Creating links from other websites to your own – also known as back links – used to be a cornerstone of search engine optimization strategy. Because each link to your pages counted as a “vote” for its quality and authority, you could quickly improve your visibility on Google by getting hundreds or thousands of them at once.

Unfortunately, like most things in the internet marketing world, discovery of this phenomenon led to some unethical behavior. Virtually overnight, businesses started buying links from websites that were created for no other purpose than sending those links. It became difficult to separate quality from quantity, and Google revised its search algorithms to catch up.

As a result, I regularly speak with business owners who don’t quite understand whether links matter from an SEO perspective or not. So today, I want to address three things every online marketer should know about back links and search engine optimization…

#1 Backlinks Don’t Have the Same SEO Value They Used to

Google’s Penguin and Panda updates changed a lot of things about the way their search engine organizes results and presents them to users. One of the biggest alterations was decreasing the value of low-quality links. In fact, the kind of links you can buy from overseas providers aren’t just ignored by search spiders, but can actually harm your search rankings.

That means it’s no longer worth it to pay for junk links, and you might need assistance from a search engine optimization professional if you have paid for them in the past.

#2 The Right Backlinks Do Help With Search Visibility

Some marketers have taken Google’s changing stance to mean that back links don’t matter at all. However, that’s just not true. The fact is that links can help you become more visible on search engines, but only if they come from other reputable websites within the same industry. In other words, they are like real-world referrals, which only have value if they come from someone with trust and credibility.

At the same time, getting high-quality links from the right websites are also a good way to get more targeted traffic directly through those links themselves. So, if you can get another business owner or webmaster to point visitors your way, it’s a double win for you.

#3 There is a Right and Wrong Way to Get Backlinks

As I’m sure you understand by now, it makes no sense to buy low-quality links from a random company that sends you spam email. So how can you go about getting the back links you need?

The best way is by producing lots of informative content and interactive tools. When you have useful items on your website, others will link to them simply because they are helpful. Then, you get relevant back links and a reason for potential customers to spend some time on your website.

Getting back links might not be as easy as it used to, but the right links do still have value – both in terms of Google’s search algorithm and when it comes to attracting live visitors to your website. Don’t discount their worth, and don’t try to take shortcuts when it comes to earning back links to your site. Remember those two things and you’ll be in a much better position than competitors who ignore links or rely on gimmicks that no longer work.

When you need expert web design, internet marketing, and search engine optimization help, turn to the proven team at Biondo Creative in Philadelphia. Contact us today to set up a free consultation!