Why Does Link Building Matter for SEO?

May 14, 2016

Change is the only constant in the wonderful world of search engine optimization (SEO). While link building has always been an important factor in ranking at the top of the search engines, the process has changed many times over the years.


Link building strategies that generated results five years ago will not do the same in 2016. Furthermore, the way you build links today may not work in your favor in the future.


With all this in mind, it would be in your best interest to understand why links(not all types of links) should remain a large part of your SEO strategy.


According to the Moz Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015 survey, inbound links are just as important today as they were in the past. Even so, some things have changed. Google stated many times that there are over 200 ranking factors, however Google’s Andrey Lipattsev revealed that content and links are the top rankings signals.


For example, quantity of links used to be every bit as important (if not more so) as quality. Along with this, anchor text was crucial, as you wanted this to exactly match the keyword you were attempting to rank for.


Today, however, all of this has changed. While you still want to earn as many links as possible, a focus on trust and quality is more important than ever. Quantity and exact match anchor text should take a backseat and not every piece of content attracts links.


Why are Links Important for SEO?


It’s one thing to understand how to build links to your website. But it’s another thing entirely to understand why this matters from an SEO perspective.


Here are several reasons why links are important:



  1. A Vote of Confidence

Go back in time to the early days of Google and a link was considered a vote of confidence. And guess what? This still holds true in today’s day and age.


Here is the theory: when somebody links to another website, they are saying it is a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have linked to it in the first place.



  1. Quality Associates with Quality

While a link is still considered a vote of confidence, Google, along with the other search engines, had to change their algorithm. And here is why: people began to game the system through a variety of measures, such as purchasing backlinks and using comment spam.


This led to what we see today. You don’t want to receive links from just any website. Instead, you want to receive links from trusted and relevant websites. Quality links don’t come easy, it is important to understand the obstacles of quality link building.


Search engines assume that quality websites link to other quality websites. So, rather than seek out as many links as possible, marketers have turned their attention to securing these from only the highest quality properties.



  1. Long Term Strategy

Did you know that nearly 40 percent of business owners spend between $ 10k and $ 15k per month on link building?


This proves one thing to be true: link building is extremely important for SEO.


But here is something that many people overlook: link building, when done appropriately, is a long-term strategy.


Sure, you may be most interested in the short term benefits, such as the ability to rise to the top of the rankings, but don’t think small. Every high quality link that your website receives is one that will strengthen its position and build authority.


Tip: if you want to benefit from link building in the long run, you must play by the rules. Those who spammed their way to the top five years ago are nowhere to be found today. They didn’t play be the rules, and for this reason their website didn’t stand up to the test of time.


Increased Domain Authority


While domain authority does not have a direct impact on search engine rankings, it is a good indicator of how well your website will rank for particular keywords.


Moz defines domain authority as follows:


“Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.”


As you earn high quality links, you can expect your domain authority to increase. As a result, your score will reflect the ability for your website to achieve higher search engine rankings. Additionally, a high domain authority helps build authority within your niche.


Conclusion


With 57 percent of B2B marketers saying that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, you can’t afford to ignore links in the future.


The SEO game continues to change with each passing year, but link building remains important when it comes to results.


What is your link building strategy? How have you used this to your advantage?

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