Everyone is trying to make a website that is search engine friendly in order to rank higher. It’s a no-brainer that people get in the SEO game since it’s still the number one way for a business to be seen. However, if you want to rank higher, you have to play by the search engine’s rules.
The more links you have coming into your site, the more people refer to you for something you’re good at. Your number of links is how Google can see how valuable your site is to searchers. The truth of the matter is that even if you have a lot of amazing content if you aren’t being linked by other people, search engines won’t acknowledge your site as valuable.
A backlink is a reference from another web page to your own web page. This is very different from the "outbound" or outgoing links from your page. Do not confuse the two. A backlink is also called an inbound link (IBL) and these links are very important in determining the popularity (or importance) of your web site for search engines.
It is better to have fewer high-quality links, than thousands of links that bring no value to your backlink profile. Weak or risky backlinks won’t help your rankings at all. It can even hurt you as these links can get you a Google penalty!
Because not all links are created equal, you need to be very careful when you start a link building campaign. Build links for your business, for your customers, make them relevant and associate them with great content. Your users will be happy, and Google will keep you in the search results causing your business to grow.
Here are some guidelines to keeping your backlinks beneficial:
Make Sure The Link Comes From An Authoritative Site
Search engines want to see links that come from high-quality sites that are associated with the outbound link given. Therefore, if you have a link from a completely unrelated site, it won’t be as valuable as a link from a related site.
For example, if you are a flooring business and you are getting links from an internet forum about baked goods, something would seem off to the search engine. And rightly so! Why would a forum discussing the types of cupcakes available want to link to your flooring company? It doesn’t make sense to users and it won’t make sense to the search engines either.
Make Sure The Anchor Text Is Specific
The anchor text for your backlinks is extremely important. Hyperlinking to a page with clear, specific anchor text is a big win for both the user and search engines. Constantly throwing sites the same anchor text will not help you. Google wants to see organic links being built and any attempt to trick the search engines will be frowned upon and isn’t worth the risk.
Make Sure They Are Relevant To On-Page Content
Backlinks aren’t just there for no reason; they serve as an SEO metric and they should enhance a reader’s experience. Backlinks need to be relevant to the content they’re in and actually provide supplemental information. Think of it from the reader’s perspective—backlinks won’t add any value if they’re bringing readers to completely unrelated sites.
Google aims to provide users with helpful, relevant content that answers queries. Unrelated and distracting backlinks get in the way of that. Google considers relevant backlinks to be much more valuable than a backlink from a random, unrelated site. A dermatology clinic site that links to a used car Q&A forum would probably send a red flag to Google (and also confuse readers browsing the site).
Make Sure They Don’t Come From One Site
Having a variety of sites that link to your site is a productive goal. If a site has a lot of backlinks, but they all of them come from one site, this will look spammy to Google.
You should actively strategize to build strong backlinks from a range of relevant sites.
However, Google has no problem with websites linking to each other for legitimate reasons. It is a natural occurrence on the web if a news story on the BBC cites an article on CNN, then a few weeks later CNN cites a story from the BBC.
This is technically a reciprocal link, but should Google penalize for it? No, because there are genuine reasons for these websites to link to each other and they are doing it in a natural way that is good for users.
Make Sure You Are Selective About Hidden Or Paid Links
A hidden backlink is exactly what it sounds like; it is invisible to a user and the search engine. Sounds sketchy, right? It is. A backlink that is hidden—whether by manipulating text and background colors or hiding the link in a punctuation mark—is a “black hat” SEO strategy that clearly defies Google’s best practices.
Paid backlinks are a grey area in the SEO world because certain methods of paid links are viewed as legitimate, while some aren’t. If a link has been paid for that doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad. Since this a grey area, you should be picky with paid methods. If the site’s content is related to your industry, you won’t be penalized for paying for ad space. Paid directory business listings are also fine, as long as they’re reputable.
The best directories are the ones that also provide useful information for your customers. The directories that provide no real value to the internet user are to be avoided.
Make Sure Your Backlinks Are Not Spammy
Spammy backlink tactics can cause real harm to your domain. The longer you allow the spammy techniques to continue, the more work you will have to get those spammy links removed. If you notice that your current SEO service is building spammy backlinks, you should notify them immediately and discontinue service. These tactics will harm your rankings!
Spammy backlinks lnclude:
- Article Marketing Spam
- Poorly Executed Guest Blogs
- Single-Post Blogs
- (Paid) Site-Wide Links
- Linkbait and Switch
If you’re interested in improving your website’s search traffic, get in touch with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs.