If you have been in the SEO game for a long time, then you should probably know that backlinks are one of the most important rankings factors. There have been a lot of discussions regarding the use backlinks as of late, with plenty of webmasters saying that link building should be avoided entirely as it’s no longer effective. Many fear that links are not as useful as before because of the Penguin update released by Google last year, which wiped out a ton of blog networks that were used exclusively for building links.
Backlinks Will Continue To Be Effective
While there’s a good reason to be afraid of future Google updates, it’s important to keep in mind that backlinks will continue to be effective. Even Google said that they tested a version of their search engine which didn’t use links as a ranking factor. The results were very poor compared to how their search engine functions right now. This goes to show that backlinks will always be used as one of the main factors in SEO when determining a webpage’s ranking.
Quality Over Quantity
Now that the issue about backlinks being ineffective is out of the way, it’s time to discuss the importance of getting high-quality links. “When it comes to link building, quality beats quantity any day. Blasting your site with thousands of links and seeing it rise to the top of the results pages used to be a popular technique, but Google and other search engines have become a lot smarter now. Doing this same technique today could actually end up hurting your site, as it could trigger an algorithmic penalty that would remove it completely from Google’s search index.” says Darius Christian of SEO Las Vegas.
In case you’re wondering what the best backlinks are, then you should aim for relevant and contextual links. Links from social profiles and blog comments still have their place in your overall link building strategy, but you should focus on contextual links from sources relevant to your niche. Reaching out to other webmasters for guest posting opportunities is still a great way to build links to your site.
Diversifying Your Link Profile
While contextual links should comprise most of your total links, you should still try to diversify your link profile by utilizing different online platforms. As mentioned, you can build links through social media site, social bookmarking, blog comments and forum comments. This makes your backlink profile more natural in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
Optimizing Anchor Text
Here is one aspect to link-building that many webmasters tend to ignore. Aside from the quality of your backlinks, you should also keep an eye out on your anchor text profile. Using the same exact match anchor text repeatedly can trigger a spam detector, which could penalize your site and hurt its ranking. It’s also highly recommended to diversify your anchor text profile the same you try to gather links from different sources.
“As a general rule of thumb, you wouldn’t want to use the same keyword twice as your anchor text. Instead, you can mix them up by using related keywords and LSI terms. Here’s where keyword research comes into play. In addition, you should also use naked URLs and generic terms such as “click here” as most people tend to link to other websites this way.” adds SEO Las Vegas’ Christian.
Start Improving Your Rankings With Effective Link Building
The concept behind link building is very simple. Problems arise when you try to take shortcuts. In the world of SEO, it pays to be patient and wait for results to come before doing anything that may harm your rankings. Just stick to the basics and you should be well on your way to dominating the first page of the results pages.