There are lots of posts circulating about predictions for social media, Internet marketing, blogging, and more for 2011. So, without further ado, let’s look at some predictions specifically for link building
1. Less use of keyword-based anchor text, more use of brand names.
With the recent penalization of sites possibly due to over-optimized anchor text, and the Mayday changes that led to brand dominance in search results, link building efforts will probably start to target brand / business names more than keyword anchor text. This will also be especially helpful for online reputation management, as online review sites are moving up in importance as well.
2. Less focus on quantity, more focus on quality.
Google is working harder to weed out low quality sites which, in the process, will lead to the loss of links from these high volume sources. Link building strategies should focus more on high quality, relevant linking opportunities so those links will go the distance. Now the next question is, what will determine quality in the new year?
3. Less emphasis on PageRank, more emphasis on authority.
With the rumored death of PageRank due to the lack of updates in the last half of 2010, link valuation is turning to mozTrust, Domain Authority, and Page Authority. I have already had clients preferring these metrics over PageRank, and I’m sure that the trend will continue. Especially now that SEO tools are starting to incorporate mozRank and doing away with PageRank.
4. Less links to the homepage, more links to the content.
Let the link bait roar! Content development and marketing is growing at a rapid rate, and along with it are the opportunities to build links to internal pages with amazing content instead of homepages or product pages.
5. Less concern about rankings, more concern about conversions.
More clients are starting to integrate analytics analysis into their SEO plans so instead of just getting a set number of links every month or being told that their rankings have moved from #5 to #4, they will want to hear that their conversions have increased for keywords that their clients have been searching for. Because there is no ROI if you are building links to a keyword that has no commercial value.
Bonus one! Less need for dofollow, more need social mentions.
It’s no longer just a theory that social media is influencing search engines. Google and Bing both are considering social mentions as a part of their ranking algorithm, particularly Twitter and Facebook. These links that used to be deemed worthless for SEO due to their nofollow value are now being counted for positive sentiment toward a brand or website. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that other nofollow authority sites like Wikipedia carry more weight than previously thought.
Your Link Building Predictions for 2011
Now it is your turn. What are your link building predictions for 2011?