Attention: providers of link building services in the Philippines. Good news, link building is not dead. Well, at least not the link building we know two to three years ago. Based on the survey conducted by Skyrocket, link building continues to be a relevant optimization strategy. Below are the details. After the discussion of the results, key takeaways will be discussed.
Before that though, here is Matt Cutts view on quality links and quality link building.
Who are the survey participants?
The total number of participants is 315. There are just five groups of participants. These are:
- Consultants/Practitioners (Agencies) – 37%
- SEO Managers/Heads – 30%
- Business Owners (Digital marketing, SEO firms) – 13%
- Business Owners(Non-marketing firms) – 12%
- Consultants/Practitioners (Freelancers) – 8%
How much is the monthly spending on link building?
- $0 – $1,000 – 20%
- $1,000 – $5,000 – 20%
- $5,000 – $10,000 – 23%
- $10,000 – $50,000 – 37%
- Over $50,000 – 0%
There is an obvious slight decrease in spending because, in the 2013 survey, about 10% of the respondents said that they have spent more than $50,000 for their monthly link building strategies.
On the other hand, there are more companies spending between $10,000 and $50,000 monthly compared to last year. Last year’s percentage is only 11% compared to this year’s which is 37%, which is the highest bracket.
What percentage of the total SEO budget is distributed for link building?
- 27% said 0 – 25%
- 27% said 26 – 50%
- 40% said 51 – 75%
- 7% said 76 – 100%
The question was followed by this question: Have you increased or decreased the total link building spending over the past year? Exactly 81% said they have increased spending while 19% they have decreased spending. Perhaps, this explains the increased in the total percentage of those who spend from $10,000 to $50,000.
The participants were also asked the reason behind the increase or decrease. The responses are categorized as follows:
- Moving link building budget to content marketing projects
- Good links are significant as ever
- Moving away from the old link building strategies
- Increasing production or creativity
They were also asked whether they will increase or decrease the spending, and 73% said they would increase while 27% said they would not increase the budget. Again, the participants were asked why they will do so. The replies are categorized as follows:
- Link building continue getting more expensive
- Raising the bar on the firm’s existing efforts to beat competitors with more sophisticated content strategies
- Unsure where to invest exactly as firms are unsure if linking is working or not
Which link building tactics do you utilize most?
The five best answers are:
- Content plus outreach – 69 votes
- Infographic promotion – 47 votes
- Guest posts – 38 votes
- Resource pages – 32 votes
- Contests/giveaways – 28 votes
- Business directories/Local citations – 28 votes also
- Broken link building – 28 votes also
Which tactics do you perceive to be the most effective?
The answers are:
- Content plus outreach – 91 votes
- Infographic promotion – 54 votes
- Broken link building – 47 votes
- Business directories/Local citations – 32 votes
- Resource pages – 25 votes
Interestingly, press release submission, guest post and blog network are tied with 6 votes each.
Which link building tactics do you perceive to be the least effective?
The five best answers are:
- Article directories – 50 votes
- Social bookmarks – 38 votes
- Forum profile links – 35 votes
- Web directories – 28 votes
- Comments – 28 votes also
- Link wheels – 22 votes
- Rented links – 22 votes also
- Press release submission – 22 votes also
When asked which tactics do they consider the most harmful to the site, the participants voted for:
- Paid links – 44 votes
- Article directories – 44 votes also
- Web directories – 38 votes
- Forum profile links – 38 votes also
- Link wheels – 38 votes also
- Rented links – 35 votes
- Blog network – 35 votes also
Before we proceed, you might want to watch Matt Cutts view of contents and backlinks.
What are the biggest challenges to link building that you currently face?
The answers are grouped into:
- Getting links to unworthy pages
- Lacking of scalability
- Avoiding Google penalties
In 2013, these were the same challenges that the firms face. The concern as to which links are actually helping or harming the performance of organic search remains. The same goes with contemplating which processes are relevant and which are not in the sense of achieving optimal results.
With all these stats, there are key takeaways. Some are over-the-year concerns that remind the SEO people that link building is no joke.
- There are no shortcuts to link building especially today that we have Google as our ever-present watchdog.
- Links still matter, but only the highest quality links are relevant.
- Link tactics are not universal, so don’t expect that the links working for other firms will also work for your business.
- Employ diverse link building tactics and focus on what works best for your firm.
- Link building is not a panacea; it should be considered along with other digital marketing activities.
- Building online presence requires a sizable amount of investment perhaps the maximum that the firm can afford.
Understanding why spammy, robot-centric link building strategies thrived before is easy. Google has no algorithmic sophistication to end these black hat practices. Then came Google Penguin that killed almost 99% of low-quality link farms most especially. Quantities of links are no longer a worthy investment more so for companies that desire to build an online presence for long-term.
Today, links must be earned and in a hard way. Link building strategies nowadays put human connections at the center. This requires the builders to form a value-added mindset, speaking convincingly of their brands value before their target audience. This means discerning between links that are worth pursuing and are not worth pursuing.
This also goes to show the importance of the role of link builders. Before, it is rather difficult to take pride in what you do as a link builder – building, irrelevant and low-quality links. As such, link builders, and link building itself, are not taken seriously and defending the industry is difficult.
Link building continues to be a critical component of SEO. High-quality link building strategies is what will separate you from unscrupulous brands. The survey highlights that it is a fact that link building can be a risk. However, it will only be a risk if it will not be considered today specifically when online visibility is your number goal. The same goes with if you are not going to diversify your link building tactics.
Source: MOZ | Search Engine Watch | Internet Search Engine Marketing