Are Backlinks Still Relevant for SEO in 2017?

— March 23, 2017

Why You Still Need Backlinks for SEO



I am often asked: What is a backlink? and Should I still care about them?


Backlinks are essential for a successful website, and when you are deciding how you will go about obtaining additional backlinks, you must consider the quality of the backlinks that you will obtain.


You want to make sure that the search engines give you full benefit for any backlinks which you obtain, so try to make sure that are all from high quality and/or relevant sources.


If you allocate time to obtaining quality backlinks, you will be rewarded with improved rankings in the search engine listings.


According to a recent study by Econsultancy, links from other credible sources that mention your website are still valuable today with a slow decline for the future. The top results came from news sites — this appears to be the area where there is more growth.



Take some time to implement a few of the following tips, and you should see the number of backlinks to your website increase.



  • Offer valuable content – With Google’s latest changes and updates in Penguin 4.0 it’s more important than ever to write articles that are tailored to your audience and provide fresh information that solves their problems. The updated algorithm is designed to weed out spam websites and the over use of keywords.


  • Update your website – As mobile usage becomes more prominent your website will need to be optimized and responsive to all devices. It pays to invest in a professional audit in order to ensure that the user experience is optimal, including the loading times and removal of old links and content that affect your search results.


  • Tone down anchor usage – It used to be that anchor text contributed to a website moving up in the search engine ranks, but today the focus is much more on phrases and the quality of content. Google also measures how engaging your posts are now with less of a focus on penalizing for smaller mistakes and targeting websites that are solely relying on links and spam content.

Think relationship marketing and Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing. David Meerman Scott recommends that marketers “publish their way in” (via blogs etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing where they used to have to “buy their way in” (via paid advertisements).


Inbound Marketing encompasses the use of blogs, social networking, article marketing – all things online exposure; and, is also often referred to as Pull marketing because you are pulling people into your sphere of influence by being findable and available for communication.


In traditional marketing (outbound marketing) companies focus on finding customers. Think the term intrusion marketing and Godin’s term interruption marketing.


Outbound marketing is also referred to as Push Marketing where the advertising or promotion is Pushed into the media.


Three successful uses of using this marketing approach are:


Original Content


Anything produced on your blog — including text, infographics, video, ect. — can be used to build an audience and connect with influencers who will recommend your website. This can include any guest blog posts and re-purposed content on places like LinkedIn and Medium.


Search Engine Optimization for Desktop and Mobile


SEO makes it easier for potential customers to find your content. It is the practice of building your site and inbound links to your site to maximize your ranking in search engines, where most of your customers begin their buying process. As we move into a mobile-only world it’s important to ensure that your website is indexed properly and that the links being used work well with today’s predictive search that’s based on conversations.


Social Media


Using networks to develop authentic relationships that draw qualified customers to your website continues to be a strong force in increasing backlinks. Although social networks are not ranking factors in Google that are still very effective in building awareness for your branded content.


According to an article on Convince and Convert some of the top social websites to build backlinks on include:



  • Google Plus
  • Google Places
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Foursquare
  • Reddit
  • Squidoo
  • Stumbleupon
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo
  • YouTube
  • Ezine Articles
  • Hubpages
  • Dotpoch

It’s not necessary to be active in all of these places — select a few that your business can focus on and build the most traffic from. This is where careful target market research comes into play, and provides insights into where your community is the most active.


The world of online marketing has changed and if we are going to be effective in this continuously evolving world, we need to have the awareness of what it takes to do so!

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Susan Gilbert


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