Ever since Google’s algorithm had changed in early 2013, online marketers have wondered if backlinks are still important & useful for SEO or if they’re bad.
The answer is most if not all backlinking can likely do nothing or hurt your website’s SEO progress. There are still ways to make it work, but you need to know how/when to use it properly. This article explains what sort of backlinking (BL) is still useful and which to avoid.
Here’s what you need to know:
About a year ago, a lot of what determined your website’s rank came down to these 3 components:
- A: How good your content was.
- B: Your domain name (If you made a domain name based on a keyword, you had greater chances of ranking higher for it).
- C: How many backlinks you had coming to your site. What’s a backlink? It’s basically any website which provides a link back to your website. If I have a YouTube video linking to my website, that’s 1 BL. If I write an article and link it to my website, that’s another BL.
C Was The Most Important (Once):
At one point in SEO, your site’s rank were determined mostly by how many backlinks your site had. The more you had, the better ranked your site was from Google. Then what happened was that many companies sprouted and started offering (and still do) “backlink packages” in which you could get 1,000’s linked to your website instantly and get high rankings fast.
C was the one which most people used because it was simple and it was a hole in the system that could be exploited. Why was this a hole? Because people could make horrible websites and rank higher than quality websites, and all because the horrible one had more BL. This could mean Google’s search would be riddled with low quality websites which would ultimately damage Google’s reputation in the eyes of it’s customers. And so…
Google updated it’s algorithm & put the hammer down on BL.
Websites which were caught using BL packages, no matter how high their PR (page rank) would be slapped or even blacklisted. Nowadays only B (domain name) and most importantly A (quality content) are the biggest factor in ranking high. As for C, what was once an internet marketers best friend quickly became their poison.
My personal BL story and how it failed me…
I used a BL package from a company called Bring The Fresh which did help me out in the beginning, but when the Google changes came about, my website was slapped and even blacklisted for awhile.
Here is a screenshot of my traffic stats:
When this happened, I though my online business was dead and naturally I was depressed…
One thing you will commonly see when using these BL packages is a surge in traffic, but it’s only temporary and when you’re spotted by Google, the same thing will happen to you that happened to me. This formula ALWAYS repeats itself.
Despite that event and the depression it hit me with, when this happened to me, it seriously opened my eyes to the side effects of using BL packages (and anything blackhat!) ! I actually ended up having more trouble with this business as a result. Regardless however, there’s more facts you need to know about this subject…
Backlinking isn’t dead. But you need to know how to utilize it properly.
With recent changes in Google’s algorithm, BL can do more harm than good to your site. In order to use it effectively, you need to know the difference between good and bad ones.
- Making your own YouTube videos and linking them to your website.
- Buying BL packages of ANY kind. Never use these! You will get caught eventually and your website will never see the light of day in the SERPS.
- Writing your own articles and linking them to your website (although this one is pretty useless now). This won’t cause your site to get slapped, but it’ll be a waste of time. People used to do this with article directories.
Or just keep this strategy simple and follow this updated guide.
Simple rule of thumb:
Don’t trust any company who sells BL packages to you, no matter how glorified their promises are. This is just a sale’s pitch and these methods no longer work! Stick to only using the good ones or none at all. The only BL I would recommend are making your own YouTube videos, that’s it! Anything else is pretty much a black hat approach to SEO which will eventually crumble.
So are backlinks still worth it?
Unless you’re making a YouTube video which helps your website’s content, I don’t think they are worth using anymore. This kind of stuff isn’t dead, but it’s lost pretty much all of it’s juice and isn’t worth spending time on. Rely on making excellent content and you will be rewarded with higher rankings.
This can take time, but it’s worth the wait, believe me. In this battle for better SEO, the turtle will always beat the rabbit in the long run! If you don’t know how to earn high rankings with Google, get great SEO training here.
Final words: The next time you see anyone recommending or advertising something like “Buy high PR backlinks” or “Slap proof”, click the back button because you’re going to be taking a huge risk and plowing down a lot of money for a method of marketing which will almost always end up destroying any SEO hopes you have and forever messing up your website.
Update: An evolved approach to the whole BL topic…
Read this newly updated article on which types of BL’s you NEED and which ones you don’t. While the main points about which ones to avoid still are the same, there’s new ways to build good ones that will be able to help your site.
Have you had success with backlinking or did you experience a Google slap from using them? Please share your experiences below.