Get the most important digital marketing news each day.
Back to basics: Why you need to stop stressing over backlinks
Fishing for backlinks is like fishing for compliments: the sincerity will always be questionable. Read backlink veteran Kyla Becker's perspective on why we need to step away from backlinks and get back to basics.
Backlinks are important — there’s no argument on that fact. The emphasis that has been placed on backlinks in the past decade, however, has caused SEOs to hyper-focus on something that was never meant to be a marketing strategy.
I cannot count the number of times I have had conversations with clients, trying to impress upon them how they hurt their digital marketing efforts by prioritizing followed backlinks over relevancy, value and innovation in their marketing strategies.
In my experienced opinion (5+ years in the link business, 50+ clean-up efforts, 100-percent penalty removal success rate), the downward spiral of ineffectiveness begins the moment you start a marketing strategy conversation with, “What can we do to get followed backlinks?”
When backlinks become the primary KPI of your campaign, you’ve effectively shifted focus away from your customer and to your bottom line. Your readers will notice this lack of sincerity, as will the influencers you try to engage with.
The harder you work toward gaining followed links, the farther away you get from natural link acquisition
When you start taxing your brain to come up with all the various ways you can gain a followed backlink to your site while avoiding a manual penalty, you begin to lose sight of the original intent behind the existence of backlinks: citation.
In the World Wide Web’s infancy, links were used to connect pieces of information/research for the reader’s reference. Citation in academic research serves to support or argue a position or to provide the foundational learnings upon which the research was conducted.
The same holds true today for backlinks in the sphere of digital marketing, and, in my opinion, is the essence of what Google is trying to get at with their provisioning of the Link Schemes list. Links should be to content that is relevant to the topic, supports or argues a position or is recommended reading for those consuming a given piece of content to further inform themselves.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.