Bottom line, up front: Link builders build links. Duh. But everybody builds links.
Google recently came on record saying that links may be less important in the future than they are today.
And while this is an interesting point for futurologists, it’s also an admission that links still play a MAJOR role when it comes to your site ranking on top of the #1 search engine today.
In fact, they’re probably still the main ranking factor.
However, the link building & creation process is still somewhat of a murky topic due to Google’s vague & punitive Webmaster guidelines on the topic.
So we decided to anonymously survey 755 professional link builders on how they build links, what works best / worst for them, and what it really takes to make link building work for your business.
Bill's take: Everybody buys links. You either do it with money or time.
Even “earned links” take a lot of effort, unless you're Tim Ferriss or Darren Rowse or Joe Rogan. Ugh.
Links won't go away any time soon. They are a reliable indicator, despite SEOs buying them or gaming the system, that your content is good enough to share.
Here's a gem from the survey:
Guest posting is, by far, the most popular link building tactic. This is somewhat contradictory to the point that the same people said creating content or linkable assets is the most effective link building tactic.
Remember when Google's Matt Cutts said “guest blogging is dead?”
Everybody worth their salt knew this meant guest blogging was pissing off Google and they didn't know how to deal with it.
It's still one of the best ways to earn links and–more importantly–drive direct traffic back to your site.