Gain backlinks by link building in the right way

Link building is an important part of SEO. Especially in competitive industries, you want to generate organic traffic through search engines to your website. A site with strong SEO construction, good on-page SEO, high-quality content and an excellent user experience can generate more organic traffic with good backlinks.

Gain backlinks by link building in the right way - MarsConnects

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A good website strategy is based on quality, relevance and authenticity. Excellent SEO and link building are related to excellent marketing activities. Companies and organizations that understand this are among the winners when it comes to rankings in Google and organic traffic in the long run.

Linkbuilding

The activities you undertake to earn and give away backlinks fall under link building. This process is an essential part of off-site SEO.

You don’t go about creating a website for the purpose of link building. Nor do you want your site to be found for the number of links you get. With your website, you have an online business with which you want to sell your services and products. That should be the goal of your marketing plan and your SEO strategy. Link building is a part of it and connects the parts of your online business. The benefits go beyond the links themselves.

What are good backlinks?

Backlinks are links from your own web page to another website. If someone links to your site, you have a backlink. If you link to another website, they have a backlink from you. Good backlinks can be seen as a vote of confidence in the content of the page being referenced. The quality of that content is so good that it earns a backlink by being a good source of information – or a good product to recommend.

Why we need backlinks for our website

There are several reasons why a link is placed to another web page. It’s not always to get more traffic to your site. For example, a journalist posts a link to cite the source of his post – not to drive traffic to his article.

For SEO practitioners and marketers, backlinks you didn’t ask for are the icing on the cake, the crowning glory. These are links you strive for and must build. By making your website’s content link-worthy, you can get unsolicited backlinks from other sites.

Why links are important to search engines

Search engines use links in two ways:

1. To discover new web pages on your site, which they can then use in search results. Once a search engine has crawled your pages, they add their content to their index.

2. To help determine how well a page should rank in search results. Once the page is indexed, the content is evaluated for quality and ranked for relevant keywords. This looks not only at the content of the pages, but also at the number of backlinks and the quality of the websites that those links come from.

Google's algorithm updates for backlinks

Once upon a time, many website owners abused backlinks. They tried to get links to their site in every possible way to rank high in Google. They bought links, used all kinds of directories (websites that consist mainly of links, such as the ‘start page’, and their content was full of links to websites that have nothing to do with their offerings.

It is quick to recognize when a website owner knows nothing about SEO and link building:

Google is constantly adjusting the algorithms used to rate websites. No one knows exactly what makes a web page rank high in Google. At most, SEO practitioners and marketers can look at the data and statistics to see which pages rank high and which factors match that ensure a high ranking. If all other factors are equal, the number and quality of backlinks can make the difference in Google rankings.

Although the number of backlinks, keywords and domain reliability (DT) doesn’t say everything either; see the difference between #1 and #6 in the Google rankings:

linkbuilding - backlinks - MarsConnects

However, Google does regularly indicate what doesn’t work. Websites that engage in blackhat SEO and link building in a way that is not accepted by Google are penalized and ranked lower or – in extreme cases – removed from the organic search lists.

After all, Google’s goal is to quickly offer visitors relevant information when they are searching for a particular topic or product. Websites that fail to meet this according to Google’s best practices are not worthy of being found.

Google about backlinks and domain authority

John Mueller (Google) says the following about backlinks (June 23, 2020):

“It’s very easy to get stuck in the world of link building. You send out your emails or leave your comments on other people’s blogs, or you try to find a site where you can post your links with a no-follow tag.In a sense, you then spend a lot of time on link building, these our systems will ignore. You would have been better off spending that time improving the content of your site in general, something that our systems value more over time. It’s important to find a balance between promoting your work and doing your job. But first of all, you should do your work very well and not spend so much time promoting it.

(…)

If you just post random links on other people’s blogs, or on forums, or in other places where they can be picked up, that’s not something that we would look at and say, “oh, this is evidence of a high-quality website that we should be showing more of.” It doesn’t work that way.

So if you’ve been working on a website, I recommend that you spend more time on the content, especially if you’re operating in a highly competitive field. You need to come up with a long-term strategy and ways in which you can stand out from your competitors. Show the added value you offer and make sure that Google and other search engines can recognize that added value. We wouldn’t recognize that by random backlinks or domain authority, but rather by looking at the whole picture.”

On domain authority, John Mueller says:

“We don’t use domain authority for ranking on search pages. I think that’s a misconception that pops up from time to time. (…). So it’s not something I would focus on, but rather think about your website in general and how to improve it. The same thing goes for backlinks here. This world that tells you where to put your links to increase the number of links to your website…that’s definitely not what our algorithms are looking for.”

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What is domain authority (DA)?

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that predicts how likely a domain is to appear in search engine results (SERPs) compared to its competitors:

For Google, domain authority is not a ranking factor to determine how high you rank in Google. DA provides a good indication with which to assess the performance of your website compared to that of your competitors.

What is a good domain authority score?

You can check your domain authority at Ahref. You will then receive a score between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the better the chance of better results in search engines.

Good backlinks for your site depends on the industry in which you operate. For example, you can set a goal to get a backlink from a site with a high domain authority, but if it is not relevant to your online business, it will not lead to conversions.

What constitutes a good domain authority score varies by industry. So determining a good domain authority is different for every business. Ultimately, it is important to analyze your main competitors. You can then draw conclusions that are tailored to your own website and see what your site needs to meet to rank higher.

What is page authority (PA)?

Page authority specifically focuses on the likelihood that each of the website’s pages will rank separately. This allows you to determine the performance of individual pages, such as blog posts or product pages. With the page authority score, you can analyze the pages and see how they can be improved to achieve a higher score.

Google seems to value page authority more than domain authority. While there is only a small correlation between rankings and backlinks of pages with organic search traffic, pages with backlinks from unique websites and higher authority at the page level seem to rank higher in Google.

Internal links also contribute to a page’s authority score.

What is domain trust (DT)?

The domain trust of a website describes its reliability and integrity. To determine the domain trust score, the quality of links and the quality of web content, among other things, are valued. A high DT score is generally considered a ranking advantage in search results. However, the domain trust score depends on the calculation method used and is not a ranking factor for Google.

Why are good backlinks important for your website?

Good backlinks are part of your long-term strategy. As mentioned, there is no point in haphazardly putting backlinks everywhere. Good backlinks are still important for your website because they help you with:

1. Building relationships - outreach

With link building you can refer to other relevant websites and blogs in the same industry. For example, you can link to a text or an infographic on another site that provides additional information to the information you provide on your site. A common goal of outreach is to get backlinks, but there is much more to it than just this. Outreach can help you build long-term relationships in your industry. Businesses that are related to each other can be ranked higher and gain more trust. Even without link building, this is valuable because you create real fans for your business.

2. Referral traffic

Good link building can help you build your brand and awareness. For link building, you can create good content on your site that shows off your expertise. This can help increase awareness of your brand and business. To get more exposure within your industry, you can create content based on industry data. When this outreach technique works, and you get links to this content, it demonstrates your expertise which causes people to come to you when they want to know something or buy a product.

3. Brand building and awareness

Good link building can help you build your brand and awareness. For link building, you can create good content on your site that shows off your expertise. This can help increase awareness of your brand and business. To get more exposure within your industry, you can create content based on industry data. When this outreach technique works, and you get links to this content, it demonstrates your expertise which causes people to come to you when they want to know something or buy a product.

What makes a good backlink?

A good backlink is good quality, relevant and useful. Some backlinks are worth more than others. The most desirable backlinks to get come from reliable, relevant and popular sites. You don’t want backlinks from sites that have nothing to do with your business or your products. Or from sites whose content is of poor quality.

Relevance of the backlink

Google’s goal is to get people to the web page where they find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible, without having to search too much. Therefore, a backlink to a page must be relevant and point to content that justifies the referral. If you get backlinks on your coaching practice website from two websites, one related to training skills and one related to flashlights, then the first backlink is relevant. Through this relevant link, you will get people on your site who belong to your target audience. The irrelevant backlink is of no use to you because those people are not looking for your services and will therefore leave your website quickly (resulting in a higher bounce score).

The location of a backlink

It is quite possible that the place of a link on a web page is a determining factor for generating more authority. A link placed in a prominent place is more likely to be clicked than a link in a sidebar or footer. The visibility of the link: the color and font are also important: the more the link stands out, the greater the chance that someone clicks on it. Such a link can lead a considerable amount of traffic to your website.

Anchor text (link anchor)

The anchor text refers to the clickable words that make up a link. Google says that anchor text can affect the ranking of web pages, but it is of minor importance in relation to other parts of a website.

Follow or no-follow links and other attributes

Links to another site are standard “do-follow” links. You can tag a link with ‘rel=”nofollow”‘. With this you indicate to search engines not to pass on the value of the link (link equity).

A ‘rel=”nofollow” attribute is used when:

the website to which you refer has no other relevant information that is of added value to your web page, or
when you prefer not to be associated with that site because it is unreliable, or
you do not want the page you link to be crawled via your site.

This is not to say that Google does not follow or value no-follow links: Google sees the no-follow attribute as a hint and may follow the link in some cases. A ‘no-follow’ link can also still get value for search results in some cases(*), so if you have a backlink from a high-traffic website, it can definitely bring value to your rankings – including brand awareness.

(*It’s not known which cases this is about.)

Other attributes for links: sponsored and ugc
‘rel=”sponsored”‘

Links that you use for referrals to advertisements or paid links should be given a rel=”sponsored” or a rel=”nofollow” – attribute, but not an ‘ugc’.

‘rel=”ugc”‘
Links created by users on your site in, for example, a comment on your article or in a forum post, you indicate with a rel=”ugc”-attribute. (UGC stands for ‘user-generated content’).

This prevents user comments from being used for link building and the risk of getting irrelevant, spammy links. If you have repeat visitors who you trust and who provide valuable feedback on your site or contribute to your site with high quality content, then you can omit the ugc tag for those visitors.

You can also use the different link attributes simultaneously: rel=”nofollow sponsored” or rel=”nofollow ugc”.

Paid links should get a rel=”sponsored” or a rel=”nofollow” or rel=”nofollow sponsored”.

Checking Backlinks

There are two ways to check the backlinks of a website or web page. Google Search Console only works for links on your own site. Use a free SEO tool to check backlinks from another website or webpage.

Checking backlinks in Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) gives you information about your website’s organic search traffic and overall performance.
In GSC, click on “links” in the sidebar. The number under “External links” shows the total number of unique backlinks to the website. Below you can find:

  • The pages on your website that are linked to the most.
  • The websites with the most backlinks to your website.
  • The most frequently used anchor texts for the links to your site.

You can click on the URLs displayed to see where the links lead.

Reject unwanted backlinks

If you have too many unwanted backlinks, you can reject them using the ‘disavowal feature‘ in Google Search Console. With this, you let Google know which specific links should not affect your site.

Some webmasters also use this feature for competitors in the same industry. That’s not so smart, because your site scores in Google as part of – and in relation to – other websites in the same industry. A better strategy to increase your authority and your rankings is to make sure your site’s content is better than your competitors’, so you earn the backlinks.

Another reason backlinks are rejected by other sites is when they come from a site that does not yet have a high domain (DA) or page authority (PA). Because your site is part of an industry, your site gets more value when you get backlinks with a higher DA or PA value from that same industry. If you get a lot of backlinks from sites that don’t have a high DA or PA, then the value of those links will be valued lower, which can have an effect on your site performance.

Your site gains DA value through both relevant backlinks, quality content and the time your site exists.

When to disavowel unwanted backlinks

According to Google’s guidelines, reject backlinks when you meet this condition:

You have a significant number of spam links, artificial links or low-quality links pointing to your site,

AND

The links have resulted in a manual action that has been applied (or is likely to be applied soon) to your site.

In reality this means that if you for example have a Dutch webshop that sells pet articles to the Dutch audience, and you see in GSC that you get backlinks from a site that is in no way related to your shop, comes from a spammy site that is mainly made up of links or from foreign websites, then you can reject these backlinks. You might get a notification from Google in GSC under ‘Security and manual actions’.

Bad links to your website won’t get you anywhere and won’t help your reliability or authority score. It can be quite a lot of work and time to get rid of unwanted backlinks. Google has a procedure for this that you need to follow to implement backlink rejection.

How to get more backlinks

There are two ways to get more backlinks accepted by Google:

1. Earn backlinks

This is when people discover your site’s content through search engines like Google, social media or word of mouth and choose to link to your page. In other words, earned backlinks are organic.

2. Create backlinks

This is when you manually add links to your site on other websites. For example, you might link to your website when you submit your site to business directories, when you leave a comment on a blog, or when you respond to a forum post. These backlinks are usually “nofollow” links, but can still add some value to your site and provide more visibility.

In addition, there are a number of other methods of getting backlinks:

  • Guest blogging: offering to write a one-time post for another website. 
  • Dead links: Find relevant dead links on other sites, then get in touch and suggest your link as a replacement.
  • The skyscraper technique: Find relevant content on other sites that have posted links, create something better than what was linked to, and ask to include your link instead of the one they used.
  • Non-linked mentions: Find unlinked mentions of your site or your product and ask the author to make that mention clickable.

 

Strengthen your competitive position with link building

You get good backlinks first of all by having good content that is SEO-proof. If you make sure that your site is of high quality, it will be appreciated by your visitors and by search engines.

We at MarsConnects can improve your website, so it will put your business on a higher level: more quality, more relevant content and more links based on a good marketing and SEO strategy. Contact us if you want a professional international website that gets you the right audience and strengthens your competitive position.

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