The basic idea of building backlinks is that google still value websites through good backlinks. With that in mind, a niche’s community becomes Google’s informal poll for every site. In theory, if blog or post has garnered the attention of readers, it must be worth of sharing on search rankings.
Of course, reality never goes quite according to plan, and once the search results became skewed toward aggressive SEO, Google started tweaking to protect its primary revenue source.
That doesn’t mean that Google has abandoned its system entirely. Backlinks must still be part of any SEO strategy, but the old methods are no longer a viable option.
Google algorithm update
A couple years ago Google changed it’s algorithm to try and prevent websites from gaining any benefit from selling links by removing the PR (Page Rank) from most link pages on the Internet (which included link pages in directories). Google also encouraged the use of “rel=”nofollow” on outgoing links if site owners wanted to preserve the PR on their web pages.
Recently, due to Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, now even link trades, or other forms of what used to be acceptable methods of gaining links, are being filtered out of search results if they encompass a high percentage (or ratio) of your overall link profile. In other words, Google is able to recognize and filter out a major portion of your traffic if it finds unnatural patterns in backlinks on your site. The links coming into your website should be from quality sites with relevant content (not content or link farms) and it must not look like you paid someone to do it or that you did it yourself.
What Google wants to see now is “organic” links, i.e., the incoming links look as natural as possible, preferably within the content of a page. When Google is looking at your linking profile it doesn’t like it when you use the same words in the anchor text of the link, or when you link to the same page all the time (other than your home page or using your business name). Of course the best way to get these is to produce something that people find very useful that they link to on their own, such as helpful tips, tutorials, videos, etc.
If your website has dropped in rank in Google recently it may be due to either a penalty, being filtered out of results, or a majority of your backlinks no longer being counted due to the sites you got backlinks from were penalized so their links no longer produce any value for your site. Which of course means that you need more better quality links.