Posted on May 15, 2018
No business owner can thrive alone, and a website with no links cannot succeed. As it happens with referrals to your business in real life, the more connections your site has with other sites, the more authoritative and trustful it can be considered from Google.
In this article, you will discover the importance of backlinks in SEO
Why is it so important to use correct link building strategies
Manipulative and sketchy techniques have been the easy way out for ranking websites fast by “black-hat SEOs“, who break Google’s Guidelines. Link Building was one of the most manipulated ranking factors. Google keeps refining its algorithm very frequently, though, and they penalise now severely the bad practices.
SEO Directories: why are they so dangerous
Generic directories and SEO directories used to be easy link building strategies. Their links are now very dangerous and “toxic” and they can easily get your website penalised.
You don’t want to use SEO directories with paid links, but the common suggestion “Never get links from Directories” is wrong: good sites with authentic resources for users are very useful. In this case, your site will get engagement, traffic, links. These are all parameters that RankBrain knows.
How to get high-quality backlinks: link building strategies for Guest Posting
- Guest posting can help you achieve high-quality backlinks if the sites linking to you are editorially checked and reliable sources. This is an updated list of sites, which accept guest posting, of any particular category. Also, consider writing posts to sites of Business you work or network with, including a link to your site, and publish their articles on your blog, linking to theirs.
- Even if sites with links from more different sources rank better than ones with links from fewer ones, the common opinion that “More than one link from a site is useless” is wrong: if you get several good links that give good traffic to your site from a few third-party sites, they are very good to be kept.
- It is also wrong that “Link from sites out of your niche won’t help to rank”: for Latent Semantic Indexing reasons, Google looks for a semantic correlation between the copy on the page and your content. If there is, and links are not sketchy, your link is very good. Even better, your competitors won’t have them!
- If you manage to get quickly a lot of backlinks through honest link building strategies, do not worry about the common suggestion “Never get links too fast or you will be penalised” either. You’d better worry if you’re doing grey/black-hat link building with private networks, bought links, exchange schemes, though. Google sets traps (meaning that they patented filters) which detect low-quality fast links. But if you chose the correct link building strategies, you are on the safe side.
What is Domain Authority: Link Building Strategies & External Links
- Domain Authority, or DA, is a Search Engine Value created by MOZ to describe the importance of a website, from the number of high-quality third-party incoming external links it has.
- If you heard the common suggestion “Never get incoming links from a site which has Domain Authority lower than yours“, know that it is wrong: many high-quality websites have a low Domain Authority, but they can give you good editorial links, that matter for Google.
- What regards, instead, linking out from your site to other sites, the tip “Don’t give external links or you’ll lose Link Equity, Link Juice, Page Rank, etc….” is very old school. It was true in 2007, 11 years ago. Now you just have to worry if you use nofollow external links. Otherwise, you should use external links, as authoritative as possible. Tests show it increases your ranking. If you use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress (check our guide to Yoast for Beginners here), you will see it using external links as a suggested point.
Why and how to remove backlinks from website
You should check your backlinks frequently with Google Search Console. If you do not recognise or want some of them, you should disavow them. Be very careful in this procedure, though, as it can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. Google recommends “that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you”.
When it comes to backlinks, caution is needed in Anchor texts as well (check what are Anchor Texts in this article). In the common suggestion: “Use different Anchor Texts in precise percentages“, there’s a part of the truth. You won’t have to trust “magic recipes” like:
- Branded 31%
- KW match 22%
- Semi-branded 19%
- Random 28%
But you need to know that if you use sketchy link building schemes, Google might check your anchor texts, too. And if they detect too many keyword-matchy and too few branded ones, they might flag your site for manual review and you might incur a penalty. (Check here What is a Google Penalty and how to avoid it).