In the world of SEO, the allure of buying links has tempted many digital marketers with promises of quick wins and higher rankings. Some argue that it's a viable strategy, but the recent Linkspam update by Google is a stark reminder of the hidden costs and risks associated with this practice. In this article, we'll explore the impact of buying links on websites and why building a brand should be the top priority for SEOs in 2023 and beyond.
The Linkspam Update's Real-Life Impact
The Linkspam update has left a trail of consequences for websites, including a multi-seven-figure business that fell victim to this practice. While the site wasn't penalized, its money pages significantly dropped in rankings as Google began ignoring the purchased links that had propped it up for so long. The result? Vastly lower revenue and, in some cases, job losses.
Why Link Buying Is Problematic: One of the primary reasons for the aversion to link buying is its unpredictable nature. It may work wonders until Google decides otherwise, causing a sudden loss of revenue and potential layoffs. This instability highlights the ethical and long-term risks associated with link buying.
The Broader Impact on SEO and Businesses: The ripple effect of link buying extends beyond individual SEOs or agencies. Over the years, countless businesses have faced the fallout, from rebranding to layoffs and even business collapse. Link buying might offer short-term gains but can lead to devastating consequences when Google's algorithms catch up.
The Importance of Building a Brand:
Amidst the perils of link buying, the fundamental truth remains: building a brand is the ultimate SEO technique. Brands that invest in establishing a strong identity and reputation are less susceptible to the pitfalls of link-related updates. A well-known brand can weather algorithmic storms by focusing on long-term trust and recognition.
The Shift Towards Holistic Marketing: In today's digital landscape, SEO should operate in collaboration. Channels should work together to maximize a brand's share of search interest and buyer intent in organic search. This approach enhances the brand's visibility and accessibility, making it easy to mind and find.
Share of Search: The Key Metric: Increasing search share, a combination of brand and buyer intent search, is the pathway to sustainable growth. SEO's role is pivotal in harnessing the wealth of data search provides and integrating it with other marketing channels.
The Linkspam update is a poignant reminder that SEO strategies should prioritize building a brand rather than relying on risky practices like buying links. Link instability can have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only SEO professionals but entire businesses and their employees. As we move forward in 2023 and beyond, the focus should shift towards holistic marketing and increasing search share to achieve lasting digital success. Remember, resist the allure of quick fixes because the long-term growth of your brand is what truly matters.