How being genuine and focussing on quality can improve your rankings
Once upon a time in the World Wide Web, it was widely accepted that the more links a website had pointing to it from other external websites, the more popular it would be seen as by Google, and the higher it would rank in organic search results. This very specific search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy was so popular in fact that there were (and unfortunately still are) agencies that focused solely and entirely on this particular activity. I truly feel for their employees.
Times have changed. Google learns fast.
Granted, this would have been a profitable venture a few years ago. Companies could simply produce hundreds of basic websites that no real user would ever know about (“Link Farms”), let alone visit, then place links pointing to all of their clients’ websites. This was an activity performed purely to trick Google into thinking that a particular website is more popular than it actually was, and ranking it higher in search results. Google, however, is a fast learner.
In 2014, 44.7% of our website’s traffic came via external links from quality, relevant and credible websites.
2014 saw a number of updates to Google’s search algorithm that aimed to punish websites utilising these tactics, whilst also sending a stern warning to any website owner or Digital Marketer considering this as a viable activity. Of course, no clients of ours had their websites penalised due to dodgy links, however we have had new clients come on board having left other agencies who have unfortunately fallen victim to Google penalties. The worst part is that once it has happened, you can’t simply remove the links and go back to normal. In fact, you’d be lucky to even know where all of the dodgy links are – the internet is a fairly big place. It can take years for a domain to recover after being penalised by Google.
How much would your business suffer if your website became almost invisible in Google search results for a year?
It certainly wouldn’t be ideal.
I’m not suggesting that you should avoid trying to get other websites linking to yours. At the end of the day, not only do external links to your site still count towards the authority of your website (providing they are relevant and good quality), but the traffic that your website can receive via these links can be enormous and result in leads for your business. In 2014, 44.7% of the JuiceBox website’s total traffic came as a result of traffic via external links from quality, relevant and credible websites.
If you're going to do it, do it right.
There are no short cuts when it comes to link building activities, as much as some other agencies may try to sell you otherwise. Bulk link buying is a big SEO no-no! Instead think about what websites may benefit from linking to your website (will their users receive additional information that they actually want and is relevant?). It is also still an important part of our own SEO service. The difference is we simply focus on quality rather than quantity.
Just the way Google likes it.