Is Link Building Still the Most Powerful SEO Strategy

Link building is one of the important aspects of SEO. It is the process of building links through the web that lead to your page. Google counts these links as votes to your page while ranking it. They indicate that your page is useful as a result. Without links your page would just be an island in the ocean with no roads to reach it.

Google uses metrics that tell about a page’s relevance to rank it. Search engines only want to show useful results to its searchers. Search engines have been using backlinks to rank page since the beginning. This is why any SEO effort to rank higher on search engines is incomplete without link building activity.

In fact, Backlinko did a study of 1 million search results last year and found out that links impacted search engine rankings more than any other factor.

number of referring domains screenshot

It must be clear by now that link building has been and continues to be the most powerful SEO activity. It is also the most challenging activity for SEO. It takes unique and quality content to earn links from other sites. Also, links from just another site will not work to boost your ranking. Google looks at Domain Authorty of the site linking to you to determine backlink quality.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority (DA) is the metric developed by MoZ to measure the quality of your site. The score varies from 1 to 100, 100 indicating extremely good site whereas a score of 1 indicating poor site.

Sites such as or have DA of above 90. You must try to earn links from a higher DA site. A link from 75+ DA site is great but even a few links from 50+ DA sites can do wonders for your SEO. You should have minimal links from any site with a DA of 30 or lower as these can actually pull your reputation down.

Here is what you should know before you start your link building campaign:

1) Link building must be accompanied with on page SEO, quality content and great user experience on your site. Nobody wants to link to poor quality pages that are of little value to readers.

2) As pointed above make sure to earn links from high DA websites. Low DA links can actually harm your rankings on search engines.

3) Do not put links in irrelevant places. Inserting irrelevant links will confuse your audience. Ask yourself who will appreciate this content. This will get you targeted audience that convert better and spend more time on your site. This will in turn improve your ranking.

4) Be patient, link building takes time to show results. Kristina Kledzik found that it takes up to 10 weeks for link building to start showing its magic on rankings.

What can I do to get Links?

So how can you get good DA links to your site? Strategy is the answer here. Since results take time to show, you must have a calendar and strategy that you will follow diligently nonetheless. Here are some smart strategies that winners are using:

Strategy #1 Guest blogging

Search out leading blogs in your domain and offer to write a blog as an expert for them. Insert a link to your page in that blog to drive traffic to your site. Guest blogging is a good way to get new traffic and links from a high DA site. Make your expertise and reputation known to the blog owner when you request for a guest blog.

You can also ask other experts to write on your blog and insert the link in their site. This will only work if you have decent amount of following already.

Strategy #2 Popular Format Articles

There are some types of articles which always earn high number of links. These include:

> Round ups of industry experts. This is where you can ask industry experts for their opinion on a particular topic or issue. For example: You could ask leading digital marketers ‘What is their take on importance of social media?’. You need to then compile all the answers into one blog post. This way you will earn a lot of links from digital marketing blogs as everyone wants to know what the reputed experts have to say.

> Do research in your domain and publish the results in your blog. People always need data to substantiate their opinion and keep the article interesting. You can earn tons of links if you can study on interesting topics and share the results with the world.

> Visual content is very popular nowadays. It is 3 times more likely to be shared. You can even turn a leading text post into an infographic to save the effort of developing fresh content.

Strategy #3 Manual Outreach

This is simply reaching out to popular sites via email and begging them for a link. Leading bloggers like Neil Patel have used this strategy and it works! The key here is to write a piece of content that is valuable and pitching it to lots of site owners.

This is an aggressive strategy and requires high volume of requests to succeed. If your blog is a decent read a few bloggers are sure to respond and link to you.

Strategy # 4 Self created Non-editorial Links

This is inserting links to your page via comments in others blogs or forums.

You can also do this in Search for a popular question in your domain and write a well rounded and expert answer on it. Insert your link in the answer to let people know about your site here. People will visit your page if your insert a bait like ‘visit my site to know the data behind this result’.

However, don’t go too aggressive on this strategy. You don’t want to come across as a spammer and spoil your reputation on these sites.

Strategy # 5 Skyscraper Technique

This technique has been used successfully by many top ranking blogs. In this you pick out the popularly linked posts , study it and then write a post better than it.

You can make your post better by adding more points or presenting it in a better visual format. For example: if you find that a blog ‘5 ways to earn more links’ is highly linked to, then you can write ‘ 21 ways to earn more links’. You can then contact the sites linking to it, tell them about your improved version of the link and request to link to you instead.

Link building requires the most effort in SEO. It also requires a lot of patience. However, once links from good sites are in place you can expect increasing flow of traffic from these sources and see your ranking climbing up steadily.