As SEO evolves, SEO gurus figure out what makes Google happy. After so long, Google will start to catch onto some illegitimate efforts made by blackhat SEOers. Linking is one thing that has been grossly exploited by bad SEO guys and has turned into kind of a touchy topic with Google especially since their last update.
So this bring about the question, are links, one of Googles most valued inputs of their ranking algorithm, losing value because too many people are trying to cheat the system? The answer for this can go both ways. If you are getting thousands of links from Timbuktu, those links are probably doing you much more harm than they are doing you good. So in this sense, yes links are losing their value, and fast.
Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum for a second though. Links are something that very successful webpages are going to get no matter what, because people naturally want to share things that make them happy. So Google can’t just go saying HEY YOU WITH THE TRUCK LOAD OF LINKS, YOURE GAMING THE SYSTEM IM TAKING YOU DOWN!! This is where the Penguin update came into play. SEO guys who thought they knew how to rank high on Google by getting the most links possible were given a firm smack in the face when Google released its Penguin update which all but eradicated spammy links. This being said, natural links from many different root domains and C-Blocks are valued much much more than they were before. This goes for social media sites aswell.
So what am I trying to get at here with the great link debate? Links are being devalued and increasing in value all at the same time. It is just a matter of if the link was natural or created artificially. I would like to see more focus down the road from SEO guys on building a lower amount of quality links, than going after every link possible. This will always be a safe road to take. You can try to game the system, but Google is ever evolving. You never know when they are going to release the next update that may make you disappear from the SERP for not playing by their rules.
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