What is Link Building?
We often hear the term ‘link building’, especially when we are in the field of SEO (search engine optimization). Link building means getting external links to your website. Basically, it is the practice of promoting your website to other website owners.
Link building increases inbound links to a webpage, which in turn increases the search engine rankings and improves the overall authority for that website.
How it Started?
At first, search engines used only the text component to rank a webpage. Then web publishers began adding links to help rank their pages. Researchers began to work on new ways to identify relevant web pages, particularly with links.
Search engineers started to notice that the best pages on the web tended to acquire links. The more backlinks a site had, the more important it seemed to be.
By the same token, the fewer the links were for a website, the less important it was judged to be. But some SEO specialists were linking unrelated and untrusted sources.
So, Google started qualifying those links and handing out penalties for spam backlinks. As a result, many websites were forced to remove these tainted links from their pages.
Link Building Today
Today, link building is the process of earning high-quality backlinks on other websites. It is one of the fewer ways to improve the reputation of a website to rank higher on Google and other search engines. This is critical especially for mobile marketing, mostly because mobile searches are more than desktop.
Self-made links bring the risk of receiving penalties by the Google webspam team.
Penalties severely harm page ranking on Google. Moreover, if your page gets a backlink from a penalized website, its ranking will be affected as well.
This is why you need to be careful with link building.
5 Reasons Link Building is Not the Future of SEO!
Now let’s see why link building is not the future of SEO.
It is Time Consuming
Link building is a continuous process, which admittedly is for patient people. It requires building massive Excel spreadsheets and keeping track of which links are useful and which ones can potentially hurt the website’s rankings.
Hence, if you are a busy employee running your all business activities by yourself, you will need a dedicated specialist to engage in this process of link building. As time is becoming more and more precious nowadays, businesses are looking for a more quick and straightforward way of marketing.
The cost of outsourcing the link building process is sometimes high. Having qualified backlinks to your website will often cost a significant amount of money.
There are black hat link builders who try to cheat search engines and hide their weaknesses. Although they may be effective for a short period, they are too risky to try. If you want to work “legal,” you have to get the help of white hat link builders.
There are two types of link builders: outreach and guest posting link builders. Outreach link builders reach out to website owners or SEO specialists to convince them to exchange links with them. Guest posting link builders rely on creating custom content for another website.
Backlinks from websites with higher domain authority cost more for both types of link building. Guest posting links generally cost around $150-$300 per link. Outreach link building costs typically around $250 per link (growista.com).
As you can guess, for many companies and businesses, hiring a white hat link builder is not affordable. So they may look for black hat link builders, which will not higher the ranks of their website but even get things worse.
We often hear the term unnatural links. Generally, unnatural links are artificial links mainly intended to manipulate the page’s ranking. These can include purchased links or links created by scrapers and spammers that attach themselves to the website. Usually, unnatural links are not even connected to the information one may look for.
After a site is tagged for unnatural links, its ranking on search engine pages automatically decreases (or can be deindexed). This can have a drastic effect on small businesses that operate online. Paid backlinks are less valuable for SEO than natural backlinks, especially if the site linking back is not relevant to your niche.
When Google finds unnatural links in your backlink profile, your website may be penalized for it. However, sometimes, it is hard to distinguish unnatural links even for Google.
So Many Penalties
Google is quite active in penalizing cheating websites. It mostly gives penalties for spam, low-quality, irrelevant, repetitive, or harmful links in a website’s link profile.
Google sees these types of links as violations. It will search and investigate. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll either give you a penalty or remove you from Google altogether. It means your website will never be seen anywhere on Google.
Not all websites have safe zones. So they can’t always avoid penalties. Imagine you run your business with the help of your website, and you have been penalized. You did not take the appropriate actions when a penalty emerged. So Google will probably remove your website, which will harm your business.
Google does not only measure the number of links to your site. It also checks the quality of those links and relevancy with your niche. Having this in mind, it’s considerably easy to understand how link building can harm your website when it’s done improperly.
Lack of Content
Lack of a proper content strategy impacts the efforts of link building and SEO. Content is one of the most critical components of SEO. It has the potential to engage customers and influence their buying patterns.
Many people think you only need links to have high rankings. But I will tell you if your content lacks in any way, your link building efforts will not give you the desired results. Without high-quality content, your business will not have loyal customers.
Keeping loyal customers is much more beneficial for your business trying to achieve new customers. Loyal customers are irreplaceable for word-of-mouth marketing, which all businesses need. You should know this is not possible with a simple link.
If you don’t spend your time on creating engaging, purposeful, and shareable content, you are wasting your time on your link building efforts. Then, link building becomes useless. So building links is not what you should be focusing on. Instead, you should spend time on user experience because it will impact rankings more than anything else.
If you have short term goals in mind, link building could be the right one for you. It is the kind of strategy that will probably work, just like how it works today. But consider all the facts we talked about and know that link building may not work in the future at all. Therefore, if you want to get started with SEO, consider other ways to succeed. If you have no clue, read this guide to know how to boost your business through SEO.