Last update : 14 October 2020
Acquiring links (also called link building) is a key SEO strategy regarding the influence of inbound links (external links that point to your website) on the positioning of websites in search results.
Some experts have said that link building is a strategy that will certainly disappear in the coming years. Nevertheless, this type of information is to be taken with a grain of salt, and you should know that if you stop relying on links, your positioning on Google may not reach the front pages.
My Little Big Web, a web marketing agency in Montreal, is aware that link building is paramount for SEO strategy. For this strategy to be effective, it must take into account the quality level of each link, because “bad” links can also penalize you.
Link building: why?
It is estimated today that 50% of website traffic is generated through search engines, 40% through direct links and 10% through inbound links. 10% may seem trivial, but it is important to work on acquiring links as quality links allow search engine robots to perceive your website as being a quality site.
Indeed, the co-founder of Google, Larry Page, had discovered that the articles most cited through hyperlinks were certainly the most important pages on the web. The PageRank system has been developed based on the number of quality links on a page. Today, Google’s algorithm is much more complex due to the fact that the search engine wants to avoid spam.
But links still have importance on the web because Google sees a link as a signal, or a vote for a particular site. Moreover, a Moz study found that 99.2% of the sites appearing in the top 50 Google results had at least one inbound link. It is therefore particularly difficult for a website without any inbound links to be able to position itself on the first page of search engines.
Links? Yes, but in moderation…
Before the arrival of the of the so-called Google Penguin algorithm update, link building especially favoured quantity over quality links. Now Penguin penalizes any website that dares to create spam by including their links all over the web.
Putting a maximum amount of links on the web is therefore not an end in itself, because each site has a different domain authority. If you receive an inbound link from a site with a low domain authority, this low-quality web domain is considered by Google, and the quality of your own site will be regarded in the same way (or almost). The positioning of your website will be affected by this type of link.
How can we determine the quality of a web site or link without affecting our positioning on the search engines? Rand Fishkin on Moz mentions about 20 criteria to be considered in assessing the quality of a link.
Some of the most important criteria to remember are: the anchor text selected, the authority of a domain, user participation and spam.
The anchor text is the text used to include a link on a page. For example, if we want to put a link on our Facebook page, we can insert the link on the term “our Facebook page.” The more that anchor text corresponds to the landing page, the better the quality will be.
Authority of your domain
Your domain authority is the quality and the importance that search engines associate with your website on a wide-range scale from 0 to 100. This is why it is advisable to insert links to sites with high authorities.
If a link is inserted on a page encouraging user participation, there will be a higher chance that this link drives traffic to your website. While it is difficult to measure the success a link will have on a website, it is important to check if the users of this site seem to interact with the published content.
Google penalizes sites that include a significant number of links considered to be spam. So, you should avoid integrating a link to a website that looks suspicious because the quality of your site is likely to drop in the eyes of search engines.
Establish a strategy to get links.
As you can see, link building requires a rigorous effort. But establishing an SEO strategy to get links is a great way to improve your ranking on search engines.
Although the algorithms of robots keep changing, the Internet needs links because without these links, web browsing would be much harder. So do not think the links are useless for your SEO. This work takes time but results may be particularly beneficial for your website.
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