All search engine optimization (SEO) efforts focus on gaining quality backlinks. Outbound links from one site to another, also known as backlinks, can significantly impact your search performance.
Google’s top priority is to provide useful and comprehensive information to online users. With high quality backlinks, you gain more chances to rank at the top of search results.
However, it is easier to tell you what to do to increase your keyword rankings by building links.
In addition to calculating the quantity and quality of links pointing to your site, Google also looks at a number of other ranking factors. These include link page authority, search ranking and relevance.
Most importantly, Google evaluates the editorial nature of your backlinks.
You may already know that quality backlinks will positively increase the performance of your pages on search engines.
Bad links, on the other hand, can potentially hurt your company’s online performance. But how do you get good links? Where do you start?
Before starting your optimization efforts, you need to first understand the basics of how to get backlinks. In this post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about backlinks and link building. These include:
- What are backlinks;
- Why backlinks are important;
- How to get backlinks;
- Good backlinks vs. Bad backlinks;
- How Google evaluates backlink quality;
- How to build high quality backlinks.
What are Backlinks?
A backlink is any hyperlink on a website other than your own that points to your website.
It is a form of citation where someone normally talks about a topic related to your website content, your service or your product and links to it.
Backlinks are one of the many metrics used by Google to measure the value of a page.
Why are Backlinks important?
Backlinks are very powerful ranking factors. Google considers incoming links to be a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.
Gaining backlinks from other online sources can significantly affect your site’s search visibility or ranking position .
Here’s how backlinks can position your site at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs):
– Better Organic Ranking – Quality backlinks can dramatically improve your website’s organic ranking. As your webpage gets more links from other sites, it starts to climb up the SERPs rankings. Backlinks send signals to Google that your content is informative and relevant to search queries.
– Traffic Referral – Links from news aggregators, third party reviews and other online sources can significantly increase your website traffic. This happens when an online user reading a post on another website clicks on the link that leads to your page.
Remember, online readers click links voluntarily. This means that referral traffic from other sites is typically more targeted and has a low bounce rate.
– Faster Indexing – Links from other sites speed up your site’s discovery and indexing. Google bots follow and evaluate backlinks from existing websites. Once Google discovers your site, it can crawl and index your site effectively. Without backlinks, it can take time for search engines to find your site. This is especially true for new websites.
– Improves website authority – Backlinks from authority websites can increase your online reputation. They serve as a vote of confidence not only from other websites but also from online users.
– Increase in Link Juice – This refers to the value passed from one page to another site. Link strength is gained through hyperlinks. Google identifies these links as votes from other sites that your page is valuable and relevant to search queries.
This means that assuming all other ranking factors are constant and your site gets a backlink, while site B gets no links, your site will rank higher in search results. But what happens if site B receives a link? The results depend on the amount of force each link passes. The more backlinks your site acquires, the greater your chances of outperforming your competitors.
– Stronger Network – Link building is one of the most effective ways to expand your network and strengthen your relationship with them. The more webmasters discover your site and find your content informative, the better your chances of building a strong following. Additionally, link building allows you to join a vast network that can easily promote your brand and content online.
To increase your site’s search performance, you need to acquire high quality backlinks. Here are smart ways to earn qualified backlinks.
How to get quality backlinks
Backlinks are references comparable to citations. It is crucial that you follow link building best practices to establish your brand authority and increase your online rankings.
Here are smart ways to earn quality backlinks to your website:
1. Create useful and information-rich content – Everyone loves a page with differentiated and enlightening content. Publishing unique, comprehensive content with engaging visuals is a proven method for acquiring backlinks. Here are some tips you can follow:
- create infographics
- Create comprehensive and scannable content (easy to read)
- Write unique, industry-specific blog posts
- Incorporate trends and unique data into your content
2. Build Relationships – Reach out to industry influencers and webmasters. This is good practice for expanding your network and promoting your web pages.
3. Find and Replace Broken Links – This works by contacting webmasters and flagging broken links on their website. This is an excellent opportunity to recommend links to your pages that are relevant as a replacement for broken links.
As you are helping webmasters report and fix their broken links, you are more likely to earn high quality backlinks.
4. Find competitive backlinks – Track your competitors’ SEO strategies. Identify your link building strategies and optimize those tactics to drive your processes forward. For example, you can find links to your competitors’ pages. Review these links and see which website owners you can connect with to add your business to their page.
5. Get links from affiliate sites – These are brands you already have relationships with. For example, reach out to your existing suppliers and customers. Ask them if they can include your website link on their page through testimonials or other forms. If you’ve built a strong relationship with your network, chances are they’ll do you a favor.
6. Convert brand mentions into links – Some sites that mention your brand or product do not include hyperlinks. Reach out to these website owners and have them link back to your website. These people are most likely among your numerous trading followers. This means it’s easy to connect with them and request backlinks.
7. Guest Posts – Look for the most popular blogs in your industry. You can also find guest posting opportunities on social media or Google images. The key is to select the sites that are worth sending your message to a guest post. Remember this:
- do your research
- Determine your existing content strategy
- Analyze your target audience
- Evaluate the performance of other guest posts on the target site
- Determine the best performing blogs on social media
However, changes could be coming soon. According to a recent Search Engine Journal article , Google may be penalizing sites that publish paid posts and utilize branded anchor text instead of keyword-optimized anchor text.
While Google has yet to confirm these changes, it’s worth keeping tabs on Guest Post publishing strategies. Make sure your site complies with search engine best practices.
8. Promote your content – Great content will not earn backlinks unless you optimize and promote it correctly. Take advantage of email and social media promotions to position your brand in front of a broad audience.
9. Get interviewed – Sites that release innovative studies and statistics are more likely to be interviewed by a variety of online sources. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a competitive edge. Utilize your marketing resources to deliver unique and valuable content to your readers and followers.
10. Join forums in your niche – Conferences and forums are excellent ways to connect with industry influencers, authorities and other webmasters. Take this opportunity to build your site’s visibility and authority.
Keep in mind, however, that not all incoming links can be considered good ranking factors. First, you need to assess whether the backlinks you are getting are good or bad.
Good Backlinks vs. bad backlinks
Good or high quality links come from relevant and reliable sources in your niche. These are websites that have high domain authority and publish content similar to your site. Quality backlinks are great for your SEO campaign.
“Natural” editorial links are an example of this. These are links that you don’t need to ask other sites. Natural editorial links are typically obtained by publishing information-rich and highly relevant content.
Bad or low quality backlinks, on the other hand, come from unreliable and irrelevant online sources. These are sites that have been penalized for violating Google Guidelines. Acquiring backlinks from these sites can have a negative impact on your SEO strategies .
Automated, non-contextual links are examples of bad backlinks. These include links to article directories, visitor post subscriptions, user profile pages, and unmoderated blog comments. Automated links fall under the category of black hat SEO. That’s why these are highly dangerous.
How does Google rate backlinks?
Now that you know the difference between good and bad links, let’s discuss the most pressing issue: “How does Google rate quality backlinks”?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to acquiring or purchasing quality backlinks . Google regularly updates its algorithms. This means that you need to stay on top of the latest SEO updates to keep your link building and earning strategies optimized.
Here are the essential factors that Google considers when evaluating the quality of backlinks:
Relevance – Backlinks can be relevant in four ways: domain-to-domain, page-to-page, domain-to-page, or link-to-page. This means that inbound links with no degree of relevance to your site are likely to be a waste of time.
For example, a financial site that gets backlinks from online pet stores doesn’t make sense. Google is likely to regard this as a backlink manipulative strategy.
Domain Authority – Google’s search algorithm is designed to provide the most reliable and relevant search results for users’ queries. As a website owner, you need to ensure the security of links from highly authored websites. By doing so, you send signals to Google that your content is valuable to readers.
Website Diversity – Search engines favor backlink profiles that have been built naturally over time. These are sites that have received links from blogs, websites, magazines, directories, press releases, and authority conferences.
Human Value – Google analyzes the value of your content to search queries. To ensure that you are addressing user concerns, review your site’s audience. If a website owner links to their website, even though it is irrelevant to their target audience, that’s a red flag.
Exclusivity – Links from authority sites that only talk about your site and not your competitors are great backlink opportunities. Examples of unique sites are conference and forum platforms. Not all of your competitors can present their content at these conferences. This is an excellent opportunity to build high quality backlinks.
Link location – Google prioritizes search intent. This means that links that are continuously embedded throughout the content have more equity. Irrelevant links in the sidebar or footer, on the other hand, are considered a red flag.
In addition to these factors, Google also evaluates technical elements. The following factors can affect how search engines interpret the relevance and authority of links:
- Alt attribute
- anchor text
How to improve backlink quality
Now that you understand how Google rates backlink quality, the next step is to optimize your link building or link building strategies . Here are some tips you can follow:
- Optimize your content
- Power the guest post
- Evaluate reputable directories
- Participate in conferences
- Follow Google best practices
Build Quality Backlinks and Increase Your Search Performance
Gaining quality backlinks is one of the most challenging and most significant parts of SEO. Take advantage of this opportunity to your advantage with the help of a reputable digital marketing agency.
Optimize your website and acquire quality backlinks with the help of MACAN Agency! Our SEO and digital marketing experts provide custom optimization solutions to ensure your online success.