SEO Strategy – Where Has the Link Building Gone To?

Link building is a big part of SEO and many people in the Search Engine Optimisation community agrees with this. The links you gained increased your rankings in Google and other Search Engines and therefore you had more visitors and that in the end meant you had more people to try and push your merchandise to.

Link Building 2010

During my years working with web development, online marketing and SEO strategy I have seen what I consider to be sort of a seasonal Google trend. Every now and then some changes are implemented and it affects how well your websites perform and where they rank in the big SERP.

These changes are mostly minor and does not provide really significant proof, most of these are more or less interpreted as what the competition has done, rather than being part of a Google “lab rat” experiment or permanent change to their algorithm.This year however I have started to notice a trend where Google is pushing away from links, or that they have really shaped up their algorithm to verify the very unique and proper links coming in to your sites. I have seen a substantial drop in links Google and other tools are picking up for any of my sites and most of the easy to get links are completely gone from most of these back-link reporting tools.

The general Link Building Strategy people employ is to do the Keyword Research in the initial phase of any SEO Campaign, then decide upon where these keywords should be placed off site, it is this keyword placement off site which is called link building. The variations available used to be quite large, but the main options you had were Blog Commenting, Forum Posting, Article Submission and Guest Authoring. However most of these services are filled to the brim with other link builders that Google have gone in and ignored most of them.

For those of you who do SEO in any form I recommend that you re-check you back-link inventory, but do not panic, the links are there even if not reported to be found so you better have had those links placed where it drives people to your websites. The age of the drop and forget link building seems to be dead for now.I have had far greater impact from the Social Media efforts than any Link Building I have done this year.

SEO Today

The Search Landscape in the middle of 2010 is leaning a lot more towards the user experience and Google seems to pick up more on what the searchers do, rather than other authorities “casting their vote” for your content, website or service. User based services and communities like StumbleUpon are still providing traffic, but the quality that used to come from them are now gone.

This may be to the fact that for these new websites I run I have started most services from scratch and on StumbleUpon I receive quite a lot of traffic, but that bounce rate is above 85%.Some old school SEO truths are still in play, but from what I can read between the line is that Google wants us SEO to shape up and start providing the real results that we claim we want to rank for. If I did not know better I would say that Google has found a way of determining your landing page quality score for your organic search traffic. What i do know is that this has so far been the year of QDF!

My conclusion is that this year has seen a severe drop in the importance of the link and the user experience, or click through as we call it has taken its place. Topical relevance seems more important than ever and quality content that can manage to produce a signal over all the noise are now factors that weigh in a lot more than link building does.

Jim Shepherd has worked for 7 years with SEO and website optimisation in Europe and is now operating in UK where he is currently providing SEO Services London. These articles published here is an insight to the world of SEO and the reflections upon an ever changing landscape of online marketing.