The field of search engine optimization is always changing. What works one year for SEO may not work the next year at all, and if it does it may be substantially less effective. That's why it is so crucial to continually evaluate your current SEO tactics to see what remains valid, effective and efficient. Considering this, the question is if link building has officially emerged as the most important factor in ranking highly within the search engines.
Link Building for Page Rank
Page Rank is the official term for the reputation and credibility that your website receives from the Google algorithms. The other major search engines such as Bing and Yahoo! have similar ranking methods, although neither is as prominent or ubiquitous as Page Rank is from Google.
Your website's Page Rank is entirely derived from the quantity and quality of incoming links that lead to your web pages. The higher your site's Page Rank, the higher you will generally appear in the displayed results. Therefore, link building has become one of the hottest topics in the field of search engine optimization over the last several years.
All Link Building is not equal
While link building is a great strategy to boost your site's reputation and therefore your standing in the search engines, it must be noted that not all links are equal. The black hat techniques of link farms no longer hold any weight, and even the tried and true link exchanges that so many websites participate in have been devalued.
Additionally, techniques such as blog commenting and forum posting no longer play a large role in your website's Page Rank. The best links that you can receive for your website are unsolicited one-way links from highly reputable sites within your industry or niche.
Multiple Strategies are still essential
Although link building has emerged as one of the most essential factors for SEO, it is not the only factor that holds any weight. Effective keyword inclusion, the age and makeup of your domain, your website's internal linking structure and more are all still important in terms of how highly you rank in the results of search engines.
Therefore it's crucial that you continue to combine many different strategies to produce the best results. Additionally, never forget that all links are not created equally, and that high quality inbound links will be infinitely more effective than low grade, or black hat links.
The PageRank toolbar is not an accurate reflection of PageRank. One indication of how Google values your site is how often they crawl your site. From Matt Cutts ..
The best way to think about it is that the number of pages that we crawl is roughly proportional to your PageRank. So if you have a lot of incoming links on your root page, we'll definitely crawl that. Then your root page may link to other pages, and those will get PageRank and we'll crawl those as well. As you get deeper and deeper in your site, however, PageRank tends to decline.
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Links are nowadays very important indeed but PR might not be simply the best way to guarantee some results. A lot of low PR sites could be found operating greatly at the top of Google because they could have been powered by a lot of high quality links as well as contents bookmarked and read constantly by a lot of people and webmasters.