SEO Link-Building: Handbook (2020)
There are some similarities between search engines and humans.
For instance, our impression of someone or something often depend on references from others. Search engines work following the same principle – they build an impression of a certain web page based on information from other websites.
The more sites are referencing your website, the more valuable it becomes in eyes of Google and other search engines.
Every backlink, which leads to your website, Google considers as an online reference. Although search engines “listen to” other signals as well, for instance, all the times your website is mentioned (even without a link), actual backlinks are multiple times more effective.
What is a “backlink” in SEO optimization?
SEO backlinks are all online links, which lead to your website. A common example of such backlinks is often found on culinary blogs. Frequently, posts with recipes contain a list of groceries, in which certain products are backlinked to online stores, where these can be purchased.
By creating a backlink to another web page, the author is simply trying to help out his or her audience. However, without realizing it, the writer is helping the mentioned websites as well.
References like this are highly-valuable and increase your opportunities to reach the top search result position. Although virtually every backlink is of value, some are more valuable than others. To define the value of a link, we need to consider the following:
- Website’s (which contains the link) popularity;
- Its authority among search engines;
- Anchor text used in the reference;
- the overall number of other references on the website (which contains the link);
- Whether the particular website (which contains the link) represents the same niche.
Search engines are advanced enough to detect questionable websites, thus, giving little value to the links posted there. For example, there are no benefits from a backlink on a Chinese rice master’s page. Don’t underestimate Google – it will detect questionable attempts to build links.
Types of backlinks in SEO
All SEO links can be divided into two groups – no-follow and do-follow links. In 2009, due to dishonest link-building through forums, comment sections and other web sources, Google introduced a no-follow and do-follow system.
As the name suggests, no-follow links are links, which search engine bots do not follow, and, thus, do not count. Usually, links posted on forums and comment sections are tagged this way.
Do-follow links, on the other hand, are links to which search engine robots respond. In most cases, only the admin of the website can publish these links.
Besides no-follow and do-follow division, links are also classified according to their types. The world of SEO recognizes three different categories:
- Natural/organic links. These are gained without additional efforts. A good example of such links is the previously mentioned culinary blog post with links to online stores.
- Earned links. These are gained by implementing successful link-building strategies. For instance, one of the most popular strategies is the so-called “broken link-building tactic”. This strategy bases on detecting broken links and informing the web page moderator about it. Then, you offer to replace it with your link. A backlink created this way is called “earned backlink”.
- Self-created links. In contrast to the other two link types, you don’t need to rely on anyone else to build a self-created link. As the title implies, all of these links are made by you. This category contains links, large proportions of which use no-follow tags and blackhat (forbidden) methods.
The Importance of Link-Building in SEO Optimization
Opinions over the importance of link-building diverge; however, the majority still agrees that it is a crucial part of any successful SEO strategy. Some experts argue that link-building accounts for as much as 40% of the algorithmic equation responsible for search results rankings.
Despite the contradiction of opinions, links, which lead to your website, hold great power.
If no one mentions your website, it will not be mentioned any further.
My Favorite Link-Building Strategy
There are different ways to earn or build inbound links for your web page.
One way is to create high-quality content. However, creating genuinely valuable content, which users want to share, is extremely time-consuming. For this reason, we will not look at this option now.
(Read more on the importance of SEO content here)
Yet how to gain valuable SEO links without great writing talents?
Try the broken link-building strategy!
Broken Link-Building Strategy
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Jo Salauzto Saišu Stratēģijā mēs vienkāršas lūgšanas vietā mājaslapas īpašniekam izceļam problēmu un piedāvājam reālu risinājumu.
1. Setup LinkMiner chrome extension
LinkMiner chrome extension will help you to find all broken links on a website.
2. Find a website with plenty outgoing links
The more outgoing links a page has, the higher are the chances of some of them being broken.
Search for websites, which list other websites from your industry.
For instance, if you own a food blog, then something like homecooked.wordpress.com will be a good place to start.
3. Detect all broken links with LinkMiner
Using LinkMiner chrome extension, examine all links on the website and find the broken ones.
4. Inform the owner of the page about the broken link
Finally, let the website owner know that his or her website contains broken links. Show the broken link and offer your page as a replacement.
The website owner will be happy that you have detected the problem and will often gladly replace the broken link with a link to your website.
Backlinks are all online links, which lead to your website. The greater the number of links leading to your website, the better will your results be. Even though virtually every backlink holds some value, some backlinks are more valuable than others. Backlinks posted on forums and comment sections are useless since these are tagged with a no-follow tag. There are three types of backlinks – organic, earned and self-made. There is a strong opinion among SEO experts that backlinks are among the most important SEO factors. The broken link-building strategy will allow you to create high-quality backlinks without great writing talents.
*Among other services, we also offer SEO link-building. Leave your website optimization in hands of experts. To find out more, get in touch using our contact form.