We all know that Google have always been against search engine manipulation techniques and the latest snippet of information that has been fed out of the search giants via John Mueller is that website owners should be looking to avoid building links, saying during a Google Webmaster Help hangout last week, "in general, I would avoid that [link building]."
You can view the video and the question below (question asked at 55mins 40secs):
Having been asked whether link building was "in any way good" for a site, John took the official Google stance that we are used to hearing, saying that you should not be actively looking to build links, symbolising that Google clearly still feel that good content is enough to warrant third party sites to link to you…
A full transcript of the reply that John gave at 55:40 in the live hangout has been provided by SearchEngineLand:
"This 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 to of course 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 website 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 website than it actually helps."
Once again Google's John Mueller has thrown a shadow of doubt over his comments after the online community began to question his credibility to provide such insight, many referring back to the Matt Cutts comment that revealed that Google had tried to create organic results that were not link inclusive, however the results were worse than they are with the links included.
Evidence seems to be apparent that links are still what ‘makes the world go round' when it comes to competitive marketplaces, with spam and hacked sites still very much alive and kicking in some of the more well-known manipulated search terms.
So what do you think? Are you going to be looking to cut your efforts on building links in order to polish up that content or will you be another of the website owners that will be turning a blind ear to the latest comments and continue with your approach to links?