Is backlink still the most effective method in 2016 ?
The Machine, a complicated code must have some foundations. It must have two nodes and analyze its relationship. Website A and website B must be connected in some way, there must be a link between them. Somebody decided to use hyperlinks to value domains. Let’s stick to it, can you imagine any other solution ? Yandex (a Russian search engine) didn’t take into account backlinks for their ranking algorithm till 2015 when they decided to bring them back and stop ignoring them anymore.
Take two real persons talking about any subject, how do we know what the subject is? Because these people express communication orally and they link with each other for a period of time. Thought it is not a link, when you speak out (share), it becomes one (backlink). How does something get viral in the Internet ? Somebody has shared some video, a picture or a, website – it couldn’t have happened (and evetually become viral) without the hyperlink.
Ranking algorithm for websites
Back link has been a major ranking factor from the beginning of the internet and it will be that important for the next years. What the backlink is for ranking algorithm, is what the oxygen is for people. I will never say that is the only factor and you can rely solely on it (at least for the competitive keyword).
“Backlinks are dead for Google”
I have stressed enough in the paragraphs above how important the backlink is. Now you can find many words of wisdom from the people saying you shouldn’t be focused that much on backlinks these days. Look up for the social signals and share a great content. I managed to rank websites with the content taken from WAC (Wicked Article Creator) and over a half of them still holds up after 12+ months, making me some decent adsense money. Yes, the content is important and I will soon publish an article about it. Remember that the machine must work with cogs, those cogs are backlinks. All graphically expressed below.
Obviously this is my vision of the way SE approach backlinks. I was trying to show you the general idea of why backlinks are the core for a search engine.
Social Media Signals Misconception
There is a hudge misconception that social presence affects your rankings. It is not the presence itself but the links coming from it. They affect rankings in minority. They are NOFOLLOW links and, people tend to forget about that. I hope you will enjoy my short but thoughtful article about the social media ranking impact:
Social Media Backlinks Myth
The Machine runs with cogs and it feeds with words
So you have a picture of how websites depend on each other, how another part of the process sorts rankings. Machine must know what to rank where and it takes a variety of factors to determine that. It starts with words (keywords). It takes the whole content of the source page and builds clouds of words, finds patterns. If a link contains an anchor (word), it gets compared to the “clouds” of the final website, adds a few other factors (minor comparing to backlink and anchor) and makes the outcome with SERP position. That is just my imagination, how I see it working. I don’t know that for sure as nobody does. I have a solid results so I believe I’m close to the truth. In the article below you can find an explication on the “relevancy” and another proofs why words are that important.
How to “make” relevancy for Google
So called “brand” for Google
I will make more elaborated article about it soon, a short excerpt right now. Probably you have read somewhere that you must build BRAND for Google in order to gain its trust. That is correct. The idea behind it is to send as much “brand” anchors as possible, but that is just half of the job. How come Google “picks up” your domain’s name is a brand and not just PMD or EMD (do they still exist ? )
I don’t believe the whole “brand” anchors’ strategy as I don’t believe there are people in Google actually working on your websites, deciding what is a brand and what’s just a domain name. Try to understand that Google doesn’t know your brand’s name, doesn’t know what the brand is in general.
Can orderviagrafast.com be a brand name ? Yes it can! In the same way paulsworkshop.com can. Where is the diffrence ?
It’s about words and the way people communicate, in reality and the Internet. With orderviagrafast.com you don’t have much options to choose from. Then you should just send anchors like orderviagrafast.com or www.orderviagrafast.com. When you start sending anchors like order viagra fast it becomes a keyword you want to rank for. That is the reason for me not to buy/make any PMD or EMD sites, not because I’m affraid of Penguin, Panda, Snakes or any other part of the jungle.
It is because it’s difficult to play around anchors. Please note that PMD and EMD is still working ! Around 70% of my domains are PMDs. If I spot on auctions any health (!) EMD I buy it and it makes my day, a lot of use from that kind of domain if it’s healthy.
Domain named paulsworkshop.com, on the other hand gives me more options for SEO. Paulie’s workshop, workshop run by Paul are just quick exapmles.
I hope you understand that I really don’t think there is any sophisticated part of the machine that knows what is a brand and what’s not. It’s about time and the natural look and the long term SEO strategy to have such a “brand” effect for the search engine.
Why some keywords are ranked faster ?
Buy Viagra keyword ( and synonyms) floods in Google in such an amount, that the machine needs a lot of time to decide whether the website is worth it or not. Thousands of websites are optimazed for that keyword. There are also other factors, one them is also luck.
Can you rank without backlinks ?
If you see the website ranks without any backlinks you can check redirects. There might be some strong domain redirected towards it. There might also been used a traffic tool, like panda bot. I have seen it’s magic and I use it from time to time. I’m sure that if you check throughly the domain, you will find signals for rankings. Soon I will go through the exapmples in a separate article, you can show some domain in the comments, we will try to invesigate it together.
One thing for sure, a website without backlinks won’t hold long in SERPs, when there will be a domain optimized better with a few strong relevant backlinks it will jump over it. Always !