• http://www.brand.com/blog James R. Halloran

    I think the best way to look at link-building is to look at it as a matter of EARNING links, not necessarily creating them. That’s the best way to acquire the right links for your site without entering spammy territory.

    I do agree with you, though, about the practice — it’s not dead and it’s more alive now than ever. To give up on building the right links now is only assuring your business to vanish from relevancy. Links are still a lifeblood to a site.

  • http://johnwiehe.com/ John Wiehe

    Hi Arnie,

    Using content marketing and link building together will advance SEO because they both improve the relevancy of a business’s message to their target audience. Both involve the essence of attracting people to a site and answering questions. I think what’s cool about SEO is it’s becoming more and more clear to stay human because search engines are killing the old tactics robots know how to use.

  • Arnie Kuenn

    Yep, earning is always preferred. The point I was trying to make above is that earning doesn’t always work, and that sometimes to get the ball rolling a little link outreach might be called for – and appropriate.

  • Arnie Kuenn

    Staying human is key! Any automated, scalable tactic will get you killed these days. Or at least I hope it will. ;-)

  • http://www.keshkesh.com/ Takeshi Young
  • http://kaseylarose.com/ Kasey LaRose

    I am annoyed by the “If you build it, they will come,” strategy that Cutts tries to get everyone to believe. You can have the greatest piece of content ever written, but it you don’t actively try to get it out there through social media and other tactics, it doesn’t do anything for you.

    I feel like link building is more difficult than ever, especially when other sites have years of link building ahead of you.

  • Bruce Zhang

    Hi Arnie, great analysis. We found out that only 5% of links are earned, and 95% of links are promoted. We looked at many pages from top 3 content sites in US and a few pages from apple.com related to iPhone to come up with the number. See more at http://www.4th-media.com/seo/earned_links.php.

  • Rachel Cornish

    “Marketers are forgetting the fact that correlation does not imply causation.”
    Arnie’s comment is relating social posts to rankings. But if you instead consider social posts relating to useful links then the answer may be different. Social media can be very effective at promoting the useful content,

  • Arnie Kuenn

    Totally agree!

  • Arnie Kuenn

    No doubt about using social to promote. We do it all the time. And obviously you are familiar with the whole “causation, correlation or coincidence” debate :-)

  • konradmarkham

    Great article. Couldn’t agree more. Just last week, my client received an unsolicited email from an SEO company saying you should stop all guest blogging.

    As you say in the article, and Matt Cutt says in his linked article, he is not referring to high quality multi author blogs.

    If you create high quality content on a guest blog. you should have little to worry about. If you are just doing it as a link building exercise then you should probably stop doing it.