UPDATED JANUARY 28, 2013

Link popularity has long been the basis of Google’s entire organic search engine ranking algorithm.  That is, if you wanted to rank well in Google, you had to get a lot of high quality sites to link to your site.  The logic was that if someone was willing to link away from their site to your site, then you must be a good company with a good reputation.  While links are still important, Google’s recent ranking algorithm updates (called Panda and Penguin) have changed the importance and value of links.

Without getting into too much detail here – since this is just an update to a now outdated blog post…

Google now favors high quality content and social media  presence or online reputation over link popularity.  Think about it.  If you have a huge list of followers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, then you must be a good business.  If you have great online reviews, then you must be a legit business.  If your website has great content that people follow and naturally link to, then you must be a good company.

Link popularity is not dead, but it’s on the way out.  Focus your efforts on creating content rich websites with great content.  Focus your efforts on getting more traction in the plethora of social media sites.