Are Backlinks a Thing of The Past?

This seems to be the question of the year for most bloggers and website owners. Are backlinks still good for SEO and if so how can you tell the difference between positive backlinks and negative backlinks? The general idea behind backlinks is for them to be as natural and unique as possible.

Natural or Unnatural?

Google looks at many elements in order to decide if a site is offering natural or unnatural backlinks. Matt Cutts puts it like this “A link will be considered natural when it’s naturally placed into an article or website.” This means you cannot purchase, trade or guest blog to plug your links or websites anymore. The links have to be added within a natural way without seeking the value or benefit of an actual backlink.

Is Guest Blogging Bad?

Guest blogging is still an amazing way to generate backlinks to our websites and blogs. We just have to make sure the sites we are posting on are #1 relevant to our sites or blogs and #2 quality and a trusted resource. Have a peak at some of the posts recently on the site and make sure the links going out are not unrelated to the content your reading. Most the time you can tell when a site is offering paid links.

What about all the same social networking sites?

Creating backlinks from social networking sites is great but ensure the community is socially active and is not for SEO backlinking purposes. You can tell easily a proper social networking site will have users engaged in conversation, voting and adding friends.

Stay away from websites that are for submitting links simply for the backlink and seo benefit. You want to look for active communities engaging with one another. The value of these links are little anyways these days, it’s more about the engagement and traffic, not SEO or backlinks. With that said, submitting to social networks still provides some backlinking advantages.

When submitting to social networks it’s always suggested to be unique with your title and description. Try not to copy and paste the exact wording from your blog to the social network site. It’s currently allowed and a normal practice but I’m sure if you take the time to be unique, you will see much more of an advantage over the long run in search engine and referral traffic.


An important factor to pay attention to here is not having a lot of the same links from a ton of the same style websites. This means not using a lot of same social networks to submit your articles to. Select the network you enjoy the most and use it, having your posts on 10 networks using the same software, title, tags and descriptions is hurting your SEO. If you use my community Blog Engage avoid using others like it or similar.

As Google grows, creates new rules and algorithms we will always be changing our ways in which we work on SEO. One thing for sure, it seems to be moving towards the behaviors of us the website owners. Factors such as link types, quality and consistency of targeted keywords will determine the value and strength of the links.

In others words do it, but don’t over do it!

I also like to point attention to another fact Matt Cutts mentions and that’s protecting the users. Google wants to ensure quality content is being seen by their users, our search traffic. We have to provide quality content and design for these users. Also in addition we have to have the proper information, the answers the users are searching for. The user experience is obviously a very important factor for Google and they are setting a lot pride on search results.

It seems ranking is not only about building backlinks and credibility it’s about deserving to be there. DO you meet the needs of the end consumer for that search? Is your content quality and worth reading regarding the specific subject? Over all from backlink to content we have to ensure we are setting the standards for quality.

Author: bbrian017

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

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    • Hi Riya thanks for the comment and posting here on my blog! I appreciate it. Personally I don’t care much about high PR blogs, I prefer blogs with a lot of readers. I think that has more value.

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  1. You said it all, we should be building backlinks from the right source, when you talked about social networking website, what came into my mind were awesome Websites that engages bloggers and networked them together like Blogengage, Bizsugar among others. This post is really great. Wonderful explanation.

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    • The idea here is to keep all back links natural and targeted. I swear if you submit your site to the same social networks with the same url and title over and over it’s hurting SEO. Pick one or two sites and use them, not all 30. Thanks for visiting and commenting Isaiah.

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      • bbrian-

        Please clarify what you mean here. For example I use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and maybe a couple more that I can’t think of right now. Primarily I post on Google+ but have my website link listed in the profile of all. What exactly do you mean by “submit your site to the same social networks over and over”?

        Thanks for all the information you put out here on your blog!

        Post a Reply
        • When using these sites, create unique titles and descriptions for your submissions. Also, try and use different tags as this will help you rank higher and will give more authority to the backlinks. Remember Google looks for repetitiveness so try and avoid this at all costs as it will devalue the link.

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  2. Backlinks are the backbone of a website and we can’t ignore it. Guest posting is an effective way to generate backlinks but it should be done for high authority sites. If you submit articles to any irrelevant websites then only our site will get affected. Stop doing guest post in terms of SEO. Now we need to think for our users not for search engines.

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    • HI Sarmista, I’ve always had the mentality to provide service to the users before Search Engines. Guest blogging will always have an affect on SEO and if done right it can have huge potential for the guest blogger in regards to traffic and new blog readers.

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  3. Hey Brian, Backlinking is not over yet. Manual backlinking always helps and keeping good relation with other bloggers always help each one’s blog to grow.

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    • I agree, in fact I don’t think we will ever see a day when creating backlinks is non relevant. But than again who knows what the future brings for SEO and Search.

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