5 Things to Observe from Link Building in 2016

According to Andrey Lipattsey of Google (Senior Quality Strategist), links, along with Rank Brain are the most important ranking factors. So, don’t be surprised if you’re an SEO, but if you’re too much concerned about the latest updates and changes in ranking, this information would give you a lot of relief since you don’t have to do major changes in your marketing campaign this year.

Anyhow, what you need to see is current state of link building. According to Moz and Buzz Sumo, over 50% of the 750,000 highly shared articles had no external links.

What these stats reveal is link does matter, but it has to be relevant and has significant value for the post.

This year, like years before, there have been more than enough surveys and researches on link building and its power of publicity. Following survey was conducted by team Moz and other leading experts.

The survey had 435 respondents, including the following:

  • 180 agencies, including top search engine optimization Canada companies – 41%
  • 51 consultants and freelancers – 12%
  • 118 in-house SEO – 27%
  • 6 in-house PR – 1%
  • 39 in-house content marketers – 9%, and
  • 41 business owners – 9%

Here are 5 takeaways from what industry experts have gathered so far.

  1. SEOs Offer Link Building In their Service Package

On the question regarding the suitable model respondents follow to charge for link building, here’s the response:

  • 35% say link building is the part of their job (154 respondents)
  • 32% said they offer link building in SEO service bundle (138 respondents)
  • 14% charge hourly rate for link building activity
  • 7% use to charge for every link
  • 5% had a flat rate per link
  • 3% gave other reasons

This means that link building requires a custom campaign, necessitates an ongoing project, and needs to look at the big picture. Link building is becoming more and more ingrained in online marketing practices.

  1. Link Building Happens in Small Teams

Respondents were asked about the number of people or team deployed on link building activity, and the responses came out as follows:

  • 33% of the individuals said they were the only one in the company to build links
  • 48% of the respondents said they had a link building staff of 2 – 5 members
  • 11% said they had 6 – 10 members
  • 4% said they had 11 – 15 individuals in their link building team
  • 2% had 16 – 20 members, and
  • 3% had more 21 or more people designated for link building.

Link building is a very specialized task, and SMBs don’t need large dedicated teams. A small team—or even just a single person—can get the job done.

  1. Link Building Time Is More than Allocated SEO Budget

This information is based on two questions; one concerning with the percentage of budget allocated for link building and the percentage of time for link acquisition. Combining the two information, following is the response:

Budget allocation for link building

  • 53% said they had 0 – 25% of the budget reserved for link building
  • 27% said they allocate 26 – 50% of the SEO budget
  • 16% mentioned they allocate 51% – 75% of the budget
  • 4% responded they allocate between 76% and 100% of their budget for this purpose.

Percentage of SEO campaigns dedicated to link acquisition

  • 26% responded with 1 – 25%
  • 34% said they consume 26 – 50% of the SEO campaign for link building
  • 22% said they consume 51 – 75% of the time
  • 8% said they consume 76 – 100%
  1. Content-based Links are More in Demand

Content based link building works more effectively, and the tactic is the most popular amongst the rest. On the question of the link building tactic, respondents gave following information:

  • 90% used it for content publication and guest posting
  • 56% use links on resource pages and links list pages
  • 53% use it for local citations and in business directories
  • 51% said they use links for unlinked mentions
  • 50% use it to promote infographics
  • 46% build links to replace broken links
  • 29% favor paid links, and
  • 23% use links in press releases, social bookmarking etc.
  1. Content Based Link Building Is Most Effective

On the question of the most effective link building tactics,

  • 78% respondents favored content-based link building
  • 38% favored digital PR
  • 27% said resource pages and list pages are effective
  • 26% said link building is effective for unlinked mentions
  • 25% favored infographics promotion and 25% of them favored broken links
  • 21% respondents favored local citations
  • 19% responded in favor of paid links,
  • 7% stuck with press release submissions and social book marking.


It was nice to observe majority of the respondents considering link building as a back bone of SEO and search marketing campaigns, and most of them still favor old school methods. It means, the practice may have shifted in the past few years, link building will remain there as the basis of successful SEO.

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