How to prepare for the waning power of link building in SEO

How to prepare for the waning power of link building in SEO

SEO isn’t what it used to be.

Search engines are changing faster than in the last decade, thanks in part to the help of artificial intelligence tools like OpenAI’s GPT-3.

The unfortunate aspect of these new tools is that they still proliferate the glut of content and link building spam on the web.

And while link building remains a highly correlated Google ranking factor, its importance among hundreds of other ranking factors continues to decline.

It’s the perfect match between AI content and AI search engines that understand natural language processing.

As a weighted algorithm, many other factors are included in technical and content-based SEO.

As link building declines, what other factors will remain or emerge as important focal points of your own SEO strategy?

In this article, we’ll examine what link building is and why its power is waning before exploring alternative tactics you can use to increase your website authority and increase your organic traffic.

We’ll also give you some tips on how best to implement these strategies so you can start seeing results right away.

What is link building in search engine optimization?

Link building for SEO can be defined as the process of exchanging or acquiring links from external sources to your own website.

It seeks to build relationships with other websites and businesses, thereby increasing your web visibility and improving your overall internet presence.

For more information, be sure to check out our SEO beginners guide to link building.

Why Is The Power Of Link Building Diminishing In SEO?

Link building was once a major factor in Google’s algorithm and had a huge impact on website rankings.

However, with the introduction of machine learning algorithms and more sophisticated search engines, link building has become less relevant as a ranking factor.

google ranking factors
Top Google Ranking Factors by Spearman Correlation.

Most of today’s search engine algorithms are now geared towards semantic analysis, including automatic understanding of natural language processing, content rather than inbound links.

Search engines better understand the context and quality of content without needing to rely on links at all.

This change raises the question: what should webmasters and digital marketers do now that backlinks matter less?

Alternative tactics to increase keyword rankings without backlinks

As the power of link building in SEO fades, it’s important to explore alternative tactics that will help increase keyword rankings without relying on backlinks.

In this section, we’ll look at some of the key strategies and tactics you can use to increase your website authority and organic traffic, even when link building isn’t a viable option.

From optimizing content for search engines to leveraging social media channels, there are plenty of options available to those looking to boost SERPs without the need for external links.

Let’s take a closer look at what these methods entail and how best to implement them.

Create quality content

Google likes to reiterate the need to regularly create, update and improve the quality of website content.

This not only means making your website content more entertaining, controversial and informative. This means improving flow, natural breaks, inclusion of interactive elements, images, headers and videos.

This brings us to our next point.

Include video

A high quality video means your brand has a budget and is likely more legitimate.

Although direct links from YouTube aren’t much help, a large following on the platform can generate significant amounts of traffic and boost your credibility. I am convinced that this trend will only expand in the future.

Optimize your on-page content for search engines

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website and its content more visible, discoverable and easily understood by crawlers or search engine robots.

This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as creating unique URLs, optimizing meta descriptions and titles, using keywords strategically, and ensuring content is organized logically.

Internal link signals

Internal linking is an important part of SEO because it helps search engines better understand your website structure and hierarchy.

Internal linking has become an increasingly important part of SEO as link building has become less reliable and efficient. Internal linking helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of a website, in addition to providing webmasters with a way to boost visibility without the need for additional inbound links.

How internal links are used can have a big impact on how search engine crawlers crawl and index websites. This is especially true since most search engines assign more relevance to pages that have a higher number of internal links.

Internal links can be used to reduce reliance on backlinks, while helping to improve user experience and navigation.

Take advantage of social media

Social media is becoming increasingly important for websites looking to maximize their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines are now able to read social media chatter and extract key data points to improve keyword rankings.

Search engines consider social signals when ranking websites, which means using various social media channels can help improve your SERP ranking.

They do this by using natural language processing (NLP) algorithms and machine learning tools that analyze posts, comments, likes, and other social interactions to determine what content is most relevant to a query. particular.

It is important to note that social media signals are not as powerful as inbound links, but are still an effective way to increase visibility and drive website traffic.

ChatGPT Considerations

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that is gaining popularity among digital marketers. This technology uses machine learning algorithms to process text data and generate more nuanced content, responses and conversations than traditional search engines.

The promise of machine learning and artificial intelligence based search chat is that no little blue links will even show up. This fact not only changes the way we think about traditional SEO, but also the way search engines display their content. Authority will count, but links are likely to be an even smaller element.


As new search engine algorithms have taken over, the power of link building has drastically diminished. However, there are still ways to increase website traffic and keyword rankings without relying on backlinks.

By creating quality content, including videos, leveraging internal linking, and utilizing social media channels, webmasters can increase their website authority and organic traffic even when link building isn’t working. is no longer an option.

With careful implementation and optimization, you can ensure your site stays relevant as the SEO landscape changes.

Nate Nead

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO and Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic consulting services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing, and software development. For over a decade, Nate has provided strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions, capital sourcing, technology and marketing solutions for some of the best-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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