Google Gives Link Building The Silent Treatment

Defines SEO Without It

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When the Google Analytics team provided a pretty narrow definition of search engine optimization, the SEO gurus pricked up their ears. While their objections may seem pedantic in a way, the point is duly noted that one important element was left out of said definition: link building.

The focus of Laura Melahn and Jon Stona’s post was actually website optimization, a task distinctly different from SEO. In order to proceed, Melahn and Stona defined SEO this way:

  • Search-engine optimization means adjusting the content of your site so it ranks higher in the list of search results for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
  •   Website optimization means creating and testing different combinations of site content to increase visitor conversion rates and overall visitor satisfaction.

 While championing King Content, the Google reps have left out the second most important (some argue most important) aspect of SEO, acquiring those coveted in-bound links. It could have been for the sake of brevity. After all, using the define function on Google brings back several definition snippets, only one of which actually gets around to mentioning the necessity of building links.

But it seems to some Googlers should be more thorough when defining an industry the company has dictated for some time. Tim, at the eCommerce and Entrepreneurship blog suggest the definition—especially if this is going to be an official one—should be expanded to include other techniques:

Although Google’s definition is likely accurate from a historical perspective, if Search Engine Optimization has become more synonymous with ranking higher than with adjusting content, and ranking higher is influenced by a slew factors, some of which arguably have more or less influence than content, maybe the definition of Search Engine Optimization should be something like the following:

  • Search-engine optimization means adjusting the content of doing things like W, X, Y, and  Z to your site so it ranks higher in the list of search results for a particular keyword or keyword phrase. 

Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal
admits it could just be an oversight, but the cynical side of him and his post commentators reveals a deep distrust of Google when it comes to acknowledging the importance of links. Beal posits, "Google’s trying to throw you off the scent deliberately, because they don’t want you to ‘adjust’ your links."

Commentators concur that all the great content in the world by itself does little if nobody who counts is linking to it. Commentator Dave Snyder agrees this is more of a PR definition than a technical one. "Another case of Google not lying, but not telling the whole truth. They know that the Web is filled with misinformation about SEO, META keyword articles, keyword density articles, and the like. This pushes those seeking SEO knowledge towards those on-site factors. On-site work will get you ranked for a low competition term, but we all know that link equity is what makes the Google algo tick right now."


Google Gives Link Building The Silent Treatment
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  • http://www.rankbetterseo.com/Search-Engine-Optimization.php SEO Company Chicago

    Agreed Andy, after all if everyone was ranking well for their key terms why would they buy as much PPC.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/jbarbaric Newbie Affiliate

    Google just doesn’t want to admit that backlinks are important because they fear that it would increase artificial link building.

  • http://www.ghost.com john

    things or widgets like blogrush , digg , add this plugins .. makes adwords or ppc useless + if a big company is on top of the ranking it will abandon its adwords compaign .

    they say that devils is church’s best friend cause it keeps the business running .

    Google dance = the devil

    without the dance , google adwords or ppc will go down . to keep big companies on adwords they have to make a devil .. which making one helps me think they are doing evil ..

    Google = do no evil ? = not true any more

    with Google adsense referal and wordpress stand alone software or even blogger ..

    Google is killing its ONCE clicker market ..  who will buy fish when everyone sells fish ?  young and old people were once the market for click – now everyone seems have the idea of NOT to click when they visit site cause they too have the PPC code on their blogs .

    THe market is getting thinner — or shall i say will get …

    nevermind me im just sick

  • http://www.crbuses.com used buses

    The biggest form of obvious spam comes from on-page factors (keyword spamming and inbound links.

    It is much easier for Google to assess on-page overoptimization, so they make sure that that method is first and foremost.

    Chasing down link quality has always been a problem for Google.com, and if it wasnt, they would be encouraging webmasters to get links and to make the sure the links talk about the content of the website. Why would anyone not want to have a link pointed at them not talk about their subject matter?

  • http://www.seovisions.com SEO Company

    Although I can see why Google is leary to push link building in many forms, it seems to be quite the oversight to not formerly acknowledge links as a prime part of SEO. Although it does seem that at times Matt Cutts speaks highly about natural and organic editorial links for building quality and long-term rankings, it is clear that this is not always the case.

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