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  1. #1
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    Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You
    by Bob Jones, Search Engine Journal
    November 19, 2012

    Whether or not you agree, this is an interesting summary of some of the major changes Google has made 2003-2012 and how they have impacted on SEO.

    Some say ďSEO is deadĒ, or dying. In reality SEO as we ďused to practice itĒ is no longer valid. Looking at a history of Google search changes over the years though, we should have seen the writing on the wall before now. Where link building is concerned, itís certain old SEO habits have to change Ė hereís some ideas and reflection.
    Read more...

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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    Thanks David! That's a really good article and summarizes all the changes SEO has been going through.

    I just had a good belly laugh thinking about how easy it used to be to rank sites back in the good 'ole Altavista days and how drastically everything has changed since then. But it seems like just the past couple years SEO and the Google algo has really started to change more dramatically and quickly.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  4. #3
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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    We did some pretty wacky stuff SEO-wiseback in the day...and it worked. But, these days, that feels like a past life or something, doesn't it?
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    Definitely. Remember people spending hours and hours submitting to directories or article repositories, buying links, devising complicated 3-way and 4-way links, spending endless days agonizing about how to get into DMOZ... most of it in retrospect seems like a colossal waste of time and money, but it did seem to work for a while for some people...

    Remember the million dollar pixel page? In fairness, I knew that one was doomed but the very first guy to have the idea did make a lot of money in a short period of time.

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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    I'm totally confused by this thread, and I've seen it in one other place. I see that stupid link building is no longer helpful and may be harmful, but I don't see any reduction in value from quality links or the use of substantive and relevant citations to help Google Places ranking. What am I missing?

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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    Randy, I think Bob the author of that post summarizes it well toward the end when he says: "Iím NOT suggesting links donít matter. However, looking at the progression above, itís clear now that link building, as we once knew it, was on the way out long before Panda or Penguin."
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  8. #7
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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    The whole "SEO is dead" debate now seems to be no more than a linkuilding exercise in itself. Want to gain a little exposure for your site, then write an "Insert word here" is dead article! I don't think it's dead but I do think that many of us in the industry have different ideas of what it has come to mean.

    The way I see it is that link building merely for the sake of building links is no longer as effective as it used to be. So directory listings, other than those used for citations, and low quality article sites, etc. don't really warrant spending much time on now.
    Nick Rink | Smart Local Marketing
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  9. #8
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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    In fact, simple link building hasn't been very effective for quite a few years. Basically, that may help to boost PageRank but PageRank itself has been increasingly devalued as a ranking factor over the years.

    Targeted anchor text made a big difference for a time but that too has become increasingly less important.

    I think the message is pretty clear: Those on the side of content on the age-old "content is king" can now gloat, as long as it is original and unique. Build your sites to give visitors a reason to stay to read more and other sites a reason to excerpt or cite you and search engines will love you.

  10. #9
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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    Because link building has been such a strong ranking factor, I continue to monitor its effectiveness with some of my test sites and frankly, they're all doing well. My testing is certainly far from scientific as I do not have a whole lot of sites or time to test truly empirically, but it gives me enough information to make the observation that links seem to continue to work in some local, and non-local, situations.

    I don't think anyone here is suggesting to give up on them entirely. I believe that it's still important to include them in an overall ranking strategy, but no longer the emphasis of that strategy as many of us have done in the past. They still continue to be one indication that someone out there likes your content.

    Solid content appears to be the way to go, as DJ suggests, and I couldn't be happier. I always found it disturbing that so many SEO's were so willing to submit garbage just for the backlink. Never understood that. Why would anyone link a terribly written article to their web property? For most of us this is our chosen profession. Why would one willingly help to degrade its integrity by submitting crap? Got ridiculed in the Warrior Forum once for suggesting SEOs improve the content they submit online. I'm sure they're the ones who are complaining now that SEO is dead.

    Regards,
    Dino

  11. #10
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    Re: Canít Rank? Link Building Wonít Help You?

    I don't disagree, Dino.

    However, what you do with aged sites with a history isn't necessarily the best strategy for a brand new site, and by the same token with an older established site it becomes even more difficult to run credible A-B tests on any single factor because there are so many factors you're not able to control.

    I wouldn't advise anyone to give up entirely on link building, either. But the link-building strategy I'd recommend today is quite different from the strategy I would have recommended 5 years or so ago.

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