Why backlinks still matter for SEO

The approach that companies take to SEO has changed radically in recent years. When Google pushed out its Panda and Penguin updates that downranked sites with unnatural looking link profiles, some companies panicked and ceased link-building altogether. However, taking this approach can significantly damage your site’s chances of ranking well in Google’s search results. In this article, we’ll explore backlinking strategies that do work and outline a few old fashioned strategies that you should avoid when it comes to improving the SEO profile of your website.

SEO and PR are increasingly similar

You should think of your SEO efforts like a PR campaign. What you’re trying to do is convince high profile websites that your website is an authoritative source that they genuinely want to link to. For starters, you’ll need good content that is genuinely useful to your site visitors (this will also please Google). Then you’ll need to target a few websites that are genuine authority sources in your area. Your communication with them should be crafted like a good press release. You need to quickly grab their attention and convince them that you’re worth their time. Don’t offer money upfront, this will put many people off and won’t help you build a good profile for your website in the long-term.

Point the links to the right place

A profile with thousands of links pointing to your homepage looks unnatural and will get less credit in Google. Instead, you should encourage people to link to pages across your website that provide useful content to visitors. Not only will this look more natural but it should actually be an easier sell to any potential partners. You can encourage them to link to pages that their audience will quickly find useful information on rather than abandoning them to hunt round your website in search of what they need.

Whilst the way that Google sees backlinks has changed significantly in recent years, they remain a crucial part of any good SEO strategy. Be sure to include them in yours and you’re far more likely to see success.

Photo: Backlinks by ivanpw licensed under Creative commons 2
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