Is Link Building Necessary To Rank High In The SERPs

Table of Contents Link Building and the Democratic ProcessDecline of Link BuildingRise of Alternatives to Link BuildingTypes and…
Graph showing rising SERPs by links earned with content

Is link building the most effective and powerful way of making a site rank high in the SERPs? I know many of you would say yes, and though I’d like to say no, I agree it is partly true, in the present scenario.

But may be not for very long.

I do not think links are the perfect criteria for site ranking. Having said that, I accept that we cannot ignore the reality that links are so important and valuable in today’s blogosphere.

I’ve often read people write that links are like votes and Google considers them as proof of the site’s authority and popularity.

Yes, that’s true. Google devised such a ranking system to make the quality blogs stand apart.

However, most of you also know that the ranking system based on links is abused and gamed by the experts.

Google is trying to clean and tame it, but you know people find their way.

So, what does a common and normal blogger do?

Should the blogger sacrifice the valuable time of creating useful content that could help many people, and instead indulge in the tedious and sometimes corrupt practice of achieving links from other sites and blogs?

I know there are many bloggers like Harleena, who just do not have the time to devote for link building.

They would rather spend that time writing an impressive post or promote the posts written by others and their own, on social media.

Besides, they strongly believe in blog commenting, and do that by responding to people who visit their blogs or visit other blogs to develop real relationships.

Do you think after doing this much you will have any time left?

So, where does the solution lie? Should a blogger then hire a SEO specialist or a link agent to build the links to his or her blog to make it in the top SERPSs?

“According to Wikipedia, a search engine results page (SERP) is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.”

Some would say that link building is an integral part of the entire process of blogging and you cannot wish it away. You should consider it as one of the basics of blogging.

Is it so? Do you also think the same? Can’t we do without intentional and proactive link building to top the SERPs?

So, let’s just put it across simply – is link building necessary? Do more links make your site qualitative?

Let’s understand the whole affair before coming to any conclusions.


Voting is inherently a democratic process.

You vote for the candidate who you think is the right choice. It is another thing that sometimes people vote in favor of a candidate to seek some personal benefit, so it more or less becomes a bargain.


The candidates too lobby and campaign to win votes. They try every trick in the bag to get on the top of the list.

So, in this entire democratic process, which seems and sounds fair, many undeserving candidates also make their way in the top list because of their money and influencing power.

I never liked such an election process that does not truly draw out the most deserving candidates.

The same happens in the blogosphere. Webmasters and bloggers can buy votes or links even if their content is not top notch, and rank high.

This is not fair.

Google tried to stop such linking malpractices through its various animal and other updates or reformatory measures, but it does not deny the fact the links still matter and they are in fact the indication of any site’s online reputation.

You have to accept the fact that Google has in some way been successful in stopping the abuse of links.

Nobody wants to be penalized for giving a “dofollow” link for an advertisement or paid links, or include unrelated commercial links in the content, or use over-optimized anchor texts for links on the sites or blogs.

With the devaluing of links obtained through guest posts, press releases, forum signatures, and other various ways, you can see the decline in link building practice.

Check out this Google Trends graph about the interest over time of the term “link building”.

Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.”

Basically, Google Trends is all “keyword” data but since it taps into the Google Knowledge Graph, it can provide a good idea about the real picture with near accurate results.

Link building Google trends

The decline of the search for “link building” around the world started somewhere at the start of 2012, when it had reached its peak in popularity.

You know that Panda was launched in last week of February, 2011 and the complete rollout took a period of about a couple of months. But the Panda devastating streak continued, and still continues!

Google Penguin was launched in last week of April, 2012 and that was the final blow. “Link building” was never the same and it began to lose its glory.

Link building regional interest

As you can see from the map, the term “link building” is very popular in the sub-continent, which is India and Pakistan. It is still of interest to people all around the world.

So, link building hasn’t completely vanished, it has just toned down a bit.

Let’s see the state of interest in another popular term, “backlinks”.

Backlinks Google Trends

You observe a high drop in its global interest since the latter half of 2011. This time Bangladesh and Pakistan top the trends for “backlinks”.

Okay, now if link building and backlinks are the global declining trends, then what is rising?

Link building is an offsite phenomenon or part of the off-page SEO. This is something that you try to achieve on or from other sites.

The strict Google regulations and prevailing conditions made people pay more attention to the internal matters of their sites.

This gave rise to the importance of onsite factors or on-page SEO.

Onpage Seo Google Trends

Though the term “on page seo” has been in use for a long time and getting increasingly popular, the terms “onsite seo” and “on-page seo” gained popularity soon after mid-May 2011. That’s the Google impact.

The smart and wise bloggers and SEO experts understood the signals and took the lead to adapt to the new way to top the SERPs.

They started paying more attention to have quality content that served the visitors more than the search bots, and other on-site factors as well.

It was clear that if you wrote good and quality content, other bloggers or sites would link to you either by mentioning you or by giving reference to your articles. This was the new way of link building.

No, link building is not dead. Not for Google at least.

Even if it’s not for the sake of link building or SEO, the webmasters and bloggers will continue to use them.

That’s because they serve a good purpose of directing the users or readers to where they want them to go, giving a direction and meaning to their browsing experience. In other words, links are good for navigational purposes.

Nevertheless, there has been a change in the nature of links that site owners prefer now for SEO purposes.

First, Google introduced the concept of “nofollow” links in 2005 to stop comment spam in blogs. From 2009 onwards, the “nofollow” links stopped contributing to the Google PageRank.

But even the “dofollow” links started to lose their gleam after the Google Panda update.

Dofollow Google Trends

Now, when you talk of dofollow and comments, how can I not mention one of the favorite plugin of many bloggers, CommentLuv.

CommentLuv plugin gives your visitors the option of including any of the two types of post links – nofollow backlinks and dofollow backlinks (if enabled or eligible), with their comments, besides the comment URL link.

With recent web developments, CommentLuv links are not much sought after and you can observe that from this Google Trends graph.

Commentluv Google Trends

Commenting is basically for relationship building and should not be considered as a link building activity.

CommentLuv links do help bring traffic to your site, but I’ve something else for you to consider for blog promotion and boosting site traffic at the end of the post. Read on!

The point here is that low quality backlinks are losing their importance and demand. The types of backlinks that can be considered as low quality are as follows:

  • Sidebar links
  • Footer links
  • Comment links
  • Profile links
  • Forum signature links

Since these types of links have been abused a lot, and now Google does not give much importance to them.

Here is a complete list of backlinks that can violate Google guidelines if you’re not careful with using them.

However, do remember to make the links “nofollow” if they are paid links or linking out to your advertisers. You are generally not at much risk using the “nofollow” links.

Read more about Google’s link scheme guidelines here.

So, which type of link is the “King of backlinks”?

Watch this short video of Matt Cutts, who tells you which links are important and which are not.


SEO Hosting – Matt Cutts on Quality Links & Link Building ~ YouTube Video

“Did you know that the number of linking root domains is stronger than the raw number of links your site has.”

Okay, the king of backlinks are the backlinks that you get from within the content of the posts. That is the editorial links, and it should be your priority when you work towards acquiring links.

Comment links are worthless in comparison to editorial links.

Link agents and some SEO experts abuse the editorial links too by asking the bloggers to include their irrelevant links within the content of the post and with the anchor text of their preference.

Of course, they offer monetary compensation for this favor, so these become paid links. Bloggers need to be very careful and should avoid selling the editorial links if they are unrelated or purely commercial or use a keyword-rich anchor text that can invite Google’s wrath.

The reason being that Google is probably able to track such links as the same link agent approaches multiple blogs creating a pattern.

If this were a “dofollow” link, then Google might even serve a penalty to the blogger.

Instead of buying, these links can be easily earned. That’s right, the new alternative to link building is link earning!

“Did you know that site internal linking and hub pages can help sustain or boost the site’s rankings? Here’s a perfect study to help you learn the importance of internal link building.”

Blogger happy with rising SERPs

Will you give your vote for a person who offers you money in exchange? Will you support a person who does not deserve to become a leader?

Of course not. You know you are a responsible person and it’s your responsibility to elect the right leaders for the betterment of the society.

You will vote for a person who you believe is capable and worthy to be a leader. The candidate has to earn your vote by proving his or her awesomeness.

Similarly, if you want to top the SERPs, you should earn the links.

How do you earn links?

That’s simple – create great content!

This content should be helpful and useful. It’d be even better if the content is impressive and awesome. It should entice the blogger, who in turn is compelled to mention you in his or her post.

Really, this is the way Harleena has worked her way up. She never indulged in link building. All she did was create awesome content.

She also built relationships, either through blog commenting or social media. So, that added up to make her content reach to masses and work wonders.

As a result, many bloggers mention her in their posts and you can check some of them in the About page of Aha!NOW.

Even unknown site owners and bloggers have included Harleena’s post in their articles as references because these articles are comprehensive – full of information and knowledge.

So, here’s the equation:

Awesome Content + Real Relationships = Links Earned (Mentions)

Believe me this is going to work. Link earning is becoming a popular term, see to believe it!

Link earning Google trends

These mentions are the natural or organic backlinks that Matt Cutts keeps talking about. This is what he says:

“The best way to obtain links to your site is through writing compelling content so that way others can write about it and ultimately link to it. A shareable experience can lead to a stronger presence in a SERP, something that we don’t think is stressed enough to new online marketers and business owners alike.”

I believe this is a hint that Matt gives us because he knows that eventually the links are going to go away.

That’s right. Haven’t you observed that links are becoming less important. To give another blow to link building, Google is bringing in the concept of “co-occurrence” and “co-citations”.


Let me explain this point to you through an example.

You want to buy a new mobile. You approach a friend and he mentions a brand to you. It is more likely that you’ll be influenced by the mere mention rather than the various Ads you see flashing around.

Mentions are powerful. These are like the editorial links, minus the “link”.

If you hear the same mention by more than one person, your trust towards the mentioned will grow- and why not? If many people tell you the same thing, they cannot all be wrong.

Obviously, that mentioned thing is important, relevant, and valuable.

You know Google has been developing the “Knowledge Graph” since 2012.

“The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources.”

Soon you’ll hear that Google has developed the capability, such that if you mention “Harleena’s blog”, it will understand this means “Aha!NOW” without having to follow any “link”.

More things that are interesting are going to happen sooner than we think. The mentions by others with or without links are going to go in your favor.

This makes content more relevant and important than anything else does.

While Google reinstated content as the “king”, and downgraded backlinks – the humble “jack”, the Russians got rid of this jack altogether and instead highlighted the “queen” – the visitor behavior.

Building a Linkless Web

Early this year in April 2014, the Russian search engine “Yandex” – decided to stop using links as their primary ranking factor.

Instead, they started focusing more on the user behavior and metrics. This includes the following:

  • The time a user spends on the site
  • Page views per user
  • Bounce rate
  • Click through rate

There are many ranking factors that completely define and track the user behavior to help list the sites that people like the most.

You also get such data from your Google Analytics or Alexa ranking stats too. However, Alexa has its limitations because it only takes data from users who’ve the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers. Read this post to know more.

Did you know that Google considers more than 200 ranking factors and Yandex has over 800 ranking factors to facilitate in creating the SERPs.”

So again, the webmaster and bloggers become powerful because all the magic can be done on-page or onsite.

You can increase the chances of getting your site in the top ranks by making the visitor experience better. The user satisfaction as evident by your site metrics will be an important criteria.

However, the Russian experiment is still ongoing and limited to a small region, it still does not completely rule out the importance and use of links.

The world awaits the results of their experiment. There are contradictory reports from Google about the entire linkless affair.

Some posts report that Google thinks this experiment will be a failure, while some reports indicate that Google too is inching towards a linkless SEO and web.

Listen to what Matt Cutts has to say about links becoming less prominent in a few years.


Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking? ~ YouTube Video

One thing is sure that you can’t just depend on the links. Suppose you did a fabulous job at link building, but the visitors have a bad experience visiting your site.

This would directly and adversely affect your ranking, and make your link building practice turn futile.

Also, know that majority of site visitors are simply surfers and they do not own a website or blog. They have nothing to do with links.

All they are concerned with is quality content and good experience on the site.

Eventually it’s all about the visitors. Links may send the visitor your way, but your site’s awesomeness will be decided by user experience of the visitor.

“If you’re a beginner and want to know all about link building, especially what to do or not to do, here’s your resource.”

Talking of traffic, it reminds me of CommentLuv. Some bloggers use the CommentLuv links to drive back traffic to their site through them.

For this to happen, they have to visit blogs, leave comments and drop their CommentLuv links.

You have an alternate option to drive traffic to your blog.

Now you can use BroadedNet, which can bring traffic to your blog without any involvement of the search engines or social media.

Simply save yourself time, as you don’t even need to build links, practice SEO, or visit blogs to get visitor traffic.

Just download a plugin, place a widget in the sidebar or footer, create a campaign, and sit tight!

Broaded works on credit system. The more links people click on the Broaded widget on your blog, the more credits you gain. You can use these credits to create your campaign, and have your links on hundreds of other blogs. Sweet and simple. 🙂

It is an awesome plugin created by Enstine, the one who recently introduced the MyCommentAuthors plugin to honor the commentators on your blog.

Okay, here’s an illustration of how Broaded works:

Broaded Working

Say no to links and yes to traffic. Broaded aggregates the traffic from its huge network and delivers it to you based on your declared requirements.

So, leave you traffic and blog promotion worries and get down to creating awesome content and earn the golden editorial links!


You can also promote your blog posts at the Aha!NOW Blog Community (ABC) and get return visits from the community members and visitors of Aha!NOW.

A new feature is going to start at the blog, especially for the ABC members. It is called the GEMS of Aha!NOW, where GEMS stands for “Gregarious and Engaging Member Spotlight”.

gems of different colors

Every month, we’ll identify the most engaging and interactive community members and mention them in a special post.

We love giving and this is yet another way to give back to our wonderful community members. 🙂

Now that you made so much of effort to read the entire post, you deserve something special. Here’s is MOZ’s All-New Beginner’s Guide to Link building.

It’s a complete step-by-step guide to earn backlinks. If you’re an linkbuilding enthusiast, you’re going to love it.

Last word from me – links may not always be there. So prepare yourself to make your blog valuable and rank high in the SERPs in the linkless web of the future.

Write content that solves problems, answers questions, helps people, and makes you an expert. A perfect mix of authority and popularity along with great visitor experience at your blog will enable you to seek higher ranks.

Now, even the common and normal bloggers can make the best of their time and even earn quality backlinks by creating great content without having to worry about link building.

I can vouch for this because I’ve seen Harleena successfully do it.

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Share Your Thoughts –

What are your thoughts about link building? Do you think links will always be necessary to rank high in the SERPs? How would you earn your backlinks? Do you believe a linkless web is possible and practical?

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

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  1. Google has been using CTR and bounce rate for years now in addition to links and on-page factors. I can’t prove it, I have no “sources,” but that said I’ve seen enough anecdotal evidence first-hand to determine that this is in-fact the case.

    Links are nowhere nearly as important as they once were, but relevant and authoritative links most certainly are still important. IMO, visitor behavior (CTR, bounce rate, how much time a user spends on a site, whether they hit the “back” button or not, etc.) is one of the more important factors involved.

  2. There are definitely many factors combined in order to improve SERPs, and it’s a good balance use of every single ranking factors also. Link building works well to Brian Dean. Making site nature and friendly to users could definitely get a boost.

    Very often if we’re too caught up with ranking on Google and we might need to focus on producing content that brings result to readers.

  3. hi
    this is very valuable content as blogger i really appreciate it its really helpful

  4. This is an excellent post on Link building. Just like you said Google has changed it method on ranking websites. Google’s favorite sites are those that educate and engage users

  5. It only makes sense that search engines evolve so that good content becomes king. I have been online since Google first came along and I remember when people would put up content that made no sense at all, get a bunch of links and get ranked because of the link. They had a product to sell and made money getting ranked doing that as content was not important popularity was.

    I even remember when people would put content on their website using white colored font on a white background to fool the search engines. The only thing that actually showed was whatever product was being sold but the search engine saw the writing that was in white.

    The evolution to search engines looking at content has been long and is worth it. What good is information on the Internet if it is junk. Sites like this that have good helpful ever-changing information will not have to worry no matter how search engines change.

    Do I think that having a link free site is practical? No! I do believe that links need to be built organically and not by someone selling links or a piece of software.

    I for one like the changes in the search engines and think they were necessary. Have good content and quality back links into your site and search engine updates will only help you as it removes competition that are trying to game the system.

  6. Hi Vinay,
    I never heard of today i am going to check it, GEM program for Aha-Now users is great idea, link earning is important rather than trying link building.
    lot of people are trying to get traffic by commenting on commentluv enabled sites, anyway this is good article about link building VS link earning thank for sharing this article.

  7. In this upcoming year, I think there won’t be any correlation between link building and ranking. Because link building will soon lose all its efficiency as it doesn’t make sense. Only link gaining might be counted.

    Why? Because now search engines are looking forward to gained links. They’ve started to show higher priority to links which have been gained. So link building should be substituted with link gaining. Most of the algorithm updates are against link building. But have we ever seen taking actions against link gaining?

    Of course not. That is why now its time to focus on gaining links rather than following the nineteenth centuries formulas.

  8. hi sir.
    it is an awesome have done a good research and according to my experience quality post and consistency is now the key to higher ranking.because i have noticed higher ranking and traffic from google when i increase my posting frequency.and when i checked my backlinks in ahrefs i noted that the number of new links also increased on those days on which i maintain consistency and write means that if you write quality posts on regular basis your ranking will be high automatically and your will gain links naturally.but if you do not update your blog,ranking will go down and you will not gain natural links/

  9. Hello Vinay Sir,
    Such a awesome post.Earlier i was committing the same mistake as most of the bloggers do just commenting 3-4 words.But after learning lot of things i have understood the concept of building backlinks to my website and importance of search engine traffic to my site as i am using Infolinks.I agree with your point of view that link building is not such necessary for high SERP rankings as well as your equation part that awesome content and strong relationships can really helps in earning links.
    Even, I never used any link building tactics for my blog. I tried commenting on other blogs. I always try to present best in front of my readers with great and useful content. Apart from this, I used to focus on blog commenting and guest postings at high authority blogs which is a proven method to build natural links. It also helps to build strong relations with fellow top notch bloggers.
    Thanks Vinay sir for sharing such a detailed post.

  10. What a detailed awesome posts on link building. It has come to a point that webmasters as well as SEO morger accept the fact that links contribute little to page rank on SERPs.

    If Google still pay vital value to links and associated PageRank in their page ranking system, my site can’t have a seat on Google SERPs.

    The only ranking signal that stands the test of time and algorithm update is quality contents and human judgement through engagement.

    Google values democratic judgement, that why number of links to a page WAS considered a major ranking factors.

    As you rightly mentioned, important metrics like average time users spend on site, bounce rate among others are now given attention to judge users engagement.

    Thanks for the insightful post.

  11. I think the trend for link building has gone down a bit in the recent time. On page factors has become more stronger. Website speed, social shares and user experience has become really important if you have to be on top for money making terms.

  12. This is an excellent post on Link building. Just like you said Google has changed it method on ranking websites. Google’s favorite sites are those that educate and engage users

  13. Link were always meant be only when one publisher likes the other sites content, but it is we who have tried to abuse it. And that’s why Google need to be more strict about it.

    You said it all, as Matt Cutts said, only links chosen by author for their quality will be counted.

    Link’s should be earned, that’s what Google always said, we just realized it later. Nice post buddy.

  14. That’s was a great post and very thorough with the post. I have been wondering about this and was wanting to join a community, and you have hit everything that I can possibility think of.

    I just don’t have the time to just start building links to every single one of post, and including my home page. Article marketing and all the link building strategies take so much time that I don’t have.

    I am a full time student earning my MBA plus and home with kids, and doing all their homework with them. plus blogging! Thank you for the share.

  15. Hi Vinay – very interesting post and informative as well. I lost Google ranking several months ago due to incoming links. Imagine? Links that came to me caused my ranking to go down. I’m in the process of putting together a spreadsheet of bad ones and submitting it to Google for reconsideration. I tend to agree with Don that we should really focus on our content and engagement with others online and that Google will take care of itself. I have seen many sites fall off the radar since 2008 and others sites pop up to the top out of nowheere. Google has really changed things up and it’s nearly impossible to keep on top of each of the changes along with their 200 ranking factors.
    I’m not sure anyone could have a linkless website, it’s an interesting thought though. Thank you for this very informative piece.

  16. That’s a Wonderful Post Vinay!

    As i am from India, i know that Term “Link Building” is more popular than “Content Creation”. And this is the sad thing. Most of the newbies think that having more Backlinks will get them Traffic. Unfortunately, this is not true.

    Before Penguin updates, Manipulating Google SERP with bunch of Backlinks. But it is not possible now. Links are still useful, but only if you get them from Trusted sources. Mainly, you Need Quality Content to get ranked on Google and On Page SEO. That’s the recipe of getting high rank.

    Link building is not dead, but it’s importance decreased. I’d like to suggest newbies to build links wisely, try to earn them, post great content, gather authority. That’s it. You don’t need Links after that.

    Thanks Vinay for this Informative and Marvelous post.

  17. Thanks a lot!
    It will helps me for ranking my site on google and other search engines!
    I very like this line in your text ” I don’t worry about Google, I worry about my readers.”

    Thanks one more time!

  18. Hi Vinay,

    Excellent explanation of how to make the most of your blog so it can be ranked high in search engines. When you consider what Google has to do: sort through millions of websites to find the best content for its users. You can help by writing quality content and not using link bait headlines that promise what your articles don’t deliver.

    You’re right, Harleena does a marvelous job of commenting, both in quality and quantity. She is a shining example of how to do commenting right!

    When you think of what Google wants, quality content, it’s pretty much what your readers want too. I’m with Adrienne, I don’t worry about Google, I worry about my readers. I figure everything else will sort itself out.

    I continue to use CommentLuv because it rewards my commenters who are kind enough to take the time to contribute to the conversation. It also helps me find quality articles I can read and learn from.

    Thanks for this excellent guide, Vinay!

  19. Vinay,
    This is what I had been searching for. Since I am new to the blogging arena I think I need time to completely understand what you had written. So I have bookmarked your page for reference. I concentrate on my content more than link building. This is one aspect which I am very weak in. Hoping to improve with guidance from experts like you. Your post was very useful for me. Hope to learn more.

  20. Hello Vinay,

    Link building (as you’ve carefully noted), hasn’t died yet: it just took a better form and substance for all our good. However, even at that, you must understand that not all links are created equal.

    Kindly understand too that even though Google may have more than 200 ranking factors (theoretically), the search giant obviously takes user friendliness and ease of use as a paramount point. Next, proper and corresponding meta tags are next…you won’t believe that to rank well, this is just what you need to focus on!

    Be certain to make the day a great one!


  21. Hi Vinay,

    It’s the point to take seriously. As we all know that for quick decrease in the ranking you need to have links. But the problem occurs when you get broken links.

    Like you said Google has fake links because many bloggers try to manipulate Google by applying some tricks and they face Google penalty.

    In my opinion writing a blog post which can have some informative content should be the only aim of bloggers. Building links is not that much easy as to say. Many bloggers think that by blog commenting they can get links but they should know that most of blogs have nofollow comments.

    Bloggers should concentrate at the promotion of their blog post and building their reputation which can last longer.

    Blog commenting is the best way for making human relationships.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Hope you are enjoying this week.:)


  22. Google has devalued the entire concept of SEO. SEO is dead to be honest. It’s no longer Search Engine Optimization. The concept of ranking on Google has now changed to ‘Website Optimization’ that involves a wide variety of topics including conversion optimization, sales funnel, opt-ins, traffic magnet etc.

    You can not name a single link building technique that’s safe. Google has and will penalize all link building methods including press release and guest posts (unless they are nofollowed).

    It’s simply a waste of time trying to focus solely on Google Traffic. If we treat Google as just another traffic source, we can build a more reliable online business.


    Author, “No SEO Forever”

  23. To rank in Google, Link building is indeed important but that should be done in the right way. Its required because still Google’s search engine algo is heavily dependent on links. Its the most important factor to rank web pages.

    However, there are other activities like improving on page factors, social sharing, more engagement to reduce the bounce rates etc which help a lot.

    We don’t know what Google has to surprise us either by taking links away from the ranking factor but as of now I don’t think they are going to take it away.

    Good post Vinay!

  24. Hi Vinay,

    It seems that relationship building trumps link-building or any type of building. I don’t mind getting links in through any channel of course but meeting and connecting with bloggers is my #1 goal. You make some smart points here; I feel that more than anything, building those bonds and creating big time value through posts is simply the way to go, to prosper through blogging.

    Thanks much Vinay.

    I’ll tweet this through Triberr.

    Have a great week.


  25. Hello Vinay Sir,

    After going through your post, I must say that you have done a lot of research before writing this wonderful post. It is truly an informative post.

    All the data of Google Trends, you have mentioned here, shows that interest of “Link Building” is going down.

    I agree with you that we should concentrate more on contents of our Blog. As it is the main key to attract more traffic on our Blog. I also agree that we should comment more on several Blogs for the interaction purpose. It helps to exchange our views with others. When we go to the others Blog and make a comment, I can say that this one of the Link Building which we do. Though Google does not able to crawl it, but still somehow it helps to get better rank in Google SERP.

    I personally do not recommend “Do Follow Link” as Google does take it in good way. So, when you use Comment Luv, try to make sure to disable the do follow button.

    I would also like to say thank you for mentioning the “BroadedNet” Community. With out SEO or Do Follow Link here your blog will get a huge exposure. Its a good way to link building. Surely credit completely goes to Enstine for this innovative idea.

    Sir, You also deserve a big credit for explaining about “Link Building” so brilliantly. Hats off to you Sir.

    All The Best and Have a Nice Day.


  26. No doubt that Link building is one of the vital factor in ranking well in search result but it all depend on your article content. If your content is high quality than backlinks will generate automatically. I believe in building editorial link wherein we have control. More I would prefer to write article for own site and than promote that particular blog on different-different sites and social media.
    This is Great Article Thanks For Sharing me Keep it Up ( i like It )

  27. hi

    I don’t see links going away soon, while Matt cutts claims so. Their weightage over a period of time may come down little but they are here to stay, that’s my take on the whole thing.

    I found real good stuff, when you gave reference of “mentions”. Earning links on back of high quality relevant content is eventually going to take on. I agree to the thoughts completely.

  28. Hi Vinay,

    You have summed up a great strategy for link building in this article.

    Creating high quality valuable content that can earn you back links from other webmasters naturally.

    Such links – organic/natural, usually improve your rankings in serps.

    Commenting just for links is not a wise link building strategy any more. Comments should be for connecting and building relationships which can result in mentions and natural links like editorial links.

    The bottom line is creating quality relevant content and reaching out to others and engaging them meaningfully.

    BroadedNet is a novel way to get traffic without relying on SEO and Social media. But without relevant content it will be hard to get your links clicked.


  29. Vinay,

    This was a great article and it truly helped me and I am sure many others. You summed it all up by telling us what our focus should be which is write quality content that helps others, answers questions, solves problems, and makes us an expert in our niche.

    It is so awesome that we have bloggers like Harleena and Enstine that not only provide us with a path to follow but also they offer the tools and resources so that we can have the blog engagement we are looking for. True pioneers is what they are!

    Thank you for sharing.

  30. Interesting post. When it comes down to it, no matter what Google uses as a ranking system, whether it is links (quantity or quality) or something else, people will abuse it. Some of the best words of advise I have received are “be careful of what performance indicators you give to people. They will always find a way of meeting the indicators but it doesn’t mean they are doing it properly”.

  31. Hi Vinay,

    What a wonderful post. I agree with the points about the link building and the things about the links through comments. And on page SEO is definitely huge and something I should be doing more of actually.

    I never would have thought that editorial links would carry so much weight though. This is something I have to research myself and if true, I’ll have to start implementing.

    Great post once again.

  32. I think links are still important, maybe not as much as they used to be. However, I don’t believe in plastering my site’s links everywhere I can get them. Instead, I try to find places where people might be interested. Blogs that allow you to leave a link in the comment are good, as long as they are relevant to your site. I’m not going to go and leave my link behind on an architecture site since my site has absolutely nothing to do with architecture. Even if it was a PR9 site that would give me a backlink, chances are fewer people wuld actually be interested in that link than if I left it on a PR4 parenting blog. I think bloggers need to weigh the importance not only of the links but of a variety of other important factors as well. Great post.

  33. Great article ! Just one word for it – “Awesome!”. Had a nice time reading it. Thanks for sharing the valuable information.

  34. Interesting article on link building. It certainly is not dead like you say, its just needs to be of high quality. I am beginning to think that you don’t really need anything other than on-page SEO along with quality articles and keywords in the articles. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Now less is SEO in more.

  35. Hello Vinay Sir,

    Very Informative post. I agree with you but I don’t think that link building is dead .Build backlinks very quickly is usually unnatural.It’s very important to build backlinks naturally.We can’t control who links to our blog/website, but just be careful when we focus on our link building .

    Google is most certainly making it harder and harder to acquire quality links. Now link building in a diversified front like using quality images , anchor text, Blog commenting, guest posting, press releases, quality articles, social media platform… and it works to improve your link building
    in a genuine way.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us .

    Have a nice weekend!

    Minakshi Srivastava

  36. What an amazing post….I have regularly tried to read posts written by Harleena, and Vinay now I’m becoming fan of your blog posts too….I got to know about the changes which has come when it comes to link building. Artificial link building is not liked by Google..This is one of the most amazing blog post about link building and it may definitely attract many more people to regularly follow this blog..

  37. This is an exhaustive, yet brilliantly written post Vinay and possibly your best so far. I have studied the strategy of some top ranked bloggers (Harleena being one of them) in recent months and have basically concluded that great content that is helpful and useful to others, building relationships with others, sharing and commenting on other websites is by far the winning strategy.

    I do add links but have always been cautiously optimistic about using that as the main thing to gain Google page ranking. I tend to be a bit old school that too much of anything can kill you. The same rule of thumb applies in this case for me as well.

    My takeaway from this post would be:
    Awesome content + Real Relationship = Links earned

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  38. Hey Vinay,
    A lot of beautiful points in this post that I don’t know where to start commenting 😉 but let me quickly mention that I have ranked on Google position #1 with absolutely no links. I got a hot keyword with very little competition and did an in-depth post. Few days after, it was on position #1 for the keyword.

    Thanks for mentioning broadedNet. I love the way it’s going, with engagement from members. It’s really generating traffic for members as I can see from my end 😉

    I have been less involved in commenting on other blogs these days because of the amount of work required on broaded. All campaigns are manually approved to maintain quality and that requires a lot of time.

    Thanks for your support, encouragement, etc

    Do have a wonderful weekend Vinay

    BTW, I do love the idea behind GEMS. That’s going to be another wonderful feature 😉

  39. I agree about editorial links, they are the best and safest way to generate quality links.
    One of my sites has zero linkbuilding done on it. Just posts added, once in a while. People are visitng it and asking for their content to be added.
    Within the 2 months of its launch most of the content is sent in by users.
    Imagine hands free content and the traffic seems to be growing exponentially.

  40. Hi Vinay,

    Recently, I just read a book called “No SEO Forever”. The author, Harshajyoti Das said he was so sick and tired of Google which keeps changing their algorithm and that’s why he wrote this book. There is a way to build your SERP without SEO. And that is through social media, how much your article is getting shared. Or other people mentioning your page thru their blog. Also through engagement.

    Like Karmakar stated, I read his latest post. He stopped blog commenting for 80 days! And yet found his posts number #1 on Google search. By using “long tail keywords” he is able to do it. SEO will never die, and like you said, it’s getting toned down.

    So “Quality Content” is still King except it needs more than that. It needs *engaging content* as well. Anyway, I can hardly open my eyes. Wish you & Harleena a great weekend.


  41. Hi Vinay,

    This is very exhaustive and informative post! Thanks for providing all the details! I tried to read till the end. Though much of the tech stuff went over my head I could pick up some tips and the best one I liked is:
    Awesome Content + Real Relationships = Links Earned
    I believe that organic traffic is the one that counts others just fall out after a few months. But it is not very easy to build real relationships, we all know that. It takes a lot of time, patience and effort and I agree with you. Harleena really puts in all that!

    Thanks for sharing another awesome post. Have a nice weekend.

  42. Hey Vinay,

    Thanks for sharing. And WOW! Such a detailed post.

    Been sometime since I talk about link building. I feel that link building is a mixture of blog commenting, anchor text and quality links from authority sites.

    Don’t forget about iframes and images too.

    While I got to agree that there isn’t one step that works well for all, SEO is still vital to rank better on search engines. The minimum most is to practice at least, a little SEO in your blogs.

    Good luck and thanks Harleena for sharing this!

  43. Hey Vinay,

    Although I have commentluv premium and feel like this helps to promote my commenters, I won’t deny that I try to make my post to a market of people as valuable as possible. As you mentioned that most people that visit your blogs are just looking for quality information that will solve their problems. If you’re consistent at this, then Google will use this as a indicator to push you up the ranks.

    I have the antibacklinker on my blog for about 4 or 5 months before. Before I had it, I had a problem with dofollow links. I had to do big clean up to make sure I don’t keep getting penalize. Now I created a policy through the antibacklinker for those that want to comment and leave a link back to their last blog post. So far it’s been working quite well and it’s been less of a hassle.

    But in all the main thing I’m focusing now is having relatable, valuable content for my visitors. Also I’ve notice when I do interlinking, that helps with my ranks. But I think Google Symantecs are doing a great thing to make it fair for all of us bloggers that are working hard to create great content and develop relationships!

    Thanks for bringing this up and I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  44. Hi Vinay

    It is 2.05 midnight in Pakistan. I was just browsing to make a things-to-do list for the next day. I just checked your blog to see if there is any new post to read the next day. After reading the title of this post I deferred my going to bed because I do remember another techie post on blog speed here I still keep referring whenever I need any specific point about the topic. With this thought in mind when I saw your name as author instead of Harleena (she wrote the post on blog speed) I thought I could read it tomorrow so lets cast a look on it and then began the all damn which glued me here at the end of the post.
    This is one of the most comprehensive post I ever read on this topic. Hats off to you.

    Now I literally came to believe why this blog is free from all types of techie bugs because of you as its admin.

    I will refer first the last point of this post. Link earning. This is the biggest reality of blogosphere. Those who have accepted and adopted it will be winners of tomorrow. Those who yet to understand and practice it fully will have to face quite hard times in future.

    Without mentioning the name I do refer here an online empire of a blogging genius that was created on then hot product of guest posting. He was selling so costly guest posting courses and sending ripples in online market. But all of sudden Google changed its criteria with regard to guest post and he had to entirely shutdown his that business. Indeed he is a blogging genius and within no time he started selling another hot blogging product. But exceptions are not everywhere.

    So the people who already have built a huge number of back links even of quality should remain alert as Google may downgrade their worth by fully putting aside them as one of the ranking factor.

    I don’t know what will happen to already built back links but obviously Google won’t follow any policy of discrimination by applying two different rules to those who already got huge number of back links and another rule to those who were just trying to get more and more.

    So for the sake of back linking one has to create quality which can’t be created in little time. If not years, at least months are required to create quality contents. But from today one can just start creating of whatever level of contents he can. This is the only solution he has. With the practice, patience and hard work he will eventually create the linkable posts and needs not to be in state of dilemma what happens if Google this time come up with a rattling annoucement with regard to back linking.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very informative and valuable post Vinay. I am impressed.

  45. Hey Vinay,

    I just read a post earlier today that was basically sharing the same concept after having done testing on how to get on the first page of Google without links. What he learned was that it was the content that got it there and then over time as you build the links then it will stay there much longer.

    I’ve been telling people for the last year or so that the comment links do NOT hold the same merit they use too. Google doesn’t value them like they once did which is why I wish these spammers would “get it”.

    Things will continue to change over time as Google finds more ways to stop the junk and only allow the quality content to pass through. That’s a very hard job for them since there is SO much junk on the internet today. It’s really sad but that’s just how it is right!

    I appreciate you sharing this with us and educating your readers that need to still learn how this all works. I stopped worrying about Google years ago. I still want to stay on their good side which just means not get de-indexed or banned but other than that I’m doing what’s best for me and my readers. Hey, it’s worked quite well up to now at least.

    Great share and thanks for this. You and Harleena have a wonderful weekend.


  46. No doubt that Link building is one of the vital factor in ranking well in search result but it all depend on your article content. If your content is high quality than backlinks will generate automatically. I believe in building editorial link wherein we have control. More I would prefer to write article for own site and than promote that particular blog on different-different sites and social media.

  47. Hey Vinay,

    This is probably the longest post and most detailed post I’ve read in a very long time. You got me hooked from the start to the end. I’ve been thinking a lot about link building lately, and mostly because it’s important and because it’s fairly hard to do. I know about the “create good content”, but many times, even if we create good content, it’s hard to get a good backlink without doing anything extra. Sometimes we need to push and ask for a backlink, in order to get it. That’s not something I’ve tried, I want it to come naturally, and to me that’s without asking (for help).

    I’m not sure what I think about the future of backlinks. I can see why it’s still important, because it’s a system of voting for the best content. At the same time, I can see how it can be abused by experts.


  48. Hi Vinay,

    It is a valuable article… I must say… I am passionate about DATA… And you have provided a new way to analyze data for SEO… Just Awesome… 🙂

    Now coming back to the main discussion… YES I do AGREE with you and I would like GO FARTHER and give a statement that BACKLINKS are absolutely NOT REQUIRED for present Google Algorithm if you are willing to target Long Tail Keywords supported with relevant content…

    Am I MAD?… Absolutely NOT… I am passionate about DATA so I will never make a comment without DATA…

    Recently I have done an EXPERIMENT on “ZERO BACKLINKS Vs QUALITY CONTENT”… I have NOT done anything (Even STOPPED commenting on other blogs, Forums, Social Media) for almost 80 days just to STOP myself from building Backlinks…

    Now, I have started getting HIGH ranking for my content… For many Keywords I am even getting higher ranking than the sites like Moz, iacquire, SocialMediaExaminer for many COMPETITIVE keywords… You can find the LIVE video proof of that on my site or just type “Zero Backlink” or “Zero Backlinks” in Google search you will find my article on the 1st page for both the search results.

    I could NOT believe myself as I have published this article on 9th of this month… 4 days… Without creating any BACKLINK.

    How I have done that:

    1. Trial and error experiment for 89 days to achieve 1st page ranking.
    2. Modification of articles and Re-Modification of articles… After few days I have modified the Re-Modified articles…
    3. I have written over 1500 words for each article.
    4. I have decided to call this parameter as “MEANING DENSITY” and I kept it very HIGH but by using “SYNONYMS” I kept the “KEYWORD DENSITY” in control.
    5. I have used approx 7 images for each article.
    6. I have used SYNONYMS of SYNONYMS for Primary keywords in the Image Alt Tags.
    7. I have used “QUERY” statements inside my articles… etc…

    After doing all this I can tell with my absolute confidence that Vinay, you are 100% right… I believe Google is changing their algorithm to understand the actual language of the Content irrespective of the number of backlinks… You just to communicate properly with their indexing software…


  49. Hi Vinay,

    Thank you for such a detailed article about link building and also pointing out the fact that is it necessary to rank high in the SERPS.

    You have explained so much here and I appreciate this learning curve I just received from you.

    My take-away is “earning links” I do believe that if we are focused on putting out good content on our blogs and receiving good comments. Those that share our blogs will be earning links for us.

    To do so we, as bloggers must be active on other blogs and sharing their content so that they can earn links. In turn, they will reciprocate. It is an old practice that I’ve used since I started blogging.

    I’ve not paid much attention to SEO and backlinks, Just minded my own business and built up relationships on my blog and on the social media platform. That being said, I do find myself on the first page of Google from a comment I wrote.

    Hmmm….I think what Google is trying to do is knock out all the spammers and people who abuse things. It’s an on going struggle for them.

    I find the best way is just to be organic with everything. Its just my take on it.


  50. Hello Vinay sir thank you for sharing such a great topic with us and I really loved the detailed analysis on the topic of link building. I love posts that have everything that a reader needs or wants to know on a topic so that one doesn’t have to go again googling on a certain section because the data provided by the post was insufficient.

    Such a post is this a sure one to be bookmarked or saved .

    I have two doubts reagarding the topic that would be apt to ask on the forum so heading towards it.

    Thanks for writing such a great topic that solved a lot of doubts of mine. 🙂

  51. This is one of amazing piece of content that I read recently. While reading first I thought you would conclude with creating great content and making relations so that people can link back to you, but you actually gave us two important resources from where we can get visitors and backlinks. I would like to thank you for that.
    Keep writing these amazing articles and help us. Thank you!

  52. Hello Vinay Sir,

    Such a awesome post.

    I am agree with your points here that link building is not such necessary for high SERP rankings as well as your equation part that awesome content and strong relationships can really helps in earning links.

    Even, I never used any link building tactics for my blog. I always try to present best in front of my readers with great and useful content. Apart from this, I used to focus on blog commenting and guest postings at high authority blogs which is a proven method to build natural links. It also helps to build strong relations with fellow top notch bloggers.

    Regarding traffic, I am using both “Comment luv” as well as “Broadednet”. Both are giving me excellent result. Everybody knows about comment luv here. Broadednet is quite new but, its booming day by day.

    Thanks Vinay sir for sharing such a wonderful post.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  53. Hi Vinay,
    This is so true, we bloggers are in a great fuss; whether to go for link building or stays with same 0npage-SEO practices only. Gone are those days when Link were build by simply paying dough of money, thanks to Matt Cutts 🙂

    I totally agree with you that Links are just like votes, we ought to earn votes to impress google(though we hate it 🙁 )
    Couple of months back, copyblogger also has abolished comments section from their blog too just to avoid low quality links…yeah it’s important to keep a check on the kind of link that are being associated with our blog.
    For the guest bloggers we can give external no follow link instead of do-follow and for the admins we should create only those do-follow links which are influential.
    For mere the sake of increasing links we shouldn’t do that and even if you do that Google animals will find you and banish you 😛 😀

    Thank you for sharing this post, have a happy weekend 🙂

  54. Hi Vinay,

    I would like to commend you for publishing such a detailed and resourceful blog post around link building and blog commenting. Thank you for doing this post!

    Links are important no matter how good or bad we feel about them and unfortunately, Google still uses them for ranking.

    Having said that, I agree with everything that you said and also that link learning is way better than link building which is a spammy practice.

    The way you have laid out the whole article, it will benefit new bloggers, seasoned bloggers as well as those who are on the fence thinking whether or not to focus on link building or blog commenting.

    This is an ongoing debate and a fight that will never end because everybody wants to be on Google’s first page and no matter what kind of rules Google introduces, people will find a way to abuse it and then it will change again 🙂

    At this time, being genuine and earning links through ethical practices is what I would highly recommend everybody to do. Focus on your business, build your brand and Google will catch up to you 🙂


  55. Hi Vinay,

    I will tell you that I’ve come to the place after having been in web design and development for the last ten years of saying we have to stop following Google!

    I have been studying the trends for the last few years and just wrote and the first article in a new series titled “Transformational Changes in Online Engagement.” One of the points I make is that Google is reactive. Therefore, we must be proactive.

    I’m on the belief that if we build our online communities the right way we will not have to worry about Google. Google will take care of itself.

    Plus, many do not know that Google has lost 70% of their indexed search traffic since 2008. That’s a massive amount of traffic and explains why they have gone into other things like Android and self driving cars…

    They know their own trends. We are in a transformative time right now online and those that focus on building communities and engaging will be better off for it.

    It’s a rather detailed post but if you would like the link let me know and I’ll post it. I’m not big into spamming sites without permission, lol…

    If done right, there is a better way than putting a lot of work into a third party platform than can and will consistently change the rules. Why rely on that?

    Great article Vinay. I look forward to sharing your article and engaging with you!

  56. This is one of the most helpful and well detailed article at Aha-Now! Nice work Vinay!

    Links and original content still primary ranking factors, also social signals becomes more and more important as time pass.

    Indeed editorial links is what we should earn to be safe from getting penalized.

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