Website owners who rank high for competitive keywords say they owe their results to aggressive link building. Therefore, it’s hard to believe anyone might dismiss backlinks as the most important component in SEO, but it happens all the time.
However, backlinks aren’t just important. They’re critical.
If you don’t hold onto backlinks as the foundation of your SEO strategy, you have slim chance of ranking your site.
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However, while some site owners don’t directly dismiss backlinks, they downplay them. For instance, a Google search for “what is the best SEO strategy” brings up plenty of results. This includes a nine-step SEO guide from Hubspot on the first page. Of the nine steps listed in this guide, link building is only the sixth one.
Granted, Hubspot’s list of components may not be ranked in order of importance. Regardless, their list gives the impression that backlinks aren’t any more important than any other component.
You Can’t Rank in Google Without Backlinks
Although Google has tried to get marketers to stop focusing on building links, saying it can cause more harm than good, a study performed by Moz says otherwise.
In a ranking correlation study, Moz examined Google’s top 50 search results for about 15,000 keywords and found a strong relationship between external links and rankings. From the top results, 99.2% of websites had at least one external backlink.
The study also found that 22.2% of individual pages ranked without external links but only when the overall website had a solid number of backlinks. In other words, if some pages on a website have backlinks, other pages can rank well without having individual backlinks.
Put in the Work to Generate Quality Backlinks
The most important correlation the Moz study revealed is that the number of unique websites pointing to a page was highly correlated with high rankings for competitive keywords.
Backlinks aren’t bad. However, Google wants marketers to avoid excessive link building that doesn’t provide value. For example, reciprocal links and link farms will harm your site in the end.
In contrast, however, there is a link building strategy that provides value to everyone. This strategy requires time and effort, and it isn’t an overnight solution. However, when you’re willing to do the work, the rewards are great. To start reaping these benefits, check out SEO.co’s white label SEO service. Start now to generate the quality, high-level backlinks you need for getting ranked.
Can a Website Have Too Many Backlinks?
By now, you should be convinced that backlinks are still relevant and important. However, when is it too much? Can a website have too many backlinks? Probably not. A quick search on ahrefs.com shows that cars.com has 86,852,932 backlinks, 95% of which are dofollow. Moreover, those links come from 38,745 unique domains.
Looking at the breakdown of links and traffic to each of those links, it’s clear backlinks aren’t harmful. Cars.com is one of the most popular car websites on the Internet, coming up in the search engines for competitive keywords relating to cars and automobiles. If backlinks were harmful, surely a site with more than 86 million backlinks wouldn’t rank well, right?
Don’t Worry About Quantity
By now, you’re probably wondering how you can get 86 million backlinks for your website. While it’s certainly possible, you’re not likely to have the resources necessary to accumulate that many backlinks. So don’t worry about quantity. Instead, focus on quality.
Here’s how to get started:
Write High-Quality Content for Other Publishers in Your Niche
Over the years, guest blogging has gotten a bad rap because it’s been abused by spammers. So instead of going after any publisher you can find, take the time to craft high-quality content for specific publishers. Be patient enough to go through the process of getting your content approved by the editors and make any revisions they request. Each article will get you one link, but that one link has the potential to bring you a steady amount of traffic for years to come.
The Data Speaks for Itself: Don’t Avoid Link Building
Opinions will vary and trends will come and go. However, the data never lies. No matter what you read about current SEO trends, link building remains the lifeblood of every serious SEO strategy.