Is link building dead?
in short link building is not dead, and will not die any time soon!
The question thus becomes What is link building and why is it important?
In short links, some times called HYPERLINKS are the tools that you use to allow the end user, or your audience to move from one place on the internet to another, and are the only tool that search engines have of locating your online content. If there are no links pointing to your page, then a search engine has no means of locating your page, and it will thus never be found in search. In the past the more inbound links a page had the better it did in search results.
Link building is the process that you follow to ensure that your web pages or blog posts acquire in bound links, be they internally from pages within your own web site / blog or externally from some other online resource.
Today, due to the amount of SPAM generated by so called BLACK HAT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION this is no longer true, and Google as well as all other search engines now use the quality of links more than the quantity of links. Then within Google search there is the issue of PANDA and PENGUIN which both have negative or punitive tools that tackle SPAM and bad quality web pages
It is thus important that you understand the need to have a link building policy in place, and that this link building policy needs to be well documented and shared with every person who has anything to do with your total marketing plan. Bad links can come from a number of sources, and those who do not know about these issues can very inadvertently make use of a link building farm or some other bad tactic, thinking that they are helping your marketing efforts. New employees or junior marketers who have not been exposed to the impacts of bad links may not understand what a link farm is, and believe they are being helpful in getting traffic to your pages.
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF BAD LINKS TO SINK YOUR ONLINE MARKETING EFFORTS, BE CAREFUL WHEN DEVELOPING YOUR LINK BUILDING POLICY
The social media is currently a very big source of links to your online content, and as such you do need to have a social media policy in place to deal with these issues. Once again Your social media policy needs to be well documented and shared with everybody who has anything to do with your marketing, be it online or not. You need to remember that all your offline marketing has a very big impact on your online marketing in many ways, especially when it comes to issues around search. You will need to include your link building policy within your social media marketing policy,as they are very interconnected.
Off line marketing has strange impacts on your intended target audience, and this is where you should use terminology and language that is specific to your business interests. Your target audience will be induced to use the words and language in your off line marketing to search online to discover more about your company, your products or your services, and you need to be aware of this in your online marketing, especially in your social media marketing, as this is where you will have direct one on one conversations with your target audience as well as many others who may or may not have a direct interest in your product, service or business proposition.
The people who you have conversations with online within the social media space, may or may not decide to place links within their posts to your web pages or blogs, and as such you need to influence these OUT SIDERS in a positive manner so that any links that they may place within their social media posts are positive and relevant to pages within your web site or blog.
These issues are also confounded and confused when marketers say that you should not be doing any link building at all. Link building as a term is also a very difficult term to come to grips with in the current scenario where past link building practices have destroyed web sites through their spam attacks and the use of link farms. Link building has definitely changed a great deal over the last few years, and is now a very delicate art that is not properly understood. On the one hand an online resource must have inbound links, these links need to be of high quality and carry some authority to have any success in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) and on the other hand excessive links as well as links of low quality can cause a web site or blog some serious damage within the SERP's.
The guys at +Moz recently published an article called The beginners guide to link building which I have found very helpful, and shared with my audience in other places. The G+ post embedded below is actually what inspired this post, as I commented there and had an interesting conversation with both