Google has been hard at work using its updates to identify low-quality backlinks and reduce the effectiveness of this link spam. While links can be helpful to a website, it can also damage a website dependent on who the links are from and how the link was obtained. This blog post will provide information on what high-quality backlinks are and how they can be acquired.
1. The Links Should Be Topical
Similar to other website content, a link needs to be topical. It is natural for websites that are linking to one another to have an element for complementing each other, meaning that it is unlikely for unrelated websites to link to each other. In fact, some of these sites are banned from Google or heavily penalized.
Gaining topical backlinks from relevant websites can boost your site’s relevance for the topic. I provide topical link building services, and many of my clients have benefited from that service remaining out of harm’s way when Google rolls out algorithm updates. Think about it this way: if you are in the website industry and are familiar with the industry, then you can link to something that has value within your space. If you link to a legal company that you do not know much about, you can still pass the value to the firm; however, it is not as much value being passed along as if the website was in the same area of knowledge or space as your website.
2. Linking Should Be Local
Local linking can be viewed in two ways – it can be local to the site’s market or based on geographical location. Local links within your website’s industry can offer some geographic boost for services and products in the market; however, local links from US-based sites is also significant unless you are targeting a global audience. There are numerous low-quality websites offering free links in the US and abroad, but these can cause more damage than good. Gaining links from local companies, complementary businesses, and in the local community resources or news can be far more beneficial to improve your ranking in the target market.
3. Links Need To Be Reputable
A reputable link refers to a link that is published by a website with a good reputation or one that is respectable. When it comes to locating reputable links, Google places a high value on websites with links that have editorial approval. This means that not all people are able to place links on the website or qualify for placement on the site.
An editorial link refers to guest blog posts, business listings, infographics, images, citations for work, or references in content on different websites. This type of link is not easily obtained, but once it is acquired, it can be highly beneficial. A rule of thumb when building the link is low value and high value: if the links are simple to get and easy to duplicate, then the chances are likely that they will be of little value.
4. The Links Should Be Relational
A relational link is one of the most difficult links to duplicate for rival websites. Links from vendors, suppliers, clients, and fans are all considered relational and are built by relationships; therefore, it is far more than a mere request for a link. When competing websites review the link profile for strategic links, these relational links are impossible to duplicate.
Backlinks can fall into one of two categories – informational or relational. An informational link is valuable and can be worthwhile pursuing; however, the relational link is unique to one’s backlink profile and provides the company with a distinct competitive advantage.
5. All Links Must Be Shareable
Content and website pages are filled with links and social media, meaning there are various ways a person can increase the link’s “shareability” factor. By inserting clean URLs into the content or utilizing a URL shortening service, you can increase the sharing of links. This is a simple concept, but it reduces the barrier for people who want to share content and the links easily.