Link Building is Not Dead, But Content Marketing Has Massive Value
We’re frequently asked the question is link building dead, or is link building worthwhile anymore? Well we thought we’d better write our opinions down about this important and interesting topic. So here we go!
So Are Links Still Valuable?
You’d better believe they are! But to caveat this, not every link is a good link. Chase and pursue high quality links, which are natural and relevant to your website.
Batman thinks links are still valuable, so should you
Acquiring a toxic backlink profile is the last thing you need to do. The Penguin 3.0 algorithm which went live on 17th October specifically targeted backlinks. If you noticed a permanent increase/decrease in traffic around 17th October it is extremely likely this is to be related to Penguin 3.0. Sites experiencing a decrease will have been “penguin slapped” due to bad/”toxic” backlinks. It’s equally likely that sites could gain traffic; this is because as other sites lose traffic then other sites traffic will increase!
What links should I be targetting?
As website owners you should only be obtaining links on sites which add value / increase your reputation. These are characteristics of a valuable link:
Links on quality related sites to your niche
Natural links which are not over-optimised with rich anchor text, e.g. “Solicitors London” will be penalised whereas “click this site”, URL / Brand anchors, etc. will be fine
Links on high SEO authority websites, e.g. ones with high Domain Authority and Majestic TrustFlow
Link Building or Content Marketing Which Approach Should I Take?
The answer is a resounding BOTH. For an effective overall Digital Marketing campaign it stands to reason that both link building and content marketing are valuable.
What Google and all search engines are looking for are a range of factors which influence the ranking of a page. Any site which excels at both link building and content marketing will rank better than a site which just excels at one.
So if you ever hear that link building is dead or on its last legs it’s not correct. It’s certainly true that past algorithm updates have reduced the importance of backlinks, but they are still an important part of the overall algorithm calculation.
What Does the Future Hold?
Moving forward it certainly seems that a mixed approach works best with an increased emphasis on content marketing. We are seeing very significant ranking improvements where clients add quality content to their own website.
We believe there is a much higher economic return from investing in content than there is from link building. The fact is content marketing is an investment in your own site that’s future proofing your site and you are in control of. It’s just like spending money on improving your home, it’s just this is an investment in improving your site – “clicks and mortar”.
The approach to content should be to create high quality content. The type of content which takes time to create is well thought out and is ultimately linkable and shareable. Content like this will be of interest to other sites and naturally will be linked to and shared on social media circles. It’s these kinds of links which are Google are looking for – i.e. natural “earned” links.
“Hub and Spoke” Concept
A strategy that we adopt here at Online Media Direct is “Hub and Spoke”; essentially this is a logical way to structure your content marketing through a layered series of content all relating to the topic.
Hub and Spoke Content Marketing
So for example on our site:
Level 1 – “Home Page” – http://www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk/
Level 2 – “Magento Hub Page” – http://www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk/magento/
Level 3 – “Top 50 Reasons to Choose Magento” –http://www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk/magento/top-50-reasons-choose-magento/
When adopting this “hub and spoke” concept it’s important to formulate your internal linking strategy correctly. Give us a call here at Online Media Direct on 01706 830 965 to discuss your future digital marketing campaigns and the future of link building and content marketing for your business.