Why Links Don’t Count For Much Anymore
Links aren’t as important as they used to be. Once upon a time, they were vital to getting ranked high in search engines. These rankings were critical in generating traffic, since that was the primary method consumers used to find information. How things have changed in the last few years! Now it seems, one of the long-standing and venerable stalwarts of Internet culture, the search engine, is having its relevance challenged and its monopoly threatened.
The Way It Was…
Before the rise of social media, the average Internet user would log in, go to their search engine, and conduct a search using the correct criteria. The brand of search enegine didn’t matter since the concept was the same. Conduct a search and follow the resulting links. Simple. Since this was the accepted way of doing things, industry professionals used “links, links, links” as their business mantra. It was all about the links.
The Way It Is…
With social media assuming the role of the fair-haired wunderkind, search engines are no longer the only means of finding things. Sites with good, engaging content are being shared more often, and with the ease of communication brought on by increased social media, the news about such sites travels fast and far. Having your web pages mentioned on Facebook, GooglePlus, or Twitter carries with it a certain word of mouth gravitas. This can be more effective than a link to your site obtained by means of traditional SEO means.
Businesses are slowly starting to realize that superior content is its own best advertising. Rather than working on search ranks and the like, they are shifting resources to creating more engaging and informative content. The aim is to get these pieces shared by their audience through social media.
And The Way It Shall Be…
You can’t click on a news story without reading that some long-established aspect of the Internet is now “dead” or “dying”. So it’s easy to chalk this up to yet another prophet of doom polemic. But no one is saying that search engines are dead, so there’s no need to rush out and sell your shares of Google. No one is saying that concept of links themselves are dead, either. However, the need for links and the corresponding high rankings in search engines is no longer absolute.
When it comes to making sure your website has a good reputation and heavy traffic, consider one of the many Internet reputation management services. Social media, e-commerce, the Internet and the whole shooting match is still new territory. It’s continuously evolving and adjusting itself, so consider this an adjustment as well as a wake-up call.