After so many algorithm updates from Google, with Hummingbird as the most recent one, companies are shifting their strategies to stay on top of their game. For some, links are already passé and the new focus of all SEO companies should be content.
Still, don’t think all your SEO training in Australia or elsewhere about link building is for naught. At the end of the day, Google’s protocols are still link-based. No matter how much focus they try to put on content, links will have its own relevance albeit at a slightly different feel. The only way for Google to make the engine content-based is to restructure the entire platform, which is unlikely to happen.
What Changed Then?
The updates don’t put links on the sidelines. It’s more of a way to filter the inorganic links from adding to the page’s rank. Now, what kinds of links are organic or otherwise? Here’s a quick guide:
- For your link to be deemed organic, someone, such as the audience, should post links that point to your post. Google will flag your content if you made the link yourself.
- You shouldn’t ask a webmaster for that link. Links should come naturally.
- Paid links get penalties.
If you have followed these three things, then you don’t have to worry about anything regarding the links that point to your site. It doesn’t matter if the links are placed in the right context of the article; what matters is that it’s something that came naturally. Google’s adjustments call for the natural placement of links and any practice that doesn’t go with this can damage your site.
Where Content Comes In
Creating quality content is a good way to ensure natural links. A good article should engage the user and make them like it, share it, or comment on it in different platforms. This way, you gain natural links and that’s something that Google will let pass. One of Google’s updates, Penguin, is designed to filter spam links so that only the sites that established natural links will rank well. This is something that SEO companies and website owners should keep in mind, as it affects how sites will write content and gain links.
It is true that Google’s updates focus more on content, but this doesn’t mean that the links are now irrelevant. Linking is still at the core of Google’s program, what changed is the filter for organic and inorganic ones. As long as web owners plan strategies to get natural links and adapt to change, the site’s ranking will stay or even get better.