There was once a time when black hat SEO and spammy link building tactics reigned supreme. However, over the years Google has been slowly patching the loopholes in its algorithms. This has led many people to wonder whether link building is dead for good.
So, is link building really dead? The short answer is no. Link building may not be as straightforward as it used to be but it’s still instrumental to your website’s rankings and traffic. There may be a future devoid of link building but that’s not approaching anytime soon!
The next important question to ask is: How can you still make the most of link building in 2022? Read on to explore the merits of link building in the modern internet landscape and how you can stay on top of your linking game!
Is Link Building Dead For Good?
We’ve already established that link building isn’t quite dead and buried just yet. To elaborate on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’, let’s revisit the glory days of link building and what it has morphed into today.
LINK BUILDING THEN: THE GOLDEN AGE
At the turn of the century, links were more important than ever before. Paired with the right keywords, linking tricks worked like magic. Countless sites with highly irrelevant content popped up high on Google, ruining the search experience.
Seeing how unnatural links were used so successfully in the early 2000s, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that link building worked wonders. That was until 2012 when Google released a new Penguin update that dealt a massive blow to black hat link builders. This directly targeted low-quality linking strategies and rewarded websites with organic links and good content.
As sites that were solely propped up using black hat link building were devalued, Google pushed people to focus on what really mattered: quality.
LINK BUILDING NOW: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Today, content marketers have finally embraced a more consumer-friendly approach that prefers quality over quantity. That’s not to say that links hold no power anymore. It’s quite the opposite actually! Links are still a major ranking factor on Google.
To explain why it’s so difficult to decouple links from the ranking algorithm, let’s take a look at what link building actually implies. Google’s job is to list the most relevant resources for any given query. Links are essentially a vote in the website’s favor, making it easier for Google to find the most useful sites. The more high-quality links vote for your website’s relevance, the higher you will rank.
However, the definition of a high-quality link now includes the relevancy of the link. This means that there will be no one size fits all solution to your ranking problems. To rank higher, you need to target backlinks on outlets that your audience is invested in. Your links need to follow your goals, not the other way around!
CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR SEO WITH LINK BUILDING ALONE?
When it comes to the visibility of your website, link building is still one of the most powerful SEO tactics available. In fact, according to a survey by Aira, 92% of marketers think that link building will remain a vital ranking factor in the next five years as well. But is a solid link building strategy the only thing you need to ensure success? The answer is no! Link building is simply one side of the coin.
The other side is high-quality content. When you’re focusing too much on your linking strategies, it can be easy to forget that the number one ranking factor for Google is useful, well-structured, and relevant content. Once you’ve tailored your content to perfection, the next thing to tackle is attaining high-quality links.
In short, keeping the quality over quantity rule in mind, link building pairs beautifully with amazing content to drive traffic and boost your rankings.
How to Channel the Power of Link Building in 2022
Google has gotten insanely good at identifying the majority of unnatural links that indicate black hat or gray hat tactics so they aren’t a viable option anymore.
Let’s take a look at which areas you should focus on in 2022 and how you can utilize the current digital landscape for SEO and marketing.
1. EXPERIMENT WITH NEW CONTENT MEDIUMS
In the age of social media and influencers, creativity is heavily rewarded. Putting all your eggs in one basket is simply not good enough. You have to innovate continuously and experiment with different mediums to create brand new opportunities.
The goal is to find link-worthy content ideas that cannot be easily replicated. Some good ideas include infographics, statistics, and graphs that provide bite-sized information in fun ways.
2. MAKE VALUABLE CONNECTIONS
Modern link building is all about making meaningful and personalized connections with authors and publishers in the field. The days of cold emailing and spamming are gone. Instead of investing in mass outreach, you can get much better results with a more targeted approach.
Today you can engage relevant professionals through social media platforms such as Twitter. A good strategy is to start liking, retweeting, and commenting on posts by journalists and key figures in the industry. The more personalized your PR pitch is, the higher the chances of getting recognized.
3. ENTER THE WORLD OF INFLUENCER MARKETING
Believe it or not, influencer marketing isn’t only made for Instagram-worthy consumer brands. When it comes to link building, influencers carry a lot of untapped potential. Collaborating with these public figures can boost your visibility and get you the right kind of attention. The key is to target influencers whose audience might be interested in your content and services.
4. LEVERAGE POPULAR TRENDS
In our digital world, trends and hot topics rise and fall at lightning-fast speeds. But if your timing is spot on, you can leverage trends to attract a lot of attention. This requires being up to date with trending topics across the web.
But tread with caution because trends can plummet as quickly as they skyrocket. You have to race against time to create campaigns before your content becomes irrelevant. If you’re too late, your idea might just be a big waste of investment.
5. DELEGATE TO A TRUSTWORTHY LINK BUILDING AGENCY
With new trends popping up all the time, SEO can be a rocky landscape to navigate, especially if your agency isn’t well versed in the latest tactics. In such a scenario, delegating these important SEO tasks to a link building agency could be the way to go. With a link building agency taking care of your SEO needs, you can focus on what really matters: building your brand and accelerating growth.
If you’re looking for reliable link building services to take your website to the next level, you can find everything from blogger outreach to relevant guest posting and much more at Outreachmama. Check out Outreachmama’s services for a holistic link building experience.
The Future of Link Building
While those sneaky spam-filled links are no longer the norm, Google still uses links to determine the trustworthiness of a site.
In fact, Google’s strict policies have elevated link building to a more quality-focused and targeted approach. With so much competition and market saturation, content that sets itself apart and provides real value comes out on top.
As far as the future of link building goes, there are many diverging opinions. The bottom line is: Until Google finds an alternate source of determining authority, links are here to stay. Remember, quality over quantity is the motto for the decade and this applies to both your links and your content.
Links aren’t dead, they’ve just been given a new life!