If you think that usage of web links as a ranking signal is on the extinction edge, this post will change your thoughts. Continue reading below to unveil how links as a signal are very much alive and useful.
THE POWER OF LINKS
It has been observed that people who treat links as less important believe that spammers are the reason behind their lost significance as a ranking signal. This however, is not the case anymore. Since 2012, things started changing and the problem was sorted.
During that time, Google cracked down link schemes through manual penalties to websites. Also, Google released the first version of Penguin algorithm update in April 2012. This algorithm was based on identifying the link spam and taking the needed action.
With each passing year, Google has been improving its link algorithms, including Penguin.
Google announced integration of Penguin in the main algorithm on September 23, 2016, which led to a major change. It made clear that there won’t be any further updates to Penguin. But these algorithms are still updated and it got confirmed recently.
It’s quite useful to know that Google still uses manual penaltiesfor link campaigns not targeted by Penguin. There has been a big shift in the way legitimate SEO is performed owing to the mindset around links.
What’s important here is understanding the reason why Penguin and manual penalties exist. Coming to the answer, it’s because links are a vital ranking factor and spammy link create negative effect on the search results.
WHY GOOGLE USES LINKS AS KEY SIGNAL
Though there are hundreds of signals in the Google algorithm, it makes sense to know why links are considered valuable as a signal.
Well, there ain’t any other ranking signal that share the same properties as links.
It’s obvious to think there are other signals Google depends on to show the best sites, like user engagement and social media. Unfortunately, this is not true.
For instance, it is not possible for Google to depend on social media signals from platforms not owned by it. This means that though they can use them but doing so will be difficult.
WHY ARE LINKS VALUABLE SIGNAL TO GOGLE
1. Investment is needed to implement links
If you are an owner or stakeholder in a website, it’s important to take out ample time and discover content, evaluate it and implement a link to it on a webpage.
You may find it simple and less time taking but it needs serious efforts.
2. Links act as public endorsement
While linking to a webpage, you show your trust in the content as a resource. As the link remains in its place without undergoing any alteration on the page, the endorsement is permanent.
Compare it with a link that’s in a social media post and you will come to know that due to the fleeting behavior of social media channels, it goes from users’ feeds within minutes.
3. Asking people to leave your site
In case you are not aware, adding link to your site means inviting users to leave your site.
This means valuing the content you are linking to and suggesting visitors to leave your website, as you believe in benefitting from the friendliness formed with these visitors.
Obtaining links is not just link building but crucial part of strategic marketing, public relations, content marketing and social media effort to reach valuable audience. This is the best way to earn links naturally and get rankings you deserve.