Link Building Essentials: Where Do Your Links Come From?


Using the Three Types of Links

Inbound links are one of the most critical elements that determine how you will rank in the search results. Inbound links show Google how important other sites (and the people they represent) believe you are. Think of a link as a vote from another site. The more votes you get, the more important Google thinks you are. The more important Google thinks you are, the more likely they’ll give you a good position in a related search. While there are plenty of other factors to consider in search engine rankings, link building is understood to be critical. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there about link building. Here are three important elements in your link profile that you need to make sure are represented:

  1. Quantity: Simply put, the more links you have to your site the more it will help. This assumes that you’re not linking to “bad neighborhoods” which will get you in trouble. Instead link to normal places. Utilize directories, blog post comments and social media assets to build up your link quantity. Not all links are created equal, so some links will only raise your authority minimally (if at all). However, the additional benefit of these links is a normal looking link profile. Having only very specific types of backlinks can look suspicious to Google (for example, anchor text all looking the same, or only from very similar sites). When the list of all your inbound links looks artificially manipulated, a penalty from Google may be imposed. Making sure you have a variety of backlinks helps to maintain a normal link profile.
  2. Quality: Quality backlinks are links from sites that Google already sees as an authority. As opposed to quantity backlinks which are usually easy to get, quality backlinks can be tougher to obtain. Though they take more work to get, they are typically worth more because not everyone is willing to do the work. Often these links are obtained from relationships with other webmasters, guest blogging, partnership with other organizations, viral campaigns, and involvement in activities that garner attention. Quality backlinks typically come from sites that carry more authority and already have a strong number of sites linking to them.This is often the neglected side of link building. Companies offering a large number of links for a low cost often go for quantity while neglecting quality. The result is a poor link profile that can get penalized quickly and carries little weight.
  3. Relevancy: The last category, relevancy, is similar to quality. They are links of quality, but for a different reason – they are in a related industry. These links may not always be as difficult to get, but because the sites are seen as similar, they are given extra credit. Building a network within your own industry goes a long way here.

Just having links isn’t enough – you need to be strategic. One of the things that gets people in trouble with their link profiles is going for a quick fix with no plan in place. Paying for a multitude of links isn’t a plan. Look for the three types of links, and build from there.

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