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Building Links and Getting More Traction on Your Content


MARCH 2017

Yeah, This Is Not 2011 Any Longer But Link Building is Still the Past and Is the Future


Google’s rise in popularity during the early aughts wasn’t some coincidence or clever manipulation – it was because the search engine results ranked pages in a way that presented the highest quality content to its users. And whether or not this content was considered good enough for front page ranking hinged on the quality and quantity of the its backlinks.

Backlinks, a hypertext link on a page of a website that links to a different website, Google deemed as reputable as citations in traditional media. The theory being: if the backlink is symbolic of a personal recommendation, then the site being linked to is in fact high quality. Having higher quality backlinks would be and remains the cornerstone to Google’s rankings, and determining who gets on the first page of the search results.

Backlinks as Recommendations

The popularity of the Google search engine, as they say, is history. It remains the most reliable resources for finding web pages. And the importance of backlinks is still as important as ever. After all, why would having a positive recommendation of your service from another similar service ever go out of style?

And while the importance of backlinks largely remains the same, Google’s fight against so called Black Hat SEO practices that allow people to buy links or create spammy websites only increases in its specificity. If you want to guarantee long term success for your business, it is crucial to avoid practicing black hat SEO for quick gains and creating the impression of success. Google will find you and penalize you without remorse. Black Hat SEO practices like buying links, link farming, and spam comments and links to spam websites have lost whatever power they had when it came to outsmarting Google’s crawler. These practices can set your campaign back months and waste valuable time.

Google’s relationship with link building is clear:

  • No duplicate content.
  • No links to spammy sites.
  • No illogical grammar or mismatched content.
  • Not authorless content.
  • Links must be relevant to the industry or content.
  • Links must be updated regularly

And of course, this is all just a factor within a number of other factors Google considers when ranking websites. Because of this, it might seem that worrying about building links is just another case of wishful thinking. This often leads businesses to opt for Black Hat SEO, figuring that buying the links will save them time and get the ball rolling. While you might see positive results in the short term, it cannot be stressed enough that Google will catch you.

Getting to the Top of Search Results in 2017

So how long does it take to get to the top of the search engine results without compromising your businesses online visibility?

It’s hard to give an exact answer. But there are definitely some interesting explorations into the art of link building  that can give us some insights.

On average, it took a website to get higher rankings in just over three months. This was without the use of Black Hat SEO.

So, what are the best ways for businesses to get to the top of search engine results if they are starting with new content in this new era of Google’s search engine results algorithm?


What can you do to make link building work for you in 2017 without Black Hat SEO

Based on the research in Neil Patel’s article, the quality of the links doesn’t have to intimidate you. It’s not about getting a link from to give you a boost in your ranking. Instead, it is more important that you aren’t getting a high quantity of backlinks from a low-rated domain with a small number of linked domains. It’s all about reliability and reputation with Google these days.


1. The Power of .Edu

However, certain websites do have a powerful effect in your ranking if they provide a backlink to your website. Websites with an .edu suffix have extremely high power within Google’s page ranking paradigm. It reflects on the previous statement: the more reliably specific a link is, the more powerful it will be in elevating your ranking. Of course, getting these .edu websites to offer a backlink to your site can be challenging. This brings the lion building practice back to its real life counterpart of making connections and receiving high quality recommendations. There are a few reliable resources to help you get that elusive .edu backlink, as it can be quiet challenging.

2. Finding Dead Links and Offering Content to Replace Them

Searching for dead links within existing websites that are similar to your own can be a viable way to influence your rankings. Neil Patel’s blog goes into the specifics here as it can be quite complex. By finding dead links to high value websites and reaching out to the owners about their dead links, it increases the possibility that the website will establish a backlink to your website.

3. Create Outbound Links

Outbound links can also have a powerful effect on your website’s rankings. Linking out to other websites that share a similar niche can establish authority, particularly as a blog. It is important the links you point to are of high quality and are in good standing with Google. The higher the authority the websites you link out to possess, the more it will affect your page ranking.

4. Create High Quality Content to Ensure Future Backlinks

Without question, the most valuable strategy for receiving links is to create and offer high quality content. Content creation is the strongest way to establish credibility and authority. The confidence your visits have in your website will translate to the creation of backlinks as other webmasters come to see your website as an authority.


Don’t Give Up on Building Links in 2017

While building links is probably the most challenging aspect of SEO, it is also the most essential. If you want to tap into the true power of the internet and guarantee your business or campaign long term success, it is crucial to obtain high page ranking while establishing authority and establishing the credibility of your brand.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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