SEO Update #3 | 24/12/21 | Up Digest

Welcome to the December 24, 2021 update. It’s almost Christmas (today is Christmas Eve), so the last news most people are going to read from SEO land in 2021. Let’s start right away. We begin with the highlighted news.

Link building (survey)

A survey conducted among SEO specialists found that said specialists spend less than 25% of their time on link building. My guess is, if you asked this 10 years ago, the answers would be different. I also think that not everyone likes to admit that they do a lot of link building.

Link Building

It is still a bit of a taboo among SEO specialists: engaging in link building. This is for two reasons. The first is that it almost always goes against Google’s guidelines. Buying links, swapping links, obtaining home pages; all go against Google’s guidelines (after all, it hardly adds any value to website visitors).

Only a fraction of link builders engage in “real” PR campaigns. And even these PR campaigns do not conform to google’s guidelines.

So what is left?

Writing valuable content and doing groundbreaking research until people naturally link to you? Good luck (if you’re not a foundation, school, government or A-brand, this is going to be a tough job). For a small (commercial) webshop, an almost impossible task. I’m not going to link to small, commercial parties from my website either (why should I).

The second reason (in my opinion) is that this was an American study. Now the game is a little different in America than it is here. And in my opinion, reading the American forums around SEO, it’s a bit more of a case of seeing and being seen there. By that I mean, link building as a job is not “sexy,” like a technical SEO specialist working day in and day out on Javascript issues, automating processes with Python and large-scale CLS surveys.

Quick News

  • Google’s John Mueller indicates that GA4 install has no impact on SEO (logical, but always good to highlight).
  • On Reddit a success story: waking up to +€80k traffic. Read the story here.
  • A finding of its own: Google no longer shows the number of indexed pages in the SERP. Are they testing with this? Too bad for SEO specialists who still used this to check the number of indexed pages.
Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 27 August 2023. The last update of this article was on 22 November 2023. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.