Although Google Penguin 2.0 and various other algorithm updates have frightened many webmasters and website owners to the point that they’re no longer link building, the truth is that it is still an important part of any SEO strategy.
Trying to prevent further penalties, many are currently becoming very familiar with the disavow tool featured in Google Webmaster Tools and trying to cut ties to anything they see as damaging. So you must know how to gauge the strength of backlink to build quality links only.
SEO & Link Building Today
The reality of SEO in 2013 is that, while link building is still one of the most important SEO factors,
Google and the other search engines are being much more selective over the links they consider to be adding value and showing your site to be worth visiting. In previous years, quantity of links was more than enough to enjoy a lofty position in the SERPs.
Today, quantity isn’t going to get you anywhere, apart from perhaps de-indexed or a similarly damaging banishment to page 100 for your keywords.
Thankfully, you don’t have to approach link building blindly. Here are the four things that will help you to gauge the strength of a link, whether you’ve built it manually or ‘earned’ it.
Is the Link Relevant?
You’re a ladies fashion retailer but you’ve been building links from websites primarily associated with motor repairs or a love for WWE. Clearly, these links aren’t at all relevant to what you do.
Many believe that finding relevant links is difficult, as in effect you’ll find yourself asking to guest post on competitors’ sites. However, a positive approach will quickly take you to industry and community sites that are relevant to whatever it is you do.
You should also think beyond the boundaries of your niche, and think about other places where you’d expect to find a link to sites like yours. A local SEO agency won’t just have posts on SEO sites, for example. Remember to avoid sites that appear too general or are blatant guest post only sites.
The Site Has Quality Content
The majority of content on the internet is of a low standard, which is partially why it is so difficult to find great link building opportunities. If you’re unable to find sites that you want to be associated with and have a link from, don’t feel like you should be using poorer quality sites just to build links.
Instead, keep searching for the higher quality opportunities and you’ll be in the best position to take advantage when they come your way.
The Site Has High SEO Authority
A link from an authoritative site passes on some of that authority to you. At the same time, a link from a low authority or untrusted site pulls down your own.
There are a number of SEO tools you can use to determine whether a site is considered authoritative, and you can then make decisions over whether you want to build a link from there.
You’re Going to Get Traffic
If you’ve ticked the first three boxes, then the likelihood is that a link is going to generate you a lot of traffic. However, look at additional things, such as the level of traffic the potential link site enjoys, and ask whether it’s worth your time building a link.
Remember to build links primarily based on the traffic they’re going to bring you rather than ‘just for the link,’ as this will help you target relevant sites where you can appeal to a wider audience.
Christian is an SEO enthusiast with a specific interest in how businesses and webmasters identify strong link building opportunities. Christian is currently studying for a marketing diploma and is considering whether to specialize in online marketing in the future.