Why do so many SEO users focus on links?
I've been working on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a number of years and, whilst I've achieved success with pure on-page and technical SEO strategies, I still struggle with linkbuilding.
Not because it's difficult to understand – but because it feels 'cheap'.
How many times have we read 'create awesome content and let other sites know about it and they'll link back to you'?
It's bullshit. We all know it.
Does anyone else have this sense of disgust during an outreach campaign? Is it absolutely necessary to drive links?
I recently set up my own site (mainly for testing purposes) and looked in the competition locally and 95% of them are utilising shitty SEO, spam techniques for links.
Is this what I have to resort to in order to compete?
Off-page SEO is tricky compared to on-page SEO as you had pointed out. Off-page SEO are like street signal or directions in the Google search engine to your website. I agree, there are plenty of spammers who are just looking to get link juice from other websites with higher domain authority without good content. What am I trying to say is it is fine to get backlinks, but it should be done in the right way, keeping in mind the readers, offering them great content and useful content. Ultimately, "Content is king"!
I do and don't agree with the whole 'content is king' thing.. It's true in the sense that good, well informed, well written and genuinely valuable content will benefit you much more than meaningless fluff, but just 'creating content' for the sake of it will get you absolutely nowhere..
As well, great content alone won't get you anywhere (99% of the time), and you'll need to encompass a whole suite of SEO techniques to complement the awesome stuff you've been creating.
It's all well and good if you've put together the best article, blog, buying guide etc., and done your outreach and got it posted, but don't give all your great content to other sites, otherwise what will your users consume when they get to you? Why would they stay? Why would they revisit? Why would they share your site?
I could talk about this stuff for hours, but I'll refrain.
Content is not king. Content is an invaluable piece of the SEO puzzle, but just like a puzzle, it cannot be complete without the rest of the pieces.
That's true! Thanks for the incredible response, now I can see the whole picture.
75% of the SEO companies rely on the off-page SEO strategies whilst knowing that the content is king. If you want to get higher rank for long term, you need to have a good on-page SEO strategy. Most of the SEO experts on Fiverr will say about on page SEO that you will need to make content better and lengthy. However my opinion is far different. Following aspects are required for on-page optimization:
• semantic html5.2 tags
• content formatting
• website speed on desktop
• website speed on mobile devices
• Responsiveness of site
• html error elimination
• alt text on each image
• optimizatied image size with higher resolution
• open graph tags
• Twitter cards
• rich snippets
• rich cards
All these aspects are required for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website. Link building is a matter which has to be considered when your on-page is ready.
I disagree. Content is absolutely not king. I can rank crappy content with great links. I cannot rank great content with crappy links.
There is no such thing as an SEO expert on Fiverr.
Website speed is not a ranking factor unless your site is so slow to the point spiders give up trying to crawl it.
Alt tags on images are not all that important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They are an added benefit, but you can rank a page just fine without them. Optimized image size and higher resolution has nothing to do with SEO. I don't know where you came up with that idea.
All your points in #9 have to do with site speed, which again is only a factor if your site is ridiculously slow.
Twitter cards… nothing to do with SEO. Rich snippets are not necessary. Open graph tags… not needed.
Sitemaps are a huge myth. Unless your site is 1000+ pages and/or has terrible site structure, you do not need a sitemap. They don't help at all.
Thanks for your worthy information.
While I agree to the fact that twitter cards and site maps aren't a factor, I highly disagree to the other points.
You can indeed rank great content with not much of links, given that the content matches the user intent and the site wide navigation is amazing.
Great. Then I want you to write an amazing piece of content about auto insurance and rank it for that term nationally in the United States without building many links.
Let me know when you break the top 100.
Cheap linking (private blog network, spammy link, link partner) are "easy", maybe that's why you think it is "cheap"
Legit link building like content creation & Public Relations (PR) outreach aren't easy and can potentially benefit the mass (when content done right)
Came here to big-up PR-lead link building. It's the only thing that really has moved the needle for me
Links are by far the #1 ranking factor. It's not even close. So yeah, it is vitally important for an SEO to focus on them.
That doesn't mean they have to resort to garbage like blog commenting and posting in forums though.
There are lots of ways to build good looks.
There are lots of ways to build good looks
What are some of your tried-and-true methods?
The three B's work well. Buy, build, and beg.
You can build the kind of sites you want links from. You can do outreach and beg for them or buy them. Paid directories are good for a lot of businesses.
You can sponsor charity events and often get links as a sponsor for that.
Press Release (PR) and social media promotion around new products, new content, or other news relating to your website can help.
I'm on my phone right now, so hard to type too much.
great advice. thanks!
I don't think there's such a thing like No1 ranking factor.
It's all about the right combination of positive signals that Google take into account.
Any SEO worth a crap will tell you that links are the strongest rankings signal, and it is really not even close.
Sharing the same feeling. Even if done properly, it feels like you've worked numerous hours to create a content with the single purpose of distributing it to other sites for the precious sweet link juice.
That said, being a really important ranking factor explains it. Often the industry or niche you are trying to rank for doesn't make much sense of creating informational or practical content. Then what? How do you make 'proper linkbuilding' if you simply can not offer anything worth sharing except your root domain?
Sure, I can make a great infographic about the history of socks, for my sock-selling eCommerce, but would it be worth it? Would it enrich the user's journey? And if not, how exactly to properly build non-spammy links for such a site?
Lets be real… How long does on page really take? I finish on page tasks within a few months at most.
Getting through a proper technical SEO setup shouldn't take as long as it takes most agencies/freelancers
When I hear technical SEO guys say all they do is on page I really wonder what they do to fill their days after a few months of "set-up"
I loved what you said about the countless shit articles about "write awesome content and you will be fine" because it is absolute bullshit.
I always start with partner links. I tend to pay for a lot of my most valuble links and occasionally get lucky on Help a Reporter Out (HARO). I spend time on Ahrefs link intersect tool on the prowl for decent links, verifying popular directories and sorting out Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP)s, I have a list of directories, content resharing platforms and websites that accept guest blogging I have collected over the years and have built relationships with. I work a lot on getting partner links and getting content written that will genuinely be helpful.
All in all i wouldn't get any decent links without my personal network, my graphic designer, my copywriter and my clients business relationships.
Welp… I wrote this all while on the toilet.. What a rant lol
Upvote, because toilet! 😅
As an agency we achieved better results when we stopped making efforts towards link building. We focus now exclusively on Conversion Rate Optimization, User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX), rendered code, and visual design. It is not to say we do not work from time to time with Public Relations (PR) firms who are focused on links, but our impact has created more natural links with a much more all inclusive strategy. Several of my clients compete directly with Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay.
Once we stopped back linking we have not been hit with a Google penalty and or update hit since. Clean up is less, and the gains have been bigger and more sustainable.
Lastly, I have been working as an SEO for hire since 2006, when we stopped backlinking in 2015 and focusing on auditing sites, and I don't just mean running an automated web app site audit. We audit the site from every angle, to design, to code, to analytics, to conversion. We started getting better clients, bigger brands, better timelines, more sustainable projects. It put us in a process to hire more SEO users, hire developers, business analysts, designers, and build a proper team. We now run our own tests, build our own internal software, and have a lot of creative freedom on projects. We now function more like business consults and that allows to bill what business consults bill. Stopping cheesy backlink schemes, including broken link hunts has been the single best thing my company could have done.
worked in a very big SEM, Analytics and SEO agency and they only did professional.onpage with consultancy services. clients indeed get bigger and more corporate. working with such clients you really start doing long term projects and we never did a single offpage thing. implementing proper tagging for multi language content, Google Tag Manager (GTM) with enhanced ecommerce tracking, SPA static content rendering, AMP, rich snippets, proper markup for products, locations etc, managing clients with 100+ locations on Google business, doing custom keyword tracking for 10k keywords in searchmetrics etc. much more interesting and more beneficial in the long term for the SEO department…
Links are important, but you don't have to get links from every website. If you check any established website backlink profile you'll find that there not much of domain linking compare to total backlinks.
Which means you only need to get backlinks from a few sites, and you need to market your content on these sites on a regular basis.
I will give you an example. Imagine that you have a meme website. Do you think it's proper to post links on fark.com? The answer is NO. Why? because it's a news website, therefore it's not gonna help you. But what kind of website should you focus on? Mainly Pinterest and any picture oriented websites that offer backlinks (even if they're NOFOLLLOW).
You can get good quality links from the resellers, but they will charge you with hundreds of dollar bills. If you have such budget – you are welcome.
Another option – find (very carefully) linkbuilders on Fiverr and ask them put links on good quality websites. But do not expect they will put it in main content: it can be comments or forum posts which are also good for diversity of backlinks.
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