In the world of SEO, we come across different terms that help us understand the different strategies that we can carry out to better position our content and give our website greater visibility. One of the essential strategies for organic positioning is undoubtedly Link Building. Surely we have heard about it on different occasions if we are dedicated to digital marketing or if we are working on a web project. But do we really know what Link Building is? What is its true meaning and importance in SEO positioning?
The Link Building or creation of links is an organic SEO Of Page process that seeks other quality and reliable pages to put links to our content on their website, to redirect traffic to our site. In this way we will increase the visibility of our blog or website. But first of all, what is a link or backlink?
What is a link or Link?
On a website, a link or Link is an element such as a word, an image or a button that points to another location. When a link is clicked, we will see that it directs us to the destination of the link which can be a web page, a document or other online content. Generally we will see that the links appear in another color in the content, thus indicating their presence to the user in a visually simple way.
These hyperlinks may point to content that is part of that website or they may point to web content that is part of external websites.
The main purpose of a link is to give a person the opportunity to navigate and move between different content with just one click. In general, they are used to provide complementary information, add content of interest, reveal more data or give an explanation about something among other utilities, their use always being the same..
It is important that we position our content above the competition because even if it is of quality, if it is not visible to the eyes of Google and gives it value to place it in the first positions, our effort will have been for nothing.
SEO On Page and SEO Off Page
When we talk about SEO strategies, we refer to both SEO On Page and SEO Off Page. The difference between the two is the following:
- SEO On Page: These are all the actions that we carry out within our web pages, to optimize and improve the content and positioning of our URLS. All the strategies in this case are carried out within the page, so that this helps us to have more visibility in the search engines. Examples of SEO On Page can be the creation of quality or speed of the site among many others.
- SEO Off Page: On the contrary, SEO Off Page are all the actions that we carry out outside our web page, to optimize the content. It is about creating a strategy to get links to our site and, in this way, improve the Page Rank and the authority of our website. The set of these strategies is what we know as Link Building or link building.
We must bear in mind that the links to our content are one of the main positioning factors for Google since it is one of the most relevant indicators and the strongest signal it has, to assess the importance of a website. Having many incoming links usually means that this page is providing relevant and quality content, as long as these links are good and are referenced by reliable and safe websites..
It is therefore very important that the strategy we carry out to achieve them is efficient and well structured. We must appreciate that each quality link that links to our website is valued by Google as a vote of confidence that another site is giving us indicating that our content is good.
1 What is Link Building
Link Building is therefore an SEO technique to get other quality websites to put links to our content within their site and thereby improve search engine positioning. The Link Building has the purpose of getting the largest possible references from authoritative websites. In this way, our website will be linked by others, achieving greater popularity and better domain authority, which will make our content position itself better in the search results of the feed.
Link Building is a search engine optimization technique as links are a way for Google's algorithms to partly determine the relevance of a page. Having a large number of quality links on our site will make Google consider our content more valuable and also give us more visibility..
It is important that these links, known as backlinks, fit what they are leading to, since what we are looking for is that people who access our content through them find what they were looking for and respond to their queries. Doubts. In the event that this was not the case, they would leave quickly, increasing the bounce rate on our website and thus harming the site.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are what is known as links that originate from one domain and lead to another. In this way the user will be able to reach new content and new web pages through these links quickly. You get backlinks when other websites link to yours, or when you link to your website on other sites.
We must bear in mind that today Google highly values the external links that we have, as they are one of the bases for measuring the trust that a website can have. One of the most relevant factors for this is the domain authority that our website has, which is given by external links.
Note What is domain authority and page authority?
The domain authority also known as DA (Domain Authority), is a scale that works from 1 to 100 and what "Predicts" based on its value, how well a page will rank in the search engine results. The higher the domain authority, the better considered that site will be. This means that if we get web pages with a high DA to link to our content, our domain authority will increase, thus we will achieve greater visibility.
If we talk about the Page Authority (Page Authority) we refer to the popularity classification that Google gives to a specific page of a website. That is, to the authority of a specific URL.
Why is Link Building important?
We must bear in mind that links are one of the main factors for SEO positioning, so having a good Link Building strategy will make our content rank better in search engine results.
It has already been proven that the correlation between the number of websites that link to a page and its positioning in Google is positive as long as these links come from quality pages and are not used abusively for the same content.
This does not mean that the pages with the most links are always the best, since it is possible that on occasion these links have been bought, for example. For example, we must fight to get quality links using different Link Building techniques that you will see in later chapters of the course.
Important Factors in Link Building
We must take into account the following factors, when linking our content on another website:
- Global popularity: It is important that we look for quality web pages with a high DA, so that they link to our website. This will give us greater domain authority.
- Local Popularity – Local popularity refers to links that come from similar sites. This means that if a web page with content similar to ours links us, Google will give this link more value than if it does a web whose theme has nothing to do with ours.
- Where the link is coming from: Links from authoritative websites carry more weight than links from less reputable sites. Reliable websites help Google give value to that site. To assess the reliability of a domain, you can take into account factors such as the age of the domain, the use of security certificates, the type of content, and popularity, among others.
As a general rule, a website with higher quality links for a type of content tends to rank better than another with a smaller number of links or one that does not have any. However, you must bear in mind that not only having quality links will position you in the top positions of the search engine, but you must also take into account many other SEO factors, such as having good content that meets the user's search needs. or choose the right keywords.
Having links on our website is very important for Google as it helps its algorithm to determine if a site is of quality based on who is referencing it. In order to qualify a site, Google attaches great importance to the fact that this website has been linked by quality sites. It is important to create reliable, diverse and relevant links to generate better results.
2 Advantages of Link Building for our content
Having a good Link Building strategy will make our content more visible and with it we will have better positioning in search engines and we will receive more clicks. However, first of all we are going to answer two important questions: Are the links important for our website? The more links we have the better?
Are the links important for our website?
The answer is clear and it is YES. The links and a good Link Building strategy are important to give authority to our page and content and that Google sees us with good eyes and as a reference and authoritative page, which must be maintained in good positions in the search results. .
The more links we have the better?
In this case the answer is NO. Having many links does not mean that it is good or that we are going to position ourselves better, since the important thing about the ones we have is that they are of quality, come from reliable pages, the pages that link us have good domain authority and above all that are natural and meaningful. It is useless to have hundreds of links to a website if they are unnatural or have no correlation with our site. Be careful not to abuse the links without meaning
We can therefore say that the advantages of executing a good Link Building strategy are the following:
Page authority transfer
If the pages linking to you have high DA, this will cause authority to be passed to your page, increasing your score on this metric. This means that by having a good domain authority, Google will consider your page and content more valuable, which will make it more visible in their search engines.
However, you must bear in mind that a domain with a high authority if it is linked to millions of websites, will give you less authority than a domain that has a good score but lower than the previous one, but which has not been linked to as many sites.
You will have more visibility in the eyes of Google and users
As we have been saying, the more quality links you have on the site, the better domain authority you will get, which will result in greater visibility in search engines and therefore more visits.
Having quality links gives you credibility
This means that each link will be considered a vote of confidence by the other websites towards your content, which will indicate to Google that your content is trustworthy and that users are going to see quality content. Google intends to teach users the most relevant content, so the more quality links your website has, the more confidence the search engine will generate to display your content.
You will increase web traffic
By having links on other web pages, you will increase your traffic since all the people who click on it will be accessing your content directly. This will improve traffic from external sources.
The fact of having more links and greater visibility will make us position better and receive more visits on our website. This will be converted into more ad revenue and increased sales leads.
Lower number of bounce rates
In the event that you make a good internal Link Building strategy, it will make the bounce rate lower, since you will get the readers themselves to navigate through your website in search of new content.
Better search rankings
Another benefit of Link Building is that our content will rank better in search engine results. That is why together with the authority, the better it is, the better classifications we will obtain in the search.
Better credibility and reputation
If you are browsing a popular browsing site that you have trusted for information, chances are that this site will give you trust and reliability to access the links it has placed. Therefore, if one of the links is to our website, we will be receiving traffic from users who already partly trust our site.
Better relationships with our niche
Another of the actions that we can carry out as a Link Building strategy is the exchange of links with pages in our niche, which will improve relations between sites in our same sector.
Continuous referral traffic
With link building, you can generate continuous and sustained referral traffic without the need to update this link in its permanent place on an authority website. In this way you will continue to receive traffic as long as users visit that page.
More social media followers and email subscribers
Another advantage of Link Building is that you will get more followers on social networks and email subscribers by being better known and popular on other websites.
3 How to know if a link is of quality
The links that we put both in our content and those that we receive from other pages are very important both to increase the domain authority of our site and for our content to position itself in better positions in search engines. But for this to work, these links must have quality and be reliable, otherwise what they will do is penalize us.
Long ago it was enough to have links and the quality of them was not valued so much, but rather the quantity, which led to different manipulations and black hat strategies to get links through their purchase, spam, etc. That is why Google, with the implementation of its algorithm such as Penguin, has changed the focus from the quantity to the quality of the backlinks so that they have value when it comes to positioning and the transfer of authority between pages. It is therefore much more important to have fewer good links and that they are of quality, than to have many bad ones since we will be penalized. Otherwise, Google will penalize the web if the links are not good, they are of low quality, from unreliable pages etc.
We must therefore take into account that not all backlinks are good, and that they must meet a series of requirements so that in this way we are certain that they will be beneficial for our content. As we have already seen in previous chapters of the Link Building course, backlinks have a clear purpose and that is that they are like "votes" that other websites give you, to indicate to Google that your content is valuable and thus position it higher in Google search results. If these votes are not of quality, on the contrary it will cause your content to be penalized and lower the positions.
What does it mean that a backlink is of quality?
When we talk about a good backlink, we are referring to it being considered by Google as useful for the user and of quality, since it takes into account the relevance and quality of the link page and the relevance and quality of the link domain.
How do search engines rate links?
We must bear in mind that there are two ways in which search engines use and value links:
- To discover new web pages
- To determine the classification of a content in the results
When search engines crawl web pages, they can extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. In this way they give the quality to the content and it will be classified for the related relevant keywords. During this crawl Google search engines not only take this into account but also check the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites. That means that the more quality links pointing to that content the post has, the better positioned it will be in the search results.
It is very important that we take into account what type of backlink we place in our content and which ones point towards us, since they mainly help us in the following:
A good number of quality backlinks are positively correlated with organic search traffic.
Backlinks serve to redirect people to other useful content. That is why they are clickable. You get referral traffic whenever a user clicks a link to your website.
Search engines find new content by going to pages they already know to look for new links. search engines revisit popular pages more frequently so it is easier for them to discover your content if it is found on websites of this type.
Next we are going to analyze the elements that a good backlink must have in order for it to be considered of quality in the eyes of Google and this will help us in positioning and in the link juice.
4 Characteristics of a good Backlink
It is important that we know how a Backlink should be so that it is good for our website and for our content, so that in this way we add value to our post and not the opposite. We must take into account different aspects and assess each of them when we want to use links and establish our Linkbuilding strategy in relation to their selection and use, based on these aspects.
As we have commented, not all backlinks are good and have the same weight, so below we are going to analyze the elements that a link must have to be of quality.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the main elements to consider whether a link is good or not. In general, a website that has a high domain authority will cause the transfer of authority to be greater than another website with a low domain authority. However, Google grants several parameters to be able to establish what transfer of authority it grants to a link.
In order to see the domain authority of web pages, we have different SEO tools that are based on some of the same principles used in the original Google PageRank algorithm to assess this. We can make, for example, the following Moz link, from which we will be able to see the authority of a page or a website for free 5 times a month.
View Moz Domain Authority
We only have to put the URL in the search engine, and we will be able to see the data obtained for this search.
Domain authority is measured on a scale from 1 to 100, so in this case we see that domain authority is 52, considered medium-high. The pages with the most domain authority are usually the most prestigious newspapers or websites like Wikipedia, among others.
This does not mean that it is not interesting and recommendable that other pages with less domain authority are not good for links to us, but as long as they are reliable and the content is related to our niche. In this they will almost always be well valued by Google and taken into account.
Now you must decide what types of links you are interested in getting and how much time you should invest in it to be productive in your LinkBuilding strategy.
In this way we will be able to see both the domain authority of our website and that of the competition.
Another factor that influences the quality of the links is how beneficial they are for the user and the usability they offer in relation to the content offered. Let's see an example: You just did an article about cheap cat food and you receive two links:
- Link to an article that talks about the care and feeding of cats
- Link that talks about how to save on a day-to-day basis
In this case, the first link is more relevant since it speaks directly about cat food, this being more relevant for the user who is in the main article, than the general topic of saving.
To understand more about this relevance, it is interesting that you read the following Google article that talks about how results are generated automatically in Google.
How results are automatically generated by Google
That is why it is important that we try to get links that are relevant to our content and that help our readers find new information of interest.
They provide added value
For a link to be of quality, it must provide added value to the text since they are presented as a recommendation to the user. That is why it is very important and will have more value for Google, those links that provide more information on the subject in general and meet the needs of the reader. But in addition to this, the website where the link is located must be reliable.
In this sense we can find different factors that influence so that we can determine if a website is of quality and we are also interested in having a link on it:
- It is important that the content of the page matches that of your post or niche on your website so that it is clearly seen that it is related and natural content.
- The web has excessive monetized content and most of the links are affiliated
- The content created by the page that links to us must be of interest and usefulness to the user, avoiding the use of excessive words to optimize it or being very short, for example.
- The links must come from countries with which a relationship is maintained in terms of language and content, since otherwise they will not be natural or of value.
- Links from new domains will pass more link juice to your website than links on domains where you already have backlinks.
That is why if a user finds value in the link they have entered, they will be satisfied and this will be valued by Google to give it more value. The links should always provide extra and quality information, related to the topic of the post in which they are found.
location in content
The location in which a link is located is important since depending on where it is located, it will be more or less likely to be clicked or not. It is for this reason that depending on the location, some links will transfer more authority than others.
We can divide a website into three zones, each of them being more or less prone to user clicks.
Without a doubt, within the content, it is the place where a link will have the most strength since it is where the user focuses the most. In addition, if it is in the first part of the article, the click will also be more likely and as long as the number of links is not excessive to compete with ours.
In this area the link already loses strength and the probability of clicking is much lower than in the first case. However, if it is on a website with high DA, it will always be interesting to place it.
It is in this area where the links placed will have less strength, since there will generally be many others and few users reach this area to click on them.
You must bear in mind that the links that surround yours are also important to give more or less value. For example, if a website that has a list of links linking to Wikipedia or a major newspaper also links to your page, it will give more value than if it is surrounded by links to smaller sites.
follow vs nofollow
Backlinks can have a 'nofollow' or 'follow' tag. A follow link trespasses domain authority while a nofollow much less or not at all in some cases. However, both are important, and this is how we can understand it in the following Link in which the differences and benefits between the two are explained in detail.
In our Linkbuilding strategy, in addition to the domain authority, we must take into account if the page that is going to link to us has a good volume of visits. If the page has a high volume of visits, it is more likely that our link will be clicked and thus receive more organic traffic.
A good link must therefore have permanent traffic and be relevant to the person who clicks on it. In the end, what the link does is make a recommendation to the user, so it must respond to their needs.
Natural link and related topic
Another of the characteristics that a link must have to be considered good is that it be natural and related to the theme of the post in which it is found. A link is found naturally when it has been posted because it is really interesting for the user and it will be useful. If the links are forced and do not make sense, they will be penalized by Google.
To get natural links it is important that our content is very well worked and that we coordinate it with a good dissemination strategy. This work is really hard, so we can also combine it with "simulating" naturalness in the links, as long as it brings us traffic. For this we can carry out the following strategies:
- Promote our profiles on social networks
- Post comments on blogs and other Q&A pages
Another important element when it comes to knowing if a backlink is good or not, is the link text or anchor text with which it is placed. This refers to the words that will be clickable. In the following link you can see detailed information about this parameter and how it influences the quality of the links.
We have just seen all the qualities and requirements that a link must meet to be good for our website and of quality, but it is interesting that we also know what kind of things will make a link negative or less valid in a brief summary.
- Links of a different theme to our website
- Web links that are link farms and link to millions of meaningless pages
- Possibly penalized or fraudulent websites
- Languages other than ours
In the following chapters of the Linkbuilding course, we will go deeper into penalties, common errors or bad practices.
5 How does Google rate links?
Backlinks are highly valued by Google to analyze a page and determine its value and make it improve in search engine positioning, but always taking into account certain parameters, to decide if the links it has are of quality or not and deserve to be better valued. or on the contrary penalized for it.
External links, that is, those that other pages point to our Site, are known as backlinks and what they do is indicate to search engines that the linked content is of value and this will also improve your domain authority. But as we have been saying, for this to happen you must take into account the following aspects that will be what Google will value when giving value or not to the placed link.
Next, we will see all the factors that you must take into account to know how Google will value the links that point to your website.
Google is changing the algorithm in order to improve it with the new updates and thus avoid the occurrence of black hat techniques in SEO and that in this way the content that users who have entered through their search engine consume is each time of higher quality and with a higher percentage of success for the user's search intention.
That is why today Google values the quality of the links over the quantity and for this we can look at different parameters that will make us know the validity of our backlinks.
Number of links
With this criterion we must take into account what we have commented. It is important to have many links, but as long as they are of quality and come from pages that are reliable and that are related to the theme of our post or niche. Therefore, we continue to insist that the number of links is important, but the quality is more.
We must take this into account when designing our Linkbuilding strategy. This tells us that it will be better to have 10 links from Top and prestigious pages, than 100 from pages without any type of value, since in addition to not serving us, it is likely that we will be penalized. In addition, it is better to have a good backlink on a quality page, than several on the same website with less domain authority. That is why the higher the domain authority of the page in which we have a link, the better the result will be for our site.
Diversity of links
It is important that the links that we have directed to our website are varied and from different pages. The more web you get good backlinks, the greater the recognition of Google. To the search engine, this is an indication that the site has more authority when it receives links from several different domains.
Therefore, having link diversity means having incoming links from various sources, such as directories, articles and the media. It also means receiving links from different domains, such as .com, .edu, .net, etc. Another of the ways that we can find for a link to be diverse is in relation to the follow and nofollow attribute.
We must therefore take into account that the diversity of links is also a very important aspect, as is their quality and relevance.
Another thing that Google takes into account when assessing the quality of a link is to see the content around it. That is why this context is very important. To do this, evaluate the words that are around it and if the general theme of the site is related to your site.
In addition to words, Google also analyzes the other links that are close. If these links are also to quality sites, the page gains more relevance and transmits link juice. In addition to this, we must take into account the position of the link since if it is in the main part of the text it will be much better than in any other area.
The link juice is the authority that is transmitted from one web page to another through a link.
For Google it is very important that a website is safe and provides confidence to the user, so the search engine considers that if your link is on a reliable site, your page deserves a better rating. That a site provides reliability is indicating that the website is safe and relevant to the user.
In order to evaluate this, Google takes into account different factors such as the quality of the content, security certificates or the age of the domain.
Anchor text analysis is another factor that Google takes into account to assess the quality and importance of the backlink placed. The anchor text usually has a keyword or a linked phrase that refers to the link it sends to. In this way, Google can understand to a greater extent what the intention of that link is and assess whether it really responds to the user's search intention for that term.
Google uses this to index the pages, so the text from which the link is linked is important in the eyes of the search engine for the reasons that we have just said.
Relationship between theme and language
Other aspects that Google takes into account when evaluating a link is to see that the page that is linking to it is of the same subject, the topic of the post is related and the language is the same or is a language that is used in that country, such as English in our case.
In the event that it does not meet these requirements, to Google this placed link will not seem natural and therefore will not take it into account other than to penalize you in any case.
Types of links
It is important for Google to determine all the types of links that we have or receive on our website, to determine the value that it gives them. For this, it takes into account:
- Links from your site to other web pages
- Links from your site to your own pages
- Links from other pages to your website
By analyzing this type of data, you will also determine what value to give to each of the links, since you will be able to get a global idea of how they are being used on your site.
time to get links
Some time ago, as we have said, the important thing was to have many links regardless of their quality, so link farms became one of the black hat SEO techniques for link building. This means that a website could acquire multiple links in a short space of time.
Google reinforced its algorithm to identify and penalize this type of practice. That is why now it assesses the speed of a page to gain links, to see if these are being achieved naturally or not.
Although this seems obvious, the content you want to link must always be of quality and useful for users so that they consider it appropriate to visit your website in a productive way.
Links that are ignored by Google
We must bear in mind that there are certain links that are not going to be valued by Google and that therefore it has no value that you have them on your page. When we talk about the types of links that will be ignored by Google, we mean the following:
- Links placed on .edu domains: These links are generally ignored by Google as they are considered spam in most cases. That is why it is advisable not to invest time in placing links in this type of portal, since we are not going to have any benefit.
- Links in press releases: Another of the types of links that Google ignores are those placed in press releases, since it also considers them unnatural and forced. That is why it currently does not give them any value.
- Links in directories: You must be very careful with the links you put in directories, since most of them are irrelevant and of low quality. This means that not any directory will work, but really those that are of quality. You should therefore take into account inserting links in directories that do not consider their policies.
These are all the things that you must take into account when knowing and selecting if a web link is good and what are the best attributes it can have to make it beneficial for your website and of quality so that Google always values it in a way positive. In this way you will have the tools and the necessary knowledge to qualify the links and choose the best way to publish them as backlinks from other websites.
In addition, a good Link Building strategy will make navigation easier for users, as well as having all the benefits we have just seen, since people only have to click on the hyperlink and they will directly have access to more means.
In this way we will be making ourselves known on other websites and users who click on our link will get to know us, giving us the opportunity that if they liked the content, they will be recurring users in the future, which will also increase this way visits to our site.
It is important to know that any quality website has a Link Building strategy, since it is essential for our content to be strengthened. For this reason, we must take into account that backlinks are necessary, but we must know that they must always be natural, so that we are not penalized by the search engine. This means that we must be very rigorous about how we carry out our Link Building strategy, without falling into any unprofessional or unnatural practice.