Are Backlinks and Off-Page Citations Still Useful for SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing requires consistent as well as thoughtful updates that help search engines identify your customer’s primary keywords they use when looking for products and services. Content writing, technical optimization, and social updates are always useful in any digital marketing campaign, but it is always crucial to remember that link building and creating more off-page URL citations are key for SEO success.

Off-Page SEO, or the search optimization needs that aren’t directly on your website, help Google’s algorithms verify your business’s services, credibility, keywords, and location. Adding your URL onto a directory such as a local Chamber of Commerce site, a yellowpages or whitepages site, and other verified listing sites act as reference points for Google to rank your main URL.

New and flashier SEO techniques are making more waves due to Google’s recent updates regarding mobile optimization, core web vital rankings, user friendliness, and content depth. These factors are very important for a new site, but it doesn’t detract from the importance of Off-Page SEO and citation campaigns.

Why should I continue link-building campaigns? How do they work?

Link building campaigns and adding your main URL to credible directories is still one of the most effective ways to help your website rank at a faster rate. Link building is crucial for new URLs and new domains that may not have any other sites linking back to them. Essentially, without citation links, Google will have a more difficult time ranking your website. Think of backlinks and citation sites as a glossary or appendix in a very large book. Google needs to define and help verify what new businesses are and having other references to your business, in this case, directory links, helps to earn your ideal keywords.

However, many users may incorporate spam link farming and link building campaigns, which are all considered black hat SEO tactics. Black Hat SEO tactics such as link farming, where a website tries to add its URL onto several unverified and spam-based websites, leads to significant ranking penalties on Google. Specifically, Google’s Penguin algorithm de-ranks websites that are found to have multiple URLs on a significant number for fraudulent or poor-quality directory sites.

Webmasters and digital marketers need to find verified directories that make sense for their business including social media sites, chamber of commerce sites, local listing sites, and similar verified/high-quality directories. Thoughtful link building is a great way to boost your local SEO and improve search results without having to rely on spammy optimization tactics.

Not sure where to get started? Then contact Boston Web Marketing today for a free SEO audit and overview on link building! 

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