The Past, Present, and Future of Linkbuilding
Lynn Whitley, March 23, 2015
Link building is a valuable practice for businesses looking to gain visibility online, yet as Google learns more about its users, its algorithms continue to evolve to make it more and more difficult to build the kinds of links that help grow businesses. However, the fact that it's getting harder does not mean that link building is a wasted effort. Consider the old adage, quality over quantity, as one high quality link can have a much larger impact on your business than many, lesser quality links. Google wants to maintain its search engine dominance. To that end, Google is looking for the right set of indicators to determine whether or not a page is a good search result. So what does the future of link building hold?
In the past, it was all about the volume of links pointing to your site regardless of quality, whereas quality is a much more important factor now. Previously, Google didn't understand:
- How relevant a link was
- Whether or not a link was trustworthy
- Whether or not a link was paid for
- If a link was truly high quality
- If a link was given editorially
Google is beginning to stress the importance of engaging and relevant content, and is developing metrics to better gauge these characteristics. Today, Google has a much better understanding of human language and how people search for terms, particularly since Google’s Hummingbird update. The search engine now better understands conversational tone. For example:
Google is also learning more about people, e.g., where they live. It wants to gather as much data as possible so they can provide users with the most relevant search results and advertising. For example:
- Deep linking won't matter as much as it does currently.
Links to a specific product page will likely not make much of a difference regarding a site’s Google rank. Some signals that will have an impact are secure websites, user feedback, trust signals and third party reviews.
- Anchor text will matter less.
Anchor text is only one small signal that doesn't hold much weight. Today, too much commercial anchor text already has a negative effect, but in the future, Google will put more reliance on understanding the context of a page.
Smaller companies will have more opportunities to rank better.
As mentioned above, Google will become better at understanding context to meet the needs of the user. Google is improving its search algorithms to recognize that people aren’t necessarily looking for a massive brand name, but products and services inside a given industry that meet their needs. By recognizing smaller companies as brands within their industries, Google will help put those smaller brands on a more even footing with the bigger brands.
In summary, Linkbuilding will continue to be an important part of SEO, but effective link building that improves a site’s ranking will focus less on the quantity of links, and more on providing information that is directly relevant to the user that will also easily answer a user’s queries. Call WebiMax today at 1-888-932-4629 to find out how our dedicated SEO team can help your business to have quality links that get results!