When it comes to building an online presence, many brands still believe they can take the easy way out.
Although the icky days of black hat SEO and link stuffed copy have gone the way of the dinosaurs, it’s not uncommon for a new or budding company (still) to think they’ll succeed by rattling off cheap, backlink-stuffed online content.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Today, readers (and Google) are more discerning than they’ve ever been before, and the only way to build an online presence that lasts is to create content that’s designed to offer genuine value and relevance – to both of them.
I’m not talking about cheap, one-off, thoughtless stuff meant to drive quick rankings: I’m talking about thoughtful, in-depth, relevant content that offers something real.
Today, I’m here sharing why building links alone doesn’t work anymore, and the types of content you should absolutely be investing in to seriously grow your online presence.
Why Just Building Links Doesn’t Work Anymore
Even people who know virtually nothing about SEO, content quality, or engagement know one thing: links are supposed to help you get noticed online.
In some ways, this is true.
In others, it couldn’t be more off-base.
Yes, high-quality links can help Google determine the authority and relevance of a page.
They can also provide context for your readers and help you make valuable SEO connections between the pages on your site.
Low-quality links, however, can hurt your SEO more than they help it. And this is by design rather than by accident.
Here’s why: years ago, black-hat SEOs made their fortunes manipulating search results.
They did this by either buying links or working dozens of them into spammy pages for the purpose of manipulating Google’s search results.
Google, not surprisingly, didn’t love this. As such, the search engine developed an algorithm update to address it.
The change went by the name of the Penguin update, and it went into effect in April of 2012.
Designed to punish sites that use spammy backlink strategies, the Penguin update sought to ensure that sites focusing on links were doing so for quality and relevance rather than perceived SEO gains.
Today, sites that use spammy backlink strategies pay for it in the form of Google penalties and decreased respect in the online environment.
What’s more, cheap, link-hungry sites are falling out of vogue with content creators everywhere, and many teams and individuals are simply refusing to create content that doesn’t provide value beyond its backlinks.