White hat SEO dictates that you take a blended approach to your link building. A diverse and consistent link building campaign demonstrates to the search engines your commitment to branding your site and building your online presence. It is important to make sure that your site isn’t flagged for trying to spam or “cheat” the algorithm in order to artificially boost your own ranking. But that isn’t the only reason it is important to diversify your link building.
A diverse link building portfolio means you will always have a viable source of traffic
I’ve read several blog posts recommending that site owners do away with their sites entirely, and shift all their focus to social networking sites. After all, that is where your customers are! That’s what the people want! It’s the future of online marketing! All of those things may be true, but I would never recommend that a company delete their site in favor of a social profile.
Let’s say that Facebook, the megalith of social networking sites, disappeared tomorrow. I realize that this is highly unlikely, but it is still a possibility. Or let’s say that Google+ really is the “Facebook killer” some claim it has the potential to be and 90% of Facebook users migrate over to Google+. If you’re entire online marketing campaign centered on your Facebook profile, you no longer exist! I realize that this is a bit of an extreme example; I don’t think social media is going away any time soon, but you have to consider the possibility.
A diverse link building campaign will help ensure that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to SEO. The Internet is constantly evolving, and link sources that are highly relevant today may not be so useful a few years from now. If you focus all your link building efforts on one thing (blog commenting, online PR, local search profiles, etc), you’re actually cutting the legs out from underneath your own SEO. Your audience is scattered across the Internet; you have to make sure that your site is in as many places as possible so they can find you.
Focusing on one source of links also means you aren’t doing a good job of keeping up with your online competitors. Chances are they are taking a blended approach to link building, which means they are getting more links in more places than your site. Even if they don’t have as many links (say 1,000 to your 2,000), their diverse link portfolio is more appealing to the search engines. Each site passes a bit of its trust along to the site it links to. Having different sites linking to yours means you have a lot of link juice coming from trusted sources.
You also can’t just rely on the search engines to keep your site alive. The best online marketing campaigns are integrated and string together a variety of on and offline techniques.