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The Role of Link Building in Modern SEO (2024)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry is an ever-changing landscape, so digital marketers must be adaptable, especially with the rise of AI. Artificial intelligence has affected modern SEO, not only with content creation but also the link building process.

Most SEO professionals have asked ➡️ Will AI completely replace humans? 

To answer, not entirely because human input is still needed to develop link-building strategies, perform backlink analysis, and, most importantly, reach out to other professionals within your niche. 

As such, you must still know how to adapt to the AI digital era to revolutionize your modern SEO strategies. 

Fundamentals of Link Building 

Despite the SEO industry updates, there are backlinking standards that you should follow regardless of the changes. Adherence to these principles will ensure successful link building. Here are the things you should know: 

Backlinks serve as digital endorsements, establishing credibility and authority for websites on the vast internet. However, link building’s role is far deeper than building your site’s credibility; it can also increase your organic search results, which will convert to sales. 

In addition, backlink building can also help you build partnerships among your industry’s niches. The concept of backlinks remains the same, even with the rise of AI. So, remember to adhere to these concepts, as they can help you understand the true purpose of backlinking despite the changes. 

Distinguishing different types of backlinks is crucial, as they wield disparate influences on your search engine rankings. Knowing such differences can help you craft your SEO plan and identify areas to improve. 

  • Dofollow Backlinks: These are standard hyperlinks that allow search engine crawlers to follow them and pass on link equity to the linked website. Dofollow backlinks are valuable for improving search engine rankings and increasing organic traffic.
  • Nofollow Backlinks: Unlike dofollow backlinks, nofollow backlinks include a rel=”nofollow” attribute in the HTML code, indicating to search engines not to follow the link or pass on any SEO value to the linked website. While they may not directly contribute to SEO, they can still drive traffic and enhance website visibility.
  • Sponsored Backlinks: You can also pay for sponsorships and partnerships with other industry professionals. They can link your website to their websites, online events, or even guest post articles. Hence, they are called sponsored backlinks. 
  • Image Backlinks: This means getting backlinks from images. When an online user clicks the picture, it will redirect to your website. Most of the time, these are infographics that you insert in a blog or submit to other websites. 
  • Editorial Backlinks: These backlinks are acquired naturally through high-quality content. They can be from a blog article with valuable statistics and information. Most of the time, other link builders naturally hyperlink from an authoritative and trustworthy website. 

👉 Importance of Quality over Quantity

As a link builder, quality should be your top priority over quantity. 

Indeed, you can utilize AI tools, which can make your link building process easier. Search Engine Land says you can’t fully automate the link building process. Still, link builders can leverage AI to augment human processes to look for bloggers or professionals within your niche and improve the quality of sites you approach for links. 

Even though the process is easier, keeping your backlink profile credible and trustworthy is still essential. Remember, while AI may make link building processes more convenient, humans are still needed to look for quality backlinks. 

Strategies and Best Practices for Link Building in the Age of AI

AI can make your daily tasks easier to accomplish, but aside from the convenience, can AI ensure high-quality content? Can AI help you build genuine partnerships within your industry? Human touch is still needed to make your backlinking strategy more humanistic, emotionally sensitive, culturally relevant, and socially inclined. Nonetheless, here are some strategies and best practices for utilizing AI and human skills for link building. 

👉 Creating High-Quality Content as Linkable Assets

On-page and off-page SEO are different SEO branches that can benefit your overall marketing performance. These two can help each other by making content (on-page) and using it as a linkable asset for different websites (off-page).

You can consider making blog articles, videos, and even podcasts when creating high-quality content.  Perhaps you can hire writers and graphic designers to help you produce professional content. 

➡️ How can AI help? AI tools can help your content production by producing written content. For instance, you can ask AI tools to make an outline for your blog article or script for your podcasts. But make sure to consider the E-E-A-T elements of your content to ensure adherence to SEO guidelines. 

👉 Outreach and Relationship-Building with Other Websites

Collaborating with bloggers, influencers, and professionals within your niche is part of link building. Through events, you can earn sponsored links or webinar links. 

Outreach can also help you with guest post articles. It means you can submit a blog and interlink some keywords or anchor texts that lead to your website. These link building strategies can also help your reputation in your industry. 

They can build credibility and trustworthiness and increase your online recognition. 

➡️ How can AI help? AI like ChatGPT can help you by creating an outreach email template for other professionals. However, it would help if you still personalized it, checked the grammar, and restructured some sentences to make it sound more genuine. 

With guest post articles, you can ask AI tools to give you unique topics and comprehensive blog outlines. 

Social media is an effective way to promote your services or products. In fact, people nowadays trust businesses with social media profiles more than those without. Plus, the more online shares a post has, the more trustworthy it looks to other readers. 

You can also gain backlinks by encouraging other users to use your content as a reference or interlink your content. All in all, backlinks from social media can also help diversify your link profile. 

➡️ How can AI help? There are AI tools like Buffer or Hootsuite that can help you track your social media performance. Using the tools, you can schedule your social media postings, analyze your posts, and use audience engagement features. 

Doing so lets you determine whether your social media is performing adequately for your backlink profile and marketing strategy. 

👉 Directory Submissions and Business Listings

Directory submissions and business listings are helpful for local SEO link building because they can increase website visibility and credibility. For instance, you can submit your business in a local directory, which online users usually visit for references. 

Business listings can also help with niche industries by narrowing down searchers when an online user is looking for a service or product. For example, if you have a local restaurant, you must submit your listings in a directory, particularly for restaurants. 

➡️ How can AI help? While there are no particular AI tools for directory submission, you can utilize AI to research specific directory sites or business listings that can include your business. 

After building backlinks, monitoring and analyzing your backlink profiles is essential because, in time, you may encounter toxic or broken backlinks.  You can use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahref to audit backlinks and keep your links healthy and relevant. 

For a better backlink analysis, make sure to know which metrics to check, including the number of backlinks, domain authority, anchor text distribution, and link quality. 

➡️ How can AI help? AI can help discover spammy or low-quality backlinks that could affect your SEO efforts and performance. With AI tools, you can determine which areas you need to improve. 

Understanding your competitors’ strategies can offer valuable insights into potential link opportunities. Analyzing their backlink profiles can reveal websites willing to link to similar content or businesses in your niche.

Once you find new link opportunities, you can use the above mentioned strategies to make your backlink profile more diverse and relevant. 

➡️ How can AI help? AI can streamline this process by allowing you to gather and analyze data efficiently. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can provide recommendations based on this analysis, suggesting potential link opportunities you might have overlooked.

According to, black hat links are against Google search guidelines and can harm your website’s visibility.  For this reason, you must avoid black hat link building tactics to get penalties from Google. 

Hence, practicing white hat link building strategies is essential to adhere to Google’s guidelines and keep your website healthy.

➡️ How can AI help? Machine learning algorithms can analyze your backlink profile and identify suspicious patterns or links from low-quality websites. By leveraging AI, you can ensure that your link-building efforts remain ethical and sustainable in the long term.

Most importantly, to build more effective link building strategies, you must be updated about off-page SEO trends. You can attend webinars, stay connected with the SEO industry, and be proactive about learning new things. 

Nonetheless, the SEO industry is constantly changing, so be passionate about learning new techniques to help your business grow. 

➡️ How can AI help? As you must adapt to modern SEO, AI tools can help your business adjust to the changes by utilizing them correctly. Continuously learn about leveraging AI tools to optimize your link building strategy.  

Ethical Considerations Using AI

Ethical Considerations Using AI

AI tools are the most revolutionary tools in modern SEO. Yes, it can make your backlink process easier, but there are some talks about ethical considerations. 

The question is: Is producing AI content technologically fair without considering bias, privacy, and safety? 

To answer, Cognilytica shared that the long-term impacts of AI should also be considered. Hence, people need to mitigate the negative effects of using AI. 

Now, let’s see what ethical considerations you can do for the backlinking process: 

1. Algorithmic Bias

AI for your backlink strategies may even raise issues about manipulating and deceiving your process of acquiring links. AI may acquire links through unethical means like link farming or paid schemes. 

If you follow these practices, you will not only violate search engine guidelines but also undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of your website! 

2. Manipulation and Deception

When using AI for your backlink strategies, it may even raise issues about manipulating and deceiving your process of acquiring links. AI may acquire links through unethical means, such as link farming or paid schemes. 

If you do these practices, not only will you violate search engine guidelines but also undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of your website! 

3. Privacy and Data Protection

As an SEO practitioner, you can use AI-powered tools to analyze user behavior or preferences to identify your link building opportunities. 

However, this process raises privacy concerns because AI tools collect and process personal data without adequate consent or safeguards. So, as a professional, it’s your due diligence to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and ethical standards to protect user privacy and maintain trust.

4. Transparency and Accountability

Unfortunately, the AI algorithms and decision-making processes challenge transparency and accountability in backlink strategies. Website owners and SEO practitioners may need to fully understand how AI-driven tools operate or the criteria for prioritizing links, leading to uncertainty and distrust. 

For this reason, business owners need to be knowledgeable about AI tools to utilize them correctly.

Future Trends in Link Building 

The future of SEO is exciting because trends and strategies are still being developed to improve link-building methods. Aside from utilizing AI tools or machines, here are some other future link-building trends you should know!

👉 Partnership with Influencer and Creators

The current generation follows more influencers and creators in daily social media consumption. As a link builder, you can use this trend to partner with well-known influencers related to your brand to promote your product. 

You could talk with the influencer to include your website link in their blog posts or social media posts to increase referral traffic. 

Digital competition is high nowadays because numerous businesses want to be on the spot. For this reason, your link building strategies should be brand-focused. 

What is your brand? What are your company values and goals? These are some of the questions that can help you make content that will transform into link-worthy materials. 

By developing a stronger brand image, you’ll stand out against your competitors and create a more specific backlink profile.

There are a plethora of online activities in the digital world, and as a link builder, you need to connect with other professionals related to your niche. You can actively join niche-related activities to expand your network. 

This 2024, there are numerous activities you can join to expand your network for your backlink profile, including virtual conferences, online trade shows, webinars, podcasts, and interviews. 

As you actively join these niche-related activities, it will eventually lead to more partnerships that can increase your backlinks! 

Looking Ahead to Modern SEO 🧐

Looking ahead, SEO is an exciting industry because numerous developments are happening. These changes are not something to be afraid of; instead, you should develop an adaptive attitude. Once you develop an adaptive attitude, you can confidently implement the strategies above, knowing that you can make your backlink profile relevant, updated, and effective.

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