Why Is Link Building Considered Underrated?
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Why is link building underrated? Search Engine Optimisation covers a variety of techniques to help boost a company or individual’s online presence by appealing to search engine algorithms. As Google is the largest and most used search engine, with Google now processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. This most commonly means adhering to their guidelines and determining which techniques work, and which ones don’t.
Google and other search engines, after all, do not disclose the nature of their search algorithm, nor what its algorithms are looking for when ranking sites. It means that all tactics and techniques that are used today have been learned through trial, error, and data analysis. This lack of absolute certainty has scared many digital marketers away from the more critical aspects of SEO, link building.
What is Link Building?
Though link building is not the only important factor to search engine algorithms, it does play a critical part. Unlike in ages past, however, link building is not as straightforward as it used to be. Commit to the wrong strategy or try to cut corners, and your website could be penalised. Similarly, your site could be penalised now simply for trying out link building a few years ago, back when spamming techniques were still accepted.
To move forward and rank higher, you need to optimise your site, your digital presence, and commit to a white-hat link building strategy that boosts your ranking and organic reach the right way.
How Has Link Building Changed Over Time?
In order to understand why link building is today considered to be underrated, you need to go back before the Penguin Update. Before this, it was not the quality of the link that helped boost your visibility on the search engines, but the quality. It means that websites and businesses more or less spammed their links wherever they could. Poor websites, link farms, comments, and more were free reign for link building strategies. The more links you had, the greater you ranked. Google’s Penguin Update, however, changed this. Now the quality of the link matters, as Google looks for and penalises webmasters who contribute to the spam culture that cluttered the internet so horribly just a few years prior.
What Does This Mean for Modern Link Building?
There is a fine line between acceptable link building behaviour and unacceptable. It is this fine line, however, that has many digital marketers running scared. Rather than risk building up a backlink strategy that does not work and, in the worst case scenario, can actually end up with their client’s site completely de-listed from Google, they avoid link-building entirely. This is a huge mistake. Backlinks are still and will continue to be one of the most divisive factors that search engines use to determine the quality and relevance of a site. Combined with other SEO techniques and audits, your site can rank on the first page of Google with enough effort.
Why Link Building is Considered Underrated
Now that you understand a bit more about link building and how it has changed over time, we can now get into why it is so underrated as a strategy within SEO campaigns.
Algorithms Change Frequently
One of the main reasons that link building is underrated is because marketers are scared of it. No one should be able to promise you permanent results, because search engine algorithms change regularly, and what’s more, Google does not inform the SEO community of the changes that have been made. It means that old techniques that are now black-listed need to be removed, and strategies need to be updated. SEO is an ongoing process, and just because link building the right way is difficult should not deter you from committing to it. Done right, it will offer a huge boost to your visibility and ranking.
SEO Is Never Instantaneous
Link building and even SEO itself is underrated is because changes are not instantaneous. You cannot audit your website and improve its on-site SEO and expect to suddenly be pages ahead of your competition. There are billions of pages on the internet. In terms of data size, that is 1.2 million terabytes. Google’s search algorithms need to crawl through each page in order to work and rank content accordingly. Even if your SEO strategy is the best one in the world, you still won’t see results until your site has been crawled and indexed. It could be day four or four weeks, and even some new pages or posts can take upwards of 6 months to be completed. More significant ranking signifiers like the quality of your backlink profile could take longer. SEO is a long game, but if you don’t invest in it chances are your site will never reach the first page of Google.
Link Building Shouldn’t Start Until After Your Presence Has Been Optimised
Another reason why link building might be at the back of many marketer’s minds is that simply put; you need to ensure that your own site is optimised before you start. If you don’t, the conflicting information on your site could end up working against you. For example, say you are revamping your website to go from being a lifestyle magazine to a fashion brand. If your links don’t match up with the content that is on your page, then Google could penalise you. You need your site optimised so that Google can properly index it, and rank you accordingly.
The same applies to your current digital presence. If you went through the effort of trying to rank at the top of Google before the Penguin update, chances are you will have many black-hat SEO techniques attached to your site. You need to index for these links, find them, and request for them to be removed or at the very least disavowed by Google. If your site has been penalised, then you will also need to update Google on the changes that you have made to improve your online presence to rid it of spam. This process can take a lot of time, but if you don’t commit to these audits and make the necessary improvements, then any link building scheme will be wasted.
As a client, if you choose to not continue with an SEO campaign after these audits, you will have wasted a golden opportunity. Think of clearing up your site and digital presence of spam as debt. Only once you are out of debt can you start making progress in terms of savings. Link building works similarly, only once your presence is green-lit can any link building strategy start working to boost your ranking on the SERPs.
You Need to Be Selective on Which Keywords to Rank On
You should never commit to a PPC campaign without keyword research, and neither should you start a link building campaign without one. The keywords you choose need to be relevant to you, and something that users will actually search for. Nowadays, of course, searches are becoming more organic. Google can take in a natural search from a user and apply that to its algorithm, thus providing users with what they are looking for even if they don’t necessarily use the right search format.
The more niche your keywords, the easier it is to rank on them. Being on the first page of a search like “marketing agency” will be a lot more difficult than “marketing agency in [local area].” Local SEO is notoriously easier and more successful, and the same will apply to niche markets. If you try to build a link building scheme made up solely of big keywords, you won’t see progress for a long time. It is this fact that puts off many clients and even agencies from committing to a link building strategy.
Rather than abandon the tactic entirely, narrow your efforts. A digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO should be able to create a custom campaign for you that will see more organic traffic and greater visibility.
A Great Link Building Campaign is Difficult
Link building is also difficult to do. It takes a lot of effort and maintenance to create a great link building strategy. You need to not only manually outreach to bloggers and websites that have a high domain authority and high page authority; you need to build a relationship with them, and then create custom content that is relevant to their site.
Even once the link is up the work isn’t finished. Spamming one website with links is just as bad of an idea as signing up to a link farm. You need to diversify your efforts to multiple sites. What this means is that the sites you choose should exist outside of the Private Blog Network (PBN). Even if the site you yourself have a link on is okay, if one other blog within that network becomes penalised, it could drag down your overall backlink profile with it. By spreading out your efforts, you minimise risk and maximise performance.
Custom Content Is Not Cheap
Another reason why far too many marketers and clients undervalue the power of link building is that you aren’t just paying for the link, you are paying for the content as well. If you try to do this yourself, it could mean committing to days’ worth of content creation. One or two articles isn’t going to boost your performance, after all, and each article needs to be well-written and optimised for SEO. If you try to post the same article on several sites, Google will pick up on this and rank you poorly for it.
No, the content must be well-written within your language, optimised for SEO, and completely bespoke for the publisher. It wouldn’t make sense for an auto magazine to be writing about top fashion trends, and search engine algorithms will note this discrepancy, and you will be penalised as a result.
Even creating your own content for your site can be difficult. Google, after all, favours sites that update their content regularly. It means going through old posts and updating them so that their information is relevant, and it means publishing new content on a regular basis. This content needs to be highly informative, well-written, and shareable. The more it is shared and circulated around the Internet, the more it will do for your organic reach and engagement.
Creating this shareable content is difficult, yes, but don’t fall into the trap of re-posting your best posts. Just as you should never copy-paste articles to different publishers, neither should you “re-post” articles you have already written. Share them again on your social media feeds by all means, but reposting the same content will hurt your efforts. If you need to update the content to keep it relevant, update the page itself.
You Need to Keep Track of Your Links
Links come and go, and the quality of the sites your links are on will also change. Combined, this means that your link building strategy must be carefully monitored. A completely managed SEO campaign can help provide ongoing support and continued link building to help you build and build your online presence and increase visibility over time. The longer you commit to it; the more progress you will see. SEO is a long-term solution, and the more effort you commit to it, the more it will pay off in the future.
Link building is a critical component to any successful SEO strategy, but just as it should not be left out of your SEO efforts, so too should it not be your only SEO technique. Link building can help you boost your organic reach, introduce your brand to new audiences, and build up your brand authority online. In the long term, this will increase your search ranking and visibility online. It should not be underestimated just because it is difficult to do correctly. If you do not have the time or resources to commit to your own link building campaign, hire our specialist services. We will work with you to optimise your digital presence and will build a custom link building campaign and provide the custom and bespoke content for you to boost your site’s ranking and organic reach. We don’t cut corners, which means you can enjoy the full benefits of a link building strategy.