Are Backlinks Still Important?

If you ever hear this line from your SEO company, that “backlinks are no longer important“, then you are probably facing the “we aren’t ranking so well” dilemma at the same time.

Since the beginning of search and Google, backlinks have played the most important part of winning at the search game. Over the years, the elements that determine a top ranking, have swollen to include a lot of closer focus with the website itself but backlinks remain and as long as Google wants to function as democratic voting process of presenting the most popular sites at the top, then backlinks are here to stay.

So what exactly are backlinks and how do they work to produce top rankings for websites?

Good question.

What Is A Backlink?

Let’s begin with how they work and then we will have a deeper insight as to their co-dependence for quality search results and how they will be remaining a strong ranking signal for the foreseeable future.

A backlink is simply a link from someone else’s website, linking to your website. The way this works for example is someone may comment on a blog post on a third party website and make a mention about something posted on your website.

This can be helpful for people wanting to find out more about the topic of interest.

For example you may be an experienced plastic surgeon who has expertise in some new cosmetic procedure or have a good understanding of the complications of certain surgical procedures and your blog post adds great insight into the matters being discussed.

Since people are searching for information to solve their problems, this scenario presents itself as a typical way that links or backlinks are created. Google developed their search algorithm around the democratic voting system that links from other people’s website were acting as. With links counting as votes in the election process for who should be ranked at #1 and so, they changed the way search engines and people the world over, searched for and found things on the internet forever.

It wasn’t long before many savvy webmasters began to take advantage of this ranking method and the process of SEO or search engine optimization was born.

Backlinks Important In The Early Days And Still So

In the early days of my trade it was a simple process to rank #1, that involved amassing more backlinks than the guy ranked at #2. Yes it did involve a lot of work at times but if you put in the grunt work, eventually got you there.

Now Google saw that many people were onto their “super secret” algorithm, so they decided to mix up the process to penalize anyone seen to be over-optimizing their sites. The first of these changes rolled out in 2012 and were code named Penguin.

Fast forward to today, 2016 and Google have slowed down the aggressive penalties, as most people are now convinced that the search engine giant, can’t be messed with. There are many who believe that SEO is dead and you might as well give up trying anything as Google will just slap you sooner or later.

SEO Far From Dead

In reality, SEO is far from dead and many people understand and do SEO very well. The problem is there is great confusion in the SEO world, and many practitioners have jumped ship and become content marketers. Some have combined the two with varying degrees of success, which usually has a lot to do with the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Google are very vocal about what you can and can’t do when it comes to SEO. Companies that tread the line strictly by the Google book, are those who will convince you that backlinks are no longer important, simple because Google say that you can’t build backlinks anymore. They want you to create great content and then some how magically people will find your content and link to it. The only problem is that without any links to your “great content” it is not going to rank. And if it doesn’t rank, meaning no one will find it, then how is it that they are going to link to it?

Agencies that stick by the book believe the lies about backlinks not counting, because they will actually not be building you any. They will encourage or help you build quality content but this alone is never going to produce the traffic that your site is needing to actually shift the needle.

Also with the right tools, anyone can see that the sites that are ranking at the top of Google are sites that have lots of backlinks. Content alone is not enough to get you there and give you the traffic flow you are looking for.

So What Do Google Actually Say About The Necessity Of Backlinks?

In finally smashing the backlinks are no longer important myth, one need only to listen to voice of Google themselves. In a recent video by the Google SEO spokesperson, Matt Cutts, they openly admit that they have a private version of Google that they refer to that shows the search results without any backlinking influence and they say it ain’t pretty.

Well there you have it, backlinks are here to stay and if you hear differently, it is probably because your SEO guy or gal is too scared to build them anymore. There are still ways to build backlinks that are very effective and will not get you into any Google hot water,  and if top search engine rankings are what you are looking for, then you first need to locate a top SEO consultant who can produce results based on what Google actually allow to rank, and not what they tell you they allow.

 

It’s About Your SEO, We Need To Talk

You have that nervous feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach.

You don’t quite know what to do about the cause of this pain but you know something has to be done, as things are just not going according to plan.

If you are like the many, you’re not alone when it comes to trying to figure out if you are doing the right thing, the wrong thing or something in between with SEO.

Company after company approach you with the same old line, “We can get you to number one on Google, but you will have to wait 3 to 6 months, and no we don’t offer a guarantee”.

Truth be told, it is amazing anybody is able to sell a product on these flimsy promises, but what is not quite so amazing is the fact the there an unfortunate number of charlatans in the industry that make the rare seo winner’s hard to find.

Unethical SEO companies that are all too willing to pull wool over their clients eyes, for the simple fact that they can. This is a really dangerous situation if you are committing not only time and money to dodgy SEO but the very existence of your business could be held in the balance if you have all your marketing eggs in the one basket.

Most smart marketers are all too aware of taking such a risky line with something as volatile as search engine optimization, especially given the heavy handedness of Google in recent times. So not only do many find themselves in SEO limbo, bending over backwards to make it under the ever lowering bar but on top of that they are paying for Google Adwords traffic by paying ultra-high cost per click premiums. Any industry that has a high dollar value on a successful sale, is liable to reach the dizzy heights of sometimes hundreds of dollars for just one click.

The medical industry is one such arena where the CPC’s can run into the hundreds of dollars. When you consider the cost of plastic surgery procedures running into the tens of thousands, it is easy to see why the CPC stakes are set so high.

So what is a good doctor to do?

You can keep on trying out different SEO companies in the hope that one day you will strike gold and not only will you be getting solid rankings that last, you can finally do away with those Adwords campaigns that are draining the coffers.

Yes and pigs might fly too!

What you need to gain back confidence in the incumbent SEO firm you have hired, is to have a truly independent analyst look over what is being done. By getting a third party to take a look behind the scenes and spell out exactly what the prospects of catching the flying pig are, is your only true hope of losing that awkward lump from your stomach. You can’t afford to ask the incoming SEO firm to be independent or even the outgoing, so your only choice is someone who has a fresh set of eyes, that can actually see and interpret what is going on with your current SEO deployment.

What you don’t need however is one of those highly confusing (intentional once again) extremely detailed double-dutch reports that SEO companies throw at you with the hope of confusing you into making a decision to go with them. These reports can look pretty dire at times and the shear fear factor is sometimes too much to resist.

Someone who can spell it out in plain English, is what you need. Enough evidence to hang or hang-onto the current SEO firm or consultant.

The endeavor of this blog is to use my skills that I have honed over the past 7 years, working with a good number of plastic and cosmetic surgeons in the US and Canada, to open peoples eyes so that they can see exactly what is going on with their SEO.

Some would call me an SEO whistle blower, and they would be pretty close to the mark. I am going to be blowing the lid off of all the SEO scams out there, so that regular folks no longer need feel pressured into hiring poorly when it comes to search engine optimization.

I will be showing you how to use the available tools, to see for yourself exactly what is going on with that top competitor who is getting all the free organic search engine traffic.

Believe me there are some really good SEO’s that deliver the goods and have the track record to prove it, and these I will be showing you how to find.

In the coming new year, 2018 I will available for hire, to do the undercover SEO discovery work on your website that will reveal the truth about your SEO, so you can move forward with confidence that you are on the right path, and it is just a matter of time, or finally see you are on a slowly sinking ship that you need to bail out from.

We all know there are some really terrible SEO’s and perhaps one of them has snared you, if this is the case, then we need to talk and really soon.