Classic, question in the industry. If you work as an SEO, you face it all the time. If you don’t, you always do ask it when the subject comes up. Lets see.
First of all lets talk about a large truth about our industry.
A large percentage of the links built by SEOs (regardless of whether they are in house or agency) are a waste of time. Most of them are junk and people tend to build links from any website they can find. On the other hand not all links are completely useless but you need to take into consideration that not all links are contributing towards growth.
There are various areas that you need to focus when you build a link
1) Relevant Theme: Back in the day when i started working in search (10+ years ago) the target was to build links from any possible website you can find. Those days are long gone. Links should be contextually relevant.
2) Authority: Now how to measure authority in a website is a completely different area. However, the main point is that you need to earn links from authoritative publications to see real rewards. You need powerful links from top-tier publications.
3) Numbers:. Always focus on quality over quantity BUT there’s needs to be a decent quantity of quality links. So that is the trick. Never believe that just because you got 100 links you should rank high or vice versa just because you earned a link from guardian you would dominate the rankings. A good mix of both would be needed depending on the industry and competition you are in.
4) Sustained links. Everybody says that on all the SEO blogs. Just because you had one good PR campaign doesn’t mean you will end up number 1. Google needs to see a sustainable growth for a good six months at least until the algorithm starts to recalculate your position. If you dont do that you might see a quick lift which will be followed by an equal drop.
Link building needs a consistent strategy that should tie in with your overall yearly marketing strategy for this thing to work.