Kristine Schachinger will be speaking on Links at Engage 2018, which will take place March 8th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Kristine Schachinger1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
Kristine Schachinger started her career in 1998 as a front-end developer and website designer. She has almost 20 years of experience in website design, development and implementation experience and has helped design/code/implement sites for everyone from SMBs to Reba McEntire, AOL,, and As part of that experience, Kristine also has nearly fourteen years in accessibility and over a thirteen years experience in website visibility and SEO.

Kristine’s current SEO work includes, but is not limited to: monthly SEO support, Site Health Audits, SEO Algorithm/Penalty Audits, Site Recovery, Google News Optimization, Online Reputation Management, Conversion Optimization, and Technical SEO. Kristine is the CEO and Founder of Sites Without Walls.

In addition, Kristine is a speaker at industry conferences around the world and is also currently a Subject Matter Expert with columns in Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and SEMPost.

2) What’s the state of Link-Building in 2018?

It is harder to cheat the algorithms these days, but the pain when you get caught it much less. This also means that fortunately for those that don’t get it right, the penalties for doing it wrong are much less than they were just a little over a year ago.

The original Penguin was brutal. If you were found to be in violation of the algorithms, not only did they push your site way down the SERPs, but you could not recover that loss unless the algorithms ran again. This meant that those that were hit in 2014 were still waiting for recovery in 2016. Now that we are in a post-Penguin Classic world Google is still as brutal, but the results less catastrophic. If you get hit by the update you will lose link value, but your site can rebuild quickly without waiting months or years for Penguin to run again. This makes link devaluations less severe and harder to identify, but easier to fix.

Google link building 2018 will continue this trend. It will be harder to get around the algorithms, but easier to recover if you run afoul. And whether you are white hat or black hat, you will need to be more creative and more flexible. You will need to think outside the box. The days of just paying for link buys from anyone who sells them are long gone and for those attracting links, it is much harder than it was 10 years ago. So you will need to find ways to make it happen, maybe in ways that no one has ever thought of before.

3) How will Mobile First Indexing affect link profiles?
There was some concern that Google was going to only use mobile link values in the move to Mobile First Indexing. Since mobile versions of sites tend to have far fewer links they fear was that sites would lose the value of their link profiles. The good news is if you have a responsive site you do not have to worry about this issue as your links will not change and if you have an m. they are going to combine your desktop and mobile values, so you will still have the same link profile you always had.

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