Few years ago I was working in an ecommerce company when I started creating a niche website however I experienced a big problem. I just didn’t know how I was going to get backlinks for my website. I didn’t even know what actually backlinks and link building means. How should I generate backlinks? Why everybody talks about it? What are the methods of generating links? Why people always ask about it?
After some research of my own, I found out what links are and they importance for ranking of a website on Search engines. High quality links referencing your website can be very important to improve a websites ranking on search engines. I understood the importance of backlinks for ranking on a website in SERPs. However, I still didn’t know how do I create or earn backlinks for my website.
Luckily this changed very soon as I starting reading more about the topic of link building and did some test on my website using the methods I read and soon I started creating my own strategies and my link building campaigns started making my website land on the top positions on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. In this guide I aim to give you an detailed idea on the concept of link building so that you can also make your website rank higher than your competitors in Search engines.
Definition of Link building
Let us look first of all the definition according wikipedia.org (source) to:
“Link building refers to increasing the amount of inbound links to a website”. Inbound links are the links on other website pointing to your website.
Since there are variety of ways to earn backlinks I have connected some well-known and success link building strategies in this article. Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages and thereby ultimately everyone must use the strategy using their experience. Some people use different strategies on dummy websites to check effects.
The real goal of backlinks is not to push the website ranking on google search, but also to bring visitors to your website. That’s why one must ensure that their links are coming from high quality relevant sources which also bring targeted traffic to the website.
Which link building strategies you should use?
- “I have to submit my website to thousands of different web directories to get it in the top search result, right?”
- “Do I have to create thousands of new backlinks to improve my website ranking?
- “If I buy 100 backlinks from link sellers my website will get number 1 ranking on search results, right?
Just like these, there are many misconceptions about link building that doesn’t seem to die even after 17 years. Even though, the above examples are bit exaggerated, there are still people who think link building is what they would do in 2004. They don’t understand that like the whole internet ecosystem internet marketing, SEO and link building has also evolved into becoming a complex and creative process. At that time, it was really easy to get high ranking on search engines with cheap spam links, however times have changed and search engines have evolved immensely to invalidate such simple and cheat prone methods of search ranking manipulation.
For a successful search engine optimization nowadays much more is needed and there are countless factors that can lead to good results. Some of them can be found here for your perusal:
Ranking factors to consider for link building
According to this report by Searchmetrics, and my own experience I can say that good quality backlinks are still an important factors for high ranking. Therefore, even today important to put in the search engine optimization on a good link building. Therefore, even today its very important use high quality link building for your search engine optimization campaigns.
Please note: Doesn’t matter how good your link building is, it won’t bring you good results if you ignore on-page SEO factors. Even worse, if your website has on-page problems (e.g. keyword spam, thin or duplicate content, etc.), sooner or later your website will disappear from the search index for good. That’s why it’s important that your website has good internal structure, and high quality original and engaging content.
But what actually is a backlink?
Let’s go back to Wikipedia for the definition of a backlink. “Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are incoming links to a website or a web page”. A mention of your website “A” with link on website “B” is considered as your website “A” getting a backlink from website “B’.
The more “recommendation” a website gets from other websites the better the website is in the eyes of Google. However, the quality of the website giving this recommendation is also very important. It works on the same principle social principle of recommendation from trusted and quality sources. If your parents recommend a dentist to you, that recommendation is worth far more to you than a recommendation of a financing loan by a dubious loan salesman. Google takes a similar approach and evaluates the quality of the website where you get a backlink.
In order to assess whether the website linking to your site is high quality or not, its important to understand what a good and natural backlink profile looks like. Website who manipulate their link profile run the risk of being punished by Google and links from those website can be very harmful for your website too.
You can access some data on the link profile of a website using SEO metrics websites such as majestic, or moz.com, however in this report I want to show you what exactly a natural backlink profile looks like so that you can assess the quality of the inbound links pointing to your website.
What is a natural and high quality backlinks profile of you would like to have a link?
Nowadays Google can easily detect manipulated link profiles of website and deals with them with harsh penalty by huge rank drop and sometimes by complete de-indexing. It’s therefore very necessary to have a natural backlink profile for your website and to earn or get backlinks from sites with natural and high quality link profile. Backlinks from the website that have been punished by Google can also drag down your website. It’s called bad neighbourhood.
Majestic and Moz have free link explorer tools to analyse the link profile of a website for free. Moz recently released spam meter which tells you about how much spam is linked to the website. Avoid getting links from websites with high spam score.
Example of a bad link profile of a website.
The links are displayed as dots in the image at the bottom right. Most points in this example, which are far below the graph, which means that a particularly large number of poor quality backlinks generated. Theoretically, the more evenly the points lie on the graph, the more natural and better is the backlink profile of a website.
Criteria’s to identify good and bad link building sources
Whether a backlink profile is good or bad is determined by numerous other factors. Majestic score with trust flow and citation flow above 10 is sigh of a quality website. It’s also important that the two values do not deviate too much from each other. A website with citation flow of 30 but trust flow of 1 rings the alarms of using low quality links and social media authority.
Also not that you should never trust a single value. There are many other value and statistics you should check before determining the link profile quality of website. Here are some of the criteria’s:
- Ratio of do-follow and no-follow backlinks.
- Origin and relevancy of the backlinks
- Quality of backlinks (check the score in moz and majestic explorers)
- Age of the domain
- Referring IPs (see the picture above)
Backlinks form poor quality websites with unnatural backlink profile can be very harmful for your website. For further analysis, I recommend the domain Moz metrics for “Domain authority” and “Page Authority”. I will talk about these two factors in the “Private Blog networks”, section.
The ability to analyse and understand the link profiles of a website helps you to apply link building and all its facts in a better way.
10 Basic rules of link building
When you are running your linking building campaigns, many things can go wrong, that’s why everyone should follow some basic rules for successful link building. I have summarized some of the most important rules in the form of commandments.
An abrupt stop to link building is never recommended. If you have built up hundreds of backlinks in recent months for a website, and but an abrupt stop, the website is likely to fall in the ranking again!
Pay attention to the naturalness of the backlink structure (diverse platforms but relevant o the niche of your website).You can analyse the backlink profile of the website using moz and ahrefs.com.
Don’t use same anchor text on all backlinks. Always shuffle keywords and use generic as well as branded anchor text. Analyse the anchor text of your competitors and highjack the best keywords they are using to get traffic. Use similarweb.com to check your competitors traffic and ranking data.
Link velocity is also an important link building factor. Search engines also check how regularly the links are coming to your website, lots of fluctuation in the link velocity can negatively affect the ranking of the website. Further, getting too many links too soon is also bad for the website.
Make sure the links are placed on the content area of the website. Links in the footer of sidebar are gets less weightage from Google than the links in the content area.
Don’t only look for do-follow backlinks, no-follow links are also important. Websites with natural backlink profile contains both do follow and no follow backlinks.
What are do-follow and no-follow links?Do-follow and no-follow are actually html attributes that webmasters give to their pages. These attributes tell Search engines whether to consider the page for link juice or not. Webpage with “Do-follow attribute” means that consider the page for link value, and no-follow means don’t consider the page for any link value. However, no-follow links also have value if they are coming from high quality websites like Wikipedia. Further, search engines check the ratio of do follow and no follow links to check analyze if the link profile is natural or not.
Link building is like an endurance sport. Don’t expect that you will get the results immediately after few days of building links. Check the websites before you place the links there. Avoid websites with lots of outbound links.
Attempt to get links on topic relevant pages. Relevancy is one of the most important ranking factor, and search engines give high value to the link if its on the page with content that fits thematically to the content of your website. Further, getting links from website of same language is also important.
Not only create links for your home page, but also the sub pages of your website.
Don’t be stingy with the outbound links. However, beware to get links from website that offer useful information to your website visitors or target audience.