Can Backlinks Still Help Improve Rankings On The Serps ?
So what is link building? Link building is the process of achieving as many highly trusted incoming links from related websites or sources that are supposedly trusted and relevant to a given website.
It is perceived as a vote from other websites that are in the same or similar industry but not 100 per cent identical that a website can be trusted in providing the relevant information a user may be searching for. The more of these links that are obtained, the better a website ranks in the SERPs provided all other site factors are in check.
Having been in this industry for a good part of my life, I have come across many articles on the web about people asking about link building. ” Does link building still work?”…”Does link building help rankings?”…
Google has, in its entire existence, always been about having one and only one target – presenting the best and most relevant answers to a user’s query.
Weeding out the spammers, the liars and the con artists have been a relentless pursuit of Google and it is why Google is at the top of the chain when it comes to search engines. And to be honest I can not remember the last time I used another search engine.
I have been specialising SEO in Sydney for the last twenty years now and seen much in the way of changing algorithms. The headlines on the web of businesses have gone broke from the deafening sound silence of phones no longer ringing and more.
I have seen much in the way of websites needing to be updated purely for one reason….” THE USER EXPERIENCE “… Having said this though, Google still always has one primary value in mind regardless of what algorithm changes it makes…..Incoming links from related and highly trusted sources through Link Building. Why? A link is a vote that your page is deemed important and therefore provides the necessary answers to a question.
There is nothing worse than having a legitimate business that actually helps people with their needs online, is not an online scam and is popular with customers before Google knocks it off the radar because of a changed algorithm; especially where it is perceived as link building intended for the manipulation of rankings.
It is important to note that this is only for incoming links also known as link building – not internal link building.
Regardless of how you may read Google’s updates about what SEO Google is looking for when it comes to SEO, Google loves ADWORDS, not SEO.
I myself and many SEO services around certainly understand the frustration of many business owners trying to stay afloat in the organics. It is heartbreaking for millions of online businesses to crash and even drop in rankings all because of “links” (that Google actually wants to see) or minor on-site algorithm changes.
To this day, SEO is only one thing – the manipulation of rankings – and always will be regardless of what white hat or black hat you put into your link building efforts. And that is all. SEO is manipulating Google’s algorithm for improved rankings on search engines by way of providing the necessary off-site SEO for the Google algorithm requirements.
Understand this, Google has never been a fan of SEO and do not believe otherwise. Google wants Adwords users, not SEO users. I have seen enough evidence of this a Sydney SEO expert
This is why if you wish to rank a site within months instead of years, there will never be a thing as 100% white hat SEO if the plan is to rank as quickly as possible. What is even more frustrating it is clear Google dislikes SEO purely because it promotes Adwords ads.
Comparing The User Experience Between Organics To Adwords
Google requires that the user experience in the organics be of utmost importance but when it comes to Adwords, the user experience is never as sharp as the organics.
Why? Because Google is being paid. I have found some of the most worthless sites being advertised at the top of Google have nothing to do with a positive user experience in comparison to similar sites in the organics.
- These sites lack structure
- They lack content
- Navigation is poor
- In some cases no social signals
- Many at times are just a block of content and an image
Some also lack resources for more information and are just generally sites you would find almost ten years ago. Yet, they are at the top of Google in an Adwords ad. These sites would never rank on page 1 in the organics.
Google does not care about the user experience here. By saying this though, you can also understand why most people do not trust the ads.
Before I get further into link building, it must be noted that Google has seriously stepped up its game when it comes to website structure, content, trust factors, and load speeds.
Gone are the days of anonymous websites regardless of what industry this happens in. If there is no trust factor, it can be extremely difficult to rank regardless of the niche in question. Elements involving money, health or anything else impacting a person’s life are key.
A website with highly relevant content, many pages of related information, loading well, answering the users’ query, and being trusted ( E.A.T : Experience Authority Trust ) can outrank a website with numerous incoming links and far less content.
The Three Click Rule
The three-click rule when developing your website should always apply. A user must find what they are looking for in under three clicks. It is part of the user experience.
If you have a highly relevant website that :
- Can be trusted by Google ( EAT )
- Has loads of content
- Answers the necessary questions
- Easy to find in under 3 clicks
- Loads fast
- Is easy to navigate
- Has call to action
Then there are only two priorities left – Incoming links and social signals.
Social Signals Links
There are three priorities that anyone carrying out SEO really needs to take into account. On-site SEO, off-site SEO and social signals. This of course is a lot easier said than done as there is much work involved in each parameter OF SEO
Many do not take into account that social signals can have a tremendous impact on rankings before links are even in the process of being sourced from relevant or related sites.
All social signals are is the spread of a domain across countless social media accounts. This tells Google that a given domain is very popular among users on the web.
The only real link building here is the Brand as it crosses all social media platforms and we all know Google loves branding popularity – not keyword popularity. These can help in organic rankings as well and are seen as a link back to your site.
In addition, if it comes from high DA sources, it will also assist in rankings and trust.
Whatever your SEO strategy may be, you should always include some level of social media signals within your SEO Campaign and preferably before any link building is commenced, A new website will always benefit from this approach as this looks far more natural than just link building alone. There are plenty of social media signals services on the web that can be used if you look around.
And Now We Come To Link Building
So Are Backlinks Still relevant In SEO For 2022 ?
So does backlinking still matter in 2022 for ranking? Absolutely it does. It is still seen as one of the most important ranking factors. If your plan is to structure an SEO plan that improves rankings, backlinking can simply not be ignored.
Google has for years counted highly relevant links as votes to a website and the higher the DA Link source, the more powerful the link juice back to the money site.
This has always been the case and still remains to be a very important factor in ranking a website as high as possible in the serps. It also stands as stated earlier, the on-site SEO also has to be in check to further enhance the best possible rankings on search engines.
It remains to be seen if Google ever eliminates back linking signals ( which I very much doubt ) but it appears to be that for the foreseeable future, backlinking will remain to be one of Google’s most important ranking factors for improving rankings in the SERPS.
So Is Link Building Safe ?
There is no real definitive answer for this question but as long as backlinking is not practised for the purposes of manipulating rankings, you should be fine.
As a rule from my best advice, always use third-party software. As Google does not like SEO and is on the constant push for Adwords ads, analytics is not really there for the client but there more so for Google.
Google always looks for footprints in SEO, even if it is white hat. This is what makes all SEO efforts look like black hat because even one method of link building that is consistent can look like rankings manipulation which will earn a website a penalty in unnatural link building efforts.
There is always a ready map of your link building efforts and if there is anything in terms of a footprint ( and there will be ) expect a penalty, no matter how innocent it may be. This comes from 20 years of experience.
Analytics provides a ready map of all link building efforts that allows any Google engineer to inspect at will. When they inspect any site with any form of link building and it looks artificial, even though it might not be, a penalty is usually on the way.
There are many forms of link building but when it comes to ” WHACK ” these two are still up there with the best of them. The higher the DA and TF a site has where a link can be obtained from regardless of what the resource may be, the stronger the link juice you will. Ten strong DA links can easily outweigh 50 mediocre links.
So if your plan is to use guest posting or PBN links, using third-party software as opposed to ” FREE ” Google products is your best bet. Google products are free for a reason.
So they can inspect at will all SEO being carried out by website owners. My best advice would be is to use third-party software at all times, even if you do use 100% white hat link building methods.
When it comes to link building and whether or not it still works, yes, link building certainly still does. The only choice for any website owner is….Which type of backlinks are desired and in what period of time. This is the deadly choice everyone must make and you must choose your poison as 9 out of 10 do not have forever to rank.
Have Questions ? Call And Talk To Me
Author: Peter Karpouzas
PK SEO has been providing search engine optimisation services as SEO consultants for approximately eighteen plus years for small and corporate businesses in Sydney Australia and is located in Campbelltown Sydney NSW 2560. Should you have any questions regarding our SEO consulting, please do not hesitate to contact us at 0418118998 or email us at [email protected]