As many of our readers know, links play an important role in search engine rankings. Search engines like Google look at the number of links and quality of those links to determine website rankings. While it isn’t this simple, on the most basic level links play a vital role in where your site ranks.
There’s dozens if not hundreds of ways to get a link. Ideally, search engines want your links to come naturally. They want people to enjoy visiting your website and then link back to you from their website because they like your site and your information. While this happens from time to time, it’s far from the norm of what happens on the internet. I don’t have any research behind these numbers but if I had to guess I would say well over half of links on the internet exist not because of people enjoying a website, but they exist because they were manually or automatically built for search engine rankings.
People have always tried to improve their search rankings through link building. Some people have always been ethical or white hat about it and have built high quality, relevant links. Others have been more unethical or black hat and built low quality, spammy links. These days search engines are getting smarter and smarter and learning to focus only on the high quality links.
The Problem With Junk Links
Junk links, to an extent, still work in the world of SEO. It’s my opinion that you’re playing with fire when you utilize junk or spam links, and I believe that they will play less and less of a role in search rankings as 2012 progresses and into 2013 and beyond. Yet many other SEO companies still use them for their clients because they work, and until they don’t work they don’t see a need to make any changes.
While I disagree with this view, it’s all about keeping costs low, so I understand why these SEO’s would think that way. They want to provide high rankings to their clients at the lowest costs possible.
When it comes to junk links, you might be getting short term rankings on search engines which deliver organic traffic, but you’re missing out on a whole other market. There’s something missing, and that’s referral traffic.
Junk links come in two forms: links that are placed on high traffic websites through spam and links that are placed on sites simply for SEO purposes. With spam links, website visitors identify them as spam (which can hurt your brand name) and they don’t click through to the site. And with links only for SEO purposes, there’s no visitors on those websites so no one can click them to visit your site.
While junk links might work (somewhat) for SEO, you’re missing out on a whole lot of additional traffic.
A Better Approach To Links & Referral Traffic
Relevant niche traffic is like gold — people pay thousands of dollars for a few website visitors if they’re highly targeted. When it comes to link building, we believe in approaching it from a little bit of a different perspective than other SEO companies. We charge slightly more than other SEO’s, but that’s because we’re delivering a higher quality service. Not only are we building quality links that aren’t spammy which will result in longer search engine rankings, but we’re also building quality links on relevant niche websites.
That means that you’re going to get the benefit of brand exposure in front of thousands of website visitors, and you’re also going to experience people clicking through from one website to your website. This referral traffic is something people pay thousands of dollars for in and by itself, yet you’re getting the added benefit of referral traffic and higher search rankings.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is quite simple: going the extra step and paying a little more money for a higher quality link really is worth it. The links last longer, aren’t spammy, will result in rankings for a longer period of time, and will deliver relevant referral traffic to your website. To me it’s quite silly not to invest a little more money in these higher quality links.
I’d like to open this post up to comments as I’m quite curious to hear what people think about this. Would you rather pay say $750 per month for quality SEO work that will result in longer rankings and referral traffic OR would you rather pay say $150 a month for lower quality SEO work that utilizes lower quality links that will likely result in shorter rankings? You know my opinion, now I’d like to honestly hear what others think!