Friday, 26 April 2013

The Death Of Link Building?

Link Building
The Google Penguin update last year has, one assumes, had the desired effect - it has got the SEO community running for the hills, abandoning black hat tactics in droves, and heading for the safety of the white hat content marketing fold. Some have even announced the "death of link building" (though I think it is slightly wide of the mark).

Certainly the days of spammy, manipulative, black hat SEO seems to be over. Here are some well-worn tactics that are pretty much no-go in a post-Penguin world:

  1. Link farms/blog link networks.
  2. Spamming and over optimisation of anchor text.
  3. Forum spam.
  4. Comment spam.
  5. Pretty much any link building tool that generates links automatically.

For broadly white hat SEO's like me, the Panda/Penguin hit over the last couple of years has been welcomed - I welcome anything that will significantly improve the relevance and quality of my search experience. Whereas many SEO's tend to panic when the Google updates come out, thinking "are my sites next??" my view is, great, get rid of the bad guys - it means a level playing field for us good guys.

Despite the algo changes, I do see white hat link building as broadly ethical, promotional tool, does have a future, in my opinion.

I saw a SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday today, called "The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning." Rand's general point is that with the Penguin update, and the movement of the industry as a whole, the days of going out and manually building or placing links are limited. The best links, he says, are earned; this has always been true, the trouble is, earning these great links and citations to effect page one rankings for your clients is really hard.

In the video Rand gives some examples of old skool vs new skool link building/earning tactics; I've given a few here:

Link Building Link Earning
Link exchanges/reciprocals Cross promotional/partnerships
Email blasts for links Social sharing that leads to links
Paid links Earning links with content
Submit to directories Request inclusion on curated lists
Article directories/article marketing Getting a guest post on "picky" sites/blogs
Getting links on forums/guestbook/comments Participating in active communities
Mining competitors backlinks Using OSE to find most linked to content on competitors sites
Building a blog link network Building a social network of followers and fans

So it's clear that, broadly speaking, link earning, rather than link building is the future of the industry. Now begins the hard work - convincing our clients to invest in content!

About The Author: Centreline Air are a leading private air charter firm in the South West UK. Visit to find out more.

Did you like this article? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments.

Related articles:
5 Helpful Tips To Recover From Recent Penguin Update
SEO Link Building Techniques That You Should Avoid
A Guide To Guest Blogging For SEO In 2012

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