Search engine optimization (SEO) is a dynamic digital marketing discipline, and few SEO tactics have evolved as much (or as frequently) as link building.
What was once a spam-laden nightmare of link pyramids, spun content, automated spam posts and other gimmicks has changed dramatically, and over the course of the past decade, link building has become more refined and quality-driven.
Much of this evolution was spurred by search engines directly — Google, for one, played an enormous part in cleaning up the web with its Penguin algorithm updates.
Combined with increasing user distaste for poorly placed links and a collective commitment from webmasters to give their users better experiences, we now exist in a world where link building is respectable, valuable and viable.
Take a look at these 10 major ways link building has changed in just 10 years:
1. Penalties are harsher
Link schemes have always been bad, though they haven’t always been penalized. In recent years, however, Google has stepped up its effort to penalize sites with spammy backlink profiles.
If you engage in a link scheme, you’re more likely than ever before to face a manual penalty that will drop you from the SERPs. Recovery is always possible, but these types of schemes have the potential to set you back months, or even years.
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