My rant about misleading link building B.S….
I have a rant I need to get off my chest about link building.
Not so much about link building itself, rather the misinformation that’s being spread by so many SEO experts that I truly believe know better.
I currently have just over 700 members in my Entrepreneur Lab – Internet Business Accelerator and over the last month, with the launch of the new Google Disavow tool, there’s been lots of new “theories” popping up surrounding SEO and whether or not actively pursuing link building is really a good idea anymore.
So now my students, mostly beginners working hard to launch their first website, are coming back to me confused and concerned with questions like…
“Hey Derek, I’ve been watching this video and people are telling me Link Building is dead and I shouldn’t be doing Link Building anymore. Instead I should just worry about creating good content and link building will happen naturally…”
These are new entrepreneurs… hardworking people just starting their first Internet business and they are being told “Don’t worry about Link Building. Just, write good content!”
It’s that whole “If you build it, they will come!” mentality and it’s really misleading for all of the new entrepreneurs and Internet marketers just getting started.
Sure if you have an existing website that’s getting traffic and it’s established and you’re an authority in your industry then fine, don’t worry about link building. You post content, your following will come and read it and they’ll link back to you.
But if you haven’t hit this ‘tipping point,’ where are the initial links going to come from?
If you’re just getting started with a brand, spanking new website with no links and you are not getting any traffic then nobody knows you’re out there.
You could put up the best content in the world but if people don’t know it’s there how are they ever going to find it?
I also think a lot of people have the wrong perception of what link building really is…
Many new Internet marketers assume it’s all about spamming links and polluting the Internet with poorly written content… something I would NEVER endorse or teach.
But there are lots of great, legitimate link building strategies you can use to build honest, high quality back links that are going to help you rank in the search engines.
But you should NOT just wait for it to happen!
You need to have a link building plan if you want your new website to ever rank well in Google!
This means going out and building high quality back links on social bookmarking sites and social networks.
This means looking for authority blogs that will let you write guest posts.
This means building high quality feeder pages on Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, like Hubpages.
This means actively participating in the authority forums in your niche.
And the list could go on!
Here’s my point: You can NOT just say, “Forget about the link building… build good content and it’ll just happen!”
That’s a load of BS.
If you want to tap into the free, high converting traffic that Google can drive your business, then you need to build a foundation of good content on your website, and then you need to have a link building plan.
Sure there are just as many spammy link building strategies out there that I would NEVER endorse. But to tell somebody with a brand new website that wants to rank in Google that they don’t need to TRY and build back links is stupid.
So if somebody says to you, “Link building is dead. Don’t worry about it. You just need to write great content and all of a sudden links will magically appear.” it’s BS and they probably want to sell you something.
Link building is still the foundation of SEO!
So there’s my rant.
The bottom line is, you need link building. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Create good content. Build quality back links back to your website and you will see your rankings go up.
And that’s the end of my rant.
Well, if you look at it one way, it really IS about just creating quality content, only not all on your website or blog. Create quality content on other people’s blogs, social media sites, forums, web 2.0 sites, etc. Sure, you want to get links on all these sites, but no one is going to want to click your link if you don’t provide them quality content next to them.
Good to catch up with you again – reminds me of my very early days watching you and Cory explaining that magical process called PPC!!
Thanks for your necessarily forceful update on the real situation. I’ve been reading about all the post Panda-Penguin-EMD theories and had come to the conclusion that at my basic level I would not be well served by spending a lot of time and money on Link Blasts or Link Networks but that basic back links from Ranking sites would definitely still have to be a major part of my “SEO” planning.
Ok, well it’s time for me to stop all the planning and implement what I feel I now know. Thanks for the push, and for reminding me that I have been treading water for too long!!
Well said Derek!
I totally agree that if anyone needs their site to be found, link building is required to achieving that. Without link building, who would know that the new website ever existed? I have visited IM blogs as well as forums and some of the posters also advocated that content is King and link building is dead. These pisses me off for two reasons.
Now, I’m saying in the context of building a website as your online business…And I don’t mean spamming too.
First, link building and good content are BOTH important, they complement each other, why choose one over the other? It’s like saying I’m going to buy a car (i.e. create a website), I’m going to find one car model that has appeal (i.e. my website must have good content) but the engine (ie. link building) is not important, it can be dead for that matter. Well, then I have a car that is best for the showroom, but has little value. In the case of a website, it is online for all to see, but brings in little to no profit without the search engine and backlinks. Then, this is a hobby, not a business. Good content is what keeps people, but link building is making sure that people can find your good content. Choosing one over the other is myopic. BOTH are important!
Second, some of those who advocated this said that a piece of very good article can attract attention and bring you loads of traffic. They do it by posting the article on their website first and then syndicating either actively or passively across other blogs or article directories. If it’s interesting or provocative enough, that will bring readers to your website asking for more. Again, how would the readers find their website, did they not follow a link they left on the article? If it’s not link building, I don’t know what it is. In addition, my gut feel is they are the people who could write really well, so what happens to those who don’t have the skill set to write an interesting or provocative article for that matter? How would they survive? Isn’t it as good as telling these people that you can fugget’about creating an online business. If this had been true, why haven’t I heard anyone say that the prerequisite to creating a successful website is to be able to write well or pay large sums to professional writers who can write on behalf during the past 15 years of widespread Internet proliferation? I’m not downplaying the importance of writing such articles here..they are in fact good drivers for traffic…but I do not agree that this is the ONLY best way to drive traffic.
Sorry about my rant here, I just want to share this from a different perspective.
Thanks Derek….you stood up for link building with this great article! =)