Since its dawn, backlinks have high impact on how a website is ranked by Google. A backlink is a link to a page on your website form another website, Google consider it as a reference to determining the popularity and authority of your website. In its early days Google used very few criterion on deciding the ranking of the website and number of backlinks were given more importance. But, soon webmasters started abusing the criteria and millions of fake website were generated just to place backlinks. Soon, internet became more polluted and Google had to change its ranking criteria’s. It was time for a complex algorithm to determine which site should be shown in first page and which shouldn’t.
Matt cutts answering if backlink will lose their importance in ranking.
Even today backlinks are still incredibly important, and Google uses many factors to check whether links to your website are of high quality or not.
Factors affecting quality of a backlink for high high SERP results.
Today backlinks still incredibly important, and Google uses many factors to check whether links to your site are of high quality or not. In this chapter, I see exactly which factors are used by Google in its ranking algorithm.
01 The number of words on the page on which backlinks are located.
A link from a page that contains 15,00 words content is many times more valuable than a link on a page with only 150 words.
02. The quality of content
The quality of content on the target backlink site is very important. When a backlink is placed on a simple, small website, then the impact of that backlink is minimal. But when a backlink is placed on a multimedia website with many valuable pages and quality content, it gives your website a positive boost in authority.
03. Guest Blogging
When you write informative articles and blog posts for other website, you can place your website to get a quality backlinks. Most of high quality websites allow you to place your links either in your biography or in an article that is actually helpful to the readers. A link on your bio or about me data is less strong than the link in an contextual article.
04. Age of domain
A link from older domain has greater impact than a link from a new domain. It’s because age gives authority to the target site which is passed on to your website.
05. Number of root domains linking to your website :
Number of linking root domains is one of the most important ranking factor. For example, you have 5000 backlinks to your website, but only 25 linking to the root domains. Google then looks at the number or unique website that link to you, then the total number of backlinks. The more domains are linking to you, the better.
06. Links coming from different class C Ips.
Links coming from different Class C IP, means that your website attracts a wide audience, which has a positive effect on your ranking.
07. Number of linking pages on your website
The total number of linking pages is also a factor in your ranking. Even if these pages are part of the same domain helps your ranking.
08. Words around your links
When a post a content around your links with words like “sponsor partners” or “paid by” or “sponsored post”, it adversely affect the value of the link. Google considers it as a paid backlink. Such links give very less value than a link posted on articles whose content is relevant to your website.
09. Contextual Links
Further to the last point; when the content of the page is relevant to the content and niche of your website and its high quality, the links have higher value than the link placed on a page with low quality and nonrelevant content. The context in which the link is placed is also important.
10. Backlinks from competitors and their link partners
Competition research is an important part of any link building campaign. Researching competitors links gives you more targets and help a website rank higher than the competitors
11 Number and quality of Social Media shares and likes and other activities.
With rise of Facebook, twitter, and Google plus Internet has become a social media hub. People from all over the world login to those websites to share useful information. That’s why Search engines now days give high value to the links coming from social media websites. Real shares by people who seems to be really interested in your website or its niche gives it high value in the eyes of search engines.
12. Backlinks from high authority people and sources.
High authority sources and experts sharing and talking about your website give it’s the much needed publicity. It also improves its ranking on Search engines.
13.Link from a website of high authority
Some websites are seen by Google as an authority in their field or topic. For example, forbes.com is authority when it comes to business. CNN, theguardian, are authority websites for news, etc. A contextual link coming from sites like these is given higher value than the link from general and low authority websites.
14. Links from Wikipedia
Wikipedia is one of the most visited website in the internet ,and although it gives a no-follow link, a mention in wikipedia website improves your websites authority. You can get a link from wikipedia if you have a business website. Just create a new topic on your business with some information on your website and business.
15. Number of OBL (outbound links)
OBL stands for Outbound Links. If a page has many OBL’s, that will reduce the value of your backlink.
Number of backlinks on a page affects its value in the eyes of Google. The more the number of backlinks on a page, the less link juice they pass. So, getting links from pages with low obls gives it more authority.
16. Forum Profile Links
There are links Google will no longer value in a forum profile. Some companies are using “robots” or programs just to create and post links in many profiles to generate backlinks. Do not start this kind of campaign because it is easily punished. You will be compromising your site.
17. 301 Links
Links coming from a 301 doesn’t mean it has less influence than a direct link. This is according to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web team, who said that a link from a 301 have as much value as direct links.
18. The Glorious Age of the Backlink
According to Google Patent the older the backlinks are the more weight and value it possess than a freshly installed or made backlink. This means that the earlier to start making your backlinks, the better it gets.
19. Spam Blogs Vs Real Websites
It is no secret. Google will value a link from a “real website” compared to a link obtain from a Splog.
A splog is basically what is known as a fake blog. It is a “fake” blog because it is newly created just to post your link and it does not get updated, soon enough forgotten. A site’s authenticity is determined by its brand and user signals. Obtain links from real websites to make your work count.
20. Authenticity of Link Portfolio
Real websites that post authentic links will always rank better. Posting your own backlinks may take time or you might find it too boring. If you plan on buying backlinks or paying someone to do backlinks for you, make sure that the person or service provider generate them in a fair manner. This will also protect you from future Google updates.
21. .edu or .gov domain Links
Matt Cutts earlier stated that TLD does not affect website authority yet the claim by many SEO service providers are contrary. Domain names with a .edu or .gov extension may have an edge over the rest. Backlinks from websites holding such extensions are therefore perceived to have a more added value.
22. Acquiring Authority from Page Links
Pagerank is important to help us determine the value of a backlink. Having multiple backlinks from sites with low pagerank is not going to boost your site’s authority. It is better to have 10 back links from high website authority. Link wisely not focusing on quantity.
23. Linking Domain Authority
We have emphasized in our tips before about the effect of authority pages with regards to your back links. The same principle applies to the authority of a domain in general.
24. Links with the NOFOLLOW Attribute
A nofollow link is a link that follows the nofollow attribute to ensure that the link made is not being followed by Google or other search engines. What this means is that the link you created has no value. A good example of a site with a nofollow link would be Wikipedia. All the links within the Wikipedia website and uses sources will automatically get a “nofollow” attribute.
25. Homepage Links
If the link points to the homepage of your website then it should be emphasized because that plays a special role in ranking. This has the most weight when it comes to backlinks so special handling is required.
26. Internal Link Anchor Text
Internal links and their anchor texts are also relevant to your campaign. It has been argued that an anchor text of a “link back” has a slightly higher value.
27. Link Title Attribute
The link title attribute is not counted heavily but it is still considered an important attribute of backlinking. Title attributes will appear when you place your mouse on a link and not move it. You can try this. Some websites insert text there to give you a preview of short description of what that link is.
28. Location within content
If you place a backlink within the text of interest that link will have a better value. Make sure you place the link at the start of your description rather than after or at the end of your text.
29. Location within the page
Link placement within a page is also very important. A link in the sidebar or footer will have much less value compared to a link within the content page. Link placement is rather important when it comes to this campaign so one’s strategy should always include this.
30. Domain relevance
Make sure that your links are also placed in domains or websites that are similar to your niche. This builds authority. A link from a website talking about fashion if placed within a website about automotive will not generate the necessary dominance that you require.
31. Page Level Relevance
Working wisely and networking with the right niche is needed with SEO and backlinking. A link from a page with is relevant to yours and holds a high PR will do more for your site than a page that is not connected to your niche or page. This helps boost your algorithm.
32. A keyword in a title
When a page has a title containing a keyword relevant to the page it links, Google will give this high rating.
Keyword in title is very important ranking factor. A webpage title containing a keyword relevant to the content of the page rank higher than the website with without title or title which doesn’t have any keywords related to the page content. It’s because Title is the first thing that tells search engines about the niche and content of the website and helps them decide where to rank a page.
33. UGC (User Generated Content) left
Google is able to tell the difference between content created by the website owner, and content posted by a user or visitor, for example in the comment field of a blog. A link posted by a user in comment section is far less powerful than the link posted by the publisher in the actual content field.
34. Schema.org microformats
Pages with microformats, such as reviews in the form of yellow starts, sometimes rank higher above pages without any microfoamrts. It might be due to two reasons, either Google directly gives them importance in their search algorithm, or they are known to improve the CTR and thus it indirectly leads to Increase in ranking. In any case, visit Schema.org and look at different microformats available and if you find any of them relevant to your webpage, implement in your website.
35. Trust Rank of the linking website
Trustworthiness of the linking website is very important. A backlink from a website passes its trust score to your website and to get high trust rank its important to get links from sites with good trust score. Trust rank can be checked using Majestic site explorer.
36. Site Wide Links
According to Matt cutts, a link which is distributed several times within the same website is regarded as one link. Here is the video of of Matt Cutts with explanation:
37. A link from a ‘bad neighborhood’
A link from bad neighborhood can lead to ranking drop and penalty by Google. Make sure to research properly before starting any link building campaign. And if you find that your website is being linked by another site from bad neighborhood, contact the webmaster of that site for removal of the link and also use Googles Disavow tool to disavow that link. Once its done, Google will dissociate that link with your website.
38. Alt tag for images
An alt tag is an anchor text for images and it informs Search engines on what the image is about. It has minuscule effect on rankings. However, it can help your website rank higher in Search engine image search.
39. Diversity of backlinks
Google has stopped giving much values to links coming from Forum signatures, and profiles, etc, because they’ve been spammed to death by webmasters using blackhat SEO Techniques. That’s why Google now looks at how diverse but relevant your backlink sources are. Make sure you are getting links from diverse sources. For example, social media, social networks, multimedia websites, blogs with relevant content, press releases (good quality), related to the niche of your website.
40. Excessive 301 links to your website
Links from 31 redirects to your webpage doesn’t provide any benefit in ranking.
41. Anchor text with the backlinks
The anchor text of a backlink doesn’t have the value as it used to have. This is because it’s been overused and spammed by the webmasters. Despite of that, it lets Google see if the backlink is relevant to your content. This is the statement released by Google on Anchor texts:
“Anchor text provide more accurate description of the webpages than the page themselves. “
42. Links from TLD domain names:
TLD represents countries, and different types of organizations. When you receive a backlink form country specific TLDs, it benefits your website with ranking improvement in that country. For example, your website has links from .co.uk domains, it will benefit it in United kingdom. It works like the same with all other countries.
43. Text near or around your backlink:
Google can see whether the text that is written about your link is positive or negative about your website. It could be that someone posted a negative review on its website, and linking back to your website. Google is smart enough to see this as a negative backlink. The same applies of course to a positive review or text around your backlinks.
44. Good link velocity
Link velocity is the speed with which your website get and lose backlinks. A page with good link velocity is often rank higher than the websites with poor link velocity. That’s why webmasters should keep an eye on their backlinks and take necessary steps if the website is losing to many backlinks.
If your website is gaining or losing links which seems unnaturally to fast, then it’s a sign for google that something is wrong with your website it’s not good enough to retain the links. It affects your website negatively on the rankings.
45. Environment of the link
The words around your link tell Google where your page is about. Is this relevant? This will have a very positive effect on your ranking.
Link environment has become one of the important factors that Search engines take into consideration. Link environment means the quality of the site your website is getting links from. Which can range from content, optimization or the pages, and backlinks to that website. If that website is involved in some shady or spammy SEO program it can lead to your website getting penalized for being part of their environment.
46. Reciprocal Links
Naturally coming reciprocal links can be good for your website. But, swapping links on each other’s website just to manipulate Google page rank can lead to penalty by Search engines. That’s why webmasters these days avoid this link building technique and focus on long lasting content centric campaigns which helps a website gain authority and automatically attracts the attention of different website owners.