Backlinks are important — there’s no argument on that fact. The emphasis that has been placed on backlinks in the past decade, however, has caused SEOs to hyper-focus on something that was never meant to be a marketing strategy.
I cannot count the number of times I have had conversations with clients, trying to impress upon them how they hurt their digital marketing efforts by prioritizing followed backlinks over relevancy, value and innovation in their marketing strategies.
In my experienced opinion (5+ years in the link business, 50+ clean-up efforts, 100-percent penalty removal success rate), the downward spiral of ineffectiveness begins the moment you start a marketing strategy conversation with, “What can we do to get followed backlinks?”
When backlinks become the primary KPI of your campaign, you’ve effectively shifted focus away from your customer and to your bottom line. Your readers will notice this lack of sincerity, as will the influencers you try to engage with.