In a recent Google+ Hangout John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst of Google Switzerland, answered the point blank question, “Is link building in any way good?”  Depending on your opinion of backlinks you may or may not be surprised by his answer:

That is a good question.

In general, I’d try to avoid that.

So that you are really sure that your content kind of stands on its own and make it possible for other people of course to link to your content. Make it easy, maybe, put a little widget on your page, if you like this, this is how you can link to it. Make sure that the URLs on your web site are easy to copy and paste. All of those things make it a little bit easier.

We do use links as part of our algorithm but we use lots and lots of other factors as well. So only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your web site that actually helps.

So what can you take from John’s response?

  • If you haven’t already stop making link building your primary focus, in fact, try to avoid link building.
  • Building links for the sole purpose of links is a poor strategy.
  • Purposefully building links can cause you problems.
  • A lot more goes into Google’s ranking algorithm than just number of backlinks.
  • Look at how easy you make it for others to link to your content.
  • Make sure your content is interesting and well written, even if no one else links to it.

If you are interested in learning more from John Mueller you can watch his recent Google hangout with Webmasters.