Every single person in the online marketing industry has heard the “content is king” and that proves more and more true as time goes by. In the past, link building was considered by many as the epitome of getting traffic to a site.
In the mid-nineties, link building was estimated to be a multi-million dollar business with directories springing up and being populated seemingly overnight.
It was an amateur Internet marketer’s dream, giving them the edge on larger corporations by leveraging their numbers to create links that game the search engine system, allowing them to plant themselves firmly atop the search engine results of the day.
Come 2012, Google put an end to these underhanded tactics with their changes rolled out in the infamous ‘Penguin’ update and the related ‘Panda’ update. It spelt the end of underhanded tactics such as directory link building and all the associated traffic. Google was fed up with people gaming their search algorithm and took moves to make search more user-oriented, leaving amateur Internet marketers out in the cold.
Is Link Building Actually Dead?
This is a loaded question because to a lot of individual entrepreneurs and small site owners, link building for them is dead because their original marketing plan depended heavily upon it. From a modern-day user perspective, link building has shifted function away from the traditional aim of targeting and shunting traffic to your site into a method of determining how well connected your site is in the bigger picture. Having multiple connections both inbound and outbound is a good idea for any marketing based site. The thing that fuels these connections is the content that leads users to the connecting links, making content more important than links in terms of general hierarchy.
Clever, natural embedding of links inside your content helps you far more than simply redirecting to a link or placing it as a clickable hyperlinks.
Hyperlinks Are So 90’s
In the glory days of Internet directories, clickable hyperlinks were where it was at. In the past, page rank was determined by the number of links that you had within the body of your site as well as any other links that came into your content. The result was that people were less concerned with readable content and more concerned with links that would give search engines the impression that the site was more popular than it actually was. And, the result of that was an influx of anchor html tags and clickable hyperlinks inundating sites around the world.
It was starting to become so bad that you couldn’t depend on the first page of google results since at least half of them would be these hyperlink-laden sites with no content to speak of. Great for getting people to come to your site, but not so wonderful for the users actually looking for information.
How Google’s ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ Updates Changed the Game
The ‘ Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ updates were a major blow to the underhanded link building strategies of the past. Older sites used keyword stuffing and directory links to create a false sense of importance that Google misinterpreted as it being a valid site and placing it high up on the page rankings for that particular keyword. After the updates, there was less of a focus on links and keywords and more of a focus on how the page read to the user. It was in keeping with all of Google’s updates to their search algorithm to that date with the end result of making a search engine that gave users results that were relevant to their search and filtered out all the sites that were based around creating a false dichotomy for their own personal benefit.
Where Does that Leave Content Production?
Because of Google’s new algorithm changes, 2012 became the year that content took over as the important factor in determining a website’s success. The algorithm changes means that SEO became more complex and that keywords had to be presented in a context that was readable both by the search bots that indexed sides for the search engines and human readers that would use those sites. Search engine optimization changed almost overnight and experts in this inexact science had to relearn everything they previously knew about their field. Content came into demand and took over as the number one source of revenue exchange as people started to realize more and more how important content was to the running of a successful marketing website.
Content in 2015: Readable, Quality Content Is Essential
As more users turn to the Internet for their news, reviews and helpful tips on any variety of issues, producing valid, readable content has never been more important.
- For bloggers, content production keeps them relevant and gives them value for what they write in terms of incoming visitors and clicks.
- For businesses, content provides a place for them to interact with their customers in a unique fashion and provide information to them that could benefit them in the long run.
- For every user, content represents a way to develop link building that is both positive and relevant.
Safe to say, the twenty first century will see a marked increase in the demand for content because it serves to drive the machinery of income through ad revenue.
There used to be a time that if you put out enough money into buying links, your page could end up in a top-ten page rank on Google.
Those days are gone and the Internet is a much better place for it. If such underhanded practices continued it would be impossible to find exactly what you were looking for when you did a search. Instead you would be flooded by hundreds of irrelevant, keyword-stuffed pages that only exist to shunt visitors to advertising while providing no value to the user.