I’ve never been a big fan of the part of Google’s algorithm that uses links to measure popularity which in turn has fueled the link building craze. I’m quite happy that I’m practising Enterprise SEO where I don’t chase links to get traffic. That could be another blog post. This one is raising the issue that link building as an SEO tactic is dying. I am so glad to see the recent Penguin update severely devalued many links. But I still wish that they would just take link building out of the algorithm completely. The latest Penguin Update was part of Google’s battle with Apple and Siri for domination in the semantic web space, and in my opinion it couldn’t come soon enough. It is time to kill link building as an SEO tactic.
I have never understood link building to an irrelevant site. I can understand complimentary businesses creating links and I encourage my WordPress students to create blogrolls with links to fellow bloggers. That makes sense to me. But linking to another site? One of the most absurd link requests came when I was working with a downtown Toronto design studio as an SEO Consultant. I received a request from a carpet cleaning company in Kansas City, Missouri asking for a link to our client, a well known “blue chip” chartered accounting firm. WTF? Why on earth would we want to link to or even from them?
I have also never understood article linking either. As I understand it, I create a bunch of articles which are similar to the article I’m trying to get traffic to and I post these on sites who may or may not get any traffic themselves. But I get a link and the link juice. So how does the article get traffic to get a good page rank? It doesn’t make any sense. All it is doing is polluting the web with spammy content and links.
Offshore companies plague my inbox daily with their offers to build hundreds or thousands of links and articles. Those I also don’t get. These are the guys who have 5 years experience in SEO and have a team of link building specialists waiting to build my links and articles with my keyword rich content and improve my position on Google. I like toying with these guys. Especially if they are dumb enough to send it to my SEO Services Toronto email address . I say “I may consider the possibility of potentially doing business in the future” with them if they can tell me how well their tactic is working after the Penguin update. You really have to pity the odd one who replies back not knowing what the Penguin update was. Mostly though they deny it has had any effect.
What prompted this blog post was I received an email yesterday offering me well written articles on moving and relocating for this blog. I had to stop and think for a second. WTF? Moving and relocating ? Then it dawned on me. My post on moving to Calgary and working for UHaul and then moving back to Toronto must have triggered a keyword alarm and this guy thinks I write about moving and relocating a lot.
The articles might benefit my former portable storage container client, but again, where is the validity in linking to a site they know nothing about. There really isn’t one and Google is taking the right steps in cleaning up the link mess it created as we move to a semantic web.
Some of you may have noticed I put links in the content of this post. Those links are for context. The first link gives context to the battle between Google and Apple as Siri has the potential of knocking Google out of the top search position. The Penguin link was to provide background information in case someone didn’t know what the Penguin update was. Those are good links and make sense, but I didn’t do it to increase my rankings.