One of the areas of SEO that we constantly work on is backlinks. A backlink or “link” for short, is clickable text on a website that links back to your website. We get countless questions on backlinks and the value of links in the search engines today. As an SEO link building is amongst the top strategy need for search engine ranking and traffic.
Backlinks are also identified as inbound, or we can say incoming links, & they are links to your website from another place over the internet. They are extremely useful to search engines because they give a good indication that a website is popular. Another website adding a link to you is essentially a vote for your website, as it shows their customers that they think your site is worth visiting.
To promote your website via social media platforms, it may be worth seeing if you can get links to your domain included anywhere else, such as if you are a food firm and the restaurants and hotels who use links to your website as well as on their own websites, these backlinks will create many visitors to your website. They will also show search engines that your website is relevant to people requiring for the services you offer.
Let’s take an example, if a webmaster has a website about how to take care orphaned children, and received a backlink from another website about children, then that would be more relevant in a search engine’s assessment than say a link from a site about bike racing. The more appropriate the website is that is linking back to your site, the better the quality of the backlink.
If for example, you have a site about dogs, and you are creating links from other niche sites about fish, these links will be of no use. Your goal should be to get links from authoritative and relevant sites.
Important Things to Remember About Backlinks
- Not all backlinks are good
- Too many backlinks can be problematic
- Anchor text is important
- Site quality and content is paramount
- Spammy backlink tactics cause harm
Getting link juice in 2017
Today, getting the kind of high authority editorial links that Google wants us to show is more difficult since ever before. Content marketing has exploded since 2017, increasing struggle for high-quality links. Google has also made changes to paid link schemes, making it impossible for SEOs experts to buy, trade, or barter their way into organic results pages. While some SEOs experts continue to use “Grey Hat” SEO tactics, which are getting riskier and riskier to pull off.
Building a different portfolio of high-authority backlinks in 2017 takes an exact approach that’s related to the process used in a PR agency. The PR person must coordinate a multi-stage process with many moving parts (topics must be researched, articles must be tilted, reporters contacted, drafted, with the process repeated for each section). That is why several PR agencies are adding SEO service to their offerings.
SEOs must be equally methodical in 2017. Blog articles must be written, published, scheduled, & promoted in a regular fashion. Website owner link marks must be communicated with individually personalized communications. None of these things is easy to do, but the primary principles behind earning ethical, white-hat link juice to a website have not changed much over the past years. You will earn links based on the uniqueness of your content, how it is presented to the users, & your ability to get it in front of the right users. Today’s entrepreneurs make sure to master the art of influencing, user experience and content promotion to get more & more traffic, leads, & customers.”
Getting link juice in 2017 means leveraging social media platforms. Building a community/forum responsive to your message will increase your chances of getting an approval that Google wants to see the posts. Your link building targets can be connected via social media platforms and relationships can be nourished. Social media links do not directly conduct link juice, but social media activities improve your odds of getting links. These secondary effects over time are very important.
Good Links VS. Bad Links
Google and the other major search engines want to give their searchers(users) with the excellent, relevant results(knowledge) and experience given by the search queries. More actual & appropriate search results mean happier customers. Most more satisfied users are more likely to return for any query and use the same search engine the next time if they have a need. Newer and return visitors means much more ad impressions & opportunities for the search engine to attract clicks on their paid ads ( we can say their major source of income).
Major search engines use links as a measure of a website’s relevance & authority, but not all links are generated equally. Google and the other major search engines must examine the relevance as well as the authority of the linking website.
Good links come from relevant and authoritative websites. Bad links come from irrelevant directories and low-quality websites. There are millions of directory websites that have been created for a single purpose: to game the search engine algorithms. In the past, links from these types of sites have helped companies improve their rankings. However, the search engines have become far more adept at identifying such sites and either penalizing them or removing them from their results altogether.
What are some of the ways to get quality backlinks for your blog?
- Write awesome articles
- Start commenting
- Submit to web directories
Suggested by MOZ
Used by search engines
How do search engines assign a value to links? To answer this, we need to explore the individual elements of a link and look at how the search engines assess these items. We don’t fully understand the proprietary metrics that search engines use, but through analysis of patent applications, years of experience, and hands-on testing, we can draw some reasonable assumptions that hold up in the real world. Below is a list of important factors worthy of consideration. These signals and much more are considered by professional SEOs when measuring link value and a site’s link profile. You may also enjoy some further on the Moz Blog reading about search engine valuation of links.
The more popular and important a site is the more links from that site matter. A site like Wikipedia has thousands of diverse sites linking to it, which means it’s probably a popular and important site. To earn trust and authority with the engines, you’ll need the help of other link partners. The more popular, the better.
The concept of “local” popularity, first pioneered by the Teoma search engine, suggests that links from sites within a topic-specific community matter more than links from general or off-topic sites. For example, if your website sells dog houses, a link from the Society of Dog Breeders matters much more than one from a site about roller skating.
One of the strongest signals the engines use in rankings is anchor text. If dozens of links point to a page with the right keywords, that page has a very good probability of ranking well for the targeted phrase in that anchor text. You can see examples of this in action with searches like “click here,” where many results rank solely due to the anchor text of inbound links.
It’s no surprise that the Internet contains massive amounts of spam. Some estimate as much as 60% of the web’s pages are spam. To weed out this irrelevant content, search engines use systems for measuring trust, many of which are based on the link graph. Earning links from highly trusted domains can result in a significant boost to this scoring metric. Universities, government websites, and non-profit organizations represent examples of high-trust domains.
Spam links often go both ways. A website that links to spam is likely spam itself, and in turn, often has many spam sites linking back to it. By looking at these links in the aggregate, search engines can understand the “link neighborhood” in which your website exists. Thus, it’s wise to choose those sites you link to carefully and be equally selective with the sites you attempt to earn links from.
Link signals tend to decay over time. Sites that were once popular often go stale and eventually fail to earn new links. Thus, it’s important to continue earning additional links over time. Commonly referred to as “FreshRank,” search engines use the freshness signals of links to judge current popularity and relevance.
The last few years have seen an explosion in the amount of content shared through social services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Although search engines treat socially shared links differently than other types of links, they notice them nonetheless. There is much debate among search professionals as to how exactly search engines factor social link signals into their algorithms, but there is no denying the rising importance of social channels.
As with any marketing activity, the first step in any link building campaign is the creation of goals and strategies. Unfortunately, link building is one of the most difficult activities to measure. Although the engines internally weigh each link with precise, mathematical metrics, it’s impossible for those on the outside to access this information.
SEOs rely on some signals to help build a rating scale of link value. Along with the data from the link signals mentioned above, these metrics include the following:
MozRank (mR) shows how popular a given web page is on the web. Pages with high MozRank scores tend to rank better. The more links to a given page, the more popular it becomes. Links from important pages (like www.cnn.com or www.irs.gov) increase a page’s popularity, and subsequently its MozRank, more than unpopular websites.A page’s MozRank can be improved by getting lots of links from semi-popular pages, or a few links from very popular pages.
Ranking for Relevant Search Terms
One of the best ways to determine how highly a search engine values a given page is to search for some of the keywords and phrases that page targets (particularly those in the title tag and headline). For example, if you are trying to rank for the phrase “dog kennel,” earning links from pages that already rank for this phrase would help significantly.
Moz Domain Authority (or DA) is a query-independent measure of how likely a domain is to rank for any given query. DA is calculated by analyzing the Internet’s domain graph and comparing a given domain to tens of thousands of queries in Google.
By examining the backlinks (inbound links) of a website that already ranks well for your targeted keyword phrase, you gain valuable intelligence about the links that help them achieve this ranking. Using tools like Open Site Explorer, SEOs can discover these links and target these domains in their own link building campaigns.
Number of Links on a Page
According to the original PageRank formula, the value that a link passes is diluted by the presence of other links on a page. Thus, all other things being equal, being linked to by a page with few links is better than being linked to by a page with many links. The degree to which this is relevant is unknowable (in our testing, it appears to be important, but not overwhelmingly so), but it’s certainly something to be aware of as you conduct your link acquisition campaign.
Potential Referral Traffic
Link building should never be solely about search engines. Links that send high amounts of direct click-through traffic not only tend to provide better search engine value for rankings, but also send targeted, valuable visitors to your site (the basic goal of all Internet marketing).
This is something you can estimate based on the numbers of visits or page views according to site analytics. If you can’t get access to these, services like Google Trends can give you a rough idea of at least domain-wide traffic, although these estimates are known to be wildly inaccurate at times. It takes some time, practice, & by gaining experience to build a comfort zone with these variables as they link to search engine traffic. Though, by using website’s analytics, you should be able to determine whether your campaign is successful or not.
If these metrics do not rise after a successful link building campaign, it’s possible you either need to seek better quality link targets or improve your on-page optimization. If these stats do not improve after a successful link building campaign, it is possible you either need to seek better quality link targets or improve your on-page optimization.
WordPress admin dashboard has a widget titled Incoming Links, and this widget displays links to the website from other websites, mainly blogs. It uses Google blogs search results to show the links. There are so many free backlink checker tools are available online which can be used to see how many pages are linking to a particular page.
Five Samples of Link Building Strategies
Get your customers to link to you
If you have partners you work with regularly, or loyal customers that love your brand, you can capitalize on this by sending out partnership badges—graphic icons that link back to your site (like Google often does with their AdWords certification program). Just as you’d get customers wearing your t-shirts or sporting your bumper stickers, links are the best way to accomplish the same feat on the web. Check out this post on e-commerce links for more.
Build a company blog; make it a valuable, informative, and entertaining resource
This content and link building strategy is so popular and valuable that it’s one of the few recommended personally by the engineers at Google (for more on this, see articles at USA Today and Stone Temple). Blogs have the unique ability to contribute fresh material on a consistent basis, participate in conversations across the web, and earn listings and links from other blogs, including blogrolls and blog directories.
Create content that inspires viral sharing and natural linking
In the SEO world, we often call this “linkbait.” Good examples might include David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors, Compare the Meerkat, or the funny How Not To Clean a Window. Each leverages aspects of usefulness, information dissemination, or humor to create a viral effect. Users who see it once want to share it with friends, and bloggers/tech-savvy webmasters who see it will often do so through links. Such high quality, editorially earned votes are invaluable to building trust, authority, and rankings potential.
Earning the attention of the press, bloggers and news media is an effective, time-honored way to earn links. Sometimes this is as simple as giving away something for free, releasing a great new product, or stating something controversial.
An aside on buying links
Google and Bing seek to discount the influence of paid links in their organic search results. While it is impossible for them to detect and discredit all paid links, the search engines put a lot of time and resources into finding ways to detect these. Websites caught buying links or participating in link schemes risk severe penalties that will drop their rankings into oblivion. Notwithstanding these efforts, link buying sometimes works; many search professionals wish the search engines would do even more to discourage it.
Success comes when you see increases in search traffic, higher rankings, more frequent search engine crawling and increases in referring link traffic. I hope this post about the importance of Backlinks in SEO for growing engagement and popularity clear the concept of backlinks and much more. If we missed out something let us know below.
We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO