What’s going to change for SEO in 2023? That’s a question that many marketers have and rightly so. Just before the new year rolled in, Google released a significant update for its search algorithm, and that update’s effects are only becoming apparent. That’s also led many to question whether this update will have any impact on link building initiatives and whether that will continue to remain relevant going forward.
Many trends have come and gone but link building has remained a consistent SEO best practice. It remains an exceptional way to increase the visibility of your content by indicating to Google that your content is relevant and provides value to readers. These signals are viewed favorably by Google which results in elevated rankings.
With that being said, there is a difference in how link building should be utilized as a tool in 2023 compared to how it was used in the past. Google has also changed the way it views links. It’s important for embarking on link building initiatives the right way so that the full potential may be realized.
What is link building?
As the name suggests, link building is an initiative that you undertake to “build” links from one or more websites to your own. Links are vital for users to navigate and discover new sources for the information they seek. For example, if their search for a query lands them on a website that provides surface-level information and that website links to yours as a more in-depth resource, users will likely view your website as a source of a credible source of information.
Much like how users navigate from one website to another when they’re surfing the internet, the search engine’s bots also crawl web pages to index them for ranking on Google search results. These bots decide where each webpage will be ranked in response to a search on Google. They make these decisions based on a wide variety of signals. Google never discloses exactly what signals its bots are looking for, but it often provides some insight into the process.
Link building is known to be one of those signals. If a website has a lot of inbound links from high-authority websites in its niche, Google’s bots and the algorithm will view it as a positive signal and rank those web pages higher in the results.
Link building is still essential in 2023
Marketers revamping the SEO approach for their projects in 2023 must keep link building in mind as it’s still essential and can significantly improve the rankings of the websites they’re managing. Google has indeed changed the way it views inbound links over the years. It’s no longer a matter of simply having as many websites link to yours as possible. That’s one of the reasons why some feel that link-building is no longer important but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Google’s algorithm has gone from basing its decisions on the number of links to the quality of links. For example, it’s entirely possible for one link from a highly relevant website to result in improved rankings and for 10 links from irrelevant websites to not move the needle in your favor at all. Therefore, your link building strategies in 2023 shouldn’t be about casting a wide net and catching as many inbound links as you can manage. Instead, the focus should be on receiving links from high-quality websites in your niche.
The search engine has become very adept at disregarding junk links. In the past, a higher concentration of junk links could end up tanking a website’s rankings. That required webmasters to keep an eye on bad links and manually disavow them so as to prevent a negative impact. Junk sites linking to your content don’t seem to have much impact anymore as Google’s algorithm has become pretty good at figuring out unsolicited links. It goes without saying that a low-quality website that gets plenty of links from similar junk sites is not going to go anywhere in search rankings.
How to improve your link building efforts in 2023
If you’ve looked into link building over the years, you already know about the most common methods that are suggested to go about it. Guest posting is one of them. The idea is that you offer to post some relevant content for a website in your niche in exchange for a link to your website. Your mileage may vary with this approach as it often requires approaching a very large number of website owners only to get one or two links.
Infographics and other visual content have also proven to be useful. This strategy aims to create some visual medium to provide information relevant to other websites in your industry. If they share that information with their audience, they’ll likely provide a link to the source, thereby helping you gain some valuable inbound links.
However, if you’re looking for a fresh approach to link building in 2023, look at HARO (Help A Reporter Out). It’s a very useful tool to provide quality content and gain links from some of the best websites in the business. Major publishers from across the globe often require assistance with the stories that they’re writing. It could be about a specific topic, industry, event, etc. Sign up for HARO and configure alerts for requests for information in your niche. Reply to those requests with your expertise, and if accepted, you’ll receive a link in exchange.
Thus, HARO provides a very natural and scalable way of building links from high-quality websites, and it should be a part of your strategy in 2023.
Link building isn’t the be-all and end-all of SEO
It’s pertinent to remember that link building is just one part of SEO, albeit an important one. It’s not the only thing that matters. A comprehensive SEO strategy includes link building but doesn’t rely on it entirely. Ultimately, content is king, and if the content isn’t relevant or doesn’t address the search intent, it doesn’t matter how many inbound links the website has, Google isn’t going to rank it high.
Marketers shouldn’t focus entirely on building as many links as possible. They should also ensure that the content is updated and new content is posted with reasonable frequency. All of the other SEO best practices should be followed. It’s only then that the link building efforts can bear fruit.