Search engine rankings play a huge role driving role in driving traffic to your site. According to Google, they look at 2 main things: content and links. Today, we are going to talk about links and things to consider when building them.
What are good links?
Links in the eyes of Google are like referrals. The more relevant or the more influential the referral, the higher you will rank.
How to tell which is more relevant?
Read what the site that linked back to you is about.
If you are a gardening blog, but the site that linked back to you was selling computers… it’s not relevant.
If you were a business blog and Forbes linked to you… get ready to see your rankings jump.
How to tell which is more influential?
A simple metric to look at is Domain Authority. You can view this through tools such as Open Site Explorer. As a rule of thumb, anything below 30 isn’t good and anything above 60 is good.
The tale of two links
There are two types of links/backlinks you can get – dofollow and nofollow.
You can check this by right-clicking on Chrome and click Inspect. If it contains the words “nofollow” then it is. If it doesn’t, it’s a dofollow.
Links that matter to us are dofollow links.
Dofollow links channel the credibility and the influence to our site (they call it ‘link juice’).
Wait, then do nofollow links exist in the first place? There are many reasons, but the chief among them is that some sites just rather not pass their influence and give a vote of support to just any site.
Location, location, location.
Much like a rock concert – where your link is located signals to Google how important it actual is.
If you get the box seat (the post itself a.k.a editorial links), you are seen as the VIP of the show.
If you are at the utmost front that you can’t get a good view (header – author bio), it is not seen as important.
If you are so far back that your only way to enjoy the show is to watch the screen (footer – bio), your link isn’t as valued either.
The rarer the better
You can’t outsmart Google. Period. Especially since their Panda update in ’06 did you notice all the SEO experts crash and burn after a big effort to manipulate search engine rankings.
Google values hard-earned links.
Sites that require no editorial review are seen as easy sites and are generally seen as “pointless” in the eyes of Google.
Sites such as Article999 are easy sites. Sites such as the Wall Street Journal are far from easy.
If you are familiar with the world of blogging, the same rules apply here.
Always start at a pace you can comfortably blog at and keep it consistent – building links are pace driven as well.
If you are a new site and you build links in quantity too fast, Google may find it fishy and may penalize you for it (especially if it is nonsense and relevant).
There you have it, in short:
- Links are like referrals. The more relevant and the more influential the better.
- Get dofollow links.
- Being in the body of the post is more valuable than the header or the footer.
- If the link is easy to obtain, it’s not valuable.
- Build links with pace and keep it consistent.