Link building is the most effective SEO strategy that is used by the Google to rank the content, pages and websites. Though the Google algorithm has changed over the years but link building remains the gold standard for SEO. It means back links are a primary factor in the Google algorithm that helps content to rank organically by providing credibility.
Link building has changed but its core principles have not changed. That’s why you can say it is just the mindset of the SEO experts that has changed towards link building. The Google has been rolling major updates such as Penguin and machine learning from the last few years that have a great impact on the link building. It is likely to introduce significant updates in coming years and there is debate among the industry experts that how those updates will affect the link building and how long will links will be the gold standard for SEO?
In order to find the answer to these questions first of all, it is important to understand the significance of the link building strategy, Page Rank and its working.
Pagerank And Its Working
Google’s algorithm that ranks the websites in the search engine. It is an effective way of determining a website’s authority and then rank it on the search engine accordingly. Basically, it determines a site ranking by counting the quantity and quality of the links pointed to a page or site. The assumption is the site with more links will likely to get ranked higher in the search engine.
Links are considered as a ‘vote’ for the site’s authoritativeness that’s why the site having more quality links will be determined as more authoritative so it will be ranked higher. So, the game is not about the quantity of the links. This system is working well and added more value in the link building.
Penguin Penalties And Link Building Strategies
Being an SEO expert, it is easy to index a website at a high rate by producing the quality and unique content. But some webmasters started to build exposure through low quality links to improve the rankings in search engine and used this scheme as a gold standard. No doubt this link building strategy is still working but it is not effective in a long run.
Building exposure through spammy links became a major concern so in order to overcome this Google rolled out Penguin update in 2012. This update has a great impact on the link building schemes. It is hitting the pages and sites with more spammy links and devaluing their rankings. Initially, it is assumed that Penguin is targeting link building but then it was clear that it is actually weeding out bad links.
So, it is targeting the pages or sites with good backlinks. Yes, good links that build naturally. It again changed the mindset of the SEOs and they updated their tactics as they understand that link building is no more a game that could be won by quantity or spamming links. Now optimizers are focusing on building exposure through natural links by producing quality content to add more value.
Penguin update devalues the ranking but penalties are harsh. Though recovery from penalty is possible but it will take months or even years to achieve that ranking position again. It is clear that link building is still an important factor and Penguin is not stopping it, it just stops you from building links for the sole purpose of achieving rankings.
Major Threats To Link Building
The rising popularity of apps will become a major threat to the link building in the future. The surveys revealed that users spend 90% of the time on mobile in apps. So, it shows that they rely more on the functionality of the apps rather than the web search. Therefore, search engines have started to incorporate friendly app features for the convenience of users. So, this trend will negatively affect the power of website and link building.
The new inventions and discoveries in the tech are continuously changing the search engine. Machine learning, voice search and IoT are transforming the user’s web experience. Google is also working hard to provide the ultimate user experience and in this way, there are several possibilities that could emerge and change the patterns and growth of technology. The focus will be more on relevancy that will reduce the power of link building.
However, link building is the most effective SEO tactic that will be the gold standard for the SEO in the long run. The technological advancement is just shaping the standards of the search rather than revolutionizing it. So, Link building will be the backbone of SEO that continues to have a high correlation with the search engine rankings.