Search engine optimization or SEO, is one of the most effective and ever evolving digital marketing branch, with the most potential to build high-quality backlinks. Despite the recent changes in white-hat tactics in recent years, link building continues to be the fundamental aspect of SEO.
Has Link Building changed or not really?
This question has been a subject of the debate for a long time now. Whether it is veterans of digital marketing or next generation aspiring digital entepenures, all of them have their own opinions and views on this topic. Mainly, due to constantly changing digital framework and Google algorithm updates, it has gained even more curiosity in the SEO world lately.
For the most part, any experienced digital marketer would agree on the fact that lately with all new Google updates and core algorithms, link building has changed a bit, but not entirely. In spite of the fact that after previous updates like penguin algorithms and recently core updates, link building has evolved into much more quality content, polished and refined process, its core mechanics remains the same.
Here are the 6 major ways the link building has evolved over the years:
1 Less spam and more strict penalties
Even back in the days, it was almost like a spam-fest with all those misleading ads, content spinning, auto spam posts and other issues. However, Google in past couple of years have put great emphasis on filtering out and putting up more severe penalties on the web sites with spam driven backlinks or duplicate content.
2 High quality content is essential
In the current scenario, the standards for quality content have been increased to a great extent. With all the high competition in the market and rising awareness of link buildings among people have set the standards really high for content creators.
Eventually, this means it will be more difficult to attain guest post opportunities as many publishers have increased their content standards to sync with Google’s current guidelines. Therefore, the content should be well researched, authorized and original to get published and to reach the broader audience.
3 Utilization of “nofollow” tags properly
Even though, no-follow links are not something new for SEO’s, but their usage have become much more common after the last Google penguin updates. As a rule, whenever the nofollow tag is used with a link, Googlebot won’t count that link as an endorsement. Therefore, if the website is having lots of weak links, they should be tagged as nofollow, to prevent it from being penalized and end up with loss of performance over search engines.
4 Avoid the overuse of anchor text
In the old days, one of the most widely used tactics to obtain the higher ranking in a short span of time was to use rich anchor text in the links. However, use of the excessive rich keyword anchor text nowadays is considered spam and can be identified as misleading or manipulative by Google and penguin filters.
Therefore, it is advised to check for the rich anchor text distribution for your website to prevent any penalties. Also, it is important to check page distributions of rich anchor texts, as sometimes, penguin filter can hit the specific pages which are detected as overly-optimized. Page and site distribution for rich anchor text can be checked through various link analysis tools such as “cognitiveSEO”, “Linkody” and“Majestic SEO”.
5 Press release are not worth it anymore
Press release was also one of the most effective strategies to gain more links by submitting newsworthy “press release” content to the high authority news agencies. However, it’s not the case anymore as Google has demoted the authority value of the links, generated from press release articles. Hence, it would not be a wise strategy to put more time and efforts in press release on a larger scale like people use to do before.
6 Low-grade link building won’t work anymore
Over a decade ago, it was quite easy to obtain a link through several tactics like spamming blog commenting, forum postings or other methods to get a backlink for your domain and it was totally acceptable at those times. However, Google won’t tolerate such strategies anymore these days and that may result in some severe penalties like substantial loss in authority value of your website.
To conclude, link building is still one of the key factors to rank higher in search engines, but nonetheless it is not only about rankings and authority. Link building now has been evolved into providing audiences with higher quality content and superior user experience than ever before. Surely, it is a little more complicated to build links with these changes but certainly it is more rewarding for longer period of time and also more efficient for future of SEO. These were some of the key points we shared in this article if you have any more suggestions please free to leave a comment.