Link Building in the Age of AI: Why it Matters More than Ever

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A while back, the mention of “AI” usually referred to high-tech tools that were beyond the understanding of most everyday users. This type of technology was often reserved for complicated business processes or research functions.

Fast forward to today, and AI is now everywhere, from chatbots on websites to voice assistants in our homes. And with the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, the entire world finally realized the true potential of AI and how it could be a game changer for all industries.

One of the most widely used and valued aspects of AI is its ability to create relevant content that can be used for developing webpages, blog posts, and social media posts. The implication this has had for the scale and effectiveness of content marketing has been incredible.

However, like any tool, early adoption and uneducated use of AI-powered content creation comes with a number of challenges for web developers. While so many people have adopted  AI as the new “power tool” when it comes to establishing an online presence, its potential negative impact only highlights the importance of having and maintaining effective link building strategies.

How AI is Changing Business Marketing Approaches

Marketing departments in businesses have always been used to accepting and adapting to change. There has been no shortage of major disruptions in the past decade, from social media and influencer marketing to content marketing. 

However, the introduction of AI has signified a monumental shakeup of how businesses look at their marketing structures.

Improved Speed and Ability to Scale

When you consider what drives most online marketing efforts of most companies, the answer is undoubtedly “content.” Providing relevant content is what allows organizations to connect with their audience and position themselves as thought leaders in the industries they represent.

But the challenge is that creating quality content everyone wants to read and engage with takes time and resources. This is especially taxing for younger organizations that have limited funding and staff to help manage this process.

AI has started to change this. Not only does AI-generated content significantly reduce the amount of time spent on creating a piece of content, but it also gives businesses room to scale their marketing efforts in other areas.

Reduced Spending

Company resources are a finite asset, and organizations often struggle to find ways to maximize them in all areas of their business. Marketing is often associated with high spending, and many companies have historically been reliant on internal staff and agencies to handle their marketing needs.

However, with AI, businesses can make use of a plethora of marketing tools and platforms that are highly cost-effective. While many of these tools are unable to replace the value of human strategizing and creativity, they can help fill a variety of knowledge gaps and alleviate pressure from other areas of the business.

All of this translates to less spending on various marketing initiatives. It also allows businesses to explore different tactics and channels without breaking the bank, enabling them to fine-tune their marketing strategies for better scalability.

Multilingual Capabilities

The ability to scale into new markets is often stifled by language barriers. Whether selling e-commerce goods from one country to the next or expanding the reach of a social media campaign, understanding the nuances of a target market’s language is essential.

Working with a large network of translators or hiring in-house staff to handle translations can be expensive – not to mention hard to scale. There are also limitations and potential errors that come with human translation.

AI-based language translation tools have been around for a while, but they are constantly improving in their accuracy and capabilities. This is why marketing departments and businesses as a whole are beginning to rely more on these tools for their language translation needs.

Better Data-Driven Decision Making

In addition to helping with content creation and translation, AI has a range of other valuable uses in marketing, particularly when it comes to data gathering and interpretation. 

Thanks to AI, businesses can now collect and analyze huge amounts of data more quickly. This capability helps them base their decisions on up-to-date insights, moving away from outdated information or working off assumptions.

Is AI-Generated Content All That It’s Cracked Up To Be?

It’s clear that AI technology has brought a number of advantages to businesses. However, when it comes to content creation, there are some major concerns that come up.

The Absence of Human Emotion

A significant drawback of content produced by AI is its lack of human emotion and nuance. While AI writing tools can imitate human writing patterns, they don’t truly understand or convey feelings in the same way a human author does. This can result in content that seems mechanical or detached.

Not Enough Context or Nuance

Content produced by AI uses algorithms and data input, which means it might not fully understand the exact context around certain topics or ideas. Because of this, AI-created content can often be inaccurate, especially when describing the details of a topic. For example, it might mistake one word’s meaning for another, like mixing up company names with actual locations or using outdated statistics about relevant issues.

Dependence on Human Training

The caliber of the content that AI tools produce is directly linked with the training data that human operators put into it. However, many businesses lack the resources to dedicate the time and effort needed for AI system training. Because of this, they typically end up with content that’s not high quality. Publishing content that’s outdated or misinformed can severely tarnish a company’s image.

Negative Impacts on SEO

While AI can no doubt help businesses scale their content-generation efforts, it’s often at the sacrifice of quality. But the quality of the information you provide online plays a major role in how well it gets indexed and ranked by Google. Because of the lack of context and nuance, there are some major setbacks that AI content can have on the performance of a website and its SEO. 

Keyword Stuffing and Over-Optimization

When businesses rely heavily on AI to help improve their SEO efforts, they often target specific keywords in their content creation. However, AI-generated content often has a tendency to overuse those keywords and repeat them multiple times within the same article or page. 

Even though keywords are important for SEO, over-optimizing them can actually hurt a website’s ranking since Google recognizes it as spammy content.

Not Adhering to E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) Guidelines

Back in 2014, Google introduced the E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) guidelines in an effort to reward websites that have accurate content that builds trust with their audience. 

However, in 2022, Google incorporated another “E” to this acronym and made it “E-E-A-T,” putting even more emphasis on the overall “experience” of a website. Because AI-generated content lacks real expertise and can’t identify all layers of nuance, it’s often unable to adhere to these guidelines and can negatively impact a website’s SEO.

Issues with Quality and Relevance

Content created using automated tools might occasionally miss the mark in terms of relevance or accuracy because of its challenges in understanding context and subtlety. 

These discrepancies go against Google’s algorithms, which use user behavior and feedback to determine the quality of a website’s content. As a result, AI-generated content will often experience a drop in ranking.

Is Link Building Still Important in Digital Marketing?

Link building has always been a foundation of best SEO practices. And as search engine algorithms have evolved over the years, the importance of link building has never changed. In fact, it remains a key part of Google’s ranking system.

However, with the emergence of AI-generated content influencing SEO, some businesses may wonder if link building still matters. The answer is a resounding YES.

Building Credibility

Link building goes beyond just apparent search engine optimization results. When well-established websites link to yours, it communicates to both search engines and visitors that your content is reliable and worth their time. This endorsement gradually increases your website’s reputation, improving its standing with search engines and strengthening your online presence.

Driving Organic Traffic

Well-executed link building strategies can be a significant source of organic traffic. High-quality, relevant links strategically placed on other websites can direct potential customers to your site and increase your audience reach. This not only boosts brand awareness but also drives qualified leads to your website.

Referral traffic of this kind is especially beneficial since it often attracts visitors already curious about your industry or the kind of content you offer. These types of visitors are more inclined to interact with your brand, share it with others, and are more likely to convert into customers.

Establishing Domain Authority

Another critical aspect of link building is its role in establishing domain authority. Domain authority gauges the potential of a website to perform well on search engines. Websites that have a variety of top-tier backlinks usually have stronger domain authority, increasing their chances for better placements in search results.

Creating a More Future-Proof Strategy

Link building helps create a more future-proof SEO strategy. While search engine algorithms continue to evolve, the importance of high-quality, relevant backlinks has remained relatively constant.

By investing in link building, businesses can build a solid SEO foundation that withstands major search engine algorithm updates.

How Can You Incorporate More Link Building Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Link building will always provide significant value to a website’s SEO efforts. Securing top backlinks can be a challenge and usually requires the right strategy. Consider the tactics below to improve your link building initiatives:

Create Better Quality Content

Great content can be a magnet for backlinks. By producing unique and engaging content, other sites are inclined to reference it, listing it as a relevant source for their readers.

Creating better quality content starts with understanding your audience’s needs and interests. Use keyword research tools to better understand how your audience is finding the information they need and start creating content around those topics.

Build Relationships With Other Companies

Link building isn’t just about SEO – it’s also about relationship building. Establishing relationships with other businesses, especially those in your industry, can lead to link exchange opportunities that benefit both parties. This could involve guest blogging, collaborative projects, or simply sharing each other’s content on social media.

Start by identifying potential partners who share a similar audience but aren’t direct competitors. Reach out to them with a professional proposal for collaboration, highlighting the mutual benefits. Be genuine in your approach and focus on building a long-term relationship rather than seeking immediate gains.

Hire a Professional SEO Agency

If link building seems challenging, you should think about engaging with a seasoned SEO agency (like!). These agencies have the knowledge and tools to create and implement effective link building strategies that are aligned with your business objectives.

An SEO agency can help identify potential backlink opportunities, create content designed to attract backlinks and monitor your backlink profile to ensure it remains healthy and beneficial to your SEO. They can also handle the outreach process, saving you time and effort.

While hiring an SEO agency involves an investment, the potential return is often long-lasting and far-reaching.

Never Underestimate the Power of Link Building

Regardless of the adoption rate of AI technology and the shifts in marketing priorities, link building remains crucial for a successful SEO strategy. It not only improves your website’s search engine rankings but also helps businesses to establish real authority and credibility in their industry. 

By actively investing in link building, businesses can secure their spot on the top of search engine results pages and attract more traffic to their website over the long term.

Author Bio:

Jason Khoo started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.