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Link Development Forum

Do links still help as much as they used to?

 11:33 am on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/4607006.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 3:57 am on Sep 3, 2013 (utc -8)

Do links still help as much as they used to? Is it worth the effort?



 12:03 pm on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes. Danny Sullivan asked Matt Cutts that question a few months ago at SMX West. Here is the article. [searchenginejournal.com]

New discussion topic from Danny: Shifting to links… Now that we’ve gone through penalty linking through advertorials. Is the world of linking going to break down? Shouldn’t we all just shift to social?

Matt: Links in his opinion have many many many more years ahead of us as valuable. Black hat tactics that were used in the past are getting less and less successful. Google’s put a lot of time and energy into shutting down link networks etc. Thus, good links that are built naturally will still provide value for a long time.

Yes, links still matter. Yes, they are worth the effort. Judging by the many posts in the Google SEO forum, their campaign against crap links is making some headway. Though not as much headway as some would like.


 1:02 pm on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think he covered page to page links within the same site? What's the latest on these?


 1:44 pm on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd believe that internal linking is also still very valuable. One of the biggest things I look at is:

# of pages indexed, compared to # of backlinks to any specific page (% a page is internally linked) (ie, sitewide internally linked pages do better than buried pages).


 3:33 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

The test case and discussion in this thread:


not only suggests that links are still important, but high quality/trusted links might be more important than ever.

But, even if you believe they are more important than ever, it's hard to know what to do about it.

Any attempt to "build" links runs the risk of being a waste of time or, worse, being interpreted as "unnatural" by Google (now or in the future), thereby triggering a penalty or having the opposite effect desired (making the site less trusted by Google).

Not only are most forms of link development risky, the least risky options tend to be the most labour intensive, and therefore it isn't clear whether they are worth pursuing.


 12:18 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's clear that links help as much as ever. That's a given, not debatable [searchenginejournal.com].

This discussion is evolving though. Members are also stating that:

1. Some links matter more

2. Which means that some links matter less

3. Actively building links runs the risk of a penalty

4. Pursuing worthwhile links is time consuming, i.e. costs more money

What are the characteristics of links that matter more?

Please offer an opinion, please speculate, on the kinds of activities or signals that you think might trigger a link to become Penguin-ish?


 12:54 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

What are the characteristics of links that matter more?

Please offer an opinion, please speculate, on the kinds of activities or signals that you think might trigger a link to become Penguin-ish?


i think that with a few exceptions a link that creates a discernible pattern with other links is subject to devaluation.


 8:56 pm on Sep 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I've been out of the whole 'game' for a year, mainly due to being demoralized since Panda came along and not being able to do anything about it :)

I'm working on another website and I'm wondering what your views are on link building these days? It worked really well for me once upon a time but obviously not well enough in Google's eyes (my site old site is pretty much dead).

I'm considering investing some serious time emailing hand-picked relevant websites within my niche.

Any thoughts?

[edited by: martinibuster at 10:53 am (utc) on Sep 18, 2013]
[edit reason] Spliced from another thread. [/edit]


 2:35 am on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Definitely worth your time. Links are still king.


 3:27 am on Nov 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, I believe if google has amassed a great amount of user history about a broad subject, that links don't play as much in the ranking algo.

Smaller subjects and local, benefit from links because google has not yet amassed the quantity of user data to put links out of a major play in the equation.


 5:18 pm on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Links are hugely important. What's changed is that bad links are being identified and penalised.

I launched a brand new 200 page niche site 3 months ago which is top of the rankings and doing great. All original content and the only backlinks are a few sigs in forums. Google and people interested in this niche love it because the content is excellent. Long, wordy, detailed, good stuff. Lots of references out to other sites. Ie a 'niche unifier'. People are naturally linking to it because it's good. That's what you want, not some SEO shortcut.

It uses the same formula as the 7 work sites I manage, which are absolutely nowhere since penguin. Because of bought links - shortcuts, which although disavowed, the sites are still nowhere. And because it's commercial and uses content about products which is largely the same as every other company selling our products.


 7:08 pm on May 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I agree with roshaoar in that links are still really valuable to everyone (Google included) when they are built around super high quality content that is easily accessed. Constantly producing new and current valuable content is another great way to keep your link development going while adding value and engagement.


 10:41 am on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Beside patience and great content and relevancy, backlinks matter very much, but not like the old days.
Google is constantly updating its algo, they also use human intelligence to rank search result listings, so if you have good site they are getting better and better in ranking it closer to the top.


 1:24 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Real visitors still follow links.

I have always given and sought links purely from a visitor viewpoint and Google has consistently rewarded me with high rankings in my niche.

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