The Best Search Engine Optimization Companies Agree: Link Building Is No More

Link building as a ‘right proper’ SEO practice is still being pushed by many companies around the world, but the best Search Engine Optimization companies agree with Google — or at least the opinion that Google seems to have given what Panda and Penguin have done to SEO — which is that link building is through.

Google has long maintained a weird relationship with the practice of link building. Originally they considered it white-hat, then they kind of informally shifted it into the grey-hat area, and today they consider it strictly black. If you artificially create a link — any link — for money, you’re violating the Internet’s Terms of Use as far as Google is concerned. Which is ridiculous, and they know it, but they have to maintain the illusion that the competition for the first few slots on their SERPs isn’t rigged by SEO companies.

Why? Because their claim has always been that the SERPs show users what they most want to see — not what some other company has engineered into position.

Fortunately, the best SEO companies out there know the secret to success under today’s Google laws: “all” you have to do is make your client the page that people want to see. That’s why SEO has become this strange agglutination of reputation management, advertising, social media, and so on — because the best optimization these days isn’t link building, it’s market positioning.

Of course, it’s silly to think that every new startup that hits the market has a unique position. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there whose business concept really is “do exactly what did, only later and in a more saturated market.” Those people shouldn’t ever be at the top of the SERPs, because really, who wants to see another clone of something they’ve already been offered elsewhere?

So what does an SEO company do with a client that clearly doesn’t deserve a spot in the SERPs? They build them a spot in the SERPs anyway — even if it means working with the company until they’ve solidified a position in their market that wasn’t what they expected at first. Just another thing on the long list of things the best SEO companies have to do.