Link building is a significant factor in SEO. How can we say that?
To attract links from other sites, you need to master the art of writing quality content, sales, marketing, and many other factors. Building links are also crucial if you want to boost your site traffic.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of getting other sites to link to your own site. If you are a business owner operating online, you must concentrate on building links to drive referral traffic and boost your site authority.
Why it matters?
You must understand why building links is an important part of your business before you can ever focus on it. Let’s go back to the earlier days of the internet.
Back in the days, Yahoo and Alta Vista dominate the search engines. It ranks sites based on the content of the web page but no longer today.
With Google, it came out with its PageRank algorithm that altered everything. Rather than scoring each site with its content, Google gave much credit to how many links are linked to the page.
Until today, links are used to determine a site’s authority. Sites with many backlinks have a higher place in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Google still uses backlinks as a ranking factor until to this day.
With Penguin update, Google focuses more on the quality of links and not just quantity. Building links is an SEO strategy that tells Google that your website is a quality resource worthy of citation.
How would you know that it is a quality link?
When you launch link building campaigns, it’s either you build high-quality or low-quality links. When you build quality links, your site will land on top of Google search. On the other hand, building low-quality one would get you penalized.
The Right and Wrong Way of Link Building
There are two strategies of building links, one is the right and the other is the wrong method. You must always focus on natural link building if you want your business to stay long in the industry rather than buying links or acquiring them through Black SEO tactics.
Using Black HAT SEO can get you penalized by Google. As questionable links are easy to earn, natural links are difficult to acquire and usually takes a long process.
Links coming from authoritative sites or those with high PageRank can impact your site more. Links from low-authority sites can affect your lower your rankings.
Site owners can boost rankings by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to them.
How to Earn an Authority?
If the sites linking to you has a high PageRank, it’s going to help your rankings big time. You have to keep in mind that the authority of the site linking to your site is more important than any other elements.
Site A Site B
You can use Ahrefs to check a proxy indicator of a PageRank. You can just fill up the URL portion and you’ll get the URL rating of a site.
You can also determine the quality of a link through a domain’s sitewide authority. For example, a link coming from the “Wall Street Journal” gives more impact than a new site.
Why a site must be relevant?
Apart from an authority, the relevancy of a site that links to you is very important. For example, you have a site that talks about Fashion Designing. If you get a link from sites focusing on farming, do you think that link would be counted?
It’s very important that the site linking to you has relevance. It is the new factor to determine the PageRank. Keep in mind that you must be getting links from sites that are closely associated with your site.
The Position of the Link on a Page Matters
Where do the links placed on the page? Is it placed at the center of the page or buried in the footers or sidebars?
Studies have shown that the position of the links on a page is very significant. Links placed at the center of the page provides more weight than those placed on sidebars and footers.
Google Wants Editorially-Placed Links
Your first concern when you build links is whether it is editorially-placed or not. Why? It has a high impact on your reputation later on.
Have a quick assessment:
Did you receive links because they think that your content is written with quality? Otherwise, if you left a link on a blog, it’s not an editorial link.
Google is very critical with editorial links. If links aren’t vouched then it is unnatural. These links are a clear violation of Google’s rules and can get you penalized.
What is a Link Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the text that appears on a link on a page. Aside from links, anchor text is also Google’s ranking factor.
For instance, if you have a link with an anchor text of “Chocolate Pudding,” Google will presume that your site is about “Chocolate Pudding.” However, the same anchor text was already abused that led to Google changing its algorithms.
Google implemented that the anchor text must not be keyword-rich. Today, creating exact-match anchor text links can flag you as spam.
Don’t ever build links with exact-match anchor text links. On the other hand, if you acquire links with the exact keywords, it’s going to earn you big points.
Google Uses Link Co-Occurrences to Rank Sites
Co-Occurrences are words and phrases that appear around the link.It also refers to the presence, proximity, and frequency of the same keywords on different sites. It includes relevant keywords but not exactly similar.
Latent Semantic Indexing is closely related to Co-occurrence. Google considers co-occurrence as “baby anchor text.” It gives Google a hint about what a page is about.
Link-Building Strategies with Content Creation
Content is the component to attract high-quality backlinks. However, not all content can provide you links. There is particular content that can help you in building links.
The white hat link building
Visual assets like infographics, images, diagrams, and charts are easy to link to. It’s because these assets can earn you link each time a user shares it. For instance, when a user shares your image on their site, you automatically earn a link.
It turns out that creating high-quality and relevant visual assets can help you build links. You can earn hundreds to thousands of links from sites that find your image or diagram very useful and informative.
A powerful visual asset can earn you links as long as people find it relevant and newsworthy. In short, the infographic that you created in 2000 can still get you links in 2019.
Data and Original Research
It pertains to data coming from surveys, original research, and industry studies. Data and statistics can easily attract links. When a user finds your data relevant, they will link to you.
In case, your company launched a case study or research, it can help you in earning backlinks. People who find your statistics are going to use it and cite your site.
List posts can be tips, reasons, strategies, myths, recommendations, etc. That are numbered in your content. It is content that is packed with bite-sized information.
Certain studies have found out that list posts generates more backlinks than any other kinds of content. It earns more backlinks than videos, infographics, and quizzes.
For example, if you created a list post, it can generate a lot of social media shares. In turn, these sites give you backlinks. It becomes a link magnet.
Comprehensive Ultimate Guides
This type of content covers an in-depth story about a certain topic. It contains relevant information that makes it a go-to-resource.
For example, if you have written an informative and interesting guide for the readers, it can earn you many backlinks because readers find it useful.
Link-Building Strategies with Resource Pages
You can build links through resource pages. You need to identify Google operators to know them easily. Find out the pages that could be good link targets.
Link-Building Strategies with Email Outreach
Email outreach must be part of your marketing strategy if you want to build links. How would you do it?
Step 1: Find “linkers” who are more likely to link to you.
Search for these people who may be interested or may have an interest to link to you. To do this, find your target keyword. Get the URL of the top result and enter it on the link analysis tool (Ahrefs). The backlinks on the sidebar give you the list of “linkers.”
Step 2: Find an email address.
Search for the email address of the site that is most likely to link to you. You can use tools like Hunter.io to search for their email addresses.
However, if you want to be particular, you can use VoilaNorbert.com to enter the name of the person and find their email address.
Step 3: Keep your script personalized.
Use scripts to improve your outreach. This tool helps your script to look natural and not like a script.
Now that you have learned about the good SEO tactics or White HAT tactics, you also need to learn what you must avoid- the Black HAT SEO tactics.
The Black HAT Link Building
You need to be aware of the Black link building to ensure that you’re not violating Google’s algorithms. Violation can get you penalized.
How would you know it? If it violates the guidelines of Google, it’s certified to be using Black HAT.
Spammy link profiles contain sneaky, unnatural, and low-quality links. Although it can be tempting to follow such practices because it is easier and quicker, buying links or engaging a link exchange can get you penalized.
Do not manipulate your site’s ranking if you want to build a strong and healthy link building effort. Avoid these:
Google is very strict when it comes to paid links in the organic search results. Sites caught manipulating links by buying or selling followed links can get a serious penalty from Google. It can mean dropping your ranking on the searches.
Low-quality Directory Links
There are pay-for-placement web directories that manipulate links by passing it as legitimate.
Link Exchanges/ Reciprocal Linking
Did you receive an email with these words written, “You link to me and I will link to you?” Too much link exchange for cross-linking can trigger link spam alerts.
Learn more about:
It is Google’s algorithm (penalty) that targets sites that implement spammy link building tactics. Examples of these are random comments on blogs that are not relevant and irrelevant guest posting.
You can get rid of Google Penguin by minimizing exact-match anchor text. Do not use irrelevant or questionable links.
Anchor text and links are mostly associated with Penguin penalty. Watch out for the quality of incoming links, external links from your site, and anchor text variation.
You can safeguard your site by making it Panda-proof. You need to be very careful with paid posts. Google is very sensitive to selling links with the intention of passing links.
You can either update or take out the link to make it appear natural. You can place a “nofollow” link. Another tactic is to add a few interlinks and quality links to dilute the paid link.
Unnatural Links or Manual Penalty
Manual Penalty is receiving a message from Google Webmaster Tools regarding a manual action on your site. Manual actions include unnatural links to your site, thin content, pure spam, user-generated spam, spammy structured markup, spammy free hosts, hidden text and keyword stuffing, cloaking and sneaky redirects, and hacked site. They are methods used by Google to remove web pages or sites.
Not all manual actions are worrisome. However, if it impacts your rankings and organic search traffic, you need to pay attention to.
Some manual actions can affect pages that are not useful for your business. It’s better to delete these pages rather than questioning Google for the Manual Penalty.
You need to have a healthy link profile if you want to build high-quality backlinks. Your link profile is the total evaluation of all the inbound links that you earned including the total number of links, quality, diversity, and other factors.
A good link profile provides an impression on Google on how you are associated with other sites. Healthy link profiles are the one that signal Google that you earn links and authority using good SEO tactics. Your link profile must remain clean in order to gain high rankings.