If you are a content creator, then you must have heard of SEO. In the 21st Century, link-building is necessary for a successful business. No business can survive without an excellent online presence, and backlinks are the tenets of a robust SEO strategy. And backlinks are the foundation of SEO. But, what is link building? What are backlinks? And why are they necessary?
What are links?
A link is a clickable object that leads a visitor from one page to another. They may be in text, as images, or as buttons. They are also called “inbound links” or “one-way links.” Think of them as a vote of confidence. Sites only link those pages that have the best content.
There are several kinds of links based on their destination. Internal links connect different pages on your website. Search engines monitor the domain name of each link on every webpage to classify internal links.
Comparatively, inbound links are those links that connect from other domains. Outbound links are those which link visitors to websites with different domain names.
Inbound links are the most valuable for SEO. However, they are the hardest to get. Your content should be well-written and evoke a strong reaction to get an inbound link.
Why are backlinks important?
Google’s algorithm is complex, and it is ever-evolving. However, despite overhauls in the policies, backlinks remain a vital part of the SEO strategy. When a website links to your web page, it gives a signal to search engines that you have high-quality content. If several websites redirect their visitors to pages on your website, search engines rank the content better. According to experts, sites with more backlinks rank higher than others. Links are one of the topmost necessary ranking factors for SEO. But, it is vital to create backlinks correctly. Blindly building links is not the way to improve SEO. Google mentions that “high-quality sites” must link to your webpage to improve their rank.
Marketers and content creators must follow a link-building technique to improve their SERP ratings.
What is the difference between link building and link earning?
While link building is manually creating links to specific content, link earning is something different. This term refers to those websites which get links because of their content. Remember that famous saying, “If you build it, they will come?” Well, the same is correct for high-quality content. So, If you write it, links will come to you.
Such web pages feature excellent, popular content which attracts links. Therefore, most content creators focus on high-quality content.
Before they knew any better, webpage owners tried to build as many links as possible to improve their ratings. They used methods like blog commenting, link directories, and footer links. And initially, it worked because the search engines could not differentiate between different backlinks.
The ranking algorithm of that time was the PageRank algorithm which counted the number of links to estimate ranking. According to that reasoning, important websites get more links from other pages. So, websites would have hundreds of low-quality, irrelevant links. But, since 2005, Google has changed its tactics. Nowadays, it focuses on websites with organic links while penalizing those with spammy links. So unnatural links can get you in trouble.
Search engines also monitor the rate at which websites attract links. Most domains attract links in slow drips. But, websites that get a flood of links every month are suspicious. So, instead of getting several links in a limited time, focus on the quality.
Modern algorithms can recognize relevance, intent, and linking patterns. Therefore, experts are focusing on acquiring links from trusted sources. These sources also have authority and an excellent reputation in their niche. Your goal is to get links from these websites.
Getting a backlink from such a website will help you. It will redirect more traffic to your site. Furthermore, it will also improve the authority of your page. Imagine that you own a cupcake business. A local food journalist links to your website with a vote of confidence. New visitors will trust it, and so will the search engines.
How can I identify quality backlinks?
It is not that difficult to identify a quality backlink. Several factors can guide you about the value of a link for your website.
1. Is it relevant?
The placement of your link must make sense. Does the content of the website relate to your link or not? Irrelevant links usually get flagged by search engines as spammy.
2. Where did you place it?
Do not make the mistake of placing backlinks on the sidebars or in the footers. You want your link to look organic instead of forced.
3. Is the link source trustworthy?
Trustworthy sources are those that have high authority. Both the audience and search engines trust them. So, quality sources have higher domain authority. You can use online authority checkers to check the value of the domain.
4. Do you have diverse backlinks?
Aim for a diverse backlink profile. High-rating webpages have a mix of different backlinks from several sources.
So, is link quality more important than link quantity?
Our answer to this question is a resounding yes. Do not make the mistake of getting spammy links because that may get you in trouble.
Instead, focus on getting links from widely read newspapers or popular blogs. One link from such a source is worth hundreds from untrustworthy websites.
What Are Some Tactics To Get Better Links?
As we said previously, aim to get better links. Here are a few tips to get started on your link-building plan:
- Contact popular content creators and drop them a short message. Focus on your content instead of begging them for an opportunity.
- Keep your message relevant and contact only people from your niche.
- Do not be afraid of hearing no. Thousands of doors close before one opens. Take rejection in stride, and don’t let it slow you down.
- Focus on your content and build your authority. Guests post on popular blogs and comment on websites. Do not get discouraged by rejection.
- Do not make the mistake of paying people for links.
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Your overall goal should be to make the kind of content that is link-worthy, shareable, and relevant. Begin with small steps and then focus on other things. Valuable content such as infographics and videos is always popular. Instead of focusing on more links, get better quality links to rate higher on search engines. But remember that this strategy will take some time. So keep in mind that you are in it for the long haul.