When Google launched and invented its pagerank algorithm in 1996 , it relied on link popularity to decide which pages should rank on top of the search results.
A quarter of a century later, after running our own internal research on 1.1 million search results and getting feedback from our peers, we all agree.
Nothing has changed.
Despite a number of complex new algorithm layers, the emergence of AI and all sorts of other innovations. Google still relies on link popularity more than any other ranking factor to know where it should rank a page on it’s search results.
In short, if you want to rank for competitive terms that bring monetizable traffic, you need links.
No matter what the latest fad or gurus tells you.
But Building High Quality Links is F*cking Tough
The problem with links is that they are not easy to build as you can also see on our community poll.
Most SEOs agree that link building is the most difficult part of the entire SEO process.
If you want your website’s ranking to improve in the long run and not get penalized by a Google algorithm update, you need to build quality links.
This process includes building complex systems, talking to people, negotiating, using critical sense to find good targets, good email delivery tech and more.
Here are some of the most common challenges you will need to overcome to be successful at link building: