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Does Link Building Still Work in 2019?

by Steven Finkelstein
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If you talk to someone who knows about SEO, then they’re more than likely going to be familiar with the complicated past and present that link building has. When you hear a term like link building, part of what will probably enter your mind is the way that paid link schemes, spammy content, and link farms used to plague the early versions of the internet.

These black hat techniques are now frowned upon by Google, and you can’t get away with them like you once could. But does that mean that even approved versions of link building should no longer be worth your time when you’re trying to get your website to rank?

The Argument Against Link Building

Those who are against link building in 2019 usually feel the way that they do because they think that your time would be better spent producing high-quality content that is focused on user intent and UX. Since those are vital parts of the Google algorithm now, there’s ample reason why some individuals would feel this way.

Some people have turned against link building because they feel that it inherently leads to the creation and proliferation of spam. Essentially, the reason for this is because any link that does not occur naturally in the context of a blog post must be considered superfluous, and it is therefore in violation of Google’s expressed webmaster guidelines.

The Argument for It

There is a flip side to this way of thinking, though, and it has to be acknowledged by those whose goal it still is to get their websites and various pages to rank.

For those who say that link building should be ignored in favor of “creating great content,” it must be remembered that without link building a lot of that great content simply might not be discovered. It’s one thing for you to spend all day creating a fantastic new blog post, for instance, but then without link building, the chances that it will go viral based on its own merits are remote.

One way around this is through social media, but for some niches, the number of people who use the various platforms is significantly less than others. While it is true that quality content can attract links and attention, counting on this without the aid of links is a risky proposition. You don’t want any aspect of your website to be ignored, notably when you spent so much time working on it. It’s not just a vanity thing. If no one is stopping by your site, then they’re not exploring the products and services that you offer.

Link Building Does Have a Place in Modern SEO

The bottom line is that while you should not be gratuitous with your link building strategy, to ignore this aspect of SEO or to relegate it to the scrap heap along with black hat practices doesn’t make much sense. If you’ve been thoroughly turned against link building, then you should reconsider. Without it, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get the website engagement numbers for which you’ve been hoping, and that’s going to affect your bottom line negatively.

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