Why Link Building Still Matters in 2023

by | Apr 4, 2023

In a world with self-driving cars and acrobatic robots, you’ll probably think that good old-fashioned link building has grown obsolete. Well, think again, because link building is still going strong like a classic pair of jeans.

Wanna know why? Let’s talk about it. 

Table of Contents:

  1. The Death of Link Building: Not, Not Really
  2. Links Build Credibility
  3. Link Building Enhances Usability
  4. Quality Backlinks Lead to Referral Traffic
  5. Don’t focus on affiliate links to drive your SEO strategy
  6. Links Help You Stay Ahead of Algorithm Updates
  7. Links Give You the Ability to Track Your Progress
  8. Conclusion

It’s a story as old as time. The sun rises, the birds sing, and someone somewhere declares that link building is dead – only to be proven wrong again. 

It’s literally been a decade since Google first announced its Penguin algorithm update in 2012 to fend off spammy link-building practices, yet the myth still remains popular today.

The truth is that link building isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it will remain an essential SEO organ in 2023 and beyond. Those who refuse to believe this are probably living on a different planet where facts don’t exist. 

So here’s the quick bottomline: link building is NOT dead. In fact, it matters more today, and here are a few reasons why:

A link from an authority website is like a stamp of approval that speaks volumes about the quality of your content and brand. This boosts visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), and generates more high-quality search intent driven traffic to your site, and helps to attract new leads. Plus, potential customers are more likely to convert when they recognize a trusted name associated with yours. 

Additionally, when Google crawls your website and finds links to other authoritative sites, it’s like a pat on the back that says, “you’re one of the cool kids now, your name shall be made known,” then your traffic rises, which eventually leads to more sales. 

Link Building Enhances Usability 

Link building enhances usability by giving readers access to more information with just one click. It’s an easy way to direct visitors quickly and efficiently – why search the entire internet for something when you can simply link to it in your content? Right? Genius. That’s what link building does; it tells users that if they need further information on a topic, they can get it right here, no need for an affair.

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Quality Backlinks Lead to Referral Traffic 

Referral traffic is one of the most crucial sources of website visits, but it won’t just come to you. Like all good things in life, you have to put in the work to get it. Enter link building. Quality backlinks will lead to referral traffic and help gain recognition, credibility, and popularity. In the age of clickbait and other forms of shady SEO tactics, quality backlinks are a way for you to demonstrate to search engines that your content is trustworthy and high-quality. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean link building is easy or that everyone can just start throwing links around without consequence; it requires the best strategies and the best software tools. You need to make sure the sites linking back to you have an established presence in their industry as well as the authority within the search engine algorithms. 

This means ensuring they’re from reputable websites with relevant content related to yours, too. Not all links are created equal – if you want referral traffic, the link must be from a high-authority site or one with excellent reach. 

Don’t focus on affiliate links to drive your SEO strategy

While the rumor mill churns and the SEO community creates an echo chamber that gives validity to comments like link building is dead, one thing that you need to note is that affiliate links shouldn’t directly help or hurt your SEO efforts.

If done properly, your affiliate links should be tagged with a ‘no-follow’ or ‘sponsored’ attribute. This lets Google’s algorithms know that they should consider the affiliate links but not take them as a ranking factor. The danger is that if you won’t tag them with this attribute and the algorithm does determine that it’s an affiliate link, you could be penalized.

There is a silver lining, though, if you’re interested in building out your affiliate network and you’d like to use affiliate links as a means to monetize other sites’ traffic. While these links don’t directly impact your website’s rankings, they are able to increase your traffic. Well-placed affiliate links will funnel users from one site to yours in an attempt to improve your revenue which is definitely a positive.

When major algorithm updates hit, you can bet your bottom dollar that online businesses everywhere will be running around like headless chickens trying to figure out what changed and how they’re affected. But not you, because you’ve been doing your link building homework correctly by building a robust link profile organically over time (or outsourcing your link building to someone who does).

You won’t get flagged by search engines for unnatural links, spammy tactics, suspicious activity, and more. You can rest assured that your site will remain competitive despite algorithm updates.

Remember: don’t panic; it’s organic. 

With link building, you can track how many people have visited a particular page on your website or how often an article has been shared—both of which can tell you a lot about the success of your campaign and help guide future efforts. You’ll also be able to determine where new visitors are coming from and what type of content resonates with them most. This gives you invaluable information about how to adjust your strategies and maximize success. 

Plus, links also make it easier to keep track of how other websites are performing. This is especially helpful for SEO purposes. By monitoring which sites link back to yours and what type of content they’re linking to, you can make sure you’re capitalizing on any opportunities that may be out there! 

In short, links give you an incredible level of insight into the performance of your website and campaigns—something that would otherwise be nearly impossible without them. 


A lot has changed in SEO since the dawn of link building, but one thing remains certain: 2023 will be no different. Link building still matters and continues to play a pivotal role in any serious SEO campaign. So keep an eye out for new opportunities, scrutinize your current backlink profile, and stay on top of the ever-changing algorithms – link building is here to stay! 

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Guest Post written by content writer, Drew Stevens



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Ryder Meehan

Ryder has been on a 16-year journey to master digital marketing from every aspect. His resume includes Razorfish, Slighshot, Fossil, Samsung Mobile and Tatcha before launching Upgrow. Ryder is the acting CEO, heading business development and account services. He has been featured as a digital marketing leader on Forbes, PRNews, Business.com, Workamajig, Databox, Fit Small Biz and other outlets.

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