What We Think

Building Backlinks In The Future

Link building has recently become a rather controversial topic. Whereas some claim that links are still at the core of Google’s algorithm, others hold the strong belief that link development has become redundant, as they no longer help you rank, instead placing quality content at the forefront of their SEO strategies. Whatever your stance, the recent announcement of ‘Pagerank Updated’ has undoubtedly been discussed within your SEO department. But what exactly is Pagerank Updated, and what could it mean for your rankings? Well, this article discusses just that, as well as present some top tips to help you build a greater number of links should you want to.

What Is Pagerank Updated?

A patent development that will reduce the number of ranking manipulations – especially those caused by spammy and low-quality links – by building trust into the algorithm. As Bill Slawski, director of SEO research at Go Fish Digital and author of SEO by the sea states in his detailed post that discusses the update:

‘’One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that ranks pages on the web based on distances between the pages, wherein the pages are interconnected with links to form a link-graph. More specifically, a set of high-quality seed pages are chosen as references for ranking the pages in the link-graph, and shortest distances from the set of seed pages to each given page in the link-graph are computed. Each of the shortest distances is obtained by summing lengths of a set of links which follows the shortest path from a seed page to a given page, wherein the length of a given link is assigned to the link based on properties of the link and properties of the page attached to the link. The computed shortest distances are then used to determine the ranking scores of the associated pages.’’

Or, in other words, quality websites that link directly to and from authoritative sources within their market or niche will rank higher than those that are unrelated, giving smaller businesses a chance.

Bill continues:

‘’During a subsequent search process, a search engine receives a query from a user through a web browser. This query specifies a number of terms to be searched for in the set of documents. In response to query, search engine uses the ranking information to identify highly-ranked documents that satisfy the query. Search engine then returns a response through web browser, wherein the response contains matching pages along with ranking information and references to the identified documents.’’

So, why can’t Google seem to get away from links?

Like many of you, we’d argue that well-written content should be prioritised over link-building. But the thing is, great content that is promoted effectively naturally attracts links, allowing search engines to measure its suitability to a user when a query is entered. Links are therefore crucial to navigation, connecting pages for a better user experience and helps Google understand a user’s intent from a search perspective.

Of course, a website’s site speed, functionality, social signals and time spent per page are still important ranking factors. Similarly, coverage in leading media outlets and key industry publications are beneficial, adding clout to a business of any size.

Our Top Tips For Link Building

So, what tactics can you use as part of your link-building strategy? We recommend trying these:

  1. Guest Posting: Create valuable content that a related website would want to publish, therefore giving your business great exposure and a beneficial link back to your website.
  2. Answering Q&As: Are there forums that discuss your product offering? Are there online magazines that debate your industry’s services? Identity relevant outlets and answer your customers most burning questions.
  3. Reviews: Influencers, especially those with a large social media following can help promote your product or service through all of their channels.
  4. Use Ahrefs: Ahrefs finds your unlinked mentions in articles and blogs, allowing you to contact authors to link to your website. You can also set up keyword alerts to find posts that relate to your market.
  5. Updated Competitor Content: See what guides, eBooks or posts are already ranking well for your competitors and update them with your own expertise and spin. Then promote these to websites that would appreciate a fresh perspective.

Ultimately, create links that go beyond the algorithm, but that still benefit it.