Google’s webmaster trends analyst John Mueller dropped a bomb when he answered the question: “Is link building in any way good?” declaring that “In general, I’d try to avoid that”. *Silence*
Link building has long been a pillar of effective and successful SEO process, so Mueller’s answer is utterly shocking for link builders and web owners alike. He went on to say that while Google does take links into consideration when ranking, it shouldn’t be the only thing relied on. According to him, the aim should be to make your content strong enough to be able to “stand on its own”, allowing users to share it to their own websites and blogs.
He explained that aside from links, Google evaluates many other factors in its ranking consideration, he even goes on to say that building links can even cause your website to rank lower in search engines.
LINK BUILDING PITFALLS
Links aren’t actually good guys turning to the dark side, although they linger in silver lining as Google actually view link building as a form of soft link manipulation. Its persona (harmful or not) depends on how it’s utilized by SEO specialists.
In any given minute, Google scours the internet, finding the most relevant pages based on a user query and ranking them according to quality and authority. All inorganically gained signals of authority/quality like links can disrupt the accuracy of the results and ultimately harm your ranking. Mueller may be coming from this position when he stated his claim.
When Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012, an update started assessing low-quality or spammy links. Too many links, or the same kind of links as well as low-quality or irrelevant links can cause your website to catch algorithmic or manual penalty. This is the case with Mueller saying that link building can harm your website ranking.
If that’s the case, then it’s all about the right use of links. If an SEO specialist utilizes link building legitimately, with complete understanding of the factors leading to success, then you shouldn’t be worried about any penalties stemming from illegitimate use.
Most SEO professionals know that links are one of the most significant factors when building web ranking and utilizing ranking algorithm, so not applying their use potentially decreases the chance of your website’s ranking higher in search engines. Your competitors are building their own links anyway, why lose the chance?
THE RIGHT WAY OF BUILDING LINKS
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However, this method takes extra time and money - two things that web owners have, but don’t want to expend.
And they wonder why they have low page rank.
Trust, credibility and authority. These are the top factors that Google considers most valuable in its ranking algorithm. When a website has multiple links, it means that it generally contain valuable information, and that makes it more valuable by proxy.
You may use links to mimic this status, but it won’t convey real credibility because it’s just you doing random link building to boost your website’s status - this is something that Google can detect and eventually use to penalize your website, causing low ranking.
GREAT (NOT GOOD) CONTENT IS THE KEY FOR SEO
Contrary to popular belief, everybody actually wants to read. People like to read meaningful content that benefit their interest. When you browse through the internet, you will notice blocks of texts and headlines that gets you irritated or good ones that jumps right at you and makes you want to share with your friends.
This is the best way to legitimately boost the page ranking of your website.
If only writing great content is that easy.
Blog posts, infographics, and videos are some of the most shared content. You need to plan carefully and invest extra money in hiring professional creative/marketing writers to compose your web content. The higher your content quality, the more people will read it and link to their own pages. This will get you natural links that will boost your page ranking.
Use social media to spread your content and allow people to easily locate it and share with their networks and link to you - if you have outstanding content, it will be enough to gain thousands of new links on its own without risking a penalty. You need to produce original, informative and entertaining material every time in order to execute this scheme, but in the long run you will be perceived as a higher authority in your industry.