Ultimate Search Engine Optimization Guide — Link Building (Chapter 6)
Link building is a process of getting links from other websites. From the technical point of view, backlinks are hypertext links that serve as navigation among websites. The links are crawled by search engines which allows them to index the web content. A website’s link profile is one of the most important ranking factors.
Types of backlinks
Do-follow backlinks pass the authority of the linking page to the linked page. This authority is also often called the “link juice”.
No-follow backlinks don’t score any points to the linked website. They don’t pass the authority because of the rel=”nofollow” HTML tag that tells crawlers not to count it.
The anchor text is a visible, clickable part of a hyperlink. It helps crawlers to indicate what the linked page is about. If more page’s link to you with certain terms used in the anchor texts, it may help you rank for these terms in the search engines. An over-optimized anchor text profile may lead to an algorithmic penalty by Google. It is better to leave the anchor texts to be natural rather than trying to tweak them artificially.
There should be a balance among the following types of anchors:
· Keywords and phrases (“SEO tools”)
· Brands (“Google”)
· Branded terms (“SEO tools by google”)
· Generic anchors (“page”)
· Naked URLs (“google.com)
· CTAs (“click here, “read more”)
It’s important to remember that links referring to a website have to be relevant to its content. If you have a website about cooking recipes and the backlink is from a gaming website, then it will be useless because it won’t be as relevant.
Links placed in the main articles or sections are better than links in footers and sidebars. Single links tend to be more valuable than sitewide links.
Sitewide links appear on all pages of a website. They are usually in the footer, header, sidebar, or blogrolls. Sitewide links are great both for internal and external link building.
Link Building Strategies
Guest posting is probably the most popular link building technique. The equation is simple: You write a post and publish it on another website. The website will get free content and you’ll get a free backlink. It’s a win-win situation for both of you.
A time-consuming but still quite effective strategy is to find what works for the others. Check the websites that link to your competitors, create better content, and contact relevant people behind these websites to link to your website instead.
The best opportunities once you find your competitor’s backlinks are the following:
· Link relevance — Is the link relevant to your content?
· Link strength — What is the authority of the linking page, and where is it placed?
· Chance to replicate the backlink — Will I be able to get the same backlink again?
The next step is the so-called email outreach — contacting the website owners to replace the backlink of your competitor (also known as The Skyscraper Technique) or add your backlink as an additional resource.
Black Hat Techniques and Penalties
Paid backlinks and PBN (Private Blog Network) links are another way to build backlinks but these techniques are considered black hat (or gray hat). Google may detect the pattern and penalize your website.
On the other hand, these techniques work. You just need to be super careful and think about all the possible risks before taking the black-hat path
Google Penguin algorithm update from April 2012 started to detect and penalize for bad, spammy, or low-quality links.
· You should do link building on a daily basis, it’s not a one-time effort, updating it regularly is the key to having a good website
· Focus on having good quality links rather than a lot of more low-quality links
· Do natural anchor text distribution
· Avoid having backlinks from spam websites