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Links May Die Someday for SEO, but Not Quite Yet

Inbound links still matter. Despite what you may here from SEO gurus around our industry, the power of high-quality, relevant, and natural inbound links to a dealer's website is still apparent. Google's Matt Cutts acknowledged that in the long run, this may not be the case.

That day, however, is not today.

Google is reportedly in the middle of a 10-year plan to discount links from the search algorithm. The best guess is that they're at about year 5 of this plan, which means that we still have another half-decade to make the adjustment. Many of us already are, but that does not mean that links should not be a part of the overall strategy.

Earn them. Use them appropriately. Avoid anything spammy or unnatural. Focus on incredible content that can get people to link to you rather than schemes or techniques for building them. That's what we do. That's what you should be doing as well.

Here's the video from Cutts answering the question recently about inbound links.

Views: 340

Tags: SEO, Search


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Comment by Paul Rushing on November 1, 2014 at 6:49am
Anything done to manipulate a websites ranking is blackhat, because search engines do not care about manipulated results.

The fact is most website owners have a business to run and have to integrate with other businesses to sell their wares. ie Search engines.

What you do as a website owner is at your discretion regardless of what other business think. So efforts to increase your ROI matter to you and if it is causing another business to respond positively for you, you can call it whatever you want. White, black grey or purple who gives a damn if you goal is met...
Comment by Jeff Glackin on November 1, 2014 at 6:34am
Very confusing reading these comments. One comment says it all black hat smoke and mirrors and the next says white hat is the way to go and the cream will rise to the top.
Comment by Alexander Lau on October 30, 2014 at 12:05pm

Kinda like this stuff: (avoid it).

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 30, 2014 at 11:41am

Yes, content marketing is a great term. SEO has a negative tone, these days, partly because it's SO easy for SEO's to set up black hat techniques and sell it to unbeknownst clients. The proof is in the pudding. Someone mentioned TIME, it's the ultimate variable. The cream rises to the top and white hat techniques and websites that use them do as well.

Comment by Paul Rushing on October 30, 2014 at 11:37am
@Alexander Lau - I agree all SEO is black hat. There is no such thing as white hat seo nor will there ever be. Those that claim differently are trying to game potential and current clients.

There is plenty to be done outside of traditional seo techniques to enhance a clients online presence.

Online presence optimization and SEO are completely different processes.
Comment by Alexander Lau on October 30, 2014 at 9:02am

I'll say it again.

  1. What does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search, they aren’t doing their job. So by definition, even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web. The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one: Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.
  2. SEO of any kind is pursued by gaming the system. There is nothing “natural” about any form of SEO. The fundamental concept of SEO is exploiting a flaw in a search engine’s ranking algorithm. The difference between white and black hat tactics is merely a function of where Google decides to draw a line, and this line is at least somewhat arbitrary. Google's goal is to confuse search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and to uncover aggressive SEO techniques through delaying, or obfuscating results from SEO changes being made.
Comment by Timothy Martell on October 30, 2014 at 8:34am

Silly JD. When Matt Cutts says something like this, you can be sure the opposite will be true sooner than later.

If anything the leaked Google doc about PQ rating being used for testing of their machine learning algo substantiates that links will become far less valuable sooner rather than later. Whats going to be really funny though is that it will be very hard to analyze at all even when it does happen because it will switch from causation to correlation.

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 29, 2014 at 1:26pm

We are kindred geek souls, Carl!

Ha... and good point. The number of groups that wonder why they fail to convert on a $25K a month PPC budget. Yeahhhhhhhhh... it's because your user interface / UX / HCI objectives are RUBBISH!

Comment by Carl Maeda on October 29, 2014 at 1:19pm

Alexander beat me to the punch.  Yes, the user experience matters a great deal.  Not just for SEO, but for marketing you do to drive customers to your website.

That's why I can't believe people still blindly send all SEM traffic to the homepage.

Comment by Alexander Lau on October 29, 2014 at 1:16pm

@Paul, agreed and I've given Manny crap (still love you Manny) about that fact, in a previously designed blog post. You can rank #1 for every keyword imaginable. If a user doesn't know what to do with your interface and content, forget it, you'll fail. In other words, how are you user testing your interface in order to understand how to convert users more effectively.

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