from same websites. As more logical and honest you are in building relationships will get more profit to your business.


Links Building

  • “Like I said, backlinks are mainly increments from other good quality websites. Each of these Increments conveys search engines that the respective content is valuable, honest and important. Even though Google has made so many of alterations to its algorithm since then, link building still remains a main ranking signal.”My dear friends the best suggestion came straight from the mouth of Barry Schwartz an eminent figure in SEO world for the link builders, “Make your website so good that Google will be embarrassed if they’re not ranking it,” asserted Schwartz. In my next article, I will come in detail about guest blogging techniques.

    Let me know your Opinion on the Subject

    I hope this historical analysis will bring a good boost to your link building strategy. I would love to have your feedback! Please feel free to share your thoughts, via a comment on this post.

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