Link Building Guide 2017 – I like to think of Link Building along the same lines as getting Referrals and Recommendations for your products or services from family, friends, associates and people of influence.
“To educate is not the best way to sell.It’s also the best way to build links” Jason Acidre – Kaiserthesage
Just like in the real world, the digital world also takes into account the source of those referrals and recommendations.
Take for example, how much worth would you put on a referral to your business from say, your somewhat deranged uncle whom you only see at major family gatherings once a year, compare that to a referral from one of your key suppliers or distributers with whom you work closely with on a regular basis?
So goes this very same principle in Link Building where the source of the Link is just as important as the Content that you wish to be circulated.
Link Building is the most important component and skill in any SEO.
Fact: Google came out recently and acknowledge that Backlinks are one of their Top 3 search ranking metrics – Searchengineland
It is a well accepted practice and if you want more search engine traffic then link building is a must do component.
However, the average small business person may not have the skill set to undertake the process, as some of those skills needed to get other websites to link to your site, include;
- An overall understanding of Marketing
- Some basic knowledge of Programming
- And be a competent Writer
With this in mind, I am going to outline some of the Key Areas and guide the average small business person through Link Building Guide 2017.
Understanding the Value of Link Building
There is a very clear and strong correlation between Link Building and your Google Rankings, this is more so than any other factor.
“Last year we analyzed 1 million Google search results” Backlinko
Following the concept that Links are the same as getting a referral from an influential person, then it is clear as to why links are so important.
Backlinks are the best way that Google can determine that others see value in your content and so within their Algorithm credit is given and reflected in your rankings.
High Quality Links – How to Identify
Naturally, Quality trumps Quantity as it is very easy, algorithmically, to see a pattern – Buying 10,000 backlinks for $14.99 and having them flood your profile is most certainly not going to help your cause.
Let’s face it, if you had a site similar to a national news source linking to your website, then that would have greater Authority than a small bloggers website with little to no exposure.
Whilst Google no longer publicise or shares PageRank, it is known to be still used as their algorithms foundation.
A way to check a sites ‘PageRating’ is by using Ahrefs by inserting the URL and noting the “URLRATING”
If you are looking for some of these High ‘PageRating’ sites then here is a list of them and they cater for the following industries and subjects;
- General Niche – i.e. www.ireport.cnn.com, www.buzzfeed.com, storeboard.com
- Business Niche – i.e. www.nationofchange.com, www.customerthink.com, www.biznik.com
- Blogging Niche – i.e. www.authorden.com, www.topofblogs.com, www.blogrollcenter.com
- Education Niche – i.e. www.edublogs.org, www.schoolrack.com, www.futureofeducation.com
- Health & Fitness Niche – i.e. www.ideafit.com, www.fruitnfood.com, www.medcheck-up.com
- Marketing Niche – i.e. www.moz.com, www.hubspot.com, www.crazyegg.com
- Real Estate Niche – i.e. www.trulla.com, www.realtown.com, www.realtyjoin.com
- Technology Niche – i.e. www.tech.co, www.techandtrends.com, www.e-junk.info
- Women’s & Fashion Niche – i.e. www.blogher.com, www.modernmom.com, www.girlsguideto.com
- Misc Niche – i.e. www.gameinformer.com, www.homeclick.com, www.legalhelp.org
Another metric to check which also determines the link’s quality is the sitewide authority.
Again, the higher the Authority “DOMAINRATING” of the referring site the greater that influence will be passed onto you.
Referring to Ahrefs this is seen as ‘DR’.
This should be common sense, but lets clarify it as it is usually one of the obvious factors in seeing bad quality links.
If you are in the business of say ‘Window Washing’ then having a backlink from the industry governing body or from a property maintenance site, it is then going to be significantly more relevant than from a fashion or link bank.
- A link bank is a site that just lists 1000’s of website URL’s, one after another.
This was further confirmed after an interview with an ex-Googler.
“... getting a link from a high PageRank page used to always be valuable, today it’s more the relevance of the site’s theme in regards to yours, relevance is the new PageRank.” Google Engineer
Link Position on the Page
We all know the real estate saying ‘location, location, location’ the same applies to the location of the link on the webpage.
Is it upfront in the first paragraph or buried down in the footer?
- Links placed in footers and sidebars have less value.
Fundamentally, it needs to be in the main body of the page.
Are they Editorial Links?
Are the links on the site there because someone wrote about your products or services and considered it to be of advantage to their audience?
Have they written some content that has value?
- Then that is an Editorial Link
If for example you went off and created a profile in some random unrelated Forum/Group and placed a link (Guest Post) to your site then in comparison, what would you think the worth of that link to be?
Direct from the source mouth;
“… creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.” Google
What about links from Guest Posting, are they all bad?
No, not all – irrespective of what Google said some time back and the subsequent backlash that occurred as a result!
Let’s look at it logically.
Is the Forum/Group relevant to your industry and business?
Is the express purpose of contributing to the group to build a community, comment and share information of value to that audience? Then this is a sound way of acquiring backlinks.
- If you have an Outdoor Camping and Adventure Equipment business, then by all accounts joining a group on mountain climbing where you contribute awesome posts informing members of the benefits of your products, then in my experience those links will help you rank in the search engines.
Need more reassurance, then this should help (refer Matt Cutts, tweet) …. but remember join communities and contribute relevant content for you posts to be deemed of value.
Anchor Text Links?
The Anchor Text is the part of the copy that you can click on that forms the link.
It is a sound practice to mix your Anchor Texts and avoid focusing on Keyword Rich Anchor Texts as this becomes an obvious footprint and my be considered unnatural in the backlink profile of your site.
Some examples of Anchor Text.
Anchor text is “exact match” if it includes a keyword that mirrors the page that is being linked to. For example: ‘link building guide’ linking to a page about link building guide.
Anchor text that includes a variation of the keyword on the linked-to page. For example: ‘link building strategies’ linking to a page about link building.
A brand name used as anchor text. For example: ‘Havoc Digital’ linking to an article on the Havoc Blog.
A URL that is used as an anchor ‘www.havocdigital.co‘ is a naked link anchor.
Generic or Junk Links
A generic word or phrase that is used as the anchor. “Click here” is a common generic anchor.
Whenever an image is linked, Google will use the text contained in the image’s alt attribute as the anchor text.
NoFollow vs Dofollow Links
Not all links are created equal, as we have learned.
Every site has links that are more or less important or link to pages that do not change (e.g. a site map or your ‘About Us’ page).
Or for un-trusted content and paid links.
The debate rages on as to whether you should have all ‘dofollow’ links and in general for SEO this is the objective.
But as in real life you want to get a broad range of referrals, even those from that deranged uncle may well have some worth.
It has been my experience to have a sound mix of both ‘dofollow’ and ‘nofollow’ backlinks.
Link Building Guide 2017 (Part 2)
Stay tuned for Link Building Guide 2017 (Part 2), will be published on Wednesday the 7th of June 2017.
Footnote: This post has been compiled from the following sources: