SEO: Link Building Myths to Ignore in 2020

Everyone wants to be #1, especially when it comes to rankings by search engines.  You want to be the first business a consumer will see in order to obtain a click, and hopefully, their business too. How do you get ahead of the competition? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is in a constant state of flux.  No one quite knows the exact formula for the ever-changing recipe. It’s at the mercy of search engines and changing web development trends. Marketing heads disagree about which way is better than the others. Some feel as if links don’t matter at all when trying to enhance rankings. There is much to learn, but most resources and places to find information online provide conflicting viewpoints about best practices.  

Others offer the magic secret (for 4 payments of $99.99, of course).  In fact, Google recently changed their standards for link building. So much for keeping up with the times. One fact that remains is the importance of links and link building when boosting your SEO.

They have added two types of links: Sponsored links and User-generated links. 

Both must be tagged as either sponsored and/or user-generated links. While these new standards do not go into effect until March 2020, some link-building myths need to be busted. Learn more about some of the biggest myths and what steps to take next in order to improve your search ranking.

Top Link-Building Myths

1. Google will find my website.

This is an erroneous thought. Webmasters must be able to maintain the website to keep it highly rated in the search engine results. Link-building comes into play to rank your website highly in the search engine. Creating great content is not enough. You must be able to keep your website updated to drive more traffic.

2. Guest blogging is ineffective.

There is a popular myth that guest blogging is dead since Matt Cutts’ infamous 2014 blog post about the decay of guest blogging. This could not be farther from the truth.  Publishing helpful blog posts on authoritative sites is still relevant in 2019. Guest blogging brings opportunities to build links and gain
exposure. It helps increase outreach to new users and helps to build a community.

3. Link-building is not useful.

Many digital marketers still believe that link-building is not essential in SEO. However, it must be strategic. Link-building has to be consistent with digital marketing strategies such as social media and blogging. Adding link-building to your digital marketing strategy will enhance brand visibility and value online and increase visitor traffic to your website. Your website will become a more reliable, relevant source of consumer information. 

4. All links are created equal.

Another myth is that links can be placed anywhere on a web page like ornaments on Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. However, this is far from the truth. The more relevant the backlinks, the higher the website is ranked for target keywords. The higher a link, the more it weighs, and the more value it passes through to the pages. Take advantage of link positioning and put your links higher on the page. Links are not the only factor in Google’s algorithms. That said, a strong and suitable backlink does help a lot to improve your page rank.

5. Internal links don’t help you rank higher.

Some myths are pervasive because they stem from a kernel of truth. It used to be a common rumor that internal links don’t boost your ratings in Google. If you structure your site well with internal links, it will rank higher. Internal links around a relevant topic have a huge role in ranking your website higher as all the internal pages that rank from the lowest to the highest ranked get a huge boost. This is especially helpful if there’s a search query and all of your links show up around a relevant topic.

6. Stuffing your image alt texts with keywords will rank your website higher.

Before Google started utilizing AI and machine learning, marketers would stuff images’ alt tags with keywords to rank in the search engine. Now it’s against Google policy because it can become spammy. Nowadays, text and image can be coded by web developers, so it is no longer under the
control of digital marketers. Ultimately, relevant links are better for website than overstuffed alt-tags and anchor text.

7. Links to high-ranked domains matter.

Applicable websites and links matter more than domain authority. While it is helpful to use high ranking domains, link lower ranked but relevant domains. Most relevant sites will not have great metrics, because they are so niche. If a link prospect fits your website, but it has a low DA
(domain authority), you should still target it. In fact, Wikipedia, the king of domain-building, is ranked by Google like every website. 

8. You need to have coding or web development skills to build links.

Building a link does not require coding or web development skills. While it’s helpful, It’s more important to be creative and strategic with link-building. If you can persuade or create content, you can build links.

What to do next to make your website SEO-focused

Learning about SEO is tricky in an age of Google’s changing standards, evolving web development, and digital marketing trends. Answers are not always obvious, as trends and policies can change at any time. Build as many links as possible using the tips above, and you may see your website rank higher.

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