Backlinks are bad for your SEO

I had an awesome time at The Internet Conference last week, but I came back to a bit of a controversy. Apparently some people were taking exception to my saying that backlinks aren’t important. It’s not that I don’t think you should have backlinks for your site; of course you should. It’s just that some companies are buying backlinks as a way to boost their rankings, and this is the last thing they should do.

If your rankings are dropping, the first thing you need to do is to take a look at the site itself. Does your sitemap have any broken links? Are you using keywords as your page titles? Do you have any pages of lorem ipsum or other placeholders?

These are all things you need to fix before even thinking about creating a backlink campaign. Look over your site with a detailed eye. By fixing any basic SEO problems you may have you’ll see a quick jump in the rankings right away. After your site has risen in the rankings, then you can decide if you still need to create a new backlink campaign.

Look, backlinks are essentially advertising. If you had a bricks-and-mortar shop, you wouldn’t place an ad on the radio if your store wasn’t ready to open. You’d end up with a lot of potential customers with an unfavourable view of your company. And that’s the bottom line. Your site should be easy to use for the reader, your customer. It makes no sense to entice readers to your site if you can’t produce a great shopping experience for them. Fix your shop to make it attractive and easy for customers to use, and then add backlink advertising if you still need it.

For more information, visit the StewArt Media website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business  StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne. 

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