I was a little slow putting together my post this week because I was asked to guest blog post elsewhere and then the creative juices just weren’t flowing until I saw a blog post from Moz with data on how important links still are to rank in Google. Though people have been saying link building is dead for several years now and Google has even acknowledged that maybe they put too much emphasis on links, the fact remains, they still matter. It may all just be semantics.
In Google’s eyes, links are supposed to develop organically from providing good content and being a trusted source. However, though building links in a fake or scammy way is bad and should be dead, baking in building links as a part of doing business is still important and the study by Moz shows just how important it it. Though this is a correlation study and correlation does not equal causation, it can tell you a lot. From Moz themselves,
“Moz’s study examined the top 50 Google search results for approximately 15,000 keywords. This allowed us to examine not only what factors correlate with higher search rankings, but also howfrequently those characteristics are seen.”
The scary thing for those that think link building is dead or are telling people that to avoid having to present a plan on how to make them stronger, is that in the study 99.2% of high ranking results had at least on external link to the domain and 77.8% of individual pages that ranked had at least one external link directly to it. If that doesn’t tell you that links are still an important factor in search, I don’t know what will
I write this as I was just recently brought in to help a client that has been hurt by Google because of horrible link building practices in the past that basically broke every rule out there in building links. When you go about getting links, they need to be relevant and respectable links from real websites. Make sure you hire an ethical SEO. We would be one of those. The black hat guys come and go, and sometimes disappear. It is getting much harder to even get away with black hat tactics for the short period that used to keep them going and fooling businesses. Because SEO is confusing to the average person, lots of these companies can still prey on business owners that don’t understand how it works and get them in lots of trouble. Business owners are happy to see the traffic and business come in but then a year later when it all goes away suddenly, they don’t know what hit them.
Lesson from this study. Links still matter a whole lot, they just have to be good ones.