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How has link building changed?

SEO is a dynamic digital marketing discipline, and few tactics have evolved as much as link building/outreach. Gone are the days when link acquisition activity – one of the most popular SEO performance activities – was focused purely on the number of links rather than the quality of a link.

One of the biggest reasons for this evolution was Google’s Penguin algorithm updates that they release in an effort to reduce the manipulation of organic search results.

Here are top five ways that outreach has changed over the last few years:

1. Bad links hurt

A few years ago, people would get a link to help boost rankings; no matter the type of the source, a link would help to drive performance. Nowadays, if Google detects a pattern of ‘spammy’ links you are most likely to receive a penalty.

2. Getting links from the same source has a diminishing effect on SEO

Getting links from different high quality domains has much more value than getting links repeatedly from the same domain. Google does not count all links from the same source the same way and therefore discounts multiple links from one domain. This will reduce the performance of individual links from the same domain (for pure SEO performance).

3. Guest posts be careful

Guest posting is the method of writing an article and publishing it on a third party site. This used to be one of the most common methods a few years ago that actually used to work. However, over the years this method lost its value since too many blogs existed only for guest posts and the vast majority added little or no value in terms of content information.

4. Good content isn’t good enough

Over time, users’ online expectations have grown, and with that the need to have exceptional content increases. Great content is the lubricant for outreach activity and to engage users.

5. Keyword-rich anchor text will get you penalised

This method (surprisingly still used by some marketers) can easily get you penalised. In the past it was the best way to boost your rankings and it did work (it still does). Nowadays, with Google raising the standards of quality, using keyword rich anchor text is very risky. Although it still works, it is a risky tactic that can lead to long term repercussions.

6. Bonus! What we call link building has changed

Link building, Outreach, (low quality) digital PR, the list goes on…

All Response Media Viewpoint

It is always important to refine our methods to ensure maximum performance. By adapting to industry changes and latest trends we strive to deliver the best results by creating bespoke outreach strategies that will drive this performance. Although links still matter, there is much more value than just a link, such as referral traffic and branding. It is all about providing value to the user through content-led, audience targeted strategies.