Organic Search still relies on links

Organic Search still relies on links


Do you think links are becoming less of a ranking signal in organic search results? Here’s proof that they are still a valuable ranking signal.

Some believe that the use of web links has declined as a ranking signal. This post will show you that links are alive and active signals. I’ll explain the results of a study later, but first, let’s examine the issue.

Today’s SEO is powered by links.

A reason cited by those who believe links are less important for SEO today is that spammers have made them less useful as a ranking signal.

This was a big issue for Google for many years before things began to change in 2012.

Google also released its first version of the Penguin algorithm update in April 2012, which was aimed at algorithmically detecting link spam and taking action on it.

Over the years, Google has continued to improve its link algorithms, including Penguin, and used manual penalties to crack down on link schemes.

When Google announced Penguin’s integration into the main algorithm on September 23, 2016, there was a major change. Since then, Google has stated that Penguin updates will not be announced again. However, they have recently confirmed that these algorithms still get updated.

Furthermore, Google still manually penalizes link campaigns that Penguin does not target. This happens when the confidence level that there is a problem isn’t high enough for Penguin to automatically take action.

Due to the sheer number of links today there has been a major shift in how legitimate SEO is performed just in the span of a decade.

In 2016, Googler Andrey Lipattsev confirmed that links were still one of the two ranking factors, and we know links are earned through quality web content.

What this all tells us is that Penguin and manual penalties exist solely because links are a ranking factor, and spammy link-building adversely impacts Google search results.

If links aren’t a significant signal, Google wouldn’t invest in those things, would they?

Reasons why Google considers links a key signal

With so many signals in the Google algorithm – and there are hundreds of them – why would links still be regarded as a signal?

There is no other ranking signal on the web with the same properties as links.

Google can rely on other signals to determine which websites are the best, such as social media and user engagement, right?

I don’t think so. There are issues with other signals like these.

Google cannot rely on social media signals from platforms it does not own and that are controlled by competitors.

About the signal of user engagement and machine learning, Jeff Dean once said:

The problem with links is that they’re hard to do. But before we discuss why they’re so valuable, let’s look at the statement I made at the beginning of this section.

Despite Google’s Penguin Update, link building is still important.

Throughout the past decade, Google has implemented a series of important algorithm updates. Penguin was one of these updates.

Google’s Penguin update is now part of the core algorithm.

Google’s Penguin update enables it to evaluate links’ quality more efficiently.

Some SEO professionals assumed that links no longer mattered after this update; however, this is not the case.

Links still represent the same value in ranking.

When links are natural, they reflect the quality of the page’s content.

With the Penguin update, Google was able to identify links that were not natural.

Getting links has always been an important ranking factor; however, the methods of obtaining links have evolved, especially after Penguin came along.

1. Link implementation requires an investment.

I’m not talking about the type of investment involving buying links.

We’re talking about the time it takes to create a link.

You have to make time to discover content, evaluate that content, and implement a link to it on a webpage if you’re an owner or stakeholder of a website.

It may not seem like much, but it requires more work than just inserting a link into a social media post.

If you are the CEO of a company or you do not have much time to spend on link-building. You can hire an SEO Expert with good experience. Here is a guide about how to hire an SEO agency/Expert with Affordable SEO Services.

2. All links are public endorsements

By linking to a webpage, you’re saying that you trust that content as a resource, so your brand is on the line.

Typically, this link remains on the page for a long time without being altered, so your endorsement is likely to be permanent.

With social media, a link is there and gone from users’ feeds in a matter of moments, while a post on your website is around forever.

3. Someone’s leaving your site because of you

I think this is the biggie.

By adding a link to your website, you are inviting users to leave your site.

This means you will be willing to suggest to your visitors to leave your site if the content you’re linking to is so valuable to you, and you will be in a position to benefit from the goodwill you build with such visitors.

As I said, there is no other signal like it on the interwebs.

Summary

Organic Search still relies on links Do you think links are becoming less of a ranking signal in organic search results?

Over the years, Google has continued to improve its link algorithms, including Penguin, and used manual penalties to crack down on link schemes.

In 2016, Googler Andrey Lipattsev confirmed that links were still one of the two ranking factors, and we know links are earned through quality web content.

Google can rely on other signals to determine which websites are the best, such as social media and user engagement, right?

But before we discuss why they’re so valuable, let’s look at the statement I made at the beginning of this section.

All links are public endorsements By linking to a webpage, you’re saying that you trust that content as a resource, so your brand is on the line.

Author Bio:

Sajid Hussain is a senior content specialist at TechNerds with proven digital marketing experience under his belt. He harbors a passion for writing on a diverse range of topics related to futuristic technologies, innovation, and digital marketing to educate and inspire his readers.