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Monday, October 26, 2020

11 Ways Blockchain Will Forever Change Link Building and SEO

There’s been lots of discussion about blockchain in the last few years and what this means for this industry or that industry. You’ll hear people discuss the potential with which it could revolutionize fields like finance, wealth management, investing, banking, property, insurance, payment processing, etc. But it cuts more deeply than this. Blockchain is able to fundamentally alter the way organizations and marketers approach crucial online activities, such as link constructing and SEO. Do do you know what to expect?

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So What is Blockchain, Anyway?

If you’re reading this weblog, chances are you have a cursory understanding of what blockchain is. However, it’s also possible that you’re a link building or SEO professional and have discovered this resource to learn more about where the industry is going. In that case, let’s supply a basic explanation or refresher on what blockchain is, how it functions, and why it’s so important. 

For starters, blockchain is actually an incorruptible digital ledger that records and stores economic transactions, as well as any tangible event that needs a definitive, immutable “receipt” mounted on it. If you’re trying to find the simplest, non-technical explanation, it’s basically a huge, tamperproof Google Doc spreadsheet that’s distributed to the general public. Each time a transaction is created, it switches into the spreadsheet. And since everyone has access to it, there’s never any confusion over who owns a certain asset, just how much it was purchased for, when it was sold, etc.

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Blockchain gets its name from the concept that blockchain is an assortment of individual “blocks” that are chained together to create up a ledger. Each block stores information about a transaction (date, time, dollar amount, etc.). But instead of displaying private and personal information, every person or business is given a unique digital signature. Furthermore, each block has an unique distinguishing code called a “hash.” Each hash is just a cryptographic string of characters that’s produced by a special algorithm. In addition to recording transactions, the blockchain is employed to verify transactions and confirm information on the event. 

The Impact of Blockchain on Link Building and SEO

So while you on average hear blockchain discussed within the context of cryptocurrency and financial transactions, it’ll have far-reaching impacts on every part of life and business. This includes digital marketing – specially link building and on line SEO. Here’s a look at what things to expect continue:

  • Crack Down on Black Hat Link Building

Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO and website marketing. Over the years, it’s also been susceptible to manipulation and unethical techniques. These strategies, which remain in existence today, are called black hat link building. Blockchain has the potential to completely extinguish these unsavory practices.

Instead of would-be internet marketers searching “what is link building?” they’ll become more likely to query, “what was link building?” In other words, the strategies of today will undoubtedly be completely replaced with white hat link constructing methods which can be fresh, novel, and diverse from anything that’s currently happening in the industry. The next section on “smart links” provides one taste of what this may look like used.

Never heard of smart links? Don’t worry – you’re in good company. This is a fairly new concept, but it’ll almost certainly play a significant role in the development of link building and SEO as blockchain technology expands.

Smart links function in much the same way as old-fashioned links, but with one key point of differentiation: They natively track when and with whom the link has been shared. It does so via an embedded “smart contract.” 

While we can’t know the particular ramifications of smart links until they’re utilized in the real world, the belief is that they would give content creators more control over their links and how they can be used. This will ultimately result in more ethical and collaborative online interactions. 

  • Dramatic Shift in Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks, like Amazon Associates, are incredibly popular. They work by allowing individuals to build product pages that link back again to specific Amazon products. When someone clicks the link and buys the item, the affiliate gets a cut – such as 10 percent of the sale price. 

Smart links will render the current affiliate networking strategy useless and decentralize the method. There will not be any need for the network. Individuals and organizations can use smart links to track sales and provide immediate compensation.

PPC advertising is just a multi-billion dollar industry. Much of this money filters through Google’s AdWords platform. And while the ROI can be significant for organizations that have deep pockets, click fraud – where competitors or bots click adverts to drive up costs – is a serious problem. By one estimate, 20 % of a marketer’s advertising spend goes towards these fraudulent clicks.

Blockchain has the ability to efficiently eliminate click fraud by verifying that each and every user is legitimate and ensuring that advertisers are only charged for actual click-throughs. It can also verify that adverts have been viewed by real people, maybe not bots. 

As click fraud becomes less of a problem, organizations will have more incentive to purchase advertising. This will boost ad spend, which will benefit website owners and bloggers who are able to monetize space on their websites. The result will be mutually beneficial business relationships that keep income cycles well lubricated. 

  • Better Keyword Research and Analysis

For SEO professionals and business people, trying to check out keyword rankings can be very frustrating. Even with all the advanced analytics platforms available, it can feel just like an uphill battle. Between the location, login status, device type, browser type, and cookies, keyword positions could be dramatically affected between users. Blockchain is coming to the rescue.

Powered by blockchain, SEO tools can track the common keyword position from a number of scenarios without much problem. And because it’s incorruptible and readily available, the result will undoubtedly be fast, accurate keyword rankings that require minimal analysis.

  • No More Advertising Middlemen

At as soon as, Google includes a firm chokehold on the advertising industry. But the stark reality is that Google is just a middleman taking a massive cut from the businesses/advertisers that are doing the real work. 

Blockchain is set to determine greater transparency. This will decentralize advertising and make products and services more accessible to consumers. Google will still make a killing on advertising, but they’ll no longer the gatekeepers.

  • Content Trust and Transparency

With every one of the worry over fake news, manipulative links, shady reviews, and other questionable on line practices, blockchain ledgers can be signals of trust. This will help genuine content creators and authentic businesses flaunt their transparency and establish stronger connections with the market. We also can expect to see Google and other search-engines place a much better emphasis on trustworthiness as they rank web pages. This will fundamentally force organizations to just take trust and transparency seriously in order to amplify visibility.

  • Blockchain Certificates 

For now, blockchain remains a buzzword for most people – similar to the “World Wide Web” was a buzzword in the mid-90s. But before long, internet surfers and consumers will begin expecting web pages to possess blockchain implemented into the code. This means Content Management Systems will need to integrate it into their platforms. Blockchain certificates will become the gold standard of the net. 

Ecommerce fraud is just a big deal – specifically Card Not Present (CNP) fraud. Retailers are losing billions of dollars per year, and the issue is only getting worse. But yet again, blockchain promises to come to the rescue. Smart contracts would ensure only the person initiating the contract is actually who they say they’re.

Blockchain could also help alleviate problems with situations where buyers purchase items from unknown web sites and anyone on one other end runs off with the money without actually sending any product. It may potentially act as a kind of “digital escrow” – holding funds until a package is marked as shipped. This would avoid the buyer from losing money with no product, while lessening the seller’s odds of not getting paid.

For SEOs, link building and marketing will not be about trying to decipher Google’s latest algorithmic changes or updates. Tomorrow’s SEO experts should be tech-savvy individuals who understand the intricacies of blockchain and how it impacts commerce and decision-making. This can be a much more complex and interconnected field, instead of an isolated branch of the marketing world. 

  • More Trustworthy Environment

When it’s all said and done, the hope is that blockchain will result in a more trustworthy online environment where users, advertisers, clients, businesses, and even search-engines have a larger sense of trust and camaraderie. There will be less fear and fewer people looking over their shoulders. Instead, we’ll all be liberated to enjoy the beauty of safe, productive on line interactions and profitable commerce.

The Future of Link Building and SEO

To properly speculate what the future of the digital marketing industry holds is to set yourself up for embarrassment. However, something we know: Blockchain will have a permanent and significant effect on link building and SEO in the foreseeable future. We’ve provided a list of 11 specific ways we believe it’ll change the game. Now we have to wait and see how things unfold. It’s going to be exciting to look at.

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO of SEO.co/; a full-service SEO company and DEV.co/; a custom web and software development business. For over ten years Nate had provided strategic guidance on technology and marketing solutions for a few of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB customers on pc software, development and online marketing. Nate and his team are based in Seattle, Washington and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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