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Andrew Dennis

Why Links Should be a Long-term Investment

Andrew Dennis
Why Links Should be a Long-term Investment

Investing in links should be a long-term commitment.

If you operate an online business or have a website, links must be a consideration. And if you’re at all interested in sustained, long-term online growth for your business you need to make an ongoing investment into links.

Links deserve an ongoing commitment because:

  • Links will always have value online
  • Acquiring links takes time
  • Link opportunities constantly develop

Let’s looks at each of these points individually to examine why link acquisition should be a long-term investment for your brand.

Links Will Always Have Value Online

As long as the web exists, links will have value.

Links are foundational to the web, and have been instrumental to its existence since the beginning. Links are the pathways of the Internet that connect websites to one another, making it possible to find pages and information online. Without links, the web would be unwieldy and impossible to navigate. As long as people use the internet, they’ll continue to rely on links to get them where they want.

Links had value before search engines like Google came along, and they will continue to be important after Google’s gone. Because links have lasting value online, you need to make them a long-term investment for your business.

Of course, links have tremendous value for search as well. Google built the core of their algorithm around links, and links play a large role in determining search visibility. This decision to make links the determining factor within their algorithm is what set Google apart early on, and a major reason they’re the search giant they are today.

However, the significance of links within Google’s algorithm isn’t what makes them valuable. As Cory Collins points out:

“Links aren’t valuable because of Google; Google is valuable because of its use of links.” – Cory Collins 

Links are important for a number of reasons outside of search. It’s not all about search rankings, as links serve a number of purposes online, including:

  • Direct navigation
  • Providing referral traffic
  • Supporting branding initiatives
  • Establishing online connections and relationships

Links help people discover your site, plain and simple. And you should make a dedicated investment into links if you care about online visibility – regardless of how the search landscape shifts and changes.

Acquiring Links Takes Time

Link acquisition doesn’t happen overnight.

Building the types of worthwhile links that will truly benefit your website takes time, and requires a sustained effort and strategy. In fact, there are a number of processes you must execute before you even start pursuing links. Some of these procedures include:

  • Optimizing on-site SEO factors – title tags, meta tags, URL structures, etc.
  • Improving user-friendliness – load speed, mobile-friendliness (if applicable), solid and navigable design, etc.
  • Ensuring you’re worthy of links – reputable brand, compelling content, valuable product or service, etc.

For more information on preparing for a link building campaign, I recommend you read this great resource on Inbound.org.

Additionally, there are a few more considerations beyond on-site factors before you begin to actively build links. Every campaign is unique, and there are many different factors that influence strategy development. As you craft a strategic plan for your link project, you must do necessary research and analysis in these three areas:

  • Your online niche
  • The competitive landscape
  • Your audience and their online habits

To be successful you must tailor your link campaign to your unique situation. Link building requires customization, and customizing your project will take time.

Finally, the actual pursuit of links will take some time. To build real, editorially-given links, you must actually interact with other human beings. Because you don’t control the website you want a link from, you won’t have control over how long it will take to acquire a link.

While you can certainly put yourself in a better position with strategic planning, at the end of the day when your link goes live is out of your hands. People are busy (especially people who own or manage websites) and sometimes you’re at the mercy of another person’s schedule. However, if you remain dedicated to your link strategy you will build numerous positive relationships over time that will begin to make link acquisition easier moving forward.

If you stay committed to your link building campaign you’ll be rewarded with more than just search rankings.

Link Opportunities Constantly Expand

Link acquisition never ends.

Not only is link building a time-consuming process, it is also a continuous process. Link acquisition is one portion of the greater digital marketing umbrella. Online marketing, and general marketing, is cyclical rather than linear.

There are a number of specific practices that all cycle through a larger marketing wheel. This marketing wheel continuously rotates and progresses because you never stop marketing. If you want to continue to grow your business, or even maintain your position within your industry, you need to constantly promote and market yourself.

Aside from the fact that links are part of the greater marketing cycle, there are also some specific reasons why link building in particular is ongoing. The reasons link building should never end include:

  • The cyclical nature of online marketing means new link prospects will continuously emerge
  • Backlink profiles naturally decay over time because web pages and sites move or disappear
  • Competitors will continue to actively build links even if you stop pursuing links for your website

Link building never ends because marketing never ends. Because link acquisition is a continuous and ongoing practice, you must invest in links for the long-term.


Links and link acquisition are long-term investments.

If online visibility is important for your business, links must be a consideration. For sustained growth of your business, you need a sustained investment into links.

The three main reasons you must commit to a long-term investment in links are:

  • Links play an important role in online visibility
  • Acquiring links takes time
  • Link opportunities constantly develop

Do you have thoughts or questions regarding link acquisition? Please leave us a note in the comments below.

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power, a relevancy-first link building firm located in Boise, Idaho. He is also a regular contributor to Biznology and the link building blog Linkarati. Andrew graduated from the University of Idaho and is therefore a lifelong Vandals fan. You can engage with him on Twitter. His last article for SEMrush was “Why Links Should be a Long-term Investment."

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