Link Building is the set of actions done with the objective of generating external backlinks to a URL or more than one website, which boost the strength of your pages by receiving a backlink that transmits authority. Link Building is one of the strategies that collaborates the most with the good positioning of a website in search results. However, it is necessary to know how to develop it in the right way to be successful. Increasing organic traffic is one of the most valued objectives in Digital Marketing. After all, who does not like to receive visitors that can become customers with little or no investment?
To achieve this, there are several techniques within SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that contribute to a good positioning in search engines. Today we will talk about one of them: Link Building. In this article you will find out more about this strategy, the factors that determine its success and some of the techniques that can help you get more backlinks to your domain. Join me and discover how to use Link Building to your advantage!
What is Link Building?
Link Building is the set of techniques to generate links in external domains in order to improve the SEO positioning of a web page or site within the search engines. These external links are known as backlinks. Each one of them indicates to the search engines that the linked content is of value and this ends up increasing its authority. However, not all backlinks are going to give you the help you are looking for to improve your ranking, some may even hurt you in this task.
How does Google rank links?
Google’s algorithm establishes a multitude of aspects to classify a page in its ranking. Among them are the factors involved in the evaluation of links. Below, we will discuss the main factors that Google analyzes in a page’s link profile. Keep in mind that the evaluation goes far beyond quantity – it also considers quality, with different criteria. Find out now what these criteria are and what you should consider in your link building strategy.
Quantity of links
This was the first criterion adopted by Google. It was the basis of PageRank: the more links the site received, the more relevant it was. The number of links to a page showed its popularity on the web. Today, this criterion is still one of the most important factors in Google’s link evaluation. But it cannot come alone: there is no point in receiving many links from sites that are neither relevant nor trustworthy. It is necessary to combine quantity with the factors we will see below.
What do you think is worth more: one person who says many times that you are nice, or several people who tell you once that you are nice? The more different people speak well of you, the more recognition you will get in your group. That’s also what Google thinks. For the search engine, the site proves to have more authority when it receives links from several different domains. This is why the diversity of the link profile also enters into the evaluation.
Google can also understand the context around the link to see if it is really relevant. First, it understands that links from sites related to your area of expertise have more value, as they make more sense to that site’s audience. Google also evaluates words that appear near the link, also called co-occurrences. These help the search engine understand the topic of the page and whether the link makes sense in that context.
In addition to the words, Google also evaluates the other links that are nearby. If they are also links to quality sites, the page gains more relevance and transmits link juice. But if you already have a large number of links, your page tends to receive less link juice, because the site is already transmitting your authority to many other portals on the Internet.
In addition, the position of the link also counts. If it is in the main content, it was probably inserted with an editorial intention and therefore has more value, especially when it is at the beginning of the text. But if it is in the header or footer of the page, it is probably only there to generate a backlink and therefore has less value.
The anchor text also says a lot about the linked page. It usually has a keyword or a short description of what the user will find on the page when clicking on the link. That is why Google uses this factor to index the pages. In addition, anchor text analysis helps to identify who is trying to outsmart the search engine. Using the exact match of the keyword in the anchor text of backlinks is a way to reinforce the authority for that term. However, when it is used insistently in all backlinks, Google may understand it as a black hat, as this is not natural. When backlinks are conquered organically, anchor texts tend to diversify.
One of Google’s evolutions was TrustRank. When this criterion was added to the algorithm, the search engine began to consider the trustworthiness of sites in the ranking. So, the closer you are to trustworthy sites, the more trustworthy you will also be for Google and the more link juice you will receive. Trustworthy sites are those that help build a safer and more relevant website for the user. To evaluate your trustworthiness, consider factors such as domain age, use of security certificates, content quality, among others.
Links from other pages to your website
In link building, you can work with internal and external links. But it is important to know which one has more weight in the ranking. To understand, just think: does Google trust more what the site says about itself (internal links) or what other sites say about it (external links)? What others say has more value, so backlinks from other sites tend to carry more weight in the search engine’s evaluation.
Links from your site to your own pages
Links you insert on your own site don’t carry as much weight as backlinks, but they help show the hierarchy of your pages to Google. Let’s say you have a promotional marketing company and you have a super comprehensive blog post that explains what promotional marketing is. That post is important to your business, right? Then other smaller posts can link to it, so Google understands that that main post is at the top of the blog hierarchy.
Links from your site to other pages
In addition, links within your pages that point to external sites also carry ranking weight. Google also evaluates whether you link to popular, trusted and authoritative sites. It’s pretty much that “tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are” idea.
Speed to earn backlinks
In the early days of SEO, backlinks were one of the main tools of black hat, which are practices to trick the search engine. Many sites created link farms or used link buying and selling schemes. Because of that, they got backlinks quickly. That is why Google strengthened its algorithm to identify and penalize this type of practice. One of its resources to do so is to check the speed to gain links. Obtaining many links in a short time usually creates a black hat scheme, since a natural link profile has a gradual growth.
Nofollow x Dofollow
Another factor that Google evaluates on a page is the nofollow attribute. When this attribute is inserted to the link code, the robot knows not to consider it for the ranking of the linked page. In other words, nofollow links do not transmit link juice. Automatically, all links are dofollow, i.e. they transmit link juice. So, when you do not want to transmit authority through a link, you must enter the nofollow tag.
If you need to cite a dubious site, for example, you can use the nofollow tag to avoid transmitting your authority. That tag is also often used in social media links or blog comment boxes. Facebook, Instagram or the owner of a blog do not want to be responsible for transmitting authority to the links that any user inserts on their pages, mainly because these spaces are often used for spamming.
What are the key factors for a successful link building strategy?
It is important that you consider some important elements that backlinks must have. Below, we will talk about 10 key factors for a successful Link Building strategy.
1. Opt for quality instead of quantity
When talking about Link Building and SEO, it is important to explain that quality is much better than quantity. Therefore, having a large number of links to your website will not bring you results if they are not of value. A link within a single domain, for example, is much better than several backlinks on the same domain. Another aspect you should also consider is Page Authority and Domain Autority, which are page authority and domain authority, respectively. The higher the authority of the page and the site that hosts your backlink, the better, since part of this authority is transmitted to the linked page. In this case it is better to have few backlinks from sites with high authority than many links from sites with low authority.
2. Look for naturalness
Backlinks should be natural and this is something you should keep in mind at all times. Anything that is exaggerated or forced is not well seen by the search engines, and with Link Building techniques the same thing happens. Backlinks are important because it shows search engines that your content is being cited as a reference. By doing something artificial, the search engine will understand that what you want to do is to deceive it, so instead of favoring you, it will harm you.
3. Worry about the anchor text
The anchor text is the text in which the link is linked and, although it may seem insignificant, it is more important than many people think. Phrases like “click here” take away the relevance of the link. The ideal is to put the keyword or its variations, this way you will give it much more value and naturalness.
4. Look for links in domains of your subject
Context is also considered in backlinks. Therefore, links from sites that have the same subject matter as you or pages that talk about topics related to the general focus of your blog are much more valid.
5. Give priority to backlinks placed within the text
The place where links are placed is also important in a Link Building strategy. As we have already seen, naturalness is fundamental. For this reason, backlinks within a text, integrated into the content, are better seen than those placed in the footer (at the bottom of the page) or in the sidebar (sidebar).
6. Don’t just look for dofollow backlinks
There are two types of links: nofollow and dofollow. Nofollow links are those that have no intention of passing authority to the linked page and dofollow links are those that do have the intention of passing authority to the linked page. Many people think that their link building strategy should be full of dofollow links. However, the best practice is a balance between the two.
7. Get rid of toxic backlinks
Toxic backlinks are those that we find in poor quality sites, link farms or links without any context, so you should get rid of them so that they do not harm you. It is good that you do a constant review to see if you do not have this type of backlinks and if you find them, do not hesitate to remove them. To find them you can use the SemRush backlink detector and remove them afterwards.
8. Get your backlinks little by little
If you get a lot of backlinks in a short period of time, the search engines will surely determine that they were not obtained organically. Because of this, create a strategy to get them little by little and not overnight.
9. Worry about the TLD of the links
The TLD is a very important aspect to worry about for an international reach. The TLD is the last segment of a domain, it can be .com, .org, .ar, .co, .pe, etc. In case you want to reach a specific country, you should try to get backlinks from the TLD of the country you want to enter. This way it will be easier to open your field and improve your positioning in these new territories.
10. Generate quality content
I left this factor for the end because it may seem quite obvious. However, it is essential to get valuable backlinks. By generating really good content, you will be naturally linked to by sites that see your content as a reference and these are the best backlinks you can get.
11. Find mentions without a backlink
Mentions without a backlink also have ranking value, right? Google notices that brands are being cited on the web and are gaining popularity. It then associates the mention with the brand’s website and uses that factor in ranking. However, mentions do not transmit authority from one site to another. Only links do that. Better than a simple mention is a mention with a backlink! What you can do, therefore, is to go after the mentions your brand has already received and contact the site administrator to include a backlink. With a friendly approach, there is a good chance of getting a positive response.
To find those mentions, you can use Google Alerts, which sends a notification every time your brand (or the words you define) is mentioned. Another way to do that is to simply use Google search. Just type your brand in the search terms to find sites that mention it. But here’s a little tip: remove your own site from the search results. For that, you should use a tribute in the search, like that: “high seo link” -site:highseolink.com. This way, the results show several sites that have already cited High Seo Link, except our own site.
12. Use topic clusters for internal backlinks
Topic Clusters is a strategy for ranking the pages of a website or blog through a network of internal links. It works like this: create a post based on a keyword that is essential to your business. This will be the content pillar of the topic cluster strategy. In the case of High Seo Link, for example, we can say that a post about link building is a pillar content. Then, other posts with more specific keywords link to that main content. Preferably, that link should be the first one in the text. In the case of High Seo Link, posts about SEO, email marketing and social media do just that, with links to the link building post. Thus, these satellite contents strengthen the authority of the pillar content, which is at the top of the site hierarchy. Google understands that and values the main content in the ranking.
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What Link Building techniques can I use?
There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to Link Building techniques. However, within Digital Marketing, only those that are ethical, transparent and, at the same time, effective should be applied. Some of them are:
Perhaps this is the most popular Link Building technique, and it is very fair, because it is a guarantee of positive results. It is about writing as a guest author in sites that have a better or similar domain authority than yours and, preferably, that are of the same topic as yours. This way you will be able to place some links to your domain in a natural way. Contact the sites with which you most identify and that have the requirements you are looking for and offer to write a guest post. A variation of this practice is the post exchange. You write for a website and he writes for your domain. This strategy also brings positive results, but not as many as when the links are not reciprocal. Something important for a good result is not to abuse this practice. If you want to get quality guest post, you can do it here.
Improve existing content
If you see that a piece of content on your topic is constantly getting backlinks, then write a better one so that it can replace it. For example, if there is an article “Top 20 ways to relax”, what you can do is write another one like “Top 35 ways to relax anytime”. Of course, the new content should have more than just a strategic title and effective keyword distribution. It’s important that it actually contains additional relevant information.
Finding broken backlinks
If you find broken links in contents of your subject you can search within your blog for some texts you have written that can replace them. Contact the website that has the broken links and offer to replace them. If you can’t find any content within your blog that can replace the broken links, then it might be worth creating one and offering it.
Create press releases
A good press release can easily be reported in the media, as long as the content is relevant. Create a press release about a new product, a new store opening or some other new development in your industry. Send it to the media to be spread on their networks or website and this way you can get a relevant link.
Now you know the importance of link building and how a good strategy can contribute greatly to a good positioning in search results. This strategy is not only about getting a lot of links, but also about getting valuable links, which transmit authority to your page. Techniques can be used to obtain backlinks, however, they should not be abused. Link Building strategy brings excellent results when it is done correctly.