I started working in SEO way back in 2010, for an outsourcing company located in Romania. Building links and creating optimized copy were some of my first tasks and I am still thankful for the great teachers I had back then. They helped me navigate the Google algorithm and guidelines, but most importantly, figure out what was an actual rule and was just an industry myth.
Since then, Google has gone through multiple changes in algorithm, all in order to make user experience better, by providing SERPs with less clutter and more authority results. This has meant that SEO specialists had to change strategies and adapt quickly, if they wanted to remain competitive.
And even if my business focus has completely shifted to design, I still love to help my clients make sense of the SEO rules and break myths that are as present today, as they were in 2010. So here are 3 of these link building myths and why I think they have no place in today’s online reality:
Myth #1: any link is a good link
So link building relevancy has been a constant discussion point. Some SEO specialists argue that having links from less relevant websites still brings value and there is no need for in-depth analysis of all sources. Because a link is a link. Well, John Mueller – Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google says differently.
In February, he announced that having one high-quality, relevant link is the equivalent of having hundreds at a lower DA and of less relevance. From this affirmation, correlated with the “Content is King” approach of Google in recent years, we can assume they are definitely viewing some links as more valuable than others.
I’ve always considered link relevance as a key factor in a strategy, and urged my agents in making backlinks look more authentic.
Myth #2: building links to product category pages is impossible
Some SEO agents will tell you that it’s almost impossible to get good links pointing to a shop or company category page. They state that it’s easier for journalists and bloggers to offer links directly to products or specific pages, and that those are way more valuable anyway. To this I say: you just haven’t thought your SEO campaign through.
Link building requires resourcefulness from its SEO specialists. And many times, in order to get something back, you first need to offer something of similar value. This can be making special categories for specific events (Black Friday, summer special offers), or even categories with custom discounts.
By analyzing your clients website and determining the value of each category page, you can find specific media outlets that will be willing to link to each of them. Yes, this means a lot more work for the strategist, and sometimes it will require some convincing with the clients as well. But it’s not impossible by any means.
Myth #3: Guest posting is dead
Another well discussed topic, with arguments on both sides. Some SEO specialists will argue that guest posting will not bring you any relevant links juice, since most links are nofollow, and it’s just not worth the effort. Others, still clinging to the old way of writing guest posts for SEO, have seen their campaigns taking huge hits from Google, since most link schemes are penalized now. But guest posting still holds power whenever your client is an expert in his field.
Showing your clients expertise, growing their brand awareness and getting them referral traffic are just a couple of the advantages guest posting will get you in 2021. But the SEO specialist will have to always take into account a series of factors when using guest posts in their strategies. Some of them include: keywords, topics and SERP over-saturation, access to the target audience, providing insight that is new/unique. Writing good, engaging copy will always attract readers and will help you land quality publication spots.
What do you think are some of the other link building myths I should continue to debunk?
Photo by Myriam Jessier