While SEO professionals understand that hundreds of factors play a role in Google ranking algorithm, almost three-fourths believe that links are a significant ranking factor, according to a new survey conducted by Link-Assistant.Com, the company behind search engine optimization software SEO PowerSuite.
The study, conducted among the firm’s users and attendees of SMX Advanced 2017, polled 628 SEO professionals about their link-building strategies, budgets and challenges. The respondents represented both digital agencies and in-house teams of different caliber.
Key findings include:
- 72 percent of SEOs believe backlinks are a significant ranking factor.
- Only 6 percent of respondents reported to have received a link building penalty over the past 12 months, with manual actions mentioned a little less frequently than Penguin.
- 68 percent of industry professionals spend less than $1,000 monthly on link building, and 73 percent build up to 20 backlinks per website per month.
The survey and the follow-up replies by several leading SEO experts (Eric Enge, Bruce Clay, and Marie Haynes) clearly show that creating valuable content worth linking to is considered to be the best way to earn links.
That said, 40 percent of respondents were in complete agreement regarding their most efficient link-building method: creating data- and research-based content. However, it’s worth noting that not all content types are created equal—for instance, running webinars proved to be the least efficient method of all the 23 mentioned in the survey.
“The report is a must-read for all SEO practitioners, who want to use proven methods rather than finding their own ways by trial and error,” said Aleh Barysevich, founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite, in a news release