Link building in 2016


I hesitate to say that search engine optimisation (SEO) has changed a lot over the years, mainly because, if you’ve been doing it properly, it hasn’t really altered much at all.

High quality content has always been important, as has links to/from authority sites. The only thing that’s changed is Google’s crack down on those who prefer to take shortcuts. I’m referring to all those ‘SEO guys’ who told you it was OK to spin articles, buy links and generally do underhand things to get great rankings.

Link building will always be an integral part of SEO and it closely associated with authority building, so let’s take a look at how best to go about building links in 2016.

Penguin updates

I’m sure you remember the release of the Penguin – Google’s algorithmic tweak that targeted spammy link tactics – well, it’s about to become real-time.

This “always on” Penguin will be constantly looking for bad links or those that have been removed/disavowed. As a result, it will be a lot harder for black hat techniques to work.

That means your link building processes will have to be natural and inline with search engine guidelines – no more shortcuts!

Quality first – always

Linking for the sake of linking isn’t going to work. The links have to ones that people will want to click on.

You don’t necessarily need numerous different sites linking to you now, just so long as the content you produce for your audience is diverse and useful.

Useful links

People follow links because they’re looking for answers. If they click through and find what they need, they’re more likely to share that link with someone else. That means you need content that goes beyond top 10 lists; think about how tos, product reviews, opinion pieces etc.

Expert information

Going back to the question of content types, something that’s worth thinking about is generating features that have hints and tips from industry experts. This can generate a lot of authoritative links, opening up your website to a whole new audience.

Engaging links

Through your analytics you can see which links are sending you the most traffic – the search engines also know.

Links in your author’s bio stand a smaller chance of being clicked than one higher up in your content that connects with relevant information. Because it has a higher chance of being clicked, it will carry more weight with the search engines.

Effective links on your own website can come in the form of supplemental content, something Google talks a lot about, but many marketers don’t. It’s a simple way to help users find other products and content they may also like.


As you can see the “always on” real-time Penguin is going to make link building a very different operation. But if you bear in mind all that’s been said above, the time you spend on the practice should be a great investment.