Brighton SEO: Stop thinking about links

10th June, 2015

BrightonSEO tag Recovered

Part of a series of posts that bring home the best of Brighton SEO for anyone who couldn’t make it. Find out what you missed as we review the stand-out presentations so you can get the key takeaways.

Our third post focuses on Samuel Scott  of who gave an impassioned cry that went determinedly against the grain in its argument that we should stop thinking about links.

A voice in the wilderness?
At an SEO conference in which presentations were made on how to use Majestic’s link research tool and on ways to find and gain links easily , Samuel Scott’s cry that we should stop trying to build links came as something of a surprise.

A pleasant surprise.

And a thought-provoking one.

His point was to urge us to stop thinking about links for their SEO benefit and start thing about PR and marketing in the real world.

He urged us to look beyond the digital silo and into the wider world of marketing.

Let them talk
Samuel backed up his assertions with some fascinating case studies that saw the use of event or campaign-based marketing catapult sites up the search engines. You can check them out here.

Quite simply when you start to actually do something interesting then people will talk. And others will hear: things start rolling. So more people talk. And when more people talk news organisations start to take notice. When news organisations take notice you are suddenly talking to a much wider audience.

And these days we don’t just talk.

We link. And when news organisations start to link you are getting some highly valuable links.

Beyond links
Samuel urged digital marketers to look beyond links.

To start thinking big.

To stop trying to get this or that link and to start doing something that will genuinely earn links.

In doing so he echoed the thoughts that top SEOs have expressed for years.

Echoes from Rand
Back in 2013 Rand Fishkin, the self-proclaimed Wizard of Moz and SEO cheerleader extraordinaire, mused out loud on Twitter:

“The more advanced Google becomes, the more SEO feels like a bonus for getting marketing and web development right.”

Endgames from Google
What Samuel urged also sits very tightly with the endgame that Google is playing with search results. Google has shown a relentless drive to try and ensure that those who appear at the top of its search result pages are those that are genuinely liked, respected and of value to users.

Not those who can play the algorithm or ‘build links’.

It will continue to play this endgame for years to come.

The smart money says that we should all be earning rather than building links. After all the first commandment of Google’s infamous ten runs like this:

Focus on the user and all else will follow.

Since the beginning, we've focused on providing the best user experience possible.”

Real marketing challenge from Samuel
Provocatively Samuel ended his presentation with a challenge to SEOs.

“Do real marketing & PR and the best links will come themselves. You’ll never have to worry about Penguin.”

And that’s an attractive proposition.

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