Links….To Build or Not to Build?

The question of link building as a viable strategy for today’s SEO is still getting quite a bit of chatter. Some want to declare link building to be dead while others including Google’s own Matt Cutts claim just the opposite. The uncertainty seems to have impacted the amount of money companies are spending on link building these days. At least according to the annual The%20question of link building as a viable strategy for today’s SEO is still getting quite a bit of chatter. Some want to declare link building to be dead while others including Google’s own Matt Cutts claim just the opposite. The uncertainty seems to have impacted the amount of money companies are spending on link building these days. At least according to the annual Skyrocket SEO Link Building Survey.

Survey respondents represent a cross section of consultants, business owners and SEO managers from various size companies. A total of 315 responded to the survey making the information largely directional rather than “scientific”. This does give us a valuable look into where folks are investing their SEO dollars and the challenges they are facing.

Most respondents are spending $1000 – $50,000 per month on link building.  Fifty three percent spend between $1000 and $10,000, and 37% report spending between $10,000 and $50,000, which was an increase over 2013. No one reported spending more than $50,000 per month (10% did in 2013). Skyrocket attributes some of the reduction at the top end to uncertainty about link building and shifting money to content projects that ultimately will help build and earn links.

For those who have increased their link building budget, they report doing so to moving to more expensive link building activity to garner more quality links.   Those who reduced spending said they shifted resources to more content marketing activity and also were unsure of the impact Google’s manual actions might have on their website.

Going forward nearly three quarters said they plan to increase spending on link building, so many still believe in the activity.

Content plus outreach is by far the most common strategy, which represents a clear shift from the 2013 survey when guest blogging was the number one strategy. Not surprisingly this was also the area respondents felt was the most effective strategy as well.   Guest posts were listed last.

Respondents said that getting links to “money pages”, lack of scalability and avoiding Google penalties were their biggest link building challenges. Paid links and article directories were thought to be the most harmful to a site.  Staying up with the current SEO news can help you know the best way to spend your marketing dollars.