Every year at this time two interesting things happen:
- The Earth passes through the debris field of the Swift-Tuttle comet (which we call “the tail”), some of which enters are atmosphere resulting in a much higher than average number of shooting stars.
- Moz publishes their bi-annual report of search engine ranking factors, the 2015 edition of which was just published.
The answer to the question “How much do links matter?” has a really interesting answer this year.
Bear in mind that there is no one factor Moz has ever discovered that directly correlates with a high search engine ranking.
What they do report on is the correlation between high ranking web pages and aspects or attributes of the high ranking pages.
This year the highest correlation is 0.37, which means that of all the high ranking web pages analyzed, 37% of them had this attribute.
The factor with the 0.37 correlation is Page Authority, which is a numerical value calculated by the values of the links to the page.
The next highest correlation is the number of unique IP addresses linking to the web page. The correlation on that was 0.31.
So yes, Links Still Matter Greatly
So, while links do seem to matter less today than a few years ago, links still matter greatly.
You will receive a lot of advise on how to attract links to your content, and I now share what is working best for me.
Bear in mind all of them take time to produce results and what matters most is staying the course.
Create a Hierarchical Internal Link Structure
Internal links count too. So creating a hierarchical structure where numerous short ports link “up” to a smaller number of longer and better researched posts lifts the authority of the linked to posts over time.
Promote Content via Social Media
I use Buffer which allows me to automate the process of generating social media updates.
I started about 8 months ago asking for guest posting opportunities and slowly worked my up from websites with small audiences and low levels of authority to larger sites with higher levels of authority. You create a portfolio with every article you guest post and each article then helps you attract writing opportunities on high authority sites.
I’m not yet to the Inc.com and HuffingtonPost.com level, but in time if I persist I will be.
It’s not enough to publish good stuff on your website. You need other websites to link to it. I split my time about equally between content generation and content promotion. Both take time, effort, and focus, but creating a high ranking websites requires this effort.SEO Needs Link Building