Backlinks are the votes for internet democracy. Websites have more backlinks viewed as authority resources. They have a major edge to other sites with fewer backlinks in search engine rankings.
When a web site links to your website, your site earn a backlink.
What it means once you get a backlink, you are either referred to as a resource or authority in the niche. It is an Off-page SEO contribution to your site that will impact your Google ranking.
Many people in the SEO community speculate that backlinks are dead and no more effective. I would challenge this opinion since there is no supporting evidence to prove it.
Google emphasized many times that links are a very important piece of Google’s algorithm. Also, there are many pieces of independent research proving the same result.
In a Q&A with Google on March 2016, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, Andrey Lipattsev said the first two rankings were links and content:
“I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”
I think link building is dead for those who have failed to adapt to the changing environment of good SEO practices. Techniques and strategies worked fine in the past may not be as effective as it was in the past.
Links are labeled as “evil” so often that people are scared to build any type of links. Google made us believe just publishing great content will place us at the top of SERP no matter what.
Obviously, Google tells us what is best for its business. Google wants to maximize its profit and doesn’t like you creating backlinks to bring complicated work for its algorithm.
Google doesn’t want you to build links. It wants you to have backlinks by itself. You don’t build backlinks and not even ask anyone to link you back.
What Google recommends, publishing your content and waiting for people magically link to your magnificent piece of content.
This approach would work very fine in a very ideal world. This approach would definitely help Google’s business model.
Not building any link and solely depending on content is not a very effective strategy.
On-page SEO is very important however it is only one side of the equation.
Let me give you an example.
You can’t be a champion sprinter if you just run fast. You also need to be an explosive starter to win the competitions. If your coach is telling you that you should only run fast and do nothing else, you will not likely achieve the results you want.
Because the type of approach you utilize ignores other important ingredients of the equation.
Similarly, many people purely focusing on “on-page SEO” and ignoring “off-page SEO”. It is ok but not good enough to move your site in a competitive position in SERP.
There are many reasons why you should build links.
- Links are still #1 off-page SEO ranking factor
- Links show the relationship to other resources.
- Links generally is the sign of being an authority in the niche.
- Links pass power and trust by “link juice”
- It is unnatural not having backlinks because the web works through the links.
- It drives referral traffic to your website.
There are many ways to get backlinks to your website. However, they all are not created equal. The impact of different types of backlinks make on your website’s ranking would be different.
Also, the techniques you would utilize could make or break everything with your long term relationships with the search engines.
By taking risks involved, the SEO community classifies backlinks as “whitehat backlinks”, “grayhat backlinks” or “blackhat backlinks”. This naming aims to explain how “search engine friendly” our backlinks are.
In 2020 and further backlinks quality is becoming much more important than the number of backlinks. Instead of having thousands of links that do not add any value to your backlink profile, it is better to focus on the quality links coming from authority websites that do not endanger your search engine rankings.
Other important things to consider:
- The number of root domains linking to our site
- The number of backlinks per month our site receive (link velocity)
- Link authority and trust.
- Linking anchor text keywords (target keywords, brand name, generic keywords, etc.)
- Amount of risk having a specific link.
Whitehat backlinks are the type of backlinks search engines would be fine with. These are the type of backlinks to be the most organic and search engine friendly.
However, anytime you put an effort to build backlinks you are already violating Google’s terms of services.
In Google’s view, whitehat backlinks are those that happened by itself. You didn’t create them either manually or automatically. Also, you didn’t outreach someone to guest post on their blogs.
Blackhat backlinks are the type of backlinks built by strategies that are against the search engine guidelines. These backlinks are generally created by using various software.
But, don’t get confused with the software used when creating backlinks, manually created backlinks can also be perfectly fine blackhat backlinks.
Grayhat backlinks are considered as in between whitehat and blackhat backlinks. They may be ok and tolerated by the search engines today but can be hit with an algorithmic update in the future.
These are the type of links the SEO community cannot have a consensus around. For instance, some people call guest posting links are whitehat some other people call as grayhat.
If you have plans to build backlinks there are many options you want to use. Having a diversified portfolio of backlinks will look more natural in the eye of Google.
Let’s have a look at the different types of backlinks we may consider having for our website.
Directories are a good gate to introduce your website to the web. After finally building your website listing on online directories helps improve your web presence.
Getting backlinks from directory sites does not help you driving directory search traffic to your website, although this is entirely possible. Backlinks from directory sites can benefit you by increasing your websites’ online exposure to the search engines.
Your SEO rankings become better if your online visibility increases. More websites mention your brand name or domain, even without linking to your site, the more credibility you gain in the eyes of search engines.
Registering in directories and submitting your business to be listed in there should definitely be one of your off-page SEO strategies.
If you simply search Google, you can find many directories. Directory sites have different PR (Page Rank), or simply say site authority you may want to check before you submit your website. Needless to say, higher PR is a sign of a higher authority.
Article submission is a viable off-page SEO strategy that creates authority backlinks and drives referral traffic to your website.
Article directory links can be both dofollow or nofollow links depending on the website you publish your articles.
Obviously, dofollow links will make better contributions to the search engine rankings of your website. Make your research beforehand to find article directories give you dofollow links.
Google crawls content from high authority article directories and often ranks them high in search results. If you have high-quality content there are good chances it can go viral.
Do not send spun content that is generated by article rewriters. This is not going to bring any benefit to your website.
There are literally hundreds of free article submission sites available that lets you submit your article. You can benefit from a dedicated article submission software if you don’t want to submit your articles manually.
Usually, article submission programs let you submit your content to a 50 or more article directories at once. But you will need to take your time to create a separate account with each article directory.
Once you are done with creating your accounts you can introduce those accounts to your article submission program. Many article submission programs are simply built that lets you submit your content by hitting the submit button.
Keep in mind, your initial investment will be time to create those accounts, the software license, the content and the Private Proxies you will need not to get banned from those directories.
If you don’t want to purchase article submission software you can benefit from a VPS server that that software is already installed.
They say “An image can speak a thousand words”. Image content what makes the web a lovely place.
Image links are a great way to add versatility to our backlink portfolio. Text content-based linking is fine but having backlinks from image sharing sites is extremely valuable.
Once we look at any page, the very first thing catches our attention are images. Hence having links through images has a great potential to drive more traffic than text-based links.
You can customize your images with keywords, similar to anchor texts in your hyperlinks. For images, you can use the alt attribute to optimize your image links for specific keywords.
Images can go viral very quickly. Images uploaded on popular image sharing sites can get thousands of likes and shares, in return brings us organic backlinks.
If your image has good optimization it will also be shown Google image search that may drive crazy amounts of traffic to your website.
Create entertaining infographics that people are likely to use on their websites. Mark your website somewhere appropriate in your content. Also, encourage people using your infographic by adding the code on their websites. Even if people do not link back to your page by using your code, you will still receive traffic because your website is shown on the infographic.
Sending your videos on various video submission sites helps build brand awareness and also provides valuable backlinks for your page.
Many people including me don’t like to read the content but rather watch it on videos. Youtube videos tend to rank high in Google search since it is owned by Google. Naturally, Google will promote its sister business Youtube by giving priority in search results.
Google emphasizes user experience over everything else. If you don’t have any other content other than text, you probably limit your potentials to rank a higher place on Google.
Creating engaging Youtube videos and embedding these videos in our content is a great idea. Google loves it because you promote Youtube on your website. Also, linking back from your Youtube video to your site will build text content & video content connection for your website.
Grab the same video you uploaded on Youtube and share it on all other video sharing platforms. It may be difficult for you to do it manually. Outsource it to someone else that can do it for you automatically with a tool.
Although you may have never made a press release I’m sure you’ve heard of press releases. They were very popular several years ago in the SEO community.
Press releases are still relevant and are likely to be around for many years, not only for search engine optimization but for marketing in general.
Some webmasters, however, don’t really understand the concept of a press release and often end up doing things that ultimately harm their websites.
That is right, if not done the right way, press releases may impact your SEO negatively.
Press releases are a way to distribute and announce press events. Google describes them as “an official statement released to newspapers on a particular issue.”
They are usually written content, but it can also be an audio or video content. A press release is the right tool to get media attention quickly and effectively when someone has an event and wants it to become more popular.
There is a great press release platform called Haro.
Haro lets you sending your press release to news publishers. Journalists and news publishers hang out at Haro to find interesting content from the expert advisors every day.
Once you sign up Haro, you will receive daily emails from them requesting you to provide content on a particular topic. You write and submit your content to Haro. Once your content is found valuable and useful for the specific goal by the newspaper, it is published on the sites.
Websites that require expert opinion are usually high authority sites like Huffington Post and Forbes. Hence a backlink from those sites worth a lot to boost SEO rankings.
In 2014, Matt Cutts mentioned that guest blogging to gain backlinks is not a whitehat technique.
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
Was it the end of guest blogging for internet marketers and the other businesses?
Not necessarily. In my opinion, guest posting by publishing either thin content or spun articles just to build links is dead.
High-quality guest blogging is not only alive and well, but also highly effective. Yes, it works so well that it can be used on-scale to obtain high-quality links all the time.
Also, high-quality guest posts tend to rank on Google and attract a significant amount of referral traffic.
Years ago leaving a post with a link back to your own website on other people’s blogs was an easy and quick way to get new backlinks.
As the secret revealed, more and more people started to use blog commenting to get more backlinks.
What was the result?
Everyone and his brother spammed the internet with blog comments, filling the space underneath a perfectly good content with meaningless spam comments and useless links to other websites.
What actions did Google take to fight against spammy blog commenting?
Google developed advanced algorithmic updates such as Panda and Penguin to make spammy blog comment backlinks ineffective to the websites they point to.
Especially, the Google Penguin algorithm works as a spam filter in the core algorithm that operates in real-time.
This is not even all. Google has been giving hefty penalties to the blogs that are pointing links to the questionable sources.
Good SEO practices suggest that having some highly relevant backlinks is much better than having hundreds of irrelevant blog commenting backlinks. What we know that posting on a blog is no longer a quick and easy way to get backlinks to boost our Google rankings.
If you make a handful of blog comments under a post related to your niche go ahead. But, less is more, and don’t overdo it. Be genuine and leave a comment that adds value to the discussion.
If you have a blog, there are good reasons why would you include a comments section under your posts. If you use the right tools to fight against spam and can moderate your comments regularly, you can expand your content simply by letting people comment under your blog.
Also, Google loves the content that people engage with. Only good quality content creates opinions and ideas around.
Pdf submission is publishing content on pdf sharing sites. It may be the portion of the material that you gather from your website or a completely unique copy.
Pdf sharing sites typically have high domain authority, so backlinks from these sites are very effective to boost SEO rankings.
Question & Answer Sites
There is no consensus among the SEO community for the benefits of using Question & Answers Sites for SEO. Many believe it’s a great way to build authority and drive traffic while others think it’s a waste of time.
In my opinion, it is a great start to promote your website. Q&A websites are flooded with millions of visitors every day. If you can invest some time every day to answer people’s questions in your niche, you could drive targeted traffic to your website. It is a highly targeted source of traffic as people seek solutions to their problems.
Other than that, the links on Q&A platforms remain almost forever and drive consistent organic traffic from both the platform and the search engines. Because these sites tend to rank high in search engines.
Let’s discuss what are some great Q&A sites that you can set yourself as an authority and bring laser-targeted traffic to your site.
Yahoo Answers is one of the oldest Q&A sites on the web. Nonetheless, it still gets tons of traffic from the Yahoo search engine as well as from Google every day.
It is a place where millions of users meet regularly to seek help and share their own experiences.
Some tips to maximize your benefit from the Q & A sites.
Choose the questions in your niche or somehow in conjunction with your niche. There is no benefit for your business responding to random questions of the people.
# Stay away from spammy questions
Ignore spammy questions like “What’s the best Webhosting company I can buy hosting? These types of questions are usually asked and answered by the same guys to promote affiliate links.
If you’re on the Webhosting niche, you’ll consider responding questions like “What’s the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting?”
# Never spam the platform
If you spam on Q&A forums, you’re more likely to be kicked out by the moderation team. It’s also a short-term plan for those who can’t see the real reward of building authority on these sites.
# Find questions that may bring the most return for your time
Choose the questions with the fewest responses, but the most views. This means people are actively searching for an answer to the question, but there are not enough good responses posted for the question.
Most Q&A platforms would allow you to sort questions by view count, relevancy, post date, most popular, recently published, etc.
Applying the tips that I listed will increase the popularity of your response. You will also have more chances that your response will be chosen as the best answer and listed on the very top.
Social bookmarking is marking a website across several platforms. These platforms in general social media accounts. However, the coverage of social bookmarking can go further than that.
The SEO community has different opinions about social bookmarking and its effectiveness today.
Some say social bookmarking improves your website’s online presence and brings you extra traffic. Some others say it is nothing but webspam and already obsolete in today’s SEO practices.
Does Social Bookmarking help faster indexing?
When you start promoting your content on social bookmarking sites, you will see a steady rise in your site’s number of visitors. And that’s why it’s really simple.
Social bookmarking sites are authoritative sites. Search engine spiders and web crawlers visit these sites almost constantly. Hence, by linking your site from social bookmarking sites you can easily alert Google of any new content on your page. It leads to faster indexing for your pages.
In return, a faster indexing site is a desired characteristic and makes your website more user-friendly by increasing UX.
As soon as I publish a new piece of content I always bookmark it on several social media platforms. This is my best practice you are definitely free to do what you want to to do.
Google’s opinion about social bookmarking is very generalized. The below question is asked to John Mueller.
“I social bookmarked my site. After one week I noticed that the site which I bookmarked has been marked as spam. Do the pages have any effect on my ranking?”
John Mueller responded to the question about social bookmarking links:
“I don’t think those pages would have any effect on your ranking because probably we’re also ignoring those social bookmark sites, the links from there. That’s a really, really old SEO strategy and we have a lot of practice in recognizing those kind of links and just ignoring them.”
Obviously, we don’t know if it is the truth. What Google thinks and what it wants us to believe can be different things.
In my opinion, social bookmarking has definitely a space in SEO. However, the important thing is doing it right not to have undesired consequences.
If you just launch a new website and you have zero online presence, go ahead and bookmark your website on various social bookmarking platforms. Promoting your content is safe unless you don’t spam around.
Think about it for a second. What can be more natural than your website is tweeted on Twitter or shared on Reddit? Especially if those accounts are yours and you promote your website.
This process is not to get backlinks but to tell search engines your website is present and live. Don’t blast hundreds of links on these sites since it may trigger a webspam algorithm and create problems for you.
Let me share with you my best tip to take full advantage of social bookmarking. Create incredible content that can go potentially viral on social media. Then mark it on the social media platforms of your choice.
This will not only create a backlink for you but social media traffic to your website. Also, search engines will notice you share authority content that everyone would be interested in engaging and sharing with.
What Tools Are Necessary To Build Links?
You can create backlinks both with and without using a link building software.
Manual backlinks are the type of backlinks you create without using software. For instance, if you find the blogs in your niche and comment under the content with a link back to your site is an example of manual backlinking.
Another good example, you visit Quora and response to people’s questions with a link to your website. Both of these examples are manual backlinks since they don’t require anything other than your time.
Automated backlinks are created by using either a software or a web service.
People use different link building software like Scrapebox, Senuke to build as many backlinks as they want.
Building millions of GSA search engine ranker links, creating forum profile links or blasting blogs with Scrapebox are all considered blackhat link building techniques.
They used to work in the past, but Google got much smarter to diagnose link building practices to manipulate search engine rankings.
Although creating backlinks with automated tools is generally not recommended, there are certain useful things you can do with them. I cannot explain all that you can do with link building tools but I may give some examples.
You can create hundreds of Web 2.0 properties, create unique email addresses and verify all accounts you created in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, you can scrape expired Web 2.0 properties that have high PR.
You can find niche relevant super powerful blogs, that auto accepts blog comments, and not previously spammed.
I have always believed: Gun is not a bad thing, it can be scary what irresponsible people can do with guns.
Link building software is a similar tool, and the same principle applies. If you know what you are doing you can be well ahead of your competition.
You can accelerate the positive ROI that backlinks provide for your SEO campaigns by indexing your backlinks. In this way search engines notice your backlinks earlier and more efficiently.
You should also consider having a solid SEO backlink analysis tool to track the growth of your backlink portfolio.