I have been participating in Blogging Challenges recently and one of the reasons that many of us participate in these challenges is to build backlinks to improve our ranking in the search engines.

No doubt you are aware that the biggest search engine of them all, Google, has recently undergone what is known as the Panda update and has deindexed some blog networks.

For the less technically minded, announcements of this sort just totally confuse us!

Here’s a  great article by Kim Castleberry which will clarify this issue for you.

Contemplating The Value of Backlinks Post-Panda backlinks

Do We Need To Continue Building BackLinks?

We’ve been talking a lot about SEO the last couple weeks after 3 major changes to SEO announced the arrival of Google’s plan to “clean house”.

Though we’ve talked quite a bit about aspects surrounding it, a question that continues to be asked is whether backlinks still play a role in SERP (search engine result placement) rankings.

Today, I read a very well-phrased statement, by Oz over at addictivetext.com that not only builds on my theory but makes a fantastic point:

“Why would Google bother with de-indexing thousands of blogs – if this really was the end of backlinking?

Wouldn’t it be much easier for them {Google} to just change their algorithm and devalue the significance of backlinks?  If they had done this – then all backlinks would have been devalued… not just backlinks from designated blog networks.

From my reckoning, the fact that Google went to such pains to deindex blog networks – suggests that backlinks will continue to play a prominent role in Google’s ranking algorithm.”

I would personally add that Google also appears to have tightened down and hit sites that are flowing a lot of comment links to “bad neighborhoods” and even sites they’ve simply deemed spammy (including many affiliate links).

This is one reason that top bloggers not only carefully moderate comments (if you’re not using GASP Premium you should be) but also break links and remove anchor text from commentators not abiding by the site’s comment policy (which generally states no links to risky neighborhoods)

backlinksCommenting on blogs remains, for many (but perhaps arguably not all), an effective method of “gently” building backlinks. Another effective and even more powerful method is guest posting. Using both of these techniques can help provide you with a mix of sites, anchor text and link types (editorial vs comment links) needed to appear “natural” and build rank.

New to the idea of building backlinks and want to learn more? You can start here. Or, you can click here to learn about some of the current trends in link building.

Remember, un-manipulated, links from one site to another’s content is actually a very strong indicator that the linked-to content is worth seeing. Links are the original version of the web’s social share.

What role do you feel backlinks have in SEO today? Do you think their value has gone up or down? What method do you use to build Panda-friendly backlinks for your site?

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing”

So to repeat Kim’s questions –  What role do you feel backlinks have in SEO today? Do you think their value has gone up or down?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
And why not pop over to Kim’s site too and add your comment there.
To your success