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Is link building still as important for search engine rankings in 2020?

Is link building still an important part of SEO and rankings in 2020?

This is the no. 1 question that we get asked most by new clients and in our website enquiry forms.

And YES, despite controversy, misinformation, hype & fear, this is still an essential part of SEO to rank for important keywords.

Over the last few years literally thousands of companies have sprung up almost overnight offering link building packages.

But are they really what they’re cracked up to be?

This post will help you to determine the quality of your service provider if using an external source.

And more importantly why it may be time to change, if not.

Let’s just take a look at some of the basics first…

1. What is link building?

link building explained

Link building is a process of getting other relevant websites to link back to your site. This gives the impression that they are endorsing your website.

Such endorsements, otherwise commonly known as ‘inbound links’ are considered to be an important ranking signal for search engines.

However, there are many ways of gaining inbound links.

1. Link Quality

Getting higher quality external resources linking back to your page, the more useful your page is perceived as being.

And will potentially merit a higher search position.

‘Bad’ links – i.e. links from ‘spammy sites’ or irrelevant sources are looked at as indications of poor quality.

Thereby diminishing the page’s value & authority in the eyes of the search engines’ and often resulting in ranking penalties.

This is why we strongly advocate that you thoroughly audit your site’s backlink profile as a primary step to take.

This is crucial and should be undertaken before you even consider employing any link building campaign.

By doing this, you’ll be able to eliminate any links that could potentially threaten your current search rankings.

And start with a clean slate to building fresh, high-quality links.

link building still relevant for 2020


Creating links primarily for the purpose of manipulating search rankings, can be considered a violation of Google webmaster guidelines.

Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate the guidelines:

1. Text advertisements that pass Page Rank

2. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank

3. Links with over-optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:

There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress

4. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links.

5. Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.

(For a full explanation please go to Google help)


Link building can be confusing, time intensive & frustrating.

However, improving links & social signals is vital for websites that want to be found in the organic search results.

The term ‘link building’ is pretty misleading though, as it’s more about giving your audiences compelling reasons to link back.

This is more accurately ‘link attraction’ rather than ‘link building’!

By understanding your target audience before developing your content marketing strategy, you offer valuable reasons to earn those links.

A good linking strategy will build relationships with your target audiences via the creation of high quality shareable content.

Content can be shared via guest posts, articles, blogs, online magazines, websites, video sharing platforms, podcasts, social media and forums.

Doing this will help to increase referral traffic and maximise the visibility of your brand.

link building services


Ensure that the links you attract are from quality resources by checking their domain authority and page authority.

Domain and page authority scores (1-100) were developed by Moz.com & is designed to predict how well a website will rank in the search results.

Simply visit their site and enter any domain to find the most relevant SEO metrics for that site.

5. Relevant & Fresh

Listed below are 7 quick tips to get you building links naturally, organically and successfully starting with:

7 link building tips

1. Analysis – Study the links of the top ranking sites in your niche and go after ones that are most relevant.

2. Content – Look for content articles that are trending in your industry and create a higher quality version.

3. Edu. – Check out the local schools, universities and charities for a resource section that you can add your websites to.

4. Link Roundups – Find blog link roundups in your market sector by doing a search i.e. “keyword” + “link roundup” and pitch them your best content.

5. Broken Links – The Google Chrome browser, has a free extension called ‘Check My Links’ to find sites with broken links.

6. Memes – Humorous memes are easy to produce via free online meme generators and can be an effective way attract links.

7. Slides & videos – Convert articles & posts into interactive content and distribute them out to the top video and slide sharing platforms.


Link building is still an essential part of SEO in 2020 to ranking well for your desired keywords.

However, building or attracting the right type of links that will help with your search rankings is a time consuming and undoubtedly tedious task.

Building links has been likened to some sort of ‘dark art’ but, is still a key factor in determining rankings.

There are many ways to build links. Much of it has been written and talked about but the most effective way is when link building occurs naturally when people share your content.

Social media now plays an important role too.

As content can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms.

So, try thinking out of the box and be creative when going after those links.

And remember that consistency is the key to successfully attracting and retaining the quality of links that you require.

Therefore, you will need to keep at it and it will pay dividends in the long run.

If however, you do get stuck, lack the time or need some expert input, just contact our link building services team for help and advice.

And don’t forget, you can always ask us anything in the comments section below.

Search engine friendly link building services

Are there search engine


link building services?

There is so much fear and hype surrounding link building that it warrants taking a closer look at just what the search engines make of this staple practice of the SEO community.

Building backlinks to your site is still an undisputed and core element in getting your site or page ranked well in the search engines and despite all the recent algorithm updates this is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

So if this is an accepted fact, then why the fear?  Put simply,  there is a right way and a wrong way to building the links that are likely to have  beneficial effect on your site!

Link building services

Search engines like Google on the one hand actively discourage the practice of link building for the sole purpose of trying to manipulate your search ranking positions (SERPS) and yet on the other, when done correctly will reward your site with higher rankings.

So what then is the correct way? We thought you’d never ask! The first and foremost thing that we strongly recommend that you do, especially if your site is an established one is to conduct a thorough analysis of your link portfolio and by that we mean you need to pay pretty close attention to the sites that link to you and the way that they do it too.

In a nutshell below is a quick primer on the 3 most basic and common types of link acquisition:

“Natural” Editorial Links

Links that are given naturally by sites and pages that want to link to your content or company. These links require no specific action from SEO, other than the creation of worthy material (great content) and the ability to create awareness about it.

Manual “Outreach” Link Building

Link building services provided by SEO companies create these type of links by emailing bloggers for links, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings of any kind. Your SEO company/employee often creates a value proposition by explaining to the link target why creating the link is in their best interest. Examples include filling out forms for submissions to a website award program or convincing a professor that your resource is worthy of inclusion on the public syllabus.

Self-Created, Non-Editorial

Hundreds of thousands of websites offer any visitor the opportunity to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can, in the aggregate, still have an impact for some sites. In general, search engines continue to devalue most of these types of links, and have been known to penalize sites that pursue these links aggressively. Today, these types of links are often considered spammy and should be pursued with caution.

There are however, far more effective methods and solutions to generate the right type of links such as social media signals, content rich video etc; but be prepared for some painstaking effort and have patience because it may take a while before you start to see the benefits.

Needless to say, simply get in touch with our experts or find out more about our link building services here if you’d like us to remove the ‘headache’ of constantly finding new ways to acquire links!

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Darryl Antonio
Digitalhound are an award-winning London digital marketing agency with 20+ years of expertise in delivering high performance results for its clients.

Darryl & his team are proven experts in growth-hacking digital campaigns, helping businesses grow to their fullest potential online while lowering their cost of acquisition.

A sought after speaker at high-end Digital Marketing conferences, Darryl is available for private business consultations, seminars and conferences.

Call the London team on 020 7873 2476 to arrange a FREE 'no obligation' chat about your business today...