The overall working of link building is now being questioned with Google’s John Mueller, himself, signalling to lessen the focus on link building to avoid harm for your website. He says that he would try to avoid link building when considering SEO for a website.

Until very recently, link building was referred to as a crucial part of any SEO campaign. With Google itself, considering a rich link profile as a major signal for the domain’s authority, it was the only sensible way to increase the authority of a website. However, of late Google seems to be attacking the practice of link building with new regulations and algorithmic updates closely monitoring the link profile of a website. These are signals to search marketers to avoid the practice of link building.

There are mixed responses to the question that whether link building should be completely banned or is it still a viable strategy to a certain extent. Links have the heaviest effect on the algorithm as it is the most practical element to determine the authority of the site, however over some time the impact has weakened due to the increased risks involved in it.

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1) Mobile Optimization: From 21st April, it has become more important for websites to be optimized for mobiles, following the “Mobilegeddon” update. You simply can’t afford to consider this factor in your SEO strategy, and Google has been for a long time keeping a check on all the mobile-optimized sites to rank them higher. Your site gets more visibility on search if it is optimized for mobile, no matter which device it is. Not integrating mobile-optimization into your SEO, may result into loss of some valuable rankings.

2) Seasonal SEO: One more trend that is becoming increasingly important in 2015 is SEO. Rather than looking up at web pages as finished products, look upon it to optimize to fit to the audience’s needs at various time of a year. If you have a “Spring Sale” promoted on your website, and don’t bother to move down the offer until Christmas, it is definitely not going to create a good image for your website site.

Also, ensure that the audience’s needs are addressed at various intervals during the year. So, if you have the Haloween lined up in a few weeks, ensure that you are promoting the special offer across the website. Make the page more relevant for your audience by optimizing it for festivals will increase the rankings and attract more audience to your website. A good user experience will result into more shares and brand advocacy, which in turn will get increased traffic.

3) Content That Is Informative and of At Least 1000 Words for Blogs/Webpages: Every page on your website should be descriptive and informational and of at least 100 words in length, so that each time a visitor lands up on any page of your website, they get their desired information.

Your content will immediately establish your authority and your grip over the industry. Even if it is an About Us page or a Contact Us page, do not underestimate their power and provide accurate information in detail wherever needed.

If you feel that link building is still a lucrative option to a certain extent, you are right. However, the most legitimate way to create backlinks is by writing great content on-site and off-site. This is the surest way to get quality links as people would like to share a premium content that is meant for them. The content could be in text, or infographic, or a video, but it should be like a linkable asset. Content is the ultimate tool to your link building efforts that are legitimate.

4) Get Product Reviews: This is one of the best online brand building tool, in addition to being a lucrative SEO element. Product reviews tend to bring the best visitors to your website and could prove to refer some profitable prospects.

You could utilize the existing positive customer feedback, or reviews and post them on your websites, or other review sites. Also, you could send a sample of your product or offer a slice of your service for free to a review blogger, and have them write reviews on them.

5) Strong Social Media Presence: If you want to become social, you will need to get involved with the prospects. Create business profile on all the social networking platforms where you are likely to get relevant people and engage regularly on these platforms by coming up with frequent posts. Work towards building contacts, connections, and an on-going community with syndicated content and company updates with some exclusive offers.

6) Brand Mentions: Similar to how Google used to view inbound links, it also monitor the brand mentions throughout the web. There is almost no risk involved in getting brand mentions. They pass authority based on the trustworthiness of the source and the context of the brand mention.

7) Navigation Of The Site: You will seem to be good to Google if you give importance to user-experience by making it easy for the visitors to navigate around your site. Optimize the navigation to make it the best site that the users could move around. The best practice is to group the pages in a single, minimalist navigation bar with well-defined headings and a complete list of pages underneath. Also include a search bar and have a systematic inter-linking system to ensure that all the pages on your website are easily reachable.

Conclusion:

With link building becoming infamous, your first priority should be to focus on these SEO techniques. There are numerous other ranking factors other than link building that could be considered. These practices will not only help you in ranking, but also help you in building a dependable brand.

Read more: The Evolution of Link Building