We are often asked what the most important factor influencing search ranking is. We hate that question.
We hate it because we have seen that every single factor that influences a sites success in search engines is important and that singling any one element out to the detriment of any other is a sure way to get less than maximum results from an SEO campaign.
That being said, when we are pressed to answer the question over our objections, we have to say that link building is the most important factor influencing search engine results.
The reason they are so important is that search engines weigh them as at least tepid endorsement of your site when other webmasters are willing to provide a link to it.
The problem is, creating links to a site, or backlinking as it’s called, is often complicated and always tedious. So it was ripe for manipulation and gamesmanship by “black hat” SEO firms. They developed automated computer programs that essentially spam discussion forums and blog comments. They set up mirror sites and stuffed them full of links to the sites they were really trying to promote. They use misleading anchor text (the words that you click on in a text link), and so on.
It didn’t take long for Google and the other search engines to get wise to these practices and adjust their algorithms to weigh different types of backlinks differently.
So, let’s amend our answer before and say it this way: Link building is the most important factor influencing search engine results – but having the most links shouldn’t be the goal.
Rather, the goal is to generate as many high-quality backlinks, built on targeted keywords and phrases, and place them on as many reputable websites as possible.
In most cases, that means submitting those links manually. Yes, we do employ a couple of automated submission services, but even those create only 30 to 40 links at one time. Trying to submit thousands of links with one mouse click is a sure way to get your site downgraded and placed in a search engine “sandbox” (meaning your site is completely removed from the search engine’s index until they’re convinced you’ve cleaned up your act).
Iowa SEO Group is committed to using only the most ethical and effective means of building backlinks. Which means that we devote many hours each week to finding relevant site directories, blogs, article directories, and related websites that will welcome a link from our client sites and pass along “link juice” that can help move your site to the top of search results and keep it there.
Of course, part of our link-building strategy includes leveraging social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and others. You can read more about our approach to social media marketing by clicking here.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about what backlink strategy and SEO in general can do for your website, contact Iowa SEO Group today for a free initial consultation.