Link Building Changes in 2014 – Response to Survey

Aside from the 1st point that I’d like to highlight is that 99.99% of SEO firms lie about just how much “paid link building” they do, which I a personal pet hate of mine, it seems incredibly likely that people are simply reclassifying what they call paid link building.

I’ve worked in agencies, I own an agency and I get the feeling that the increase in “content + outreach” that the data shows almost certainly contains a paid element. Personally I’ve always called this Justified Link Building. That meaning that whilst we have built something worth linking to, occasionally you have to grease the wheels a little bit, and why is that, well it’s fundamental human nature, people don’t do things for free. I prefer this term as I find it doesn’t attempt to skirt over the cold hard truths of what we’re actually doing.

And for the record as an active webmaster I still get requests for paid content placement from companies that swear blind they don’t pay for links….

What this study seems to say to me, is that the term “content and outreach” is simply how we are reclassifying the market, and that we’re now going to make something better quality, try and get something for free, if and when we eventually don’t hit targets the cheque book still comes out. Personally I have no problems with this, if you go to a high quality trafficked site, with something of interest, paying for placement should pay for itself in positive branding implications.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

What I do dislike, is the principle of suggesting that “content and outreach” is used by 91% of people as a main tactic, but paying only by 22%. Now, either I’ve missed a trick, as has every agency I’ve worked and know. Or the far more likely is that the allocated budgets applied to “outreach” are not being classed as paid. Which, in fact, they are.

I’m NOT Saying You Can’t Earn Links


Of course you can earn links, but it should be noted that with the vast majority of large campaigns we run, we will of course pay initially to get the ball rolling, am I doing this legitimately to promote the content. Yes. Does that mean I’m not going to place a link back to the content even though it makes sense and would look completely natural and editorially given. Of course it doesn’t. Because that would be wasting a client’s money.

Generally speaking it’s easier to get more interest for something once you’ve already shown some people are interested. That’s hard to impossible to do unless you’re working on a mega brand or at least a highly regarded industry known brand.

The fact is unfortunately that free and earned links are great, and need to be part of the strategy, but they need to be supplemented at least in competitive markets. And anyone who claims to never pay is either a delusional Head of Dept, Founder etc, who is likely unaware of what his staff are doing. Not doing a good job. Or is simply lying.