When it comes to the essential ranking factors for a website or blog, many SEO experts believe Backlinks are still high on the list if you want to rank well.
While I agree backlinks can assist in your ranking, I disagree that they are a major factor of importance in 2017 if you want to rank on the first page of Google.
Once upon a time, Backlinks were a contributing factor to achieving both a fast listing on Google and a good ranking, but in the past few years things have changed, alot.
Google has ‘matured’ and is coming to the end of its ‘teenage years’. When it was younger Google was much like any teenager…it would value you on who you hung out with, and if you hung with the popular kids you’d be deemed popular as well. But now Google is 19 years old and has moved past this childish stage of valuing your site on who you are linked to. You no longer need tens of thousands of sites linking to you to help you achieve good ranking.
While many SEO experts, and thousands of Indian ‘Marketing Managers’ selling you SEO services may tend to differ, backlinks these days can actually do more harm than good if you have too many backlinks, particularly ones of poor value.
Authority is the new Backlink
Just like in real life, as a kid it was cool to have hundreds of friends, and you’ll see this still on Facebook or Instagram where someone will have hundreds of thousands of followers, yet no one really knows who they are, or for that matter really cares who they are. And most of the ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ are just fake or using your profile to gain their own followers.
But on the other end of the scale, you can have someone is real life or online that may only have a couple of friends but still holds a major authority stature, and everyone knows who they are.
These people have worked themselves up into a position of value that they don’t need anyone else to make them an authority. They already are an authority through hard work.
Authority has replaced backlinks as the measurement in which your website or blog is ranked, and the more value you can offer the better your rank, leaving any back-linking strategy in the dust.
Google doesn’t care how many sites you are linked to, and neither does people looking for your services. Google, and it’s users, want high quality information that has true value, not just a bunch of keyword-rich articles. The more value you can give your audience on a regular basis, and share and engage with them, the faster you’ll find your authority level will grow and Google will be practically begging to rank your website well.
So do I still need backlinks?
Sure, backlinks still play a part in your ranking. Often you’ll find it a slow process to get on Google if you don’t have one or two backlinks and no blog posts. Google still wants to know you have started with some fans and good content to grow your influence level.
I recommend asking your web developer to initially link to you, as they are most likely already an authority in their industry, making them a good source of value, and also a couple of other industry-related sites if you can. And then also ensure you have your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts in place, all with a link back to your website. To get things rolling even faster, write a blog post on your website and share it across to these networks. Even do a boosted post on Facebook, targeting your specific audience. Google is smart enough to work out that you are making a good effort and you’ll find it will give you credit for that.
Then to keep growing your level of influence and authority, post an article at least once a week on your website so that Google knows you are regularly preaching to the fans. If you watch your Google Analytics regularly you will notice that your blog posts usually get more visitors than your main website pages, as they contain more value.
Continue this for a while and maintain the pace and you’ll find one day that Google will give you the ‘authority pass’, which is like being on a VIP list, allowing your posts to be found on Google almost instantly, once you are deemed an authority.
Sure, it takes some work, and much harder than simply paying someone for backlinks of little value, but you’ll find the rewards once you become an authority is very rewarding for your website or blog.
Author – Chris Bourke
Maximum Web Success