There is a term which is constantly buzzing around the surfaces of the web-based business world and that term is SEO. For those of you who do not know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the key in getting your site recognized and ranked high in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and MSN. In the past, SEO was largely based upon backlinks, incoming links, external links, links, links, links. However, link building is not the future of SEO. In fact, link building can harm your ranking if it is not done properly. Here are a few reasons why SEO is not link building based.
Broken Links will kill your SEO
Say that I have a great website which I have spent thousands of dollars getting developed. I have used a ton of links to ensure that my clients will find and access my information. I even have a blog that directs clients to my site as well as links to additional sites to drive my rankings up. You would expect that my ranking would be high, right? Wrong! If my site has broken links then I am actually damaging my ranking.
Suppose that Suzie’s hair salon has 30 links. Out of these 30 links, let us say that 10 links are to an external hair products provider (lets says john’s hair supply company). Unknown to Suzie, the product distributor goes bankrupt and closes the business. The products are sold to another company (mike’s hair supply company). Neither Mike nor John bothers with re-routing the old web domain to the new site. Neither does Suzie. This means that if the users of Suzie’s hair supply click on one of the links they will get an error message (also known as the 404 error).
For a business’s SEO you have to have the page working at its peak performance. Broken links say to the search engines “Hey, this site does not work well” and you are pushed down in the rankings. You can see how link building may not be the best for securing your SEO.
Google has changed the way it does SEO and link building is NOT a priority
Deemed the mobile apocalypse by some, Google’s new standard for ranking accounted for a dramatic shift in page rankings. You have probably heard of having a “mobile friendly” site. I personally believe that if you are going to have a site you need to focus first on the mobile devices and smartphones (as that accounts for the majority of online experience) and then go to the “traditional” site. Google agrees with this mentality and has made mobile integration a crucial part of their ranking.
If I have a site and it was previously ranked on the first page, but I failed to make a tablet or a smartphone version of my site I am very likely to see that my site has moved way down on the list.
Do you want to supersize your SEO? Try the social combo
Much like suggestive selling in a fast food restaurant, your SEO (ranking and reputation) is greatly affected by your customer base and what they have to say about your product and services. When you visit a fast food chain and they ask “Do you want to make that a combo?” they know that you will probably say “why not”. But if they just take your order and give you mediocre service they know that their customer ratings will fall and so will their business.
Now, let us consider link building and your SEO. If you have a ton of links and backlinks to your site, but fail to make an impression in the area in which people frequent most (that being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Pinterest) what good is it? It is like putting a billboard in the middle of an open field and hoping that people will wander across the sign and use the information to contact your business. However, if you post 10 billboards along a super highway (social media) then your odds of being seen and being remembered and recommended (higher SEO) is greatly increased.
Link building may increase your SEO but it is not the future of SEO
Link building may help your SEO, but it does not fix the SEO problems. If your site is not mobile friendly Bing and Google will push you back in the ratings. If your site does not have a social media presence you may as well shut your doors as your business will get NO exposure and end up in the sea of infinite sites. Yes, linking has its place in SEO, but the future of SEO is in building a social media presence that engages your clients and causes your clients to share your site socially. Should you use links in your site? Yes. Should link building be your primary SEO method? No.
If you are not seeing the results which you desire you may have allocated your SEO poorly. Ask yourself the question: Where have I focused the most efforts of my SEO? The answer will tell you where to go next.