Link-building, in essence, is acquiring links to your website in other domain. But why is this so important? Why should you invest time, money, and effort in building a backlink profile?
Search engines use links to crawl the web. Think of it as streets connecting one website to another. A good number of streets leading back to your website is a good indication of popularity, but Google crawlers also assess the quality of these streets.
That may be why link-building is one of the hardest parts of SEO, not to mention that there are different types of links to remember. Not every type is equal, too, in terms of quality, which makes this even more complicated.
Let’s dive into a basic link building 101 to discover what each type of link is all about, which one is a good link, and what good it does for your website’s SEO.
The Different Types of Links
There are three main types of links: internal, external, and backlinks. The first two are links within your website. The only difference is that internal links go to another page within your domain, and external links go to a webpage on a different website.
While these two are good for SEO as well, backlinks are the ones that will drive traffic to your site. These are also what experts usually refer to when they talk about SEO links, and so we’ll discuss the different categories of backlinks.
Natural Editorial Links
These are the links that make a great impression on Google, especially if they come from high authority websites. As the name suggests, they come in a natural manner – without any intervention from you.
When you publish a high-quality post, there’s a high chance that other websites might take notice and want to use your content and therefore link back to your webpage.
While you won’t have to do any work to earn backlinks, you do have to work on creating original content with relevant information. You may perform your own research, take surveys, and make creative infographics to provide information they can only get from you.
You may also tell stories or share your thoughts on an issue. Your experiences are unique to you, so leverage it!
Manual Outreach Links
Unlike natural editorial links, manual outreach backlinks involve contacting website owners and asking them to link to you. This is the most common among other types of links as it still looks natural to Google
This link-building strategy is great when you’re starting out. It allows you to get the word of your new website out there and gain new readers. In fact, we recommend this to all beginners, because it rarely happens that people flock to a post without any marketing efforts on the poster’s part.
Getting natural editorial links won’t happen until you’ve established yourself as a reliable source. However, note that it’s still worth it to include this in your strategy even if you’re getting backlinks. A hundred manual outreach links are still better than 5 natural links.
Unlike the two above, these backlinks are those that you create yourself. These may come in the form of a guest blog or a news story containing a link to your website that you submit to another website. These are not as valuable as the other types of backlinks, but they may still impact the page ranking of a website.
Look for websites in your niche that allow the submission of guest posts, and then follow the instructions to submit your original content. Follow guest blogging etiquette to not give any reason for Google to penalize both you and the publisher.
Another type of self-created backlinks plays in the gray hat or black hat SEO area. This includes adding links in blog comments, forum signatures, user profiles, and guestbook signings. Google frowns upon this practice and continues to devalue these links, so you may want to put your efforts into another strategy.
Citation and Directory
This is less about generating traffic and more about getting your name out there. The idea is to make sure that you and your business information (name, address, phone number) are all over the internet.
Google recognizes any mentions of you and this information even without links to your website, which can be good for SEO. Like backlinks, though, the search engine assesses the environment in which the website mentioned your brand. Google looks at the context of the text and images surrounding the citation, and if they are relevant to your website.
Also, like backlinks, getting this right might be tough. However, it’s worth doing both if you want to have the best SEO profile as possible.
Good vs. Bad Backlinks
Even if you do avoid practicing gray hat and black hat SEO, your backlinks may still be bad for your website. The website linking to you and its environment have an effect on your SERP rankings and SEO metrics. Depending on the trigger, Google might even penalize you.
In general, here are the websites you don’t want to link to you:
- Unindexed websites
- Low authority websites
- Low Trust Flow websites
- Websites that sell links
- Websites with pages of links
- Websites with a high spam score
In addition to these websites, the anchor text matters as well. You don’t want an unnatural anchor text that you’ve been using on all websites. Google wants real content that caters to people, not the search engine.
A quality backlink, on the other hand, boils down to only two characteristics: it comes from a high-quality website and the website is relevant to your content.
Nofollow and Dofollow Links
The key to elevating your SERP is getting dofollow links, which allows search engines to follow the link back to your site. That’s right, these HTML attributes determine whether the backlink can guide the search engine back to you.
The nofollow attribute is, in substance, a “Do Not Enter” sign for the search engines while humans can still access the link. When a website uses it, it means it doesn’t allow that backlink to affect the target website’s PageRank and SERP.
In conclusion, you want dofollow links, giving your website the SEO benefits of the website with your backlink.
Get a Reputable SEO Company
Link-building is no easy feat with all the do’s and don’t’s and the types of links you need to remember. That’s why you must contact an SEO company that knows what it’s doing, and not a shady business that only cares about generating backlinks and not their quality.
If you want only the best to work on your website, contact us now.