Google: Try To Avoid Link Building Because It Can Do More Harm Than Good

Google's webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, recommends you do not focus on link building and if you do, it may lead to more harm for your web site than anything good.

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Google’s John Mueller was captured saying live in a Google+ hangout on Friday morning that webmasters should avoid trying to focus on link building. John went on to add that doing so can ultimately lead to more harm than good for your web site.

John said this at the 55:40 mark of the video when a webmaster asked, “is link building in any way good?” John’s initial response was, “in general, I’d try to avoid that.”

Here is the full transcript of John’s response:

That is a good question.

In general, I’d try to avoid that.

So that you are really sure that your content kind of stands on its own and make it possible for other people of course to link to your content. Make it easy, maybe, put a little widget on your page, if you like this, this is how you can link to it. Make sure that the URLs on your web site are easy to copy and paste. All of those things make it a little bit easier.

We do use links as part of our algorithm but we use lots and lots of other factors as well. So only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your web site that actually helps.

You can listen to the question and answer yourself below in the video embed, again at the 55 minute and 40 second mark:


About the author

Barry Schwartz
Staff
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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