What is link building and what is it for?
Link building is the process of actively getting other websites to link to your domain pages. Either by paying to get that link or by negotiating with other webmasters to link to your website.
Why it is important
An incoming link to your site sends a signal to Google that the website is a quality resource on a particular topic. In general, sites with quality backlinks tend to achieve a better ranking in Google.
This is known as domain authority and has to do with Google’s original algorithm: the Google PageRank.
In fact, links are one of the 3 most relevant ranking factors confirmed by Google.
In other words, it is one of the points to which Google pays more attention when it comes to positioning or not a website in its index of results.
Link building is an important part of SEO, as it helps search engines to discover new gateways to your domain, helps them better assess the authority of your project, and allows search engines to determine which pages should rank higher in the SERPs.
How to do link building in 2022
Carrying out a correct link building strategy is essential for any project that aspires to increase its organic traffic.
A few years ago, any link building strategy was perfectly valid and webmasters hardly cared beyond getting as many links as possible pointing to their domains.
Those were the happy years without Penguin.
However, all of this has changed since Google decided to pursue and penalize what it considers to be “link schemes”
That is the misrepresentation of domain authority through inbound links to a website to improve its ranking in the results pages.
Depending on how link building is done, it can easily be considered a bad practice by the browser and be penalized.
How do we avoid Google from considering that we are trying to deceive it by using link building?
In theory, it is very simple: creating a link profile that is as natural as possible for the browser.
It means to pay particular attention to the following points:
1. Anchor text:
Try to use varied anchor texts, related to the relevant topics of your industry and essentially natural without repeating too much.
If you do not know what we are talking about, put yourself in the shoes of a copywriter or a user who is going to link to your website and ask yourself: How would they link to you? Would they always link to you using the same words? No.
That’s it. Try to replicate the way any webmaster would link to you.
2. Location of the link
Not every link is the same.
Just as the authority of the domain of the link that is pointing to you is very important, it is also important to take these two factors into account:
- The damping factor
- Surfer patent
We often forget about the influence of both factors in the creation of links and this has catastrophic results.
Let’s see what these factors entail:
Damping is a factor that measures the dilution of PR according to the distance or number of clicks of an URL concerning the home of the domain. This implies that it is preferable to be linked from a homepage of another website than from the article of a blog or a digital newspaper that is at a depth level of 5 clicks from the homepage.
On the other hand, the surfer patent establishes as a relevance factor for links the probability that the users will click on that link. For practical purposes, a link placed in the footer or the sidebar of a page is not worth the same for Google as a link placed prominently in a CTA or naturally contextualized in the text.
For Google, the latter is more likely to be used by visitors and therefore have a higher relative weight.
It always transmits more Page Authority and will be worth for Google the links from the homepage and within the body or a CTA that a link in the footer or the body of a news 10 clicks away from the main domain of a media outlet.
3. Referred traffic volume
In our opinion, this is the most important.
Many webmasters pay attention to whether the link is nofollow, follow, CTLD’s origin or source, etc…
However, if the link is not able to drive quality referral traffic to your website, you will be sending a very clear signal to the browser that this link is useless for the user and should not be taken into account when rating your website.
4. Semantic proximity between domains
Those web projects that share similar themes are aimed at the same user or serve very similar needs for a group of people.
Google understands that if your projects are relevant to X and Y topics, it is logical and normal for your website to be linked to websites that deal with these topics.
In other words:
If your website belongs to the metal industry, it would be strange to get an incoming link from
vogue.com or telva.com.
However, getting a link from a competitor or a big player within your niche is perfectly valid and high rated.
Note: Internal link and page optimization
This point cannot be stressed enough. But it needs to be mentioned more:
There is no point in working on an external linking strategy if your website is not SEO optimized.
- If your content is not valued by users,
- your internal link is deficient,
- user experience leaves much o be desired
- and the onpage SEO is ordinary.
It won’t help to have an external link profile driving traffic to your website because the users are not going to interact properly with your content.
And Google will eventually see it and will not take it into account to position you well in their rankings.
Link building is a complex process that must be carefully planned.
An unnatural or poorly-placed link profile can damage your domain authority or send spam signals to Google that invite a manual penalty.
It is not advisable to build links quickly or without taking into account what the algorithm expects.
In general, keeping a natural linking profile consists of applying the logic of semantic proximity, relevance to the user, and location of the link itself (surfer patent) that ends up sending Google the right signals but mostly getting quality referral traffic to your website.
Important: it is necessary to mention that not all links are equal and do not transfer in the same way the PageRank. If the links to our website are not of high quality, Google will likely ignore them completely. We always recommend that before creating a link you always ask yourself if it is relevant for your project and Google.
Links and recommended reading:
Frequently Asked Questions