Link building is undoubtedly the most difficult skill in SEO. The internet is full of information about link building techniques, and there’s no dearth of companies offering link building services. But if you’re still wondering about the right way to build links, this article will show you five things about link building that you don’t often hear from SEO providers.
What is link building and why is it important?
If another website links to your site, then it is termed as a “link” (backlink) to your site. The number of backlinks to your site is one of the primary metrics determining the ranking of your web page in search engine results. The process of getting more links (digital referrals for your website) is called link building.
5 things you never knew about link building
Every business with an online presence aspires for those lucrative top positions in search results, and they are busy building links. If you want more search engine traffic, you should invest in effective link building strategies.
1. Building linkable content
In the crazy world of link building, it’s not hard to lose yourself in the game. Consequently, you end up shifting your focus out of your real asset: “Content.” Your high-merit links are going to be game-changers, but will not pass the test of time unless they are linking to high quality and relevant content.
5 Factors that make your content a compelling “linkable” asset:
- Comprehensive information
- Industry specific content
- Attractive presentation
- Rich multimedia content (infographics, videos, etc.)
- Well-researched content with references quoted
A recent podcast show, “ASK GOOGLE: Q&A WITH JOHN MUELLER”, reveals an excellent insight into what Google has planned for 2017. Clearly, “content” rules the roost! They say:
“Our goal primarily is to ensure an even playing field. Those who are using tricks to rank higher in our search engines, we can recognize those and focus on relevant content.”
2. Adhering to link quality guidelines
The prices for link building are often exorbitant. Therefore, before investing in creating backlinks for your website, you should know the importance of adhering to link quality guidelines.
Search engines rank you better when you have high-quality links, and in fact, penalize you for “manipulative links.” It is tempting to radically increase your backlinks through various link building techniques out there in the market. However, you should know that not all of them are going to add value to your ranking. As the podcast explains:
“We have a team manually looking at websites to see if people are doing things against our guidelines. We manually rein back and make sure they are not getting an extra bonus for doing these tricks.”
If you are availing link building services of a third-party provider, ensure that the links do not violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Study these guidelines and beware of falling for link schemes.
3. Building trust, not links
Most of us don’t understand links and link building, but all of us can perceive relationships. Therefore, aim to build relationships, and that will easily convert to links. If the linking page is well “related” to your landing page, it is easy to satisfy search engines that the link holds merit.
5 Factors that make your links trustworthy:
- Relevance of the source (linking page) to your business (landing page)
- Link from trusted sources (authoritative and reputable sites)
- Link position (in-content link is more trusted)
- Relevance of the anchor text (words used to link to your site)
- Links not generated from spun content, comment spam, forum spam, etc.
SEO experts believe that what matters for search engines is the trust they perceive through the relationship of the linking page and the landing page.
4. Internal linking
One of the most underestimated in techniques in link building is the process of “internal linking”. An internal link is a hyperlink on from a page within your domain (website).
If you have “strong” pages (with proper SEO metrics) on your site, use them as internal links to your site’s target landing pages. These high-ranked pages will pass through their link juice to your target pages and help improve your ranking. You will be amazed at the improvements this internal link building will bring forth to your site.
5. Social Media Is Irrelevant For SEO
Search Engines are more interested in validating the reason for your website being there. Your social media presence has no direct impact on your ranking in search results. Hence, if you are relying on social media as your primary link building technique, it’s not going to work. Again, according to Google:
“Social media has no effect on your ranking. Social media websites have no-follow on their links, and we cannot even crawl all of their content. It is not something we would take into account for ranking.”
First of all, your site’s motive for being is not just SEO. You have information, services or products you want to offer your customers. Social media can drive traffic to your site and also help you to connect with your users. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be active on social media. But bear in mind that building those links on social media are not important for SEO.
Now that you have read this article, your biggest take away from it should be that link building is not all about gaining links alone. It’s more important to create content worth linking to, adhere to guidelines for link building, build trust and not get swayed away by the hype of it.
Above all, stay focused on your principal purpose of business (and your users). As a result, you’ll be successful in attracting natural links, improving your brand presence and ultimately your domain authority. It’s a simple, yet powerful, strategy in the highly competitive SEO space.