Links are arguably more like marketing these days, and marketers who understand this concept usually win in the long run. In addition to helping you improve website rankings and gaining traffic from organic search, link building also offers a variety of other advantages.
We hope that this article will guide you in the right direction and give you a better understanding of link building. Although there’s a lot to take in, everything is broken up into sections that are easy to follow.
Linking Is Useful for Search Engines
Serps (Search engines used to make use of the text on web pages as a way to rank them. However, internet publishers started including keyword phrases as a method to help rank their pages higher. Not all websites that ranked on the top spots were relevant, leading to a poor user experience.
Researchers began to develop new methods to determine related websites, especially with links. During their research, they discovered that the most relevant pages on the Web tend to build up links. In general, the more links a website had, the more important it tended to be.
Links are counted as votes (and continue to be). Ranking websites is based on a mix of AI, machine learning, links, and web page evaluation.
Website ranking has changed dramatically in that the types of links that are used for ranking have been narrowed down to the most relevant ones.
The objective is to count links that might be significant to the content they’re linking to.
Search engines still use links to determine popularity and authority. Today, however, acquiring links is no longer enough to guarantee rankings. Due to publishers’ attempts to improve their ranking through various schemes, SERPs have improved their algorithms in order to ignore irrelevant links.
Although links play a role in ranking, they are not the most significant factor. Links can affect a website’s ranking in some way, but it is unclear how much. But, link popularity continues to influence ranking in some way.
As user searches become increasingly complex, other factors like how closely a web page relates to the user’s search query become more and more important. If a web page contains many links but fails to satisfy the user’s needs, even if the links are deemed important, the page may not rank well in a search query.
Here is an example of a Ford search query:
- In the United States, the top two results are related to the car manufacturers’ websites.
- It is not surprising that the top three UK results are linked to the UK versions of the manufacturers’ websites.
Based on information needs, US and UK users are ranked differently. Several scientific papers have been written about how search engine users feel about the results, what they mean by ambiguous search terms, etc.
In order to improve the accuracy of meeting users’ information needs, search engine user satisfaction is monitored. Search engines aim to fulfill the information needs of users. Rankings are affected less by links in that context. It is not clear how much. The only thing we know for certain is that they will continue to be important.
As long as links have been used for ranking purposes, the process of reducing the influence of non-relevant links has been ongoing. By filtering out artificial or irrelevant links, an entire map of the entire Internet can be created that includes real links that can explain if a particular site is important and/or relevant for various keywords (reduced link graphs).
Links help search engines determine whether a web page is important, identify the topic to which it belongs, and identify spam. The results of these judgments determine whether or not a page is ranked.
When a web page has links from important websites, it may be a sign that it is relevant to a particular topic:
- A site with many links across its entire domain may indicate its importance.
- By solving a problem in a way that excites users, a web page that is rapidly gaining links may rank well so that more people will discover it.
- The content of a website that hasn’t gained links for a long time could be considered stale since users no longer care about it.
Linking is a validating signal
It has been mentioned previously that websites are not ranked based on which sites contain the most links. Sites are ranked by search engines based on which will provide the most value to the most users. In order to determine which web pages are the most useful, links are used to create candidates. These candidates are then put through other algorithmic processes that measure their usefulness.
The importance of links to all web publishers cannot be overstated because one of the ways for a site to receive consideration for ranking is through links. New sites don’t tend to get too many links, but search engines will still send traffic to them. These sites won’t rank for a wider range of keywords until they become popular with users and acquire links
This is why it’s important to make your site’s pages so users can enjoy them and recommend them. When a website cultivates word-of-mouth enthusiasm, other websites are likely to link to it. In many ways, this is the best type of link. I call this method cultivating Links.
Link building is the process of creating useful pages for visitors that solve problems. For instance, finding winter shoes may be a typical problem. If a site is designed to make the process of purchasing winter shoes enticing, it’s likely to generate enthusiasm through word-of-mouth, which in turn generates spontaneous links. An excellent user experience can be based on brand equity (people love your brand), fast shipping, easy checkout, low prices, etc.
Does Google Rank The Websites You Build?
It is important to promote your website in order to get the word out. It is only when the doors open that a business begins to grow. Casual foot traffic is not enough to sustain a business. In order to create a successful web presence, you need a plan for cultivating links and raising awareness.
Link Fundamentals – A Summary
- Search engines use links to determine how important your site is.
- Keyword phrases can benefit from links indicating relevance.
- Some links aren’t useful for ranking.
- A great deal of value comes from links that are freely given by relevant sites.
- Building a successful site requires a plan for cultivating links.
Some terrible ideas look great on paper. Like getting the word out by registering on forums and spamming your links or by posting spam links in blog comments.
Links that you own or that are controlled by you can be considered spam. In some cases, declining ranking positions can result from poor link-building practices. if everything goes well, your rankings are not affected because the links are not counted.
But, you should be concerned if you see your ranking decline, as this could be an indication that you may have been using poor link-building techniques. Many businesses keep control over the link-building process by taking the process in-house. When combined with a good link-building strategy, this is the safest way to build links.
Overview of Link Building: Content Marketing
In some cases, content marketing can be another word for link building. A badly executed campaign looks more like a paid link campaign using networks of sites and networks of authors who are paid to submit articles. Articles are placed in authoritative publications by a huge industry of authors. There is a risk associated with these schemes since they are technically link schemes. This kind of scheme doesn’t appeal to me personally.
In content marketing, the creation of content for the purpose of cultivating traffic is one of the most effective ways to establish links. Instead of attempting to obtain links from your article, develop a piece of content that has the purpose of driving traffic to your website. If a link appears on another site, it will be treated as no-follow.
Remember that it takes good content to cultivate good inbound links.
Attract Viral Links
In order to produce high-quality links, a viral link strategy should concentrate on topics of interest to regular visitors of your site.
In order to achieve success, you must create useful content that visitors want to share on social media. This is known as attracting viral links. Strategies that are non-relevant and focus on gimmicks or humor may lead to visitors who don’t care about your company’s products, and who will never return or purchase your product.
A strategy of that kind tends to draw irrelevant links to a web page on your site that has no connection to the core product. If you manage a seafood restaurant website and host a fish photo contest, and it goes viral, the links may be useless for people looking for a place to eat. But they’ll be valuable for people who search for “fish photo contests.”
Due to the fact that restaurants are local businesses, it makes much more sense to build links related to travel to attract tourist business from outside of the state in addition to building citations for local search indexing. As a general rule, viral link-building strategies do not work unless the topic is directly related to the business.
Links may be ranked by search engines
Studies indicate that search engines prioritize links from relevant sites above all other links. The result is a reduced link graph. This is an Internet map organized by topic, eliminating spam sites. That’s how ranking starts.
Link & Content Relationship
A site’s ranking is not only determined by the number of links it has. But, generally, it is content that makes a site rank well. With some marketing effort, your links will begin to accumulate if your content is useful.
SEO pros throw around terms like organic links, quality links, and good links like crazy. A strong understanding of the different types of links is critical whether you’re pitching a client, attending a search marketing conference, or explaining to your boss why you’re not getting quality links. The right types of links are usually debated (.edu and relevant, manually-updated directories, for instance), but this is a good baseline that you can use.
Links and their types
Rather than being placed by your company or you, an organic link occurs naturally.
Organic links don’t:
- Contain tracking parameters.
- Exist in paid or sponsored content.
Links that are organic refer to a piece of content, a website, or a source.
Any paid link is referred to as a non-organic link. Links of this type can be used for monetization through affiliate programs, cost-per-click campaigns, influencer campaigns, or monetization scripts, while PR firms and media buyers can place and track these links. The default setting is “nofollow”, which means Google can either manually take action or impact your site algorithmically (likely through Penguin), as these links aren’t earned/organic.
What are Non-organic links?
- There are tracking parameters in them (for example, a source and a medium for UTM).
- These are found in sponsored content on websites (since search engines do not know who paid for the content to appear).
- Links from sites that use monetization scripts and claim that you get paid to link to retailers.
These can be found in the code of the site, in outbound redirects, and in other mappable techniques.
Occasionally, you’ll find “mixed” link patterns. For instance, an organic link might include tracking parameters. Imagine clicking through from a link shared by an influencer who receives payment for it. This link will take you to the landing page where tracking parameters may already have been set up. If a blogger, aggregator, or other party follows the link, they may copy it and paste it directly onto their site, creating organic links with these parameters. The result is a semi-organic link scheme.
If you want to combat this, ensure that anybody who reaches your site by using a tracked link is redirected to the natural page structure as well as passing the tracking parameters. A version without any UTM-specific parameters is made available by using utm_campaign (i.e., no UTM parameters).
As long as you have the standard and untracked URL that they use, you will be able to accurately attribute sales, traffic, and leads back to the original site. By pulling your link acquisition report and your initial influencer’s likes, shares, and retweets, you can still figure out the halo effect of additional links.
Links from high-quality sites make up quality links. Based on the quality of the SEO you’re talking to, the definition may vary. I consider these factors when determining the quality of a website:
- There’s a section about that topic on the site, or at least it’s niche.
- The site does not link to any adult, illegal, payday, or scam websites.
- It is not obvious (except for clearly marked advertorials) that they allow sponsor content.
- Text links and backlinks are not mentioned in media kits or publicly viewable advertising areas.
- It is a good sign if they appear in the Google news feed, as it indicates high quality or trustworthiness.
- Staff writers will acquire the links, not contributors. A larger number of large publications have been nofollowing contributor links since they can be bought more easily.
Links: what makes them good?
There is a difference between a good link and a quality link. Links that have a positive impact and don’t involve too much risk are good. Based on the type of SEO you are doing, there can also be differences between good and bad links.
For instance, if we compare local versus national, country-specific versus international – Russia and Yandex versus the UK and Google. An appropriate Yandex link should be one that is approved by the Russian government and not linking to sites that contain prohibited content, contraband, and other things that Yandex forbids.
In the case of alcohol, for example, it could be bad for Yandex traffic. However, it could be good for traffic from other countries and search engines. The content relevance and potential quality of local directories that are managed, maintained, and do not offer a submit your site option may be good for local SEO, but not for national SEO. They may end up being beneficial rather than harmful if they continually clean out old sites and dead links.
Everything depends on the situation and the specific website of course. There may be blogs with great niche content, but no age or authority. I would rate these as “maybe” or “OK” even though they could seem like good links. However, that is open to debate.
Finally, there are established blogs with a small following that cater to a specific niche. Even though they have great content, they don’t do well in organic search. This also falls into the “OK” category for me. New blogs with relevant content and engaged readers but not much SEO traffic might be an option as well. I would be interested in these links as they have a high-quality audience and, if they follow this niche path, could be an excellent source of traffic and sales, as well as passing authority for SEO.
Identifying and watching how your backlinks impact you right now and in the future is the key to having good backlinks. Since every site is different, it is important that each link is evaluated independently before determining if it is good or bad.
The process of building links to your website is known as link building. Users can navigate between pages using hyperlinks (usually just called links). Links are used by search engines to crawl the internet. Your site will be crawled for the links within individual pages and for the links between different websites.
In SEO marketing, building links plays an important role. It is possible that you are missing out on potential business if you haven’t yet included link-building in your marketing structure. Building high-quality links will help you build high-quality marketing campaigns that will help you grow your business.
Link tags with rel=”nofollow” are known as nofollow links. When used, nofollow tags instruct search engines to ignore a link. They probably don’t affect search rankings since nofollow links don’t pass PageRank.
The opposite of a nofollow link is a dofollow link. When a link is marked as dofollow, it signals to search engines that the link is welcome for them to follow. This can be very beneficial for your SEO efforts.