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How AI is Transforming Link Building and SEO

What does good link building and SEO look like in this AI-driven world?  And importantly what does Google’s evolving AI mean for the SEO industry?  We’ll explore these key topics below, and if you’d like to watch our recent webinar on ‘Is Link Building Dead in the Age of SEO’ with Kylie and Matt from our SEO team please head here.

Link Building: Still Alive and Kicking

Despite varying opinions in the industry, we believe that link building remains crucial – and quality trumps quantity. And importantly, not all links are created equal.  A recent test by The Verge highlighted how authority impacts rankings. Their high-authority site managed to rank a nonsense article about the best printer in 2024 at the top of Google search results. This shows that with substantial authority, a site can rank almost anything. However, this is not achievable overnight. It requires building authority over time.

Three Pillars of SEO: A Holistic Approach

For effective SEO, a balance of technical SEO, content, and link building is essential. We often see clients focusing on one area, but neglecting others which leads to suboptimal results. For larger sites, technical SEO is critical to manage numerous categories and products, ensuring Google can crawl, index, and rank pages efficiently. Smaller, niche sites might prioritise content optimisation. However, all three pillars are vital, regardless of site size.

Why Technical SEO Matters

Without a solid technical foundation, even the best content and links won’t help. If your site has technical issues, such as blocked pages in the robots.txt file, Google can’t crawl or index them. Thus, technical SEO is the bedrock upon which successful SEO strategies are built.

Content is King, But It Needs a Castle

Quality content engages readers and attracts links, which in turn boosts your authority – so a strong content strategy is paramount. Google values E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), and content is key to demonstrating these. However, without good technical SEO, your excellent content might go unnoticed.

Link Building: The Essential Catalyst

Link building helps search engines discover and rank your pages, enhancing your site’s authority. It’s not just about quantity but the quality and relevance of links. Building a strong backlink profile can elevate your rankings and visibility, leading to increased traffic and sales.

Digital PR: Beyond Traditional Link Building

Digital PR drives brand awareness and traffic. It’s not just about getting links but also about brand mentions and visibility. Creative campaigns, press releases, influencer collaborations, and partnerships all contribute to a robust digital PR strategy. Ensuring your links come from relevant, authoritative sources is crucial.

The Role of AI in SEO

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Google’s AI Overviews, previously known as search generative experience (SGE), which are reshaping the SERPs. These AI-generated overviews sit above organic results, pushing even top-ranking pages further down. This makes it essential to understand and adapt to this change.

How AI Overviews Work

AI overviews generate answers from data across the web, often pulling information from high-authority sites. We’ve experimented with ranking within these overviews. By making precise on-page tweaks, we managed to secure a position in the AI overview within two days. This shows that while authority is crucial, relevance and quality content also play significant roles.

Managing Brand Reputation in the Age of AI

AI overviews can impact brand perception. They pull in information from various sources, including forums like Reddit. This can be detrimental if negative content surfaces prominently. Hence, proactive digital PR and link building are vital to manage and control the narrative about your brand online.

Actionable Strategies Moving Forward

1. Holistic SEO Approach: Balance technical SEO, content, and link building. Neglecting any pillar can undermine your efforts.
2. Focus on Quality: Build high-quality, relevant links. Avoid the trap of chasing quantity over quality.
3. Strong Content Strategy: Create content that demonstrates E-E-A-T. Ensure it’s engaging, helpful, and authoritative.
4. Technical Foundations: Regularly audit your site to fix technical issues. Ensure Google can crawl, index, and rank your pages.
5. Digital PR: Leverage creative campaigns, influencer collaborations, and partnerships to build your brand and earn quality links.
6. Adapt to AI: Stay updated with Google’s AI developments. Optimize your content to rank in AI overviews by ensuring it’s relevant, authoritative, and well-structured.

While AI is changing the landscape of SEO, link building remains a vital part of a comprehensive strategy. But it’s important that you focus on on quality and relevance, and integrate technical SEO and a content strategy.   If you’d like any support from our team – whether that’s helping you to build your SEO strategy or support your PR, please get in touch with us at

Watch our ‘Is Link Building Dead’? webinar here:

Join Kylie Moody and Matthew Fraser as they discuss the future of link building.


Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
SEO Account Manager - Modo25

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