There’s an unending talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in the digital industry like, is SEO relevant? How much importance does Google give to SEO? Is organic optimization dead or was it grown? Since, the world is experiencing a new digital era; people are now demanding the real-time results, not the years’ old results that Google practiced years before. The real importance of SEO has come to the user experience and content.
However, many people have mixed emotions regarding SEO and the debate doesn’t end ever. Of course, content needs visibility and SEO did it, but things have changed drastically to what used to work, to what doesn’t work anymore.
When we talk about SEO in 2019, still one of the most heated topics is ‘backlinks’. Again people have their own thoughts based on their experience and how they increased visibility and credibility to their website.
SEO agencies and marketing giants are continuously pushing the idea of backlinks. The reality is more than it meets the eyes. There’s no shortage of established SEO experts who claim to have an idea of avoiding it.
Now when you have two sides, you are literally confused, because you don’t want to do anything wrong to hurt your website or to delay your website’s performance in the search engine results. How to build links naturally or unnaturally, a Big Question?
One of the main reasons to build a website is to drive real-time traffic to increase business ROI and to establish your online regime before anyone can claim your spot and hack all your audience.
Since we all have our own perspectives based on our realities, here’s the 2 cents on the debate to help you uncover the layers that stopped your website from ranking in Google search results.
Let’s start with, “Are Backlinking Relevant for Your Website”?
Well, the answer is kinda twisted. But the straight answer is; they used to. Before the massive Penguin update, Google ranked your websites based on the quality of your links. We knew how SEO was a thing then, and how it changed with a few Google updates. Many SEO experts lost their job because they couldn’t comply with the new rules and couldn’t adapt to the new era of SEO. It happens when you aren’t prepared.
A few years ago, Google assumed, if your website has many IBL from a very authority website, or on the popular website, then your website is also popular. Not every website having inbound links on popular websites is good for the readers or for the online users.
Yes, if you are in the industry, it means you are aware of the presence of certain agencies that act as a middleman and buy IBL from the top rated websites for a cheap amount. Sometimes, they even write an article for you to giving you a backlink as promised. It happens a lot in the SEO industry and companies often cheat Google by doing this. However, now the price has skyrocketed to buy links because the competition is too high in the market. The demand has exceeded supply and the prices are boosted by an overwhelming amount. It toyed with the quality of Google’s SERP results, until Google ran Penguin algorithms update, penalizing a lot of website doing this technique for the web ranking.
If you do a little research, you will find how Google wiped out numerous businesses from its search engine ranking that were solely based on backlinks. Hence, it’s easy to understand the dynamic nature of the website because anything can happen if the base is based on the quicksand. Well, for how long you expect to hold a building on it? Not longer for sure.
Once it starts slipping, all the building blocks of your empire start touching the ground and you leave with nothing at the end, but to start from the beginning.
On contrary, there were many marketers who loved the Penguin update, experienced a high increase their website ranking and enhanced ranking in search engine queries. When the Penguin update was rolled out in September 23, 2016 (was a real time update – now part of core algorithm), websites that didn’t rely on inbound links ‘alone’ performed way better.
So again the question is, how important are the Inbound Links? Do you really need them?
Well, if you ask SEO experts or self-proclaimed marketing pundits, you might probably find the answer in ‘Yes’. However, if you ask marketers who worked days and nights to contribute equally to each area of their website, they say ‘NO’.
Don’t stay in shock. They said, “Don’t rely ‘only’ on backlinks”.
Let’s imagine you built a website, had some contacts and found a funder who was willing to invest in your idea. You bought too many IBL (inbound) links from the best website ‘ABC’ in your domain and your website’s ranking skyrocketed. Probably, an overnight success, yes? However, the website giving you links violated certain rules and policies while publishing news on some people/companies. The case run in the court and the website ‘ABC’ lost it and the owners were ordered to shut it down, ASAP.
Now all your external links were gone in a snap. Whee!!! And your ranking? It dropped at much faster rate than it climbed to the success. Things fall at more velocity than it goes high. Simple science!
We have seen such kind of case in 2016. One of the most reputed and authority based websites ‘Gawker’ lost a case and was ordered to stop all its operations within a given deadline by the court. While the website is still up, all the activities on it have been stopped. No new article is published on it after the court’s hearing.
To earn back-links is a good deal. Yes, you need to spend some time. However, if you don’t spend time on building those, and instead, you work on the user experience and working on an addictive form of content, you are doing the right thing.
Google is now working on the external inbound links game and if you listen to some marketers’ peers, you will understand and even see the signs of Google giving less value to incoming links. Gone are the days when creating bad links was the main aim. After the 2014 update, marketers, as well as SEO agencies, have learned their lesson the hard way.
When the back links can be easily manipulated, how can Google not work on those and hope to provide the best search results to the users? If Google wants to display the real information in search engines, then website must comply with certain rules, including quality content to appear in the search results.
I have talked previously and will again say if your website doesn’t have a revolutionary product, till then, your chances to see the overnight ranking is hard.
What has it to do with Backlinks?
Well, if you keep creating incoming links, but have poor quality content or useless content, then it won’t sustain your website’s ranking for longer. The user experience will send signals to Google to consider your positions in the search results.
What if the website that has given you a lot of inbound links starts spamming and loses all its credibility? What your backup plan is during that time? The possibilities’ are endless. The main thing is to discuss here is, why relying on links alone and calling it the most powerful thing for a website, can actually derail all your campaign and drain all your efforts into a damp.
Buying links easily encourage grey-hat SEO, because companies are good at finding loopholes in algorithms for their own gains.
Companies forget that if they have quality content, other websites will itself give them the inbound link. This way, links are good for them, because they have content and nothing beats content in the digital world.
NATURAL BACKLINKS is still a big Ranking Factor
Ask yourself, when you publish an article and have to give an outbound link to throw more light on the topic, don’t you give it to the best article? Isn’t it the content that has real value for your readers to which you direct your visitors for more knowledge?
Similarly, link building earned without content or having poor content on your website doesn’t count. Moreover, Google doesn’t regard you for it at all.
Gone are the days when competitors used to do mass inbound linking to your website from poor authority website. The negative SEO doesn’t work anymore because Google is becoming smarter and bringing better results to the sites having better content.
Why do you search an article on the web? Isn’t it to consume information? What if the top rated website doesn’t have any content, how would you feel? Confused and a bit annoyed to land on a useless page.
So forget building links on spam websites for the sake of building links. Google penguin will bite you so hard that it may be nearly impossible to recover or it will take a good amount of time to come out from it.
So, What Matters in SEO?
So, if you aren’t going to build inbound links, or simply not going to spend a lot of energy on it, what you should be doing? Below are listed some pain points to consider, instead of worrying about inbound search engine optimization.
1. Content Quality
Undeniably, you have heard ‘content is the king’ statement. The reality is its true, if you know how to create. Content should be the core of your SEO, and without it, no effort can sustain your website ranking for long in the search results.
The best thing is to analyze news/media portals. If a news portal, the best one, doesn’t publish articles for a week, you will see the tremendous loss of ranking in the website’s keywords.
Google is constantly looking for content. Every algorithms update is to bring better content to the users. This how Google is doing the business and its business model is pretty clear based on content.
Try to lower the standards of your content. Write cheap content and you will see your place at the father pages of Google search results.
2. Targeting keywords
No matter how good content you have written, it’s always based on keyword intent. A topic is basically a keyword to bring visibility to the article. Try to place at least one keyword in a title, permalink and within 160 characters of our article. Learn to write naturally. Don’t force keyword in your articles. Write ‘Naturally’ and don’t worry about the number of times keyword is coming within your article. It tells Google on which thing you are emphasizing more. As long as you write naturally and informative content, you are doing fine.
Note: Always say ‘no’ to keyword stuffing.
3. LSI within your content
LSI a.k.a. Latent Semantic Index is one of the most prominent features of your content that plays a huge value in the overall score of your content. For instance; ‘story’ also means ‘scoop’ and if you write naturally and use different words in your writing, ranking will come for sure. The only fundamental principle to bring ranking is ‘Natural Writing‘.
Dialogues or people’s views in your post’s comment section indicate popularity of your write-up.
There are many ways to use the comment section. Some websites use emotion feature alone to understand the views of the readers, while some use emotion features as well as comment section to know the reason for choosing certain feeling for the content.
5. User Experience
Google mainly focuses on user experience before deciding website’s rank and domain authority. Loading speed and responsiveness come into play during the deciding factor round of Google. In addition, content length and its structuring all are counted for providing better user experience. This whole concept known as “PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION” i.e. Fixing technical issues. Page speed is now become a big mobile ranking factor from July, 2018. It is must now to fix all errors like js, css blocked resources, webmaster issues etc. as now every single website is enabling with Mobile First Index since March 26, 2018.
For instance, if you are writing a science paper for the readers, you are expected to write a long detailed content, describing each detail in-depth for readers. Your science readers love long content and giving them the desired write-up, you elevate your chances over the rivals not providing the similar experience.