Public Relations Influencer Marketing is a new hybrid offline/online marketing strategy, necessitated by changes in the way Google looks at backlinks. It’s a lot like traditional PR, except that it happens online. But the dirty secret is – it’s as traditional as traditional could be.
Backlinking (review our handy guide to backlinking if you want a refresher) has changed over the years. Stage 1: Quantity = Win. Getting your website to rank well in Google used to be comparatively easy. Very briefly, the more backlinks you had, the higher you ranked on Google. It was all about quantity. Stage 2: Quantity x Quality = Win. But then the Google gods said “Enough! Not all links are equal!” Suddenly where the links came from was more important than how many you had. SEOs scrambled to get more backlinks from websites with authority, because a link from nytimes.com was much better than a link from your Cousin Joe’s News Blog. Stage 3: Quantity x Quality x Relevancy = Win. Again the Google gods spoke and said “Enough! Not all good links are equal!” It now considers the quantity of backlinks only if they linked from contextually relevant on authoritative websites.
So, if you are a college, it’s no longer enough to get a link from the NyTimes.com – now it has to be from the education section. With Backlinks devalued, where are we now? Here we are now, where even the word “backlink” sounds dirty. It was the foundation of an SEO’s job, and it’s completely changed in 4 years. It’s no longer something that can done in bulk. Instead, acquiring backlinks became a strategic manual effort that involves reaching out and communicating to humans with goal to have their online persona promote your product or service. Wait a minute…that concept sounds like something from marketing class in year 2000. I think it was called… Public Relations!