Friday, January 4, 2013

Where Link Building is Heading in 2013

The techniques and tactics I've used since 1994 are absolutely as effective today as they were then, with the added advantage that we now have even more methods to help URLs migrate and be pushed along and throughout the web. If you know what you're doing, the reality is it's actually easier today than it was back then to get attention and links for truly outstanding content.

Another year has come and gone. For link builders, 2012 may well be remembered as the year that link building truly changed forever.

There have been hints over the years that the engines were getting wise to certain questionable linking tactics, but nothing quite as dramatic as what took place in 2012. Several techniques that had worked for years stopped working.

Where Link Building is Heading in 2013Link networks discovered and devalued, site after site vanishing from rankings. Warnings from the engines themselves about "unnatural" links. New services promising link profile cleansing and webmasters being given the opportunity to disavow the very links they so eagerly went after (and perhaps paid for) not long ago. And these are just some of the linking related events that took place.

Indeed, 2012 was the year link building changed. Forever.

We can argue about the details. I've been petty vocal that nothing changed at all other than the engines getting smarter, and this single change then caused a domino effect that impacted sites and services that some would say had no business being in business in the first place.

Maybe the larger truth is that for some, link building changed forever while for others (who never ventured down darker alleys) not much changed at all. I know from my own perspective of 18+ years on link building's front line, nothing much changed at all for me.

So let's be candid. The primary thing that's happened is it's gotten harder to get crappy content to rank high. And for this, we should all be thankful. I will now duck so the arrows hopefully miss me.
But enough about 2012.

Where are things headed in 2013 from a link building perspective? Let's take a look at several aspects of the linking ecosphere and I'll go out on some limbs and give you my best guesses as to what you might see in 2013, and what to do about it if you so choose.

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