Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Online Publishing Services - Promise Media on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, September 5, 2014).

Do backlinks really work anymore?

I have seen sites lose important backlinks and not experience a drop in traffic. I have seen sites gain important backlinks and not experience an increase in traffic. Do backlinks really work anymore??

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Online Publishing Services - Promise Media: I have seen sites lose important backlinks and not experience a drop in traffic. I have seen sites gain important backlinks and not experience an increase in traffic. Do backlinks really work anymore?
  • Steven Ciccantelli: +Online Publishing Services - Promise Media according to what I have been reading yes.According to Matt Cutts yes and some writers have back links just under content in importance.However all I do is just read a bundle and realize that not many really agree on anything.
  • Brian Swanick: Absolutely, yes. I've seen a lot of instances where sites have links removed but still retain a lot of authority.

    For instance, a lot of sites that are good for local used to essentially have a local link exchange. You had a page? You got a followed link. Even though now many sites nofollow those links or block some of the content from public view, a site may still have the initial equity they gained from that initial link.

    Eventually the authority will change, but it's not a real-time change at all.
  • Online Publishing Services - Promise Media: Steven, I've read the same things. I wonder how much of that view by some writers is based on past experience rather than the current situation.

    I'm not saying that backlinks aren't a factor at all in how a site gets ranked. I just wonder if the weight Google puts on it is getting lower over time.
  • Online Publishing Services - Promise Media: Brian, you hit on a related concern, which is how many sites now use nofollow links. I've spend a huge amount of time trying to find dofollow links, and it's extremely difficult to find them unless you build related blogs or in some cases cheat (i.e., pay a site in violation of Google policies).

    I suspect that might be why gaining or losing links may not have the same impact as it did several years ago.
  • Brian Swanick: Just focus on working with publishers who would be a good fit. It doesn't matter if a link is dofollow or nofollow if it sends you your audience.  ;As far as SEO, that's not a good thing. But if we're talking about your overall business objectives, then it's great.
  • Online Publishing Services - Promise Media: I agree. I also see more and more sites getting stingy with providing any backlinks because they don't want to lose audience or SEO value to another site.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Friday, September 5, 2014).