Do I need back links?

Back linking is almost is one of the oldest methods of drawing in a larger number of users, that stems back even before the internet as we know it. Its primordial history starts in the days of bulletin boards, where the link section managed to create a network within a closed system. Throughout the evolution of the web as we know it and the advent of the search engine as the primary means by which content is located, ranking websites by counting the number of web links that linked to a particular website was one of the most important ways to create a ranking in between websites for any given domain/keyword.

So, the question is, do you still need back links in 2014? Given the increase in importance that social networking has brought forth, some would say that classic back linking might no longer be as efficient a source of keeping a website ranking high. However, by using a combination of content that is value adding and linking your website platform to other websites, the process still manages to achieve better ranking results than simply relying on social networking only.

Social networking effects on back linking

One way to consider back linking in 2014 and the years to follow, is through the lens of social networking. In a way, social networking can act as a more precise and trust worthy algorithm to drive users to your platform. The reason is that the users of a social network can decide better than a coded algorithm what is good content and lead to more links. So, using social media and networking, together with tighter content, with more value adding content is what puts back linking back in the game.

Of course, the caveat is that content needs to get more bite sized, almost in a manner that is easy to share and capture a user’s attention in a manner of seconds. However, this trick can be used to drive users to your website, where content can be a lot more developed, so, in a way, what happens is that along with SEO, one also needs to look at his content and website through the eyes of a copywriter, in the advertising sense of the word.

Even more important, given the pervasiveness and increasing value of Google+, back linking can also be looked at and considered through the lens of authorship. Increasing the number of links to a website can also be a question of number of users interested in a certain author. Which in turn is also aided by the activity that the user has in (his) industry specific forums and platforms.

Of course, classic ways of finding out what websites or platforms are best to link to can be achieved via classic tools such as link checkers, so it’s not all about the latest, newest trend. In fact, back links usage is one of the areas that still hold strong in form and function from the days of the web 1.0 times. Only that today, for what it’s worth, quality of content has become a lot more crucial, and there are more safety nets for users and less space to fool Google with non organic SEO.

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