There are many different types of strategies that are used in an effective SEO campaign. These might include things like content creation, on page and off page optimization, Metatag data, social chatter and also backlinks. It’s common knowledge that search engines like Google are always making changes to the algorithms that they use to rank sites. Of late, there has been a lot of talk about backlinks. Gathering backlinks used to be a great white hat SEO tool and the more a site could obtain, the better its ranking. But people farmed and purchased backlinks just for the sake of getting backlinks. In many (maybe most) cases, the backlinks had no relevancy with the content or the site they were linked to. Google updates have been made in an attempt to clean it up. Gathering backlinks for the sake of having a large number of other sites linked to a site is now considered a black hat practice. Humans frown on it, and Google will penalize a site that is guilty of it. But this does not mean that backlinks have no value whatsoever, especially when it comes to SEO. It’s just important to know which ones really count and why.


How important are backlinks today?

With the recent scare about getting backlinks, Matt Cutts from Google has made some statements about them. While it is important to proceed carefully when it comes to obtaining organic backlinks, according to Cutts, they are still important. When someone links to your site they are saying that your information is important to them. Good, reputable links that are legitimate are definitely worth it. But it’s not up to the website to solicit links; it’s really about presenting exceptional content to the online community or your specific group of followers who are going to share it with others because it’s so great. If you are writing and publishing compelling and engaging content, you will attract the right type of backlinks.


How does someone avoid breaking the new backlink rules?

Today backlinks should be gained organically. This means that they are relevant to your site in some way and not just from some unrelated online location. But someone might ask how do you know if every online user that links to you is legit or not? There are a few practices that can help a site keep from getting penalized. For instance, buying links is definitely spammy conduct and the search engines will catch up to you some day and the penalty is very difficult to recover from.  Backlinks should always be generic. This is usually a lot slower pace than purchasing a whole lot of links but it is also much safer. One way to protect yourself and your brand is to be sure to make all your own videos and create your own unique content for your site. Good backlinks are an important part of SEO; the strategies for obtaining them are what have changed.


Keep it Relevant

Any time you use a backlink off-site, it should be relevant to the content it is in. If you just randomly put anchor text in an article but the text nor the link relate in any way to the content flags are going to go off and the search engines will catch up to what is going on eventually. This in no way means that backlinks cannot come from a variety of sites. Actually, it’s better that they come from different sites rather than all from one site. Now that will get you noticed by the search engines. One of the best ways to get links today is through social sharing. When someone shares your content on a social platform or site it not only gives it relevance, it also acts like a vote saying that your site is legit and has useful content.


Finding the Balance

SEO and the use of backlinks is not just a cut and dried feature since there are many different factors to consider. It is not an exact science and it can seriously be difficult to figure it all out. Just make sure that the links you are receiving are helping, not hurting your cause. Building high quality, relevant links is still considered to be “best practice” and just means that we must continue to work.

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