Published: January 22, 2012
For over a decade, links have played a crucial role in SEO. We could say, link building was the "backbone" of search engine optimization.
But how's link building in 2014? Is it still effective or simply "dead"?
An article on SearchEngineLand.com yesterday was trying to convince us that "link building is dead".
The author of the article even says at some point "or at least is should be". As is the demise of link building would be "desirable".
Still, there are strong points in the article, pointing out to obsolete link building,
Despite such negative opinions, the activity of link building is still pretty much alive and quite effective - if done in the right way.
Although it's a lot more delicate nowadays in 2014 due to Google's penalties, link building is still the backbone of SEO in early 2014. And there's no reason why it won't be throughout the year - unless Google brings forth some other penalty mechanism.
But why would link building be still alive and kicking?
The mere fact that Google is penalizing certain link building techniques is proof of the fact that links count a lot in the Google ranking system. After all, it's (still) one of the easiest ways for Google to determine a site's popularity/strength.
Most of the powerful and popular sites out there have good link profiles with backlinks from quality sites (related sites with good authority).
Social media consumes a lot of time and propagation through shares, likes etc. generally dies down after a while. Stimulating users through social media channels requires careful attention and constant work.
Whereas, link building can have longer term effects (because it improves your link profile).
PPC costs money, while link building can be achieved even for free.
Also: the conventional links stay there for longer time and they influence search engine results!
The Alexa Toolbar and Site Explorer by Majestic SEO and the Mozbar all scan for the quantities of links. Automatically, the quantity (but also the quality) counts tremendously in improving the metrics shown by these tools.
Obviously, by having better metrics due to the quantity of links, potential advertisers will be more likely to buy ad space on your site.
Again, links contribute to the improvement of your metrics. Two of the most important ones are domain authority and page authority. Related quality sites contribute to improving these metrics (which can be easily measured with the Mozbar, for example).
It still exists, although rarely updated. It's not the key metric to focus for and has gotten rather obsolete, but it still has influence on sites. Obviously, a higher PageRank is desired for higher ranking in the Google SERPs.
You can obtain traffic through the links placed here and there.
Forums, articles, comments can be great places of having links. All of these can contribute by driving targeted traffic.