Washing Our Hands of Link Building

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Links have been used as a ranking metric since the dawn of the search engine, but are we in the middle of a period of transition? Users on SEO Chat think (or at least hope) so. They predict that in the future, Google will rank sites by user experience and content. User ThomasHarvey lists bounce rate, conversion rate, easy navigation, page speed, quality images, engaging videos, and "written content that answers the users query" among what he believes Google will rank for in the future. "I also do not believe we are that far off [from] this," he adds.

"Personalized results I feel was the beginning of the end, although I doubt we will ever get away from some links," writes user Chedders.

What do you think? People are predicting a lot of changes for 2016! When you reflect back on the changes made this year, do you think there will be more or fewer next year? Of greater or smaller scope?

Comments

User Experience

User experience is not a new topic. Some of us old-uns have been banging that drum for a long time, so i'm delighted that it's starting to come to the fore.

As far as link building is concerned, I always like to refer to it as link development. It's still an important part of the web, so it should not come off anyone's seo programmes for a while yet. Link Development just needs to be far more sophisticated than it was. Forget the rubbish links - quality, not quantity is the answer.

Look at all that disavow information that google has built. You can't tell me it doesn't have a repository for all that, and the big data it generates, showing what's a disavowed link, and to which site/s. That big data will show them what domains have been disavowed. The more url disavows, the more likley the site is bad, and then, the more likely to dots connect and the new alerts start popping up in the search console.

One of the key aspects is still mobile, and app indexing and AMP. These are new ways Google can separate itself from the traditional side of SEO and, i'm sure it hopes, develop a stronger revenue stream in mobile, imho.

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