When the term "link building" is mentioned, many people still associate it with spammy practices. However, even if link-building has evolved into a legitimate and essential SEOtactic but we do know there are still link-building myths and truths roaming the web.
Link building has long been a puzzle for many website owners, especially those who have been in the businessfor a decade or more. In the past, it was a secretive practice used by SEOagencies and professionals to boost rankings without revealing the specifics of how and where links were being built. However, as Google's algorithms improved, so did the strategies employed by SEOexperts.
Although it's true that spammy practices still exist, their effectiveness in improving rankings is highly questionable, as Google has become more adept at identifying and penalizing such tactics.
So, if link building isn't all about spam, what does it really entail? Why does it continue to hold such significance, and what types of linksare truly beneficial? First, let's get to know what link building is and the reason it's built in the first place.
Link building is an essential aspect of online marketing, involving the process of acquiring links from external websites to your own. These links act as pathways that lead users from other sites to your website. But why is link building so important, and why do we invest efforts in building links?
Search engines, like Google, consider backlinksas a significant ranking factor. In fact, Google's Andrey Lipattsev confirmed the importance of backlinks in a Q&A session. The rationale behind this is simple: when a webpage receives numerous high-quality backlinks, it suggests that the page is valuable and trustworthy. As a result, search engines perceive it as a popular and meaningful page, granting it higher rankings.
However, not all backlinks hold the same value. Link quality plays a vital role in determining the impact of a backlink. For instance, a backlink from an authoritative website, particularly one that relates to your niche, carries more weight than a random link from a lesser-known website.
Imagine you own a restaurant. Obtaining a backlink from a reputable restaurant review on a high-authority website like The Guardian would be more valuable than a link from your aunt's horseback-riding school website. This understanding helps in identifying the websites from which you would like to obtain backlinks. Nonetheless, securing high-quality links can be challenging.
Over time, the difficulty of link-building led to the emergence of unethical practices within the SEO industry. People attempted to manipulate the system by resorting to shady link-building techniques, such as purchasing links from link farms. Consequently, link-building garnered a negative reputation.
To tackle these manipulative tactics, search engines like Google implemented strict penalties. Websites that acquired numerous backlinks from untrustworthy sources faced severe consequences, including disappearing from search results altogether. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid engaging in risky link-building tricks. Instead, focusing on fair and smart link-building strategies can yield significant benefits.
By prioritizing link building and adopting ethical practices, you can enhance the authority and visibility of your website, leading to improved rankings in search engineresults.
Now that we have more knowledge on link building let's save ourselves from the myths that come along with it. Let's debunk five common myths surrounding link building and shed light on the truths behind this crucial practice.
Numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between the number of backlinks and higher search engine rankings. Pages with more backlinks tend to rank above those with fewer links. Therefore, acquiring backlinks is still vital for driving traffic and improving rankings.
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While the number of backlinks does matter, the quality and authority of the linking pages and domains carry greater significance. Google interprets links from important and authoritative pages as votes of confidence, indicating the relevance and value of the linked content.
For example in an article titled "Steps to a Google-friendly site" published in the Search Console Help Center, Google explains that links assist their crawlers in finding and evaluating websites. Google considers a link from one page to another as a vote of confidence, indicating that the linked-to page is important and relevant.
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This demonstrates that the authority of the linking page is crucial. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Domain authority, as determined by Moz, is a useful indicator of a website's authority. However, it's important to note that domain authority is not a specific ranking factor for Google.
- Google's E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust) guidelines emphasize the importance of expertise and trustworthiness. Therefore, a backlink from a highly authoritative and trustworthy site within your industry carries more weight than one from a newly created blog.
- Subject authority is also worth considering. Content written by a recognized expert in the field holds more value. For example, if you're a SAAS company specializing in payroll software, a link from authoritative sites such as Capterra, NerdWallet, or Fit Small Businesswill be more valuable than a link from a less relevant source like ClearVoice.
Google explicitly states that social media does not directly influence rankings. Even if this is the case, having an active and engaging social media presence can indirectly impact search engine rankings.
Backlinko's list of Google's 200 ranking factors includes indicators such as having a Facebook page, a Twitter profile with followers, an official LinkedIn company page, and the legitimacy of social media accounts. Although these factors don't directly affect rankings, they do amplify the ranking factors that Google does consider.
Social media helps amplify content, attracting more readers who may subsequently link to the content from their own websites.
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It helps promote your content to a wider audience, potentially leading to increased visibility, shares, and even natural links from other websites. Additionally, it introduces your brand to new audiences who may subsequently perform branded searches or bookmark your site, both of which are ranking factors.
Building links exclusively to service pages can appear forced and unnatural. Google values a natural link profile that reflects how other sites link to yours voluntarily. While it's natural to want to strengthen the authority of your service pages, a link-building campaign focused solely on those pages may appear forced and unnatural.
Instead, consider these alternative approaches that align with Google's guidelines for natural link-building:
- Create high-quality content relevant to your industry and strategically place contextual linksto your service pages within that content. This way, the content acts as top-of-the-funnel marketing, attracting readers who may navigate to your service pages organically.
- Establish brand mentions across the web, along with natural links to your homepage. This approach diversifies your link profile and enhances your overall site authority.
- Leverage social media to promote your content and services, attracting attention and potentially earning links from relevant sources.
Natural LINK PROFILE? Here's What it Looks Like!
In the past, SEO professionals would often use exact match anchor text, which includes the targeted keyword phrase, to build links. However, this practice is now outdated and can be seen as keyword stuffing. Google's Panda algorithm update specifically targeted such practices, and excessive use of exact match anchor text can result in penalties for your site.
Google now emphasizes diverse anchor text that occurs naturally when other sites link to yours. Varying anchor text helps maintain a natural and organic link profile. For instance, rather than repeatedly using the same anchor text, consider using variations that make sense in the context of your content.
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Link building involves the process of obtaining links from other websites to promote and improve the visibility of your own website. It is considered a highly effective method for achieving better rankings in search engines.
Link building means getting other websites to include links to your website. By doing this, you can have more high-quality links pointing to your website, which boosts your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results.
Link building, in essence, involves the task of persuading other websites to include links that lead back to your own website. It is an essential endeavor for marketers and business owners, as it can generate referral traffic and elevate the credibility and influence of their websites.
A link-building campaign consists of strategies employed to obtain valuable and appropriate links from other websites. These strategies help enhance a website's credibility and standing in search engines, leading to improved organic search rankings. Links can be either external (from other websites) or internal (within the same website).
To attract high-quality backlinks, you can employ several effective strategies:
- Create valuable and compelling content: Producing informative, unique, and engaging content increases the likelihood of other websites linking to it naturally.
- Outreach to relevant websites: Reach out to authoritative websites in your niche and propose collaborations, guest posting opportunities, or content partnerships that can lead to backlinks.
- Build relationships with influencers: Engaging with influential individuals in your industry can result in valuable backlinks when they mention or endorse your content on their platforms.
Yes, internal links are essential for SEO. They provide valuable navigation paths for users within your website and help search engines understand the structure and hierarchyof your content. Internal links also distribute link authority and PageRank throughout your site, enhancing the visibility and ranking potential of individual pages.
Link-building remains an important SEO tactic despite the misconceptions surrounding it. Backlinks significantly impact search engine rankings, with quality and authority playing a crucial role. While social media links don't directly influence rankings, they enhance content authority and visibility. A natural link profile encompasses links to various website pages, and diverse anchor text is favored over exact match anchor text.
By dispelling link-building myths and truths behind, you can implement effective strategies that drive organic traffic and improve search engine rankings.