Journalism and Link Building: How Content Marketing Became an Art Form | The standard
The internet has made it difficult to define certain terms, as more and more fields have begun to require those looking to get into it to have a versatile approach to employability.
Any digital publisher should have web development skills and a solid understanding of search engine optimization, any artist should have a strong background in graphic design; it can be difficult to focus your efforts as much as we have in the past.
One career that has been affected in an interesting way is that of journalism.
Although it always has a definite image in our minds, the role of the journalist can be a little more difficult to define in the online world, which shares similarities with the work of bloggers, editors and all good link building company, among many other areas.
It is on this last point that the mix of writing roles becomes interesting because, for any trained journalist who finds themselves in the marketing sphere, knowledge of link building will eventually become essential.
But what is link building? How does it relate to the journalistic field? And what can each learn from the other at a time when the term “content is king” has become somewhat ubiquitous?
What is link building and why should you care?
The Internet, when broken down into its basic components, is a network of links connecting content of all kinds.
For search engines, this is one of the main ways to categorize websites, as it allows algorithms to break down the commonalities between these links and provide authoritative results based on their relevance.
In short, good websites that have links from good websites in their field tell the search engine that these websites are authoritative and trusted by their peers.
This type of linking occurs naturally, as writers link to relevant pages, blogs, and sites as resources for their own information.
However, for those who are not currently present, this type of natural exposure can be very difficult to find.
Thus, websites will actively contact other sites themselves and gather links through various means. This process, called link building, allows websites to show search engines that people are talking about them, allowing them to improve their rankings over time.
What does journalism have to do with it?
Around the time people realized how the algorithms of Google and other search engines worked, they immediately started exploiting it. From spamming links in forums to building dense walls of keywords linking to a site to boost its rankings, there were dozens of unscrupulous ways people increased their sites’ presence. Web, known today as “black hat seo“.
Because of this, search engines have started adjusting their algorithms to account for new factors, including the quality and clarity of the context surrounding these links.
So, for those who forced keywords into gibberish for links, the golden age of black hat SEO quickly came to an end.
However, as people continued to search for loopholes that would allow them to cheat the system, search engines had to continue to release updates to combat the prioritization of low quality or spammy sites.
This has led to a point where, nowadays, high-quality, authoritative content has never been so relevant or valuable.
How journalists ended up in the world of marketing
Those who may have survived spam at some point have been forced to work with trained journalists and digital copywriters to create online content that brings value to readers and not just to their site.
For this reason, marketers began courting aspiring journalists and those with blogging experience to write their link building articles and on-site blogs, rather than relying on their blogging experience. ‘optimization.
This, coupled with a historical lack of paid jobs in journalism at a time when anyone can create an online blog and start writing, has led many people who would otherwise have worked for journals, magazines and newspapers in the past to upskill and become marketing experts of content.
Journalists, bringing with them experience of writing, research, and informed opinions to the world of marketing, have transformed the face of content marketing.
What can we learn from this?
As people in the digital world, it’s important to understand how important quality and user experience are, even in areas that didn’t need it before.
Even areas that currently allow spam may one day penalize you for actions that are taken now.
As more and more digital marketing and link building companies begin to hire in-house editors and writers in an effort to future-proof their marketing strategies, it’s easy to see things will continue to change and the bar will continue to rise for those looking to compete.
Staying diligent and delivering consistent quality in your marketing efforts will ensure you have a future-proof online presence and, as a journalist, learning the skills to help companies in this field will ensure your career is future-proof for years to come. Good luck.