Are Backlinks Dead? No, Especially for Local Businesses

Are Backlinks Dead

For small business Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a challenging digital marketing task. While most SEO experts agree that there are a large number of ranking signals, links are not yet dead according to an infographic by DIRJOURNAL.

Good linking remains an important component to building your website. To rank websites, businesses need links- high-quality links. But surprisingly 94% of websites do not even have a single external backlink.

There are many ways for the website of your business to get links, but not all links are equally effective. Here quality pays off in the long term, and there are large differences in link elements that make some links more valuable than others. This includes anchor text, URL factors, clickability, and whether they are follow or no follow links.

Links Still Matter

Links help Google to associate your website with other concepts and attributes in the niche. According to SEMrush four of the top eight ranking factors are related to link signals. These include total referring domains, total backlinks, total referring IPS and total follow-backlinks. On average Google’s top organic search result has 3.8 times more backlinks and 3.2 times more referring domains.

Linking alone does not guarantee success. Link building and technical optimization are the best combinations for effective SEO tasks. Other non-link related SEO strategy includes direct site visits, the amount of time visitors remain on the site, pages per session, and bunce rates.

How to Build a Better Link Profile

A good link profile requires three key elements: trust, diversity and relevance. Creating great content can help deliver these elements. Long-form content can help get your website 77% more links than short articles. The lure of social media prominence might not always get you the desired results. Having your content shared across platforms is only effective if your strategy incorporates link building as well.

Familiarity matters more, high ranking sites need approximately four times more referring domains for popular keywords than for less common keywords. Your content should also help provide answers to common questions that visitors are looking for. Try to develop ‘Why … ? posts, ‘What … ?’ posts and infographics get more than a quarter (26%) more links than videos and how-to guides.


Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.