As an Australian SEO, are you confused about the whole business of back links and link building? Many people following Google’s actions over the last few years. The truth is that links still have value; just be careful about how you get them.
It was an astonishing fall from grace. Just a few years ago backlinks were like gold. Everyone wanted more and teams across the globe spend the whole day doing nothing but building them.
They blasted masses of flimsy articles off to directories, created thousands of phony forum profiles, and sent out scores of worthless press releases just to get links back to their clients’ sites.
Then Google got to work. First they devalued spammy links. Then, they classed them as ‘negative SEO’ and dished out lowered rankings to guilty sites.
It’s an on-going crusade. Last year Google targeted press releases with suspicious anchor text along with widgets and infographics. Meanwhile, as recently as January 20 Matt Cutts wrote a blog post titled “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. Formerly regarded as white hat linkbuilding, guest posting was now overrun with bad practises revealed Cutts.
So is linkbuilding even ‘legal’ in the eyes of Google?
From the Horse’s Mouth
According to Matt Cutts, link building is not illegal or even bad. However, you have to do it right.
It’s useful to remember the reasons that links exist on the web.
- Firstly, they offer a way to share something interesting by providing others with a link to it.
- Then they can provide relevance by connecting our content to other sites that provide related information.
- Next, links are built to attribute and identify the source of content we use.
- Finally, they can be built simply for marketing, for SEO purposes, to get traffic and so on.
The latter, the practice of link building for link building’s sake, is clearly the kind of activity that Google wants to stop. They want you to first produce something of value and then work on promoting it in a natural way. It’s all part of the way that SEO and marketing are becoming one.
So create something of value, help your target audience discover, it and you’re firmly on the path to earning the kind of natural links that bring in referral traffic and help with rankings in the long run.
The Way Forward
Todays’ Australian SEOs should be using links as a way to enhance brand and the client’s reputation rather than a simple SEO technique. (That competing site’s got 100 backlinks so let’s build 120 and knock him off his perch).
The shift in focus to building brand and reputation rather than links will be hard for SEOs brought up using old school methods. But master it they must if they wish to gain sustainable rankings and online success for their clients.