Sape, with the support of the SEOnews portal, has carried out a large-scale research of the SEO and link building market. It was based on in-depth interviews with experts and an Internet survey of service users. We publish results, conclusions and insights.
The global market research was conducted in January – February 2021. 414 respondents from Russia and neighboring countries took part in it: 19 opinion leaders (heads of SEO agencies, well-known optimizers and evangelists) and 395 users of the Sape service and readers of the industry portal SEOnews. Of the latter, 71% represent SEO agencies, 23% promote their own and corporate sites.
- integrate key trends in SEO and link building: show the generalized opinion of market participants about search engine optimization and share insights;
- synchronize Sape products with the main vector of the SEO market development.
The questions were divided into three blocks. The first part of the study dealt with the most important factors of ranking in search engines from the point of view of the professional community. In the second, they asked about link building and the quality of donor sites, in the third, they discussed trends and prospects for the development of the SEO market.
The experts named the selection of queries as important components of the optimization process in Yandex; on average, behavioral factors are considered important in the market.
Priority work on optimization in Google – link environment and optimization for mobile devices.
Most of the respondents think that the most difficult thing to work with is external optimization – behavioral factors and link building… The easiest way is with the selection of requests and integration with social media. These jobs are made easier by the widespread adoption of SEO tools.
The most important ranking factor for Yandex – behavioral factors – is the most difficult for SEOs. The first major part of Google optimization – the external linking environment – also appears to be quite difficult.
The second part of the research was devoted to link building.
Google considers a site’s link weight to be a significant ranking factor, and the respondents are of the same opinion. More than 90% of respondents allocate a budget for links and are engaged in link building: almost half spend more than a quarter of the advertising budget on links.
All interviewees strive to make their link profile as diverse as possible. Budget plays a key role: if funds permit, link builders use more expensive perpetual article links.
90% of respondents use crowd links in their work. Also in demand are article and rental links. The least popular are natural links from content marketing (preparation of high-quality material to which links are placed) and work with drop-sites (restoration of “dead” resources and redirecting weight to promoted ones).
More than 60% of respondents purchase from 10 to 100 links per month. A large number of links (over 1000) is mined by only 1% of respondents.
The vast majority of SEOs use Ahrefs. Also in the TOPs – CheckTrust and Megaindex. Some respondents do not forget about the most important SEO organ of an optimizer – its brain.
More than 70% of respondents are confident that the effectiveness of link building remains at the same level. None of the experts responded that the effectiveness of link building has decreased.
There is a stereotype that sanctions are imposed for incorrect link building – professionals think differently. 90% of the experts surveyed believe that the likelihood of penalties for link extraction is very low. And among the experts, no one chose the answer “The problem of sanctions is urgent.”
Search engine promotion market
Speaking about the state of the search engine promotion market, all respondents noted that the “coronavirus” year turned out to be very difficult. 40% of respondents felt that the SEO market has grown, 31.6% of survey participants did not notice significant changes.
Another interesting question related to behavioral cheating. The overwhelming majority of respondents do not use cheat. 16.1% of respondents cheat behavioral factors in Yandex, a slightly larger proportion of respondents (17.9%) refused to use cheats after a negative experience.
A separate block in the study contains expert opinions on search engine optimization and link building. Here are the most interesting ones.
Links are undoubtedly useful in both Google and Yandex. Google loves them more, but this is only because Yandex has a different ranking in commercial topics. All things being equal, and with proper internal optimization, a well-implemented link strategy helps you grow to the TOP.
We pay more and more attention to the diversification of sources: rental links, crowd marketing, article placement, link levels, directories, etc. Given the correct approach and the use of different types of links, the effect of link building has even grown.
An important parameter for choosing a link is not just traffic to the site, but its positive dynamics. It is very important that the attendance grows or remains stable. If the traffic drops, then there are problems. I try not to place links on such sites.
The purpose of our research is to integrate the insights and trends of the professional community, as well as to offer solutions that are adequate to the needs of a modern SEO specialist. Already, Sape users have access to metrics from Ahrefs and an estimate of site traffic. We hope that the results will help in planning search engine promotion strategies, and Sape products will accelerate the achievement of the coveted TOPs, – said the CEO of Sape Sergey Pankov…
The full version of the study is available at the link: http://bit.do/sape-seo-research-2021