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Is link building still a major factor for good ranking in SERP’s of Google?

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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Backlinks still form the #1 contributing factor in getting a page to rank in Google.

Generally speaking:

  • High Quality back-links are better than high quantity back-links
  • Freely-given links are better than procured back-links (procure can mean artificially gained in any manner, not just bought)
  • Page Rank still matters in terms of the currency of back-links

So then it comes down to what you define as "link building"? If you mean providing rich, orginal content that other's find worth linking to - then yes. If you mean dropping links in forums, comments, directories etc - then no.

The biggest reason modern era search algos all love backlinks is because a trusted, organic link is still the hardest form of citation to acquire on the web...especially, at scale. (source)

More ranking factors are broken down here: http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors (this is accumulated opinion, not fact).

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Yes Link building still plays an important role to rank your site in Google. As long as you acquire quality instead of spammy links and apply an advance link strategies. You can read this source for more info.

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Yes, it matters the most. What's changed are some of the nuances of the linking.

There is some evidence that suggests that recent updates do more than simply count the anchor text from an external link but also more strongly consider the semantic content matching threshold between the pages. So, if you have a blog comment or forum profile that doesn't match semantically (too low) or is keyword stuffed (too high) it won't count as much as a more natural contextual page/link combo (just right).

Another nuance is thats been introduced is a more refined level of scoring the authority of links. This tends to be in flux and, therefore, is hard to nail down. But things like active age and authority of externally linking sites remain at the top of the list.

As Mike noted, SEO is mostly accumulated opinion and sometimes those who're accumulating opinions are trying to sell their SEO services or get SEO seminar speaking engagements so bear that in mind.

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The relevance of pages linking to another page has been part of Google's algorithm for a while now. –  John Conde Oct 14 '11 at 14:29
    
My point was that it became more refined and widespread with the Panda update. Previously, some types of keyword stuffing, particularly related term stuffing, worked and was a common tactic used by certain pharma product spammers and others. But that doesn't work as well now. –  jfrankcarr Oct 14 '11 at 15:00
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I don't think this is the case. The relevance of pages linking to another page has been around for a while and keyword stuffing has been for a very long time. The Panda update deals with low quality and duplicate content. Neither of which directly deal with relevance of links or keyword stuffing. –  John Conde Oct 14 '11 at 15:32
    
It's a matter of degree of the relevance of the stuffing. The previous technique wasn't to stuff the same keyword combos over and over again as in circa 1999 stuffing but to stuff with semantically relevant phrases. For example, taking everything a Adwords keyword search listing and putting it in a post. Panda blunted this somewhat. This is a part of how they're judging content quality now although they're happy to misdirect people into thinking they have a "I'll be back" level of AI. –  jfrankcarr Oct 14 '11 at 16:39
    
"semantic content matching threshold" - okaaaayy... –  Mike Hudson Oct 15 '11 at 7:40
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