Okay so it’s not exactly big news, we’ve really known this for years now, but willy-nilly link building just won’t do anymore.
Back in the dot com times, a lot of businesses would spend countless hours emailing other companies to trade links on their sites with high pagerank, and would pay directories for a small ad and a link in an effort to direct traffic to their site.
Laughably, I’ve still had emails from link builders promising pagerank 3 and 4 links, and yet these sites were simply link farms. Obviously Google does not want you to determine whether a high pagerank site is blacklisted or not. And even triangular link building won’t save you here.
Ultimately this link building practice was doomed right from the start. The worst thing is, Google penalised and blacklisted link farms and left them with their original page rank, so it became more and more unreliable as a metric to measure the worth and authority of a site, before assessing whether it was worth the price, they were asking for the link.
Old school SEO companies would engage in huge link building campaigns, charging hefty fees in exchange for a large quantity of links built each week. Nowadays Google will give your site an immediate penalty for this and most likely – without warning.
Links have to be relevant, if you sell shoes then make sure your links are in the shoe or clothing industry. This will provide relevant links. I’ve had clients that had over 15,000 inbound links and when the Panda and Penguin algorithms came into play, they literally had around 100 counted and relevant inbound links. From 15,000 to 100 overnight.
Most SEO companies frankly avoid link building like the plague, and often for good reason. The best way to get better rankings is to write good content on your site, and focus on topicality rather than getting links. No doubt you’ve seen some pages with no page content rank really high, and other pages rank high with tons of content. What makes them both rank well is authority and topicality. Authority is handed out differently, depending whether you contribute to other blogs and leave good links back to your site, or whether your content on your site has regular added content on a weekly or daily basis. You can spend hundred of pounds every month on links and not know their true value.
To find out true value on your links take a look here, and use moz site explorer to check out the best inbound links and their page and domain authority. If they have less than 40 0n domain authority, they aren’t worth very much.