Is Backlink Still Effective in 2021?

29Jun, 2021

Google was the first online search engine to use backlinks as a way of ranking search results and, over the years, it has been the most effective way to get your website ranked at the top of Google. Most SEOs dedicate 99% of their time to finding backlink opportunities and analyzing competitors’ links to try to gain a competitive edge. It has created a multi-billion dollar marketplace where website owners pay to have an article published on other websites with keyword hyphenated links pointing back to the pages that they wish to rank for those keywords.

Is Backlinking Against Google Guidelines In 2021?

It is against Google guidelines to pay for links. However, try saying that to any professional SEO and they will tell you the truth. Nearly 100% of the top-ranking sites on Google have paid for some form of backlink building. Google just does not like to advertise the power of these for ranking purposes as it would mean that countless SEOs would try to influence search results using backlinks, which has been the case for more than a decade now.

So, Are Backlinks Worth It In 2021?

The question is, will they still be working in 2021, and should you be focusing your attention on gaining backlinks to help your website rank? The answer is simple. Yes, you need backlinks to rank at the top of Google for competitive keywords. What has changed, however, is that it is not the quantity of the number of links pointing to a page, but the quality of the page that is referring to the more important link. So, for example, one single backlink from Wikipedia is far more powerful than a link on a random forum. 

What Is Google Trying To Achieve?

Why is Google attempting to eliminate all spammy link-building techniques? These can involve using bots to post countless posts with backlinks to a website using thousands of forums, for example. Google wants to eliminate PBN, which is a network of websites set up for the sole purpose of link building. They have also recently stated that they will use link builders’ spam emails against them, so if you are sending out countless emails trying to sell or buy backlinks, now is the time to stop if you do not want to get penalized.

Google’s Latest Algorithm Change

There is an update that has just been completed, so if your site suddenly drops in the rankings between the 23rd and 28th of June, it is probably down to these changes. This latest update is targeted at spam, so make sure you check your website fully for this if you have seen a change. The definition of spam refers mainly to sites that make visitors provide personal information or install malware or use tactics to try to manipulate the algorithm.

So far, this change doesn’t appear to have a huge effect on the regions I monitor. Yes, most monitoring tools and the ranking fluctuations were greater than normal. It’s unclear what kind of spam is particularly targeted, so I will be following closely the results of this latest rollout.

I urge you to take very careful note of the quality standards that set out certain illegal activities that may result in a site being completely removed from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithm. If a site has been impacted by spam activity, the results on Google can no longer be seen.

What SEO Strategy Should You Use In 2021

The first thing that you should do is to improve the content you have on each page. It must be comprehensive, include sources to back up any claims made, include links to useful resources that will assist the viewer, and be written by an expert on the subject.

As far as backlink building is concerned, the best approach is to concentrate on getting at least one very high-quality link to each of the pages you are targeting keywords for. Do not try to get 1,000 links as this will go against you. Remember, Google is looking for the highest quality content that has the highest quality backlinks pointing to it.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has been doing SEO for 13 years, I can tell you that the updates to Google’s algorithms have never been so frequent before. Some changes can be beneficial, but most of the time, they will harm your site. Make sure you follow the guidelines along with updating your sites before the changes take place, to try to avoid your site losing rankings.


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