All links are created equal, but some links are more equal than others

Thumbs UpHow many times have you heard someone in web or internet marketing suggest that links are “the be-all and end-all” of search ranking? It’s true right? Well, not exactly!

If like us, you’ve kept your eye firmly on the ball, you’ll know search marketing has taken some dramatic changes in recent years. If your sole marketing aim is to go out and build links en masse, from as many source as possible with no structure, no strategy and no oversight, hoping this will do the trick; then you’re wasting your time. In fact, you could do a great deal more harm than good.

Every link on the planet that points to your site may pass ranking equity but the quality and power of that equity can be incredibly varied in influence – positive or negative. With so many factors to now consider, the old school way of literally buying links (which is black-hat incidentally) is not the done thing. In fact, we’d never recommend this.

Acquiring and building quality white-hat links requires in-depth research, a knowledgeable team and people who can reach out to site owners to get these links as quickly and as effectively as possible. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These days, no one links to a site unless it’s actually worthwhile and useful to their readers. And who can blame them? If your site is floating in the wind and has little, if no useful content that gets regularly updated then guess what, no one’s gonna link to you! It’s a fact. So the quality of your site counts just as much. It’s a two-way process. So if your site is lacking anything of note or interest to your readers, it’s time to get pen to paper and start thinking about ways of making your user experience all the better.

Sure, you can ignore this advice and go out and get a tons of directory links, profiles from various spammy forums and a whole range of citations, but they’ll have little, if any, positive long term effect. The fact is, links need to be relevant, niche specific, from a good reputable source and passing authoritative link juice. Not something bought over the counter from overseas at rock bottom rates, that’s for sure! If you’re still doing this, good luck to you but be prepared for the upcoming apocalypse when Google’s Penguin 4.0 hits ya!

Link building in 2016 is not the same as it was a few years back. In fact, we kinda feel a little uncomfortable calling it that these days because the term “building” implies a structure that you are creating from a template or predetermined goal. Link acquisition on the other hand is an organic process and is all about going out and finding the right resources and saying: “Hey, we have a great site that might be of interest to you. Feel free to link to us if you think your readers will find it useful”. That’s the difference!

User experience is the key and when we set out on a link acquisition campaign, we only want to find links that have a direct correlation to what our client’s site is about. Seems pretty obvious when you think about it but the time, effort and energy in getting those links is huge and the rewards are massive.

We’d much rather acquire a handful of links from sources that are showing great traffic levels, impressive authority metrics and are bang on niche than thousands of links that inevitably will just push up ranks in the short term but will swan-dive in the long term. The reason is simply – they work!

This is why we say that not all links are created equal. We never thought we’d ever be paraphrasing a George Orwell quote in an SEO post, but there’s a first for everything!

The fact is, different links funnel different information and Google knows this. If you’re funnelling poor relevancy and very little trust and authority, that then flows through to your site and tells Google to treat you likewise. Treat links like votes – votes from disreputable sources give your site a vote of no confidence. Links from great sites say your site is worth rewarding!

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