Why Link Building Is NOT the Future of SEO

Link Building Is NOT the Future of SEO

Why Link Building Is NOT the Future of SEO

Over the last few years, SEO focused almost entirely on link building since this was and still is a good way to impact rankings. While it’s true that linkbuilding does help ranking, there is a great misconception many internet marketers and website owners have and that is focusing too much time on building links. But if you shouldn’t be spending your time on building links, what should you be focusing on?

Well, as most companies would agree, it’s user experience and that’s because this is one of the main factors that can affect rankings a lot more than anything else. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways this can affect rankings and why improving user experience is better than linkbuilding.

What’s best for users is best for Google

As you probably know by now, Google generates a big part of its revenue from ads. So if users were to search for something and the results would not be relevant, what do you think they’d stop doing? Well, it’s using Google as their primary search engine, right? Of course!

That’s why in order to make sure that will never happen, Google need to be always on top of its game and continually ensure that it provides users with the best possible search results based on their search terms. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this doesn’t really come down to on-page code or links. It actually comes down to user experience.

Everyone reading this shouldn’t think that optimizing their website and having links makes no difference in increasing their online visibility. These tactics surely help out a lot in that regard by making sure the search engine spiders immediately crawl websites and index them, but Google would rather rank a relevant page with no or few links, rather than an irrelevant website that contains dozens or even hundreds of links, but is only partially relevant.

So to make it easier for you to understand how Google ranks your website, let’s take a closer look below:

  1. Time on-site: After someone makes a search on Google, they’re eventually going to click on a listing. Of course, a portion of those people who performed a search, landed on a website and then clicked the Back button will indirectly tell Google that the website is not relevant. Of course, they need to hit the Back button in about 3 seconds for Google to register that.


  1. Bounce rate: When a user clicks the Back button after landing on a page, it means that he didn’t actually find what he was looking for (in most cases). This is especially the case if as soon as they left the page, they immediately click on another listing. Ideally, Google always offers users the best possible results, meaning that the chances of you going back to click on other listings so you can finally find what you’re looking for are lowered.


  1. Click through rate or CTR: You probably know that the CTR is probably a metric that tracks the number of users that see an ad and eventually click on it so they’re taken to the website. For instance, if the majority of the users making a search on Google by using a specific keyword or key phrase click on the 2nd listing and not the 1st one, this means that Google is going to think the second listing is a lot more relevant.

In essence, those websites that offer an excellent users experience are the ones that are certainly going to make it in the long term. So if your website has good quality media, content and is also well optimized, then it’s certainly going to rank a lot better in the long run. On top of that, websites that, it’s websites that care about their audience the ones that usually get the highest number of backlinks and social shares organically. Why is that? Well, it’s because their focus is not manual linkbuilding, but user experience.

What does this mean for you? This is not to say that doing SEO is bad for website owners. Growing your social media channels, building links when you have some free time on your hands and optimizing your code for the search engines are still things you need to continue doing. But the trick is that they should not be your main focus. You need to be focused on building a great service or product since that’s what users are looking for. And when you’re not spending your time building links, you should consider creating high quality content that your readers will love. In fact, the content needs to be so amazing, that your readers are not only going to love reading it, but also share it, favorite and bookmark it. The more helpful and detailed your content is (to the point where your competitors wouldn’t be able to copy it), the easier it’s going to be to increase your ranking online.

On top of that, it would be a good idea to sign up for Google Webmaster Tools as well and keep on analyzing your click-through rate. The best way you could get this information is if you go to the Navigation bar and then click on Search Traffic and then on Search Analysis. Your end goal would be to get as many clicks as you can out of every impression.

Conclusion Even though some people think it is rocket science, SEO is anything but. No one denies that there aren’t many people with PhDs that work for Google and improve it every day, but the truth is that their goal is similar with yours: to provide an excellent user experience for everyone who uses it.

Therefore, if you’re interested in creating and offering some of the best services and/or products around or writing the best possible content on the web, you’re going to help users. Since it’s only a matter of time until Google realizes this, when it does, you can expect your rankings to increase. Sure, while in the short run you may not see the best possible results you think you deserve, but in time you can bet things are definitely going to improve.





Discussion 6 Comments

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  1. Great article and very informative. Link building really is powerful in SEO, but the quality and relevancy of your king like content and your relationship with your audience is more powerful than that.

    Bounce rates hurt, but it will surely diminish if you will develop the basics in link building and your content quality and relevancy.

    Well, I must say, develop your link building strategy for the coming year, be sure to keep the techniques, insights and take away in mind as you navigate the necessity of increasing backlinks.

    SEO is a hard game that’s getting harder all the time.

  2. Of course, its all about helping the users and understanding how Google ranks. Every marketer should engage in link building when it is clear that this helps to solve problems for the visitor or user.

    To second @Kevin Ross who admitted this is a post and I agree with the points made!
    I left the above comment in kingged.com as well

  3. Very nice article. Today, Google shows most relevant and useful results for a query. So, marketers must focus on their content (unique and interesting) because “Content Is King”.

  4. This is a great article. When I fist got into blogging, I seen a lot of articles that talked about link building, and I thought that was the way to go. But, I found out that Google was changing dramatically and the overall user experience and how viral your content goes, help you get ranked higher in Google. I started checking Alexa and I would see some sites with relatively low links but high search traffic. I think user experience is want people need to experience, and market it themselves.

  5. Wow what a valuable post on SEO man!

    You are speaking the truth here!

    I already knew about this and this is something that I am teaching as well.

    I always tell people, if you want to rank well in the search engines, just truly care about your visitors!

    Plain and simple!

    Because, as you also mentioned, Google’s main priority is their users!

    So, if you really take the time to deliver exactly what their users want, why wouldn’t they give your page more exposure?

    If the Google user is loving your page, and just staying there for long minutes. Reading, sharing it with their friends, and engaging, why would Google not rank your page higher?

    Even if your page has few to no backlinks!!!

    I have seen many case studies of bloggers building a blog with ZERO backlinks!

    They call it the Zero Backlink Experiment. And it shows that you dont even have to work on getting any backlinks, for Google to send you thousands of visitors your way!

    Just truly focus on the user experience, the value, and the rest if history!

    You should also work on the design of your site and the loading time. You want users to feel comfortable when they land on your page! 😉

    Im loving this topic man!

    Thanks for sharing it!

    Have a great week! 😀

  6. seoexperts

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

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