Link building became a dirty word in the wake of Google’s Penguin update – not because the practice isn’t necessary, not because link building is in any way negative, but because many practitioners were using tactics that were dishonest and counterproductive. If you can remember as far back as pre-Reddit fora, you will also remember the links that appeared under any post; the same was true (and unbelievably still is) of the comment sections of blogs and articles.
Brands and agencies would either place, or outsource the placing of, enormous volumes of links anywhere where links could be placed – all in an effort to artificially inflate the link profiles of their, or their clients’, websites. The same link-builders also hosted ‘link-farms’ – sites that existed solely as a repository for outbound links.
‘The Science Behind Content Marketing’ eBook contains sections that deal with:
- What is the scientific method?
- What questions you should ask
- What research you need to do
- How to refine your process through science
- A revised methodology for link building
Once these tactics were rendered obsolete (though not non-existent – it is still possible to earn short term results from such black hat techniques, and brands are still penalised for this kind of activity now, leading to far greater losses in the long term), the term ‘link building’ fell out of favour because of its association with tactics that had been firmly penalised by Google.
However, link building is precisely what outreach is and a host of other euphemisms, yet link building seems a far better description – it is a process of construction. More than this, however, it is a process which has been honed over two decades to become (in the best cases) a science of link building.