Your website links acts as badges of authority and reliance for the Google bots. The more links your site has, the higher is its rank going to be. Sounds quite simple, but is it as simple as it seems right now? Then, how come more websites do not adopt link building strategies? Does link quantity link linearly with authority? How does Google evaluate the plethora of links a site collects over time? Do all links bear the same value?
Today, we are here to answer all these questions.
The first rule of the thumb is the more authoritative the domain of the link source is, the more authority it bears. When a new website without many readers is a source of a link, you must know that the link will not contribute much authority to your site. Such new websites are low authority sites that will benefit you, but slightly.
When you get links from reliable and more established sources like the NY Times, BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, you will enjoy higher authority. The value of a link directly depends upon the organic traffic of the sources site, their bounce rate and their overall visibility on a popular search engine like Google.
The relevance of the sources
We have mentioned three of the most popular blogging and news sites of today in the previous section. They are not the only ones bearing such high authority. There are hundreds, and possibly thousands of such sites with similar page ranks. Does that mean you can link your website to any of these thousand sites or even all of them? Will the links bear equal value to Google?
Let us say, you are posting something on digital marketing and SEO. You can link it to an article on digital marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing on the Sacramento SEO 7Storms website or Huff Post, but linking them to Allrecipes.com will not bear much impact as your readers will not find much on digital marketing on a culinary site. It is a game of relevance that you need to comprehend.
Most blogging sites and websites have several categories for each topic they write on. We are not saying it is impossible to find something on digital marketing on a culinary website; we are saying you need to go ahead and find it to link it to your content. Your link should make sense to your readers.
Aside from overall relevance in the topic, you need to ensure that your link is sitting amidst content that connects with the topic of the source page. Ever since RankBrain came into existence, the effect of contextual relevance has become more prominent in terms of link authority and SEO.
It is different from anchor text selection. Several years before Hummingbird, SEOs believed that the anchor text should also be your keyword that linked to a contextual source page. Thankfully, this belief is obsolete. Google can easily detect manipulation of links and anchor texts. So you can just use any naturally occurring text as the anchor text.
What’s the reputation of the destination?
People judge you by the neighborhood you hang around, so is true for Google. The search engine giant always judges the authority and reputation of the destination page your links point to. Therefore, only pick websites and pages with value-adding content. They should not only be relevant, but they should also have a page rank of 4 or higher on the Google Toolbar.
Do not discount other impact factors that determine quality. The quality of the destination will assess the overall quality of your links and your webpage content.
Google digs diversity
Google likes to see a little bit of diversity as far as links and the destination are in question. Domain diversity is a huge factor and Google will check the number of unique domains your site contains links to. You need to pay close attention to linking source, destination URL, and anchor texts to improve your own PageRank and SEO.
Simply speaking – it is essential to get five links from 5 different publishers with high authority. Procuring ten links from the same website/publisher will have little effect on your SEO strategies.
Most importantly, you need to think outside the box. Think of human users and not just your regular Google crawler bots. While you need to ensure that your link building strategy looks natural to Google, you also need to ensure that your readers have a cohesive experience while reading your website content. The approach that works for your friend or your target competitor might not be the winning strategy for you. Understand your linking profile, your keyword plan and device your own strategy that helps your visibility.