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Link Wars: The Force Awakens
Link building looked different a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away). Columnist Winston Burton explains how things have changed and what works today.
Google’s algorithm to impact website visibility takes hundreds of factors into account, but none of them have been as important and impactful as the almighty link.
When I first started in SEO more than 10 years ago, the link was the most powerful factor in improving your search engine rankings, especially if you secured links from high-quality, trusted domains with keyword-rich anchor text from sites with high Page Rank.
Getting a link used to be the way Google found and indexed sites. A lot of companies made a lot of money by selling links, because back then it was easy to manipulate rankings in various ways, including:
- Getting links from affiliate networks.
- Purchasing links from high-authority sites.
- Obtaining links from .gov and .edu sites by exchanging some services or items.
- Using blog networks.
- Procuring links from microsites.
- Purchasing domains just for links.
Those were the good old days. But now, a link is just a link, unless it is clicked on many times by humans with specific intent, which is the new force in search.
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