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June 1st – June 7th, 2015

The easiest way to get two SEO consultants to argue with each other is to raise the topic of links. Some will tell you that links have absolutely no relevance any more, while others will insist that links always were and always will be the bedrock of Google’s ranking algorithm. It’s a hot-button issue. Search Engine Land has a new version of its Periodic Table of SEO out this week and you will see that links are listed there as an SEO factor.  Search Engine Journal andSearch Engine Watch also have some interesting tips on links this week. Read through these articles about links to decide whether you are part of the pro- or anti-link tribe.

The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors: 2015 Edition Now Released

Search Engine Land first came up with the idea of representing SEO factors as a periodic table in 2011. The infographic was so successful that they have revised it every year to keep it current with Google’s algorithm changes. Follow the link in the article to get a PDF version of the table that you can download. If you print out the table you will be able to study it when you feel like a break from your legal caseload. You will see that links occupy an entire column of the table and there are negative factors as well as positive.

Why Do Sites Rank High on Google When They Aren’t Optimized?

You may have worked hard on the SEO factors on your law firm’s website, only to find that a rival firm with a rubbish website ranks higher than yours. It is annoying when that happens and this article by Neil Patel explains the reasons behind it. It could just be that your rival accidentally hit on some factor that got them raised in the rankings. Reasons 3 and 4 in Patel’s list cover links. He very smartly matches the factors that appear in the links column of Search Engine Land’s periodic table: quality of the source is most important, followed by the text around the link.

Beyond Links: Why Google Will Rank Facts in the Future

Now let’s hear from the anti-links camp. The main argument for those who don’t rate links as a worthy SEO factor starts off with the fact that Google now includes hundreds of other factors in their algorithm. This is true, but not all factors have the same magnitude and probably about three quarters of them can be ignored because they have far less influence than links. The fall-back argument of the antis is that “Google will soon be dropping links as a factor,” and here’s one of those stories. Although Google changes its algorithm frequently, links are still a strong contributor to rankings, so it is worth planning a linking strategy for your law firm’s website to deal with Google’s current algorithm.

Linkophobia: Fear of Link-Building

SEO guru, Chuck Price nails his colors to the mast as a pro-linker at the beginning of this article, which appears in Search Engine Watch. Price stresses that links are still important, but shouldn’t be the only focus of SEO work. You will find this article a useful guide in your link-building efforts for your law firm’s site because it contains a concise list of things not to do when acquiring links.

Smart Alternatives to Dangerous Link Building Strategies

Chuck Price’s list of link-building no-nos gets expanded out in this Search Engine Journal article and includes positive alternatives to the bad linking techniques. One reason some SEO professionals may like to write off link building could be that it has become a difficult job. You should avoid paying an agency to build backlinks for your law firm’s website. It is a job that you should do in-house. This guide should give you some ideas of how to go about that task.

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