Is Link Building Dead? No, not by a Long Shot!
 by Casey Markee

Is Link Building Dead? No, not by a Long Shot!

  • It seems like every other week I'm reading an article claiming that link building is dead. I also keep hearing that Google is going to eliminate links in their algorithm. What's the real story here? Is link building something we should begin to phase out with our sites and those of our clients?

Answer: Although Google WISHES they could do away with links, when they've attempted to experiment by removing them as a ranking factor, the results have been terrible. In a February 2014 Google Webmaster Help video, Head of Spam Engineer Matt Cutts said this specifically:

"It turns out backlinks, even though there is some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really really big win in terms of quality of search results...We played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and at least for now backlinks relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results."

Further, Google has said publicly that even though they have been relentless in taking down link networks and defining what they consider natural link building, they do not believe at all that link building is dead. To the contrary, "backlinks still have many, many years left in them."

This was most recently stated again during SMX Advanced in Seattle when Matt Cutts took the stage for his annual You&A with Danny Sullivan. Matt was asked point-blank this very question and live tweets during the event made his position, and that of Google's, very clear:

Link Building Not Dead Tweets Picture

Matt went on to state during the You&A that far from bei...

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