In recent years, the importance of link building has been a hotly debated topic. So, as I have worked in search for 9 years I thought it was only right that I give my two cents in to why I believe Google still greatly depends on Backlinks.
We all know Link Building works similarly to an electoral roll; the more online links pointing to any one website or URL, the more votes of confidence that supports the status of that website in Google’s hierarchy. When Google senses a new link on the horizon, its algorithm makes an investment to push the worthiness of the website link higher on the search ranks. Simultaneously, Google knows how to filter out the pandemonium of spam links present – but how?
Google looks at many items to see where a website should sit on the ranking field. One of which is the relevance of the websites linking to others. Google also judges the quality of the linking website and the speed at which links have been built. A quality link will have taken time to acquire as opposed to lots of spam links that can be created instantly.
Prior to Google’s Penguin algorithm’s first arrival on shore, link building was bursting with an explosive number of automated spam links winning against a handful of quality links pointing to worthy websites.
The Penguin update cleverly detects if links are spam or ‘bought’ based on the exact match anchor text present. Google’s natural inquisitiveness knew the role of such links was to influence their page rank only, not as a recommendation for visitors to physically click on the link to visit the website.
What caused the sudden downwards surge in number of online links?
The Penguin algorithm helped to spruce up Google’s search engine results with an adverse effect that meant digital marketing companies stopped link building because there were penalties associated with links if they were judged to be spam. Unsure of how the algorithm calculated whether a link was spam or not, many online marketing agencies and SEO specialists began doubting the unpredictable results of building links.
Link building became an unfashionable term to avoid. Previous link builders decided to turn a corner to focus on writing high quality content as a safe alternative that would earn links organically.
Link Building versus Social Shares through Content Marketing
Yes, unique high quality content is an important factor in SEO, but link building still outweighs the importance of content marketing. Despite the number of social shares and increased number of visitors that visit your website, this doesn’t always increase links in reality. Building permanent links demands manual time and effort.
At Kalexiko, we engage new visitors to stay on our client’s websites, by composing interesting and thought-provoking content. However, it’s the links that leads users to the website in the first instance to read the content.
The Guide to External Link Building
A good quality link can be built through mutual online relationships, where you link to a good quality website from your blog and vice versa. Finding a relevant website to host your links is a challenge in itself, but pays off nevertheless. So if your forte is hairdressing, then your challenge would be to find an online specialist blog that discusses hair and beauty. You will want to approach the blog author in a professional way that doesn’t come across needy or desperate and put them off.
Perseverance turns into experience and you eventually learn what strategies work best to building external links to ensure your client doesn’t miss out on any valuable link opportunities.
Some essential skills required for creating external links include:
- Being creative and thinking out of the box
- Use persuasiveness and an opportunity for a win-win, e.g. you link to my website and I’ll link to yours
- Go out of your way to interact with the link builder face to face over a coffee for a long term mutual relationship.
- Research potential website and blogs that relate to your services and products that could host your link
Contextual Link Building Can Build Page Power To Help Rankings
Contextual links otherwise known as links within the content text of your website that link to other pages of your website are a great way to build links within your own website.
Google values contextual links and your effort to create content on your website or blog articles that link to the services you offer. Only add links where they are relevant and make sense, otherwise it will be too obvious that you are stuffing links wherever you can.
Both the linked page and linking page offer relevancy to each other which increase their power in search rankings. Often readers won’t want to read everything in one page, so helping to break it up in digestible chunks on several pages can keep them interested and mean a lower bounce rate as they are less likely to leave your website.
Linking to well-known research websites such Wikipedia can increase the credibility of your website to prove you are a trusted site that link to such as external sourced links. More importantly, avoid keyword stuffing in your anchor texts and employ long tail descriptive phrases instead.
Links will always be valuable to guide users to the right information. Despite how Google’s Penguin algorithms or updates will effect or change the position of websites depending on how many legitimate links they have navigating to them, manual link building will grow the internet into a powerful and beneficial source for all.