The place of links in website ranking is well established. Links are a key ranking factor and Google have, over the years, worked hard to deal with its abuse by poor quality websites who only ramp links for ranking gains and reduce the quality of its search. Even if Google has recently said links are no longer as weighty as they were, links are still a key factor to take very seriously.
So the big question is “how does Google want you to build links? That is the focus of this article and we will deal it in as much detail as possible.
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In this post, we will be covering:
- Link building basics
- The importance of links
- Link building tactics – how to build quality links
Link Building Basics
We will begin with an understanding of link building. So let’s attempt to answer the question: what is link building.
What is Link Building?
Link building essentially means acquiring inbound links (backlinks) to a website. Keep in mind that these links will have to come from other websites. The goal is basically to increase the popularity of the website, build its reputation and authority and, of course, to get the website to rank higher in the search engines.
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The Importance of Links
Primarily, most search engine optimization professionals as well as website owners engage in link building to gain better ranking in the search engine results pages and to grow their website traffic. But there are more to link building that should make it a top priority for every website owner. We will do a brief summary of the key reasons you need to build links.
Link Building Will Increase Your Website Ranking
One of the key reasons link building is such an important factor in search ranking is because it is an important search engine ranking factor with Google. Whatever Google give even the slightest seriousness, any serious website manager should give it as much weight as possible. This pint cannot be overemphasized, as stated above, Google is reducing the importance of links as a ranking factor but links are still important for ranking in Google search engine result pages.
Links Help Grow Website Popularity
The more links you have on other websites, the more you are likely to get clicks to your own website. Apart from the popularity that comes with increased search engine placement, having more links on other websites pull traffic to the linked website.
Links Help Content Indexing
Google has acknowledged that one way it discovers web pages is through links to it. Building links can therefore help Google index your content. The more content Google discovers and indexes, the better your website will rank in the search engine. This applies to other search engines.
Links Increase Brand Popularity and Reputation
The more links you get, the more likely people will get to read your content and that increases the popularity of your brand. When you become known for quality content, your reputation also increases favorably.
Links Increase Domain Authority and Trust
It should be noted that domain authority and Trust flow are not Google metrics. Domain authority is a metric developed by MOZ to predict how well a website is likely to rank in the search engines. Because it basically uses most of the indices used in Google’s assessment, you will find some correlation between DA and website ranking. However, a high domain authority does not guarantee high ranking because DA can be increased with spammy links and this does not work with Google anymore.
How to Build Quality Backlinks
A lot has changed with the way Google views and assesses links. Not all links matter and not all links add value to a website. In fact, Google has said that a page could be of high quality and still not be so relevant for the web. Here is our guide on the best ways to build quality links.
In summary, build links naturally. Avoid aggressive tactics, avoid desperation to get links with hopes that it will help your ranking. While we do not intend to exhaust the best and acceptable link building tactics in this post, here are our best recommendations:
Build Links With High Quality Content
The best links you will get are those that add value to internet users. When a link provides value and enriches a content because it is related, Google do love such links and they do have strong impact on website ranking.
Create Links With Anchor Texts
Use the right anchor texts to create links. The texts should be relevant within the context of the discussion to attract clicks. Anchor texts do not necessarily be built around keywords. They should be used naturally and contextually and should add value to your content. Remember that you are writing for humans and not robots.
Take Advantage of Your Own Internal Links
Do not ignore internal links. People click and read your linked content will further have access to more links and content on your website through your internal links. An effective use of internal linking could further enrich your content, make it more valuable and boost your website ranking.
Link Building – The Don’ts
A link to your website is like thumbs up and Google actually recognizes that. But the reality is that not all links count positively for your website. For example, you make a comment on a discussion forum and use the opportunity to insert a link. In some cases, the link you have added may not even be relevant to the discussion, Can that represent a thumbs up? The answer in an emphatic No! So while link building can be beneficial, some links annoy Google and works against your goals. We will take a look at some of them – the most common.
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1. Link Bait
Link bait should naturally be good but it is disliked when its intension is not to add value to users who have access to the resource but just aimed at building links. Link bait is a deliberate link building program and not encouraged.
2. Reciprocal Link Building
This is a sort of you link to me and I link back in return. This is a reciprocal link building strategy. It encourages influencers to link to website and in return, they also provide a link back.
Although it is not a good way to build links, it can sometimes be rewarding. For example, you can interview a popular industry player and publish the interview on your website. The influencer in return links back to the interview to popularize it. When the goal is to get links, it becomes a bad SEO strategy.
3. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is an effective way to build links but can be counterproductive on low quality websites. While it is not safe on low quality websites and creating links in author bio could turn out to a cheap link building strategy, guest blogging is still worthy of exploring.
4. Directory Submissions
Directory submission had been one of the easiest ways to get a backlink. Sometimes, the link is acquired instantly. Today, directory submission is no longer an acceptable link building strategy amd will only hurt your SEO efforts.ng strategy.
5. Blog Commenting
This is quite similar to directory submissiom and are still adopted by some desperate SEOs looking for links. Theu simply comment on a blog and use that opportunity to include a link in their comments. It is simplu a bad SEO practice that hurts.
6. Contributing In Niche Forums
Although forum links can generate some substantial traffic, they are no longer considered to be quality links and we do not recommend building links with forums..
7. Link Purchases
Some websites simply buy space for link placement. They can acquire links on thousands of websites with hopes of improving their link profile. But it actually hurts.
Links are good but before you choose a particular link building strategy, the most important thing is to find out how Google looks at it.
In the busines of growing traffic orgnically and search engine ranking, always go with what Google says and not just with what works today.
Finally, build links naturally and the best way to do this is to produce high grade content that people find worthy of linking to.