SEO Link Building
Assuming you have applied a good standard of on-page SEO your website should be prepared are ready to rank in search.
The next stage of the process is to build your websites authority and trust, which is measures via the value, quality, strength and relevance of the backlinks that point to your pages.
Link building is the biggest single influencer of your rankings, but it’s essential that you understand how to compose ideal backlinks that will have the biggest effect.
Attributes of Quality backlinks:
- Google Indexed
- Relevant Content
- Relevant Categorisation
- Unique Class C IP Hosting Addresses
- Do Follow
- Targeted Anchor Text
- Natural Link Profile
Google Indexed Sites
If a page isn’t in Googles index then the link it provides to your site will count for nothing. Sites not in Googles index are not included for a reason, so it’s more than likely that non indexed sites are more likely to harm your rankings than improve them.
Search for the URL of the potential link page in Google and if it doesn’t appear, don’t request a link.
Contextual links are links from within text content, where relevant keywords are used to link to quality content within the same site or on other sites.
These are the most powerful links you can build because they are often used to reference high authority information.
Where possible, create contextual links from with relevant content.
Relevance is misunderstood. Relevant content is topical, themed etc. and related to your subject matter. Beyond the obvious, a relevant backlink, contextually placed in that content using relevant link text that is closely related to the content on your site that it’s going to link to helps to increase the effect of relevance.
Random links from unrelated content count for much less and won’t have much positive effect on your rankings.
Categorisation has taken over from Google Page Rank as the important link assessment metric.
You can use either majesticseo.com or ahrefs.com to analyse your link building efforts. You will see that each page of each site is given a category (derived from the original DMOZ category hierarchy).
Categories are inherited from the sites that link to you, passing the category topic and a percentage of the category score that each link page has.
Each page is given a category score between 0 and 100. The higher the score, the more trust and authority the link carries.
If you analyse the top 10 sites for any keyword, you will see that those sites mostly have a relevant topical category. This isn’t 100% true, but it is an overriding factor highlighting a pattern that you need to follow to rank alongside them.
Link Building involves increasing the volume of category specific backlinks pointing to your pages so that the category becomes the dominant category for your site.
Links from pages with the highest category score possible will increase the score that your site carries which will increase your rankings in search.
Class C IP Addresses
Links that you build should originate from different class C IP addresses (188.8.131.52). Google dislikes link building networks designed to manipulate their rankings, and many link farms and networks have multiple sites hosted on the same servers (giving them the same Class C IP).
All links coming from the same server are counted as coming from the same site anyway, which dilutes their ranking influence anyway.
It is always worth double checking the IP address of the site you want a link from, especially if you have found the link via another link that you have.
Do Follow Links
Links are either ‘do follow’ or tagged as ‘nofollow’ if they are paid advert links or if you don’t want Googlebot et al to follow the link.
It is natural to have some rel=”nofollow” links in your link profile, but they won’t affect your rankings so should only be there to keep your campaign looking organic.
Paid links should be tagged as nofollow to avoid paid linking penalties.
Targeted Anchor Text
Anchor text is an important attribute to effective link building. Over optimizing link anchor text is the fastest way to kill your rankings.
Be subtle when creating links, for every 5 links you build, use link text as follows;
- 1 x Site or Page URL
- 1 x Brand Link
- 1 x Junk Link (Click here, read more, etc.)
- 1 x Exact Match or Long Tail Phrase Match
- 1 x related LSI term or phrase
It’s important to have a natural spread of different link text without repeating the exact same version over and over again because you will stop ranking for any terms with too many exact matches.
Instead, use longtail terms that contain variations of your desired term that you want to rank for;
- Cheap blue Widgets
- Affordable Widgets
- Buy The best Widgets Here
- Blue Widgets Cheap
- Widgets, Blue, Red, Green
- Widgets Online
A link profile like this will give your site/page relevance for “Blue Widgets” without over optimization.
Natural Link Profile
Junk links and Brand links are a very important part of your link building. It’s natural to have more Brand links than anything else. Look at any big brand website and you will see that they have the greatest proportion of brand links pointing to their pages.
Follow this link creation template and your backlinks will help to support top ten rankings for competitive search terms.