Global SEO specialists MOZ recently released its latest linking building survey of 315 professionals within the industry, and guess what? Links are in this season and it looks like they’ll be around for a very long time yet. As an SEO agency we decided to put together are the key takeaways from this year’s survey:

  • Link Building Is STILL Link Building

Being an SEO agency in London means we speak to many people on a daily basis who are not keen on the term ‘link building’. Associations with black hat, unethical content spinning and directories – resulting ultimately in penalties – is what the term springs to mind.

Although the name may be slightly tarnished – every company needs a link building strategy. Whether it’s labelled as a ‘content marketing plan’ or ‘guest posting’, it is still link building, and without a comprehensive and varied link building strategy a company will struggle to increase SERPs.

The difference is how link building is carried out, the process is much longer but in the long term offers much more value.

  • Companies ARE Spending on Link Building

The survey results show that although top end spend has dropped, there has been an increase in the amount of companies spending ‘between $10k and $50k’ – in UK prices that’s up to £29,703 a year spent on link building and that number accounts for 37% of the market surveyed. Further, 40% of companies spend between 50 and 75% of marketing budgets on getting link building right.

What does this mean? If one competitor has a comprehensive link building strategy and another doesn’t, if one is gaining valuable and reputable search engine votes and the other isn’t, it’s likely that one is going to push through SERPs and, you guessed it, the other one isn’t.

Of course, not every company can afford to spend almost £30,000 on link building (and not every company needs to). What every company does need however an investment in its future; and a link strategy that offers natural coverage for a business and its ability to increase performance in organic search.

  • Link Building is GROWING

The survey results revealed 81% INCREASED link building budgets in the past twelve months, while 19% decreased. In the next twelve months, 73% will look to increase even further still.

The cost associated with link building has also grown, which is likely to have an impact. As mentioned, longer term plans are in place for companies link building efficiently, which comes at greater cost.

Bigger investment also means bigger targets, would you rather spend your investment building relationships with global websites such as the Huffington Post, or head for quick links and end up on a website below a competitor?

  • Outreach, Outreach, Outreach

Outreach remains the biggest draw for link building tactics, offering content to publications, press releases and valuable industry insights hosted online. This received 69 votes for top choice, with 91 respondents agreeing it was the most valuable option.

‘Infographic promotion’ followed with 47 votes and guest posting with 38 votes; personally, I’d put outreach, IGs and guest posting under one large – well performing – link building umbrella.

Strangely paid links and blog networks still featured with 22 and 20 votes respectively, an approach already condemned by search giants Google. Stranger still, paid links received 13% MORE votes than in 2013.

  • The Long, LONG, Game

The biggest challenge highlighted by professionals was avoiding penalties, having the resource to complete link building and getting links to pages that aren’t ‘link worthy’.

Again, this gives insight to a key point – strategy is key. Even if pages you want to rank for are not ‘link worthy’, a strategy that works will ensure they are ready for links BEFORE the process of getting the links even begins. From a strong foundation it is possible build a strong link strategy that is ethical and future proof.

What cannot be expected is 100 links in one month, this is unnatural and will instantly be flagged Google’s anti-spam radar.

At the core of any SEO strategy should be the focus of driving not just traffic and ‘clicks’ to a website, but to improve sales and revenue month on month, continuously.

Overall, links are here to stay, with the challenge of getting the most valuable links continuing to grow.

Polaris is an award winning SEO Agency based in London and Dartford. Talk to us about your SEO strategy and how we can help you by giving us a call.

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