Being an seo consultant building quality links for clients is an important part of my role, in fact I would say I spend around 60% of my working hours building links for clients.
The concept of link popularity is based on the quantity and quality of inbound links pointing to your site. Another aspect to note as we go through these links lessons is keyword theme. The keyword theme is establish from the anchor text used to link back to your site and it has a stong influence on your search engine rankings, especially within Google. Your link popularity will be stronger if you keyword theme is closely related to the optimisation of the pages and as we know link popularity is the most influential factor for determining how well your pages perform in the search engines.
Back in the day web pages were simply indexed based on the number of keyword occurrences within a particular web page. However it was not long before the spammers moved in and were manipulating search engines by stuffing keywords into title and meta tags. The way around this was to give more and more weight to off page factors like inbound links. The theory was clear ‘the more quality inbound links to a site the more relevant it must be’. Of course this can be manipulated as well and therefore Google comes down hard on anyone attempting to build links using 1 – 2 keywords as anchor text.
It was not long before link farms came into play, these are basically sites made up of pages with long lists of unrelated links. Google picked up on this and then went on to shift it’s criteria from the quantity of links to a site to the quality of inbound links.
What Makes a Quality Link
I have been an seo consultant for over 5 years now and he is my theory on what makes a quality link:-
- The PageRank of the site pointing at yours
- The relevance of the linking page should be in line with yours
- The relevance of the anchor text to the page it points back to (this should be high in relevance)
- The number of other links on the page pointing to you, the more outbound links on the page the less quality the link possess
Remember this, links from a low PR, low traffic, unrelated site are pretty much worthless.
Different Types of Links
There are many names used for links:-
Inbound ( backlink )
I want to take a little time know to discuss these;
Inbound links are those that come to your site from an external source or domain, outbound are their opposite meaning links from your page to external pages. Reciprocal links involves a page from your site linking to an external source and that external source linking back to your page. It is important to remember that reciprocal links only come about when pages link together no sites.
Oneway links are simply a link either way with out another link coming back.
The type of links that are going to add real quality to your seo efforts are one way inbound links to your site, these are the ones that will push your site up the rankings. Some people are under the false impression that outbound links will weaken your PageRank, however this is not the case, while outbound links do nothing to increase page rank, they do not give it away.
An important thing to remember at this point is that each page of your site will have a separate link popularity, it is only pages that are ranked by search engines not sites. Also reciprocal links are not as powerful as one way backlinks as the major search engines assume they have been created artificially. I would say no more than 10 reciprocal links per page.
How do we create these links
A simple way of creating the links is by simply asking the webmaster of the relevant sites, however most webmasters who have a good link popularity will be reluctant to exchange links with a new site, therefore you may need to concentrate your efforts on lower Page Rank highly relevant pages.
Simply type in a search to Google using your main keywords to find relevant, high traffic sites.
You can also submit your site to relevant directories, of which there are thousands online in all different types of categories. Be careful not to confuse directories with free for all link spam pages.
The best and most effective way to get backlinks to your site from quality sources is by simply creating unique quality content on your own site. This is also known as link baiting and refers to another webmaster liking your content and referring back to it for the benefit of their visitors.
If you try to stick to the above quality criteria for links and attempt to get as many of them as possible you will begin to see an increase in your link popularity and Google PageRank.
A list of Don’ts
- Do not link to a giant list of links on a particular page, Google see’s a page with over 100 outbound links as a link farm and not only does it not count these links but it may also negatively impact your site.
- Do not link to a site simply based on PageRank. Your efforts will mean nothing unless the page is relevant and a good resource to your topic.
Well until next time,
PS be sure to subscribe to the site feed so you don’t miss any future seo tutorials.
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.