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Not all backlinks are not created equal!
There are two different types of backlinks, and both serve different purposes. We’ll go into detail of what these links do, and how they could increase your site’s engagement and improve your rankings.
Do you want to create backlinks that are high-quality? If so, then there are 7 elements that need to be present in order to give your backlinks the best possible chance of ranking in search results.
In this blog post, we will discuss what those elements are and how they are essential to build backlinks.
Determining how to get backlinks can be the trickiest part of SEO, as it takes up so many resources, both time and money in most scenarios.
Read on to determine which key elements are essential to building backlinks that work when it comes to promoting your posts and driving traffic to your website.
1 - Obtaining DoFollow links
It is important to understand how other sites are linking to you, so you can build a strong, high quality backlink profile to your website. It is also important to understand the type of external links bringing traffic to your site.
This is to ensure you are obtaining the right type of link, which will increase traffic to your site and grow your rankings within SERPs. However, using the wrong type of links can earn you penalties from Google, which may be hard to bounce back from.
DoFollow vs. NoFollow Links
There are essentially two types of backlinks, a DoFollow link, and a NoFollow link. Both have benefits for businesses, so let’s explore what each type of backlink can do for your site.
‘DoFollow backlinks’, are essentially the ‘default’ state for any link you would normally see. DoFollow links allow the search bots to navigate from one website to another, picking up “link juice” as they do.
These types of links hold authority among SEO bots, and can influence your page rankings within SERPs.
A DoFollow link differs from a NoFollow link, which contains a small piece of code telling Googlebots not to follow the link through to your website.
DoFollow backlinks will pass on PageRank to the website that you are linking, and NoFollow links will not.
The difference between a DoFollow link and a NoFollow link is significant for your site’s ranking potential, because it can either help or hinder your SEO campaign.
NoFollow links will not affect your position in SERP, while DoFollow links will.
This can lead site owners to the false conclusion that NoFollow links should be avoided and the belief that they serve no purpose.
This is a big mistake small businesses can make. You should be utilizing both types of link that are available to you.
NoFollow links, while they don’t affect your PageRank or the position of your site in SERP, can still provide benefits to your site.
Firstly, Google may find it suspicious if your site only has DoFollow links. This is not a natural link profile to have, and will likely raise red flags with their crawlers.
Your site may come across as inauthentic, and will not earn you your ‘White Hat’ when it comes to SEO.
Another way quality sites make use of NoFollow links, is by understanding that these links can be a source of traffic for your site.
Just because search crawler bots don’t click through to your website, doesn’t mean real people interested in your content won’t!
If a high authority domain mentions your article or blog on their web page, you may receive a large amount of referral traffic.
NoFollow links are common on blog posts comments, social media and forums. Despite the fact that links posted in these places won’t contribute to your PageRank, they still have a lot to offer in terms of driving traffic to your webpage.
High authority websites which have a large population of readers who trust and value their content, are excellent sources of exposure for your brand.
For example, if a major news organization links to your blog, the number of subsequent referral visits may be huge.
For small businesses and blogs trying to grow their audience and dipping their toes in the world of content marketing, this is not something to be scoffed at or avoided.
When people click through to your website and spend time on your content, it can only add to the quality of your site in Google’s eyes.
How Can I Use A Broken Link to my Website's Advantage?
Utilizing a broken link can be another way that webmaster’s can create quality backlinks to their website.
Broken link building can be an effective way to have a site with domain authority build high quality backlinks to your site, without that much effort on your part.
Broken link building involves reaching out to the creator of a quality blog or website that you enjoy reading, when you have discovered a broken link on their website. You start by offering them a helping hand!
If you come across a 404 error page on a website with great domain authority, you can take this opportunity to offer them a (relevant!) link to replace it with. Ensure their content is relevant to your niche.
Webmasters know and understand that 404 broken links are an SEO nightmare, and are more than likely harming the quality of their site.
Broken links are damaging to their digital marketing strategies, and they will most likely appreciate it being brought to their attention.
You can then go one step further, by offering them the exact solution to replace their broken link with.
This will not only improve your rankings if they decide to implement your link, but will also prove powerful in networking with your competitors.
Broken link building is considered a ‘white hat’ SEO tactic, so long as the backlinks are relevant to the content of your site, and provide high quality information, Google is happy for you to undertake this SEO strategy.
You are ultimately improving the experience of users when you offer a solution for a broken link, making this an effective marketing strategy as well as a good deed.
2 - Strong DR/DA (Website Authority)
This is where quality over quantity comes into play. Search engines are very good at detecting backlinks that were created with the intention of improving a site’s ranking. This is not viewed as a ‘natural’ link by Google, and will not be rewarded as such.
DR stands for Domain Rank and DA stands for PageRank. These metrics help search algorithms determine how authoritative your website is in relation to other sites on the web, which will have an impact on its rankings within SERPs.
When a site with significant domain authority creates a link to your website, search engines see your site with more authority.
High quality backlinks from reputable sites are essentially like ‘social proof’, for websites.
This is why high quality backlinks should always be a key part of any SEO strategy, allowing sites to create more authority within their domain.
They tell Google that your site has content good enough to offer that a reputable site felt the need to direct their visitors to you.
A site that has significant domain authority has high ‘PageRank’. Not all links are equal, one website which backlinks to you, may have more of an impact than another site with a lower PageRank.
A website with a lower page rank linking back to you will be considered a low quality backlink.
Think of it like this; one backlink does not equal one ‘vote’, because in Google’s world, some ‘votes’ hold more weight than others.
Earning Quality Backlinks
For small businesses and sites trying to utilize link building as part of their SEO strategy, there are a few key elements to consider.
Obtaining high quality backlinks is a worthwhile process for businesses who want to build on their domain authority, gain brand exposure and increase site traffic.
Backlinks are included by Google as a top three ranking factor, and will influence the amount of engagement your site earns.
Some keen knowledge is needed by webmasters to ensure that the SEO strategies they are employing, are looked on favorably by Googlebots, and won’t earn you any penalties.
That’s why we’re excited to share with you the best strategies you should be employing to earn backlinks.
We’ll also discuss the type of content you should be writing, that will be sure to earn you a spot within a high authority domain.
When it comes to earning backlinks, content really is the key.
Read on to learn exactly why you should care about backlinks, and exactly how to get them.
How Does PageRank Influence Backlinks?
PageRank is the algorithm Google uses to determine the importance of sites, and the SEO tool Google uses to rank websites against each other.
Links obtain their authority through PageRank. If a link has a high PageRank, it will be seen as more authoritative by Google, and Google will index your site within its SERP accordingly.
Google algorithms in 2021 have grown to be complex, highly nuanced and far from what they were when created originally.
However, the basic concept of PageRank remains the same. Quality domains who create authoritative links to your website, occuring naturally within their high quality content, will drive more traffic to your site and help you to obtain higher authority with Google.
For small businesses and blogs trying to grow their site and climb the rankings within SERPS, they should remember one thing:
Why should you care about how to get high quality backlinks? Can’t you just simply use social media to drive people to your site?
Social media ‘NoFollow’ links, while likely growing your site’s exposure, are considered low quality when it comes to optimization and climbing SERP rankings.
Always be aware that your site will gain more authority by being linked to from another authoritative site, which has higher PageRank authority than yours.
Google looks much more favorably on this type of ‘social proof’ than any other.
3 - Page is indexable
So, we’ve covered how important it is to build high quality backlinks, and by now you should be aware that backlinks are a large part of successful SEO strategies.
So, you’ve gone to the trouble of creating guest posts for a blog, and written useful, high quality content. You can’t wait for their readers to click back to your site!
Then you receive a link to the published article on their site.
Be vigilant, and don’t be fooled by webmasters when they send you a link to the page of their website they have mentioned you on. This is not a backlink, and won’t do anything for your rankings.
If the page you are linking to is on an inaccessible website, or does not have any content that crawlers can index, it will make no difference to your analytics at all, because it simply won’t be found.
Don’t allow the hard work of you or your marketing team to go to waste. Ensuring your backlinks are indexed is critical to their success. You will not obtain any organic traffic on a page that Google has not indexed.
This essentially means that in the vast Google database, your content does not exist. You may have created some really high quality content, but Google does not know about you!
How Do I Know If My Website is Indexed?
The first step in analyzing whether or not your site or backlinks have been indexed, is to be patient. Wait! Google will not index your site immediately.
Google will index your backlinks when your site is accessible, navigable and contains key words. All of this adds up to tell Google exactly what kind of content you are sharing, and the quality of that content.
Google bots will crawl your webpage or blog post, and search for the data that tells them if and where to rank your content.
You cannot be found through an organic search if your backlink or webpage is not indexed. In the eyes of Google, you simply don’t exist.
A handy way to check is to do a Google search for site:https://yourdomain.com to see all pages that Google has indexed for your website.
4 - Page is not orphaned
Another trick that many people fall into when trying to get high-quality backlinks, is acquiring a link on an orphan page.
An orphan page is a page on any website that contains content, but has no internal links leading back to it.
The number of internal links leading to a page tells search engines how relatively important that page is. No PageRank score will be determined for these links.
These are typically pages which have been abandoned by the original author, and so never had an outgoing link placed on them in the first place.
These kind of links will not build your rankings or improve your domain authority, because they won’t lead any organic traffic to them.
Users are unable to find your blog post or article within your site, because there are no internal links within the site leading them to it.
This is bad news when it comes to SEO, as Google assumes that any webpage which does not have internal links threaded back to it, is of no importance.
How Does Google View Orphan Pages?
Orphan pages give an overall negative impression of your site, and can result in penalties. This is because pages with nothing linking to them have been seen in the past as a strategy employed by ‘Black Hat SEO’ perpetrators.
These are strategies used to improve keyword rankings, but totally go against Google Terms of Service, and will result in the performance of backlinks being negatively impacted.
Black Hat SEO strategies should be avoided at all costs by sites who are keen to be taken seriously by Google, and have genuine intentions of building content which is useful to readers.
At the end of the day, Google cares most about its users experiences. This should be your top priority when link building, and when you create a blog post or article.
5 - Suitable Anchor Text
This refers to the underlined linked words that have been used to link back to your site. Google considers this ‘anchor text’, and uses it to more thoroughly understand the context of the link.
Google will ‘read’ your anchor text, and take into account when deciding what to rank your webpage for in search.
The anchor text should not only be a keyword, but it should also make sense to the reader. This again follows on from the core idea of writing for real people, not just an algorithm!
Low quality, spam-like content, will not only not push your site high up in search results, it will also not create a good brand impression for users who do happen upon your article.
If someone was linking back to your content about “bathroom renovations”, then using anchors that say things like “Click here for more info”, will look more like spam. This could actually have an adverse effect on your rankings.
Your anchor text should be relevant to the content you are writing about, and should resemble more of a professional call to action, answering a customer query and not just register as a desperate, “Click me!”.
Quality websites only link back to useful information that their customers want to read about.
They are not simply inserting keywords wherever they will fit, without considering the experience of your readers who are consuming their content.
You don’t need rich anchor text to rank well, you simply need to ensure that the text is relevant to your posts and adds quality content to the sites it is posted on. Have a look at the example below of the anchor text used when websites link to the Hasbro website all about games they make.
Anchor text is a factor considered by Google when they are assessing the quality of different sites, and assessing quality backlinks.
In order to ensure you are getting the most from your backlinks, webmasters should also strive to combine their brand name with another key word.
Let’s say your brand is called Century Homes, and you work in the real estate business. Your anchor text could look something like:
- Century Homes Real Estate
- Century Homes Properties
- Century Homes Houses for Sale
Be sure you are taking the best approach to link building, by including domain relevancy, authority and anchor text in your thought process around SEO strategy.
Marketing strategy for many websites can lack real input and thought behind link building, but its effectiveness should not be underestimated.
A large part of content marketing for websites interested in creating high quality backlinks, is to ensure you implement target keywords within your anchor text and throughout your content.
Your content, and any post on your website, should always be centred around the core focus of digital marketing and SEO: the user experience.
Concentrating on the user experience, from the time that user hops on the very first page of your site, and ensuring you build high quality backlinks, will help you to grow your domain authority.
Producing high quality content has a better chance at being shared or going viral on social media.
All of this, directly or indirectly, can lead to your websites growing in popularity, gaining more traffic, and ultimately ranking higher in search results.
6 - Relevant (and unique) Content
The type of content you create for your website will also determine the number of quality backlinks you are able to secure.
Content that is unique to you, based on your own personal experience, and relevant to your niche, will draw people to your site.
Webmasters who create a post that is useful to consumers, and provides them with unique information relevant to their Google search query, will find their search engine rankings boosted, and their external links increased.
The quality of your blog posts is crucial. We know as it has been stated by Google themselves, that content is king when it comes to SEO rankings.
The ability to create unique content not only helps you to rank higher within SERPs, but also gives people a reason to link back to your site.
People are more inclined to share your article with others via social media, and link back to your website.
Visitors will share your site or post with their friends, when they feel it served a real purpose for them.
If you don’t have a team member that is an absolute wizard with an off-page SEO tool, then you may want to build backlinks to your website using guest posts.
Mirror The Content You Are Writing For
Your content should also mirror an existing post on their site. Many sites will write their content in a particular ‘style’, and this style is what you should aim to achieve.
What is the typical layout of a post on their website? What headings do they use? What is a typical word count?
You should attempt to outperform the competition by going above and beyond in your content. Write more words, more compelling arguments, more focused and interesting titles.
Ensure the information you are talking about in your article is accurate and detailed, and presents a fresh perspective.
Don’t settle for creating content that simply rehashes information that’s already out there.
All of these aspects of content writing should be employed, to ensure you stand out among your competition, and reap the rewards of a valuable backlink.
It may seem like it takes a significant amount of effort to obtain high quality backlinks, but the rewards can be extremely advantageous for many sites.
Ensure Relevancy to make your content stand out
The bare minimum requirement you should meet when trying to obtain a quality backlink from authority sites, is ensuring that your post is relevant to their niche.
Further to that, you should ensure you understand exactly what type of content they are looking for, and focus on presenting how you can provide this to them.
You are essentially marketing your website’s content to them, and first impressions are everything.
By focusing on what benefits you can provide to their sites, you avoid coming across as though all you care about are clicks.
Your written content should also be of a high standard, and convey useful information that their users are searching for, told in a really compelling way.
Is Guest Blogging a Genuine Way to Obtain Quality Backlinks?
You might have heard that a good way for small businesses to stake their claim in the online realm, is to obtain a guest post for a more authoritative website, which links back to their own webpage.
There can be some controversy in the SEO community around this method of obtaining backlinks, but it is a perfectly legitimate, (and search engine friendly!) method of link building.
This strategy can work to get high quality backlinks, however you must be aware of how to do it correctly.
To ensure you are following SEO best practices and following search engine T&C’s, you should be aware of the importance of being authentic in the blog posts or content you are contributing.
You can do this by sharing valuable information that is useful. You should generate this from your own personal experiences, and ensure your writing is unique to you.
Be on the lookout for new and interesting topics that your target audience will enjoy.
Avoid duplicating content which is already out there when writing a guest post. No reader will be enticed to click through to your site if you are telling them something they have read a hundred times before.
Google is also great at picking up on duplicity, and won’t look favorably on your site for perpetuating it.
Search engines can sniff out articles which have been ‘stuffed’ with keyword links, and which provide no real value to the reader.
This will not only fail to drive more traffic to your site, as your article may come across as spam, but it will earn you a slap on the wrist from Google.
So, while guest blog posts are a genuine way to get high quality backlinks, ensure that when you create content, you do not sacrifice quality and readability in order to cram as many keywords and links in to your article as possible.
Ensure you create as many authoritative links as possible, by working with sites that hold significant domain authority.
Site owners should also ensure that the type of content they are creating aligns with Google’s ethos.
It is, after all, the be all and end all tool that every site relies on to have their content discovered and shared.
Google places its users at the center of its mission.
When a consumer performs a Google search, the goal is for that user to be able to access organized information as easily as possible, Your content marketing and SEO efforts will be wasted where you don’t take this into consideration.
From the first page a user visits on any and all sites, they should be able to access the information they are searching for, in a way that is intuitive and easy. Google strives to make useful information organized and easily accessible for their users.
Every effort that a webmaster makes to build links should ensure that when they link back, they are doing so in a manner that proves useful to the user.
Each backlink should be a natural, high quality addition to your backlink profile.
7 - Relevant Referring Domain (RD)
The referring domain is a term used to describe the domain that your backlinks are coming from.
It’s important that you don’t strive to get links from any old domain, as this can be a red flag and your site may not be seen as trustworthy or genuine.
Google is getting smarter by the day, so they know that if your website is featured on a guest post about farming machinery, but you sell high-quality beauty products, there is something fishy going on.
Make sure that you are not using a referring domain that does not have anything to do with your niche or the article you are linking back to.
A way to ensure you are securing the right type of high quality backlinks, is by analyzing your strongest competitor’s link profile.
Where are they securing most of their links? Where are the best opportunities for you to reach out and get backlinks for your site? Do you have a really great post, or piece of content that a competitor’s audience would really enjoy?
Or could you utilize one of the tactics we discussed above, and offer a competitor some replacement content for a broken 404 link?
You need to ensure that profile of links you are building is varied and relevant to your niche, in order to give the best impression of your website to Google.
Does my Backlink to Referring Domain Ratio Matter?
Webmasters should also be aware of the ratio of backlinks to referring domains. This can be a way for crawlers to analyze whether or not you are using paid sites to obtain links, and whether your links are genuine referrals.
Your PageRank will be negatively affected if Google thinks that you are using suspicious methods of obtaining backlinks, and you certainly won’t be rewarded for this type of behaviour.
This is why it is so important to focus on building a natural profile of high quality backlinks, which come from domains relevant to your niche.
Content quality is crucial for SEO and high-quality links will also help in ranking higher on SERPs.
Before reaching out to bloggers about guest posts, make sure they are within your industry, and have a solid reputation when it comes to SEO and content marketing tactics.
It can be a great boost for your rankings and traffic when a site with high domain authority shares a link back to your content.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the domain of this site is irrelevant, and won’t be taken into consideration when it comes to determining your PageRank.
Engaging with low quality sites or paid link building schemes will not drive traffic to your post, and may result in a slap on the wrist from Google.
The method used to build backlinks can seem complex, but at the very centre of your link building efforts should be a genuine intention to share your content with the people who would benefit most from it.
When your post is of good quality and echoes Google’s ethos, relevant domains will gladly share it with their users. This is key in building a natural profile of quality backlinks.
The benefits of building a high quality, yet natural backlink profile can’t be ignored.
It is one of the key methods, especially for websites and businesses just starting out, to grow site engagement.
Another worthwhile reason to invest time and resources into obtaining a great backlink, is you can reach your exact target audience, without spending a wealth of cash on targeted advertising or marketing.
For sites trying to build high quality backlinks for the first time, it can seem a daunting or intimidating task.
Yet to put it simply, content really is king when it comes to link building, and relevant domains will look forward to sharing your blog or post if it is relevant to your shared niche and their readership.
Link building is a tried and true tested method of getting on the right side of Google, and earn you thousands of clicks, when it’s done right.
By focusing on putting out great content, you can be assured that site visitors and other webmasters alike, are far more inclined to share this link with their audience.
You just have to be savvy enough to get your content in front of them, and market it in a way that is only too deserving of a backlink.
Present your content to other webmasters in a way that they just cannot refuse to implement it within their site.
Hopefully, you have picked up on some valuable tips and tricks in this article when it comes to obtaining a link on an authoritative domain.
Stick to our tips to ensure you write the type of content that travels among powerful sites, and shares a link back to you.
Don’t be intimidated when it comes to reaching out and offering your posts to powerful websites.
By simply pouring time and effort in to writing high quality content that stands out from the competition, you have won half the battle.
Get in contact for more tips on building your backlink portfolio, or let us know if you found this article helpful.
Have you obtained backlinks for your website? Reach out and let us know!
FAQs about using building high quality backlinks
A high quality backlink is one that you have obtained from a highly relevant and authoritative website, in most cased from your own industry or niche. The anchor text used to link to your website will also be a determining factor of how strong the link is.
By building backlinks from reputable sources, you are essentially telling Google that your site is trustworthy.
It speaks volumes when authoritative domains are enjoying your content enough to link back to your site, and share it with their audience.
To simplify the concept, when a quality website with domain authority links back to your content, that tells Google; “Hey! Look over here, this site has great information to share!”.
Google can then crawl your content, and determine whether or not to push your site up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings.
Site owners should concentrate their link building efforts into obtaining these high-quality backlinks, in order to drive traffic back to their site, and gain more domain authority within SERPs.
Yes and no. There are no advertising fees, no hefty marketing consultant pay checks – in some cases, all you have to do to get genuine backlinks, is ask! The process of acquiring backlinks can be more of a drain on your time resources more than anything else.
Given that this is such a low cost but effective strategy, many sites and domains with search authority are inundated with backlink requests, from small businesses trying to make their way in the online world.
High quality backlinks are invaluable to any website striving for growth, and looking to increase website traffic.
When compiling an SEO strategy, no website can afford to underestimate the power of a high quality backlink.
Obtaining backlinks as part of an SEO strategy is also an excellent way for small businesses to market their content to their ideal audience.