What link builders really want you to know
Wondering why link building seems to be so much work? Columnist Julie Joyce gives us a glimpse into issues link builders face with clients and webmasters.
Our job is rough. I have done many things in SEO, and none have even come close to being as mind-numbing and frustrating as link building. It’s been even rougher than usual lately, and that notion is one shared by many of my link-building peers. After doing this for so many years, I can tell you that the summer months can be really, really difficult. Everyone’s on holiday, response rate goes way down, and then if you actually do negotiate a link, you can wait weeks for it to go live (because, again, everyone’s on holiday)!
Unless you’re a magician (or a charlatan), you cannot look at a site and make a concrete determination about how many links are required to obtain the desired rankings and traffic numbers. You can’t look at a target site and accurately gauge how getting a link on it will impact your site. You can look at two comparable sites, one performing well (Site A) and one not so well (Site B), and see that Site A has roughly 5,000 links while Site B has 300. From there, you can recommend that Site B build some more links, because that is obviously an issue. However, that’s kind of where it ends, and that’s what we want everyone to understand.
We know that quality matters more than quantity when it comes to link building, yet we’ve all seen sites ranking well when they shouldn’t. Sometimes sites with tons of spammy backlinks are outranking those that have played by the rules, and this is a major point of frustration for many business owners.
And you know what? It frustrates us, too. The fact of the matter is that link building just isn’t as simple as “build X links and you’ll outrank the competition.” There are a lot of factors that make link building a complex and difficult process, and below are just a few things we link builders wish everyone understood better.