Forget Link Building! It's About Link Earning

Jun 8, 2012 • 9:09 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

Sullivan Rants on Links at SMXThe major highlight of SMX Advanced for me was Danny Sullivan's rant about links in the ask SEOs session. It was so good that people are still talking about it today and will likely talk about it for the next five years.

In short, his message was that search engines do not want you to build links - they want your content to earn links. So this doesn't mean you should rename your "link building" service to a "link earning" service - it means you should build a site, content, tools that deserve on their own merits to earn links.

Jeremy posted on his blog the audio of the rant, here it is:

It was so good, Danny did a write up on Search Engine Land to summarize it after calming down a bit. He wrote Link Building Means Earning “Hard Links” Not “Easy Links” and posted also on Google+ where he said:

Search engines don't want you to build links. They want you to earn links. People are clearly confused about the important differences, so I've sat down in my old man chair, cracked open a few beers and written this post to explain it more.

This rant and the necessary message it sent through the industry will be cited for years to come.

Forum discussion at Google+ & Cre8asite Forums.

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06/08/2012 01:34 pm

What a discovery, amazing !!! )) I didn't know SEOs are so slow. Or are they just conservative ? It's interesting to see how something progressive, became conservative in just 10 years. But Google is still trying to be progressive, that's why SEOs can't understand it lately.

Art Orange

06/08/2012 01:34 pm

what about non-content websites?


06/08/2012 01:47 pm

Provide perfect service, create unique futures and people will recommend your any(!) website by sharing links.

Ashraful Ayan

06/08/2012 01:50 pm

It all sound like a plant who grows naturally, bring up some new idea which attracts visitors and sites so they can link, share, tweet, gplus, email and do everything by your side, Maybe if they got too much crazy they even steal your idea and you will no longer be unique on internet, but that's the different story, the point is if you can be more natural, creative and unique, you are welcome on internet....


06/08/2012 01:51 pm

I challenge you to create a new blog, put content there that would win you a nobel prize and you are only allowed to contact other websites and webmasters through contact form, by commenting on blog entries or through social media. I would be surprised if you would get to a steady 100 visitors a day within a year. Absolutely not enough to earn anything substantial.


06/08/2012 01:52 pm


Gabriel Machuret

06/08/2012 02:05 pm

I guess you are wrong, I started literally a blog [] 15 days ago... I promoted the show in 1 podcast I promoted via facebook, twitter, and then I engage some social blogs, doing some guest blogging. Then I engaged people INTERESTED in the topic I'm writing about... 2 weeks later, I'm getting 100+ per day. Magic? No. Understand your audience. Although I do SEO for a living, I'm well aware content goes beyond any type of link building. No type of link building will protect you from having crap content.... Or let me ask you... What "keyword" did google to arrive to SEROUNDTABLE? do you arrive here thanks to a "keyword ranking" or thanks to the content provided?


06/08/2012 02:27 pm

If only people could understand you.


06/08/2012 02:45 pm

I don't really get why people are so excited about this. Is it simply because he said the same things most SEOs feel? I mean, it was a little entertaining but I don't see anything special here.

Bill Hartzer

06/08/2012 02:49 pm

It's about time that there is now a coined phrase for what I have been doing for the past 5+ years. Link Earning. Thanks for the reminder, I just grabbed and a few others to go along with my "new" link earning services.


06/08/2012 04:10 pm

Oh, that's why you're following most of my posts - you're trying understand me ) Thank you man, but better spend your time trying to understand Google. I will not hire you )


06/08/2012 04:15 pm

Most SEOs feel they are jobless. No link building - no huge part of their "service". And it's hard to admit. But you feel it )


06/09/2012 08:01 am

I know a few people who are buying links and get 2000 unique per day just after two weeks, so your 100+ it's not going to beat them.

So ?

06/09/2012 10:13 am

There are few people selling drugs and earnings thousands per day, so your earnings are nothing compared to them.


06/10/2012 03:31 pm

lol I don't need to be "hired", I'm pretty selective about who I work with and I think most people would find it little bit challenging to work with you. I don't follow your posts, you just happen to post on almost every article. It must be nice for you to feel so highly of yourself though.

Webstats Art

06/10/2012 11:37 pm

Tim is right. People who disagree have never tried this. The blog should be on a fresh domain and the content provider should see who links organically to the site from page with decent rank. It does not happen like this.. and if it does, then you are damn lucky.


06/11/2012 06:00 pm

You are getting all your links from four other domains, one of them is your own PR3 website. That's the reason this tactic may be working for you but not all local business owners have the luxury of creating content on their "other PR 3 website." Another website gave you two naked url mentions and on the other you got a guest. And I didn't see where the social media platforms you mention are linking back to you.

Ram Babu SEO

06/13/2012 11:45 am

Yes, we really need to focus on to earning links instead finding links to build! And it can only be possible through your posted content which everyone is trying to find !

Ram Babu SEO

06/13/2012 11:55 am

it can only be earned through good quality content what every users want to have !

Samuel C.

06/15/2012 06:53 pm

Even for people who DO built a lot of links, this is extremely valuable info. You've got to think "is this the kind of link that might actually be created by someone else who appreciates my content?" If the answer is no, then it should be no wonder when you get penalized for that link. Whatever you do, it needs to create actual value.


06/18/2012 01:52 am

it confirm what here is no white seo, any link you have build to your site (yourself, via seo, or via service, or via other peoples/bloggers) is black hat. Trouble what google say it also, but they really don't decided yet.


06/18/2012 01:54 am

all links built by webmaster themself is bad. only when peoples reviewing your site without getting any money/benefits is good. whitehat seo = blackhat seo.

SEO Queen

07/21/2012 08:41 pm

At last information I agree with. What good are links to the end consumer of your product/service if they can be bought or your website just added to directories. if you are any good at your business, sell a product or service worth buying, know your product/industry inside out enough to write about it and create excitement, you will gain natural links. We saw it last year with Panda, more so with Penguin this year... are you really going to wait for Google to penalise you next year or are you going to start implementing common sense now. Backlinks when bought or farmed out are dead. Quality content is King. Old black-hat techniques and Link Building SEO is dead. As a Dodo.

Arvid Linde

07/23/2012 03:00 pm

Forgot to mention that you linked this new blog from your other very popular blog receiving 1000+ uniques per day? ;)


07/25/2012 09:37 am

I am pleased to know that Google is concerned with the earning links rather than building links as it really affects positively to the freshness of the content. Any content if it is fresh, original and useful is always appreciated by the Google.

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