James Agate of Skyrocket SEO published the second edition (2014) of his annual link building survey. Once again he's published it on Moz's main blog, where it's been fairly well received. Here's a link to inaugural 2013 edition, for comparison purposes.
The last two years have marked a serious change in all SEO link building activities. Prior to the release of Penguin questionable link building tactics were still very much in effect. Although the industry was shifting toward legitimacy Penguin was the final nail in the coffin of low quality link building.
The only links left to pursue today are real, editorial links that take sweat and creativity.
Without further ado, here are the results of said survey, in infographic form (just don't miss the further analysis below):
First and foremost, I'm extremely glad James decided to stick with the term "link building" instead of move into something such as "link earning" or "inbound link acquisition". Let's call a spade a spade. I understand as well as anyone that link building has a checkered past, but simply using a more generic, PC-sounding-name isn't the cure.
James has my respect for sticking to his guns and being a voice of clarity within the link building discussion online.
Secondly, I must say this survey presents largely positive news to the world of link building. With the rise of content and content marketing many have left the world of link building behind. It's great to see someone invest in link building coverage, especially because Matt Cutts continues to stand behind links as a core signal.
Third, this survey highlights that there is less turmoil in SEO - it appears people are finally begin to recover from Penguin, and are adjusting to the new lay of the land. Companies are beginning to accept that there aren't any shortcuts left when it comes to link building, and that only real links will move the needle.
Last but not least, it's good to see link building content received fairly well on Moz. There was the typical comment at the top about the need for "earning links," and comprehensive marketing versus individual link building tactics. There is some validity to the comment, although you don't tell PR professionals that they have to "earn" press mentions, without any outreach or manual action.
Overall the survey shares some great information and a big thanks to James and everyone over at Skyrocket SEO for putting it together! Hope the survey grows and expands even more next year.
Would love to see your thoughts and comments below (or at our Link Builders G+ Community).