The importance of quality backlinks in today’s digital marketing industry cannot be overstated. A backlink (also known as an external link) to your website from another website remains one of the most effective methods of improving search engine rankings. Backlinks, however, are not all equally valuable.
A few high-quality backlinks will greatly enhance your SEO progress. In contrast, hundreds of low-quality links won’t make a difference and may even hurt your search engine rank.
What is Quality Backlink?
Generally, backlinks are known as incoming links or inbound links. These links are typically exchanged between websites to share their audiences. And backlinks that point to a page on your website from relevant, high-quality websites are considered to be quality backlinks in search engine optimization. There is a big difference in value between high-quality and low-quality backlinks, so you must learn what differentiates them and what sets them apart.
Why Does Backlink Quality Matter?
Having a quality link determines how much traffic your site receives.
During the early days of search engine optimization, Google considered the number of links pointing to a page as part of its decision to show the most relevant results. However, this system was vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous SEOs due to its reliance on links.
Several techniques were used by website owners to artificially increase the number of links on their pages to rank. Among these link techniques were:
- Buying links
- Overly optimized press release
- Widgets with hidden links
- Spam comment automation
- Link wheels
- Syndicating your site’s content with links
In the wake of these manipulations, Google rolled out the Penguin update to penalize sites using unethical link schemes in an attempt to prevent manipulation. Penguin’s algorithm devalues links with low quality.
Consequently, while backlinks are still an important ranking factor, more emphasis is being placed on quality rather than quantity.
What Makes a Link High Quality?
The quality of an effective backlink is determined based on the following factors:
The relevance of backlinks is a factor that search engines consider when ranking a site based on backlinks. Generally, relevancy refers to the context of the webpage or website linking back to you. As such, it is extremely important as it informs the algorithm that the backlink is relevant and adds value to the page, thus indicating your expertise. Backlinks can be relevant at different levels. The relevancy and quality of the linking site, the specific page of the link, and the content associated with the link are all taken into account by search engines.
Trustworthiness and authority
High-quality backlinks come from authority websites, and these sites should also be trustworthy. You’ll get more trust and authority in Google’s eyes if the website linking back to yours has many relevant backlinks pointing to them. Several third-party tools attempt to estimate how trustworthy Google thinks a website is. However, third-party metrics aren’t accurate indicators of a site’s trustworthiness.
To determine the quality of a backlink, Google takes into account the authority and trust of the website that links to yours. Since Google trusts certain sites, if those sites link back to yours, then your site is likely trusted too.
Too often, this factor of quality backlinks is overlooked. In the beginning, links were intended to redirect visitors to resources related to a page’s topic before they were incorporated as part of search engine algorithms. Having these links prominently displayed on a page that receives a lot of traffic makes the link high quality because a constant stream of targeted traffic will go to your website regardless of ranking.
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When it comes to anchor text and backlinks, you need to consider both the positive and negative sides. Google may ignore the backlink altogether if the anchor text appears to be manipulated or structured in an overly optimized manner. Anchor text that is organically optimized can, however, add value.
Backlinks have higher quality if the text that links to them contains the same words as, or closely related to, the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Incoming links with the same anchor text look unnatural, so vary the text of the anchor links widely. ‘Loan advice,’ ‘professional loan advice,’ and ‘loan guidance’ are some variations you could use to rank for ‘loan advice.’
If a link is included early in the content, then it’s natural to assume that the author considers it an important link. The most common kind of backlinks is editorial backlinks, which search engines favor highly. Backlinks that appear within a page’s main content or at the top of a page’s content are considered more valuable than those that appear below or elsewhere near the sidebar.
Quality backlinks should ideally be unique. Google views multiple websites with the same type of content with the same anchor text as spammy. Take the time to create contextually relevant links that are relevant to your articles when creating your backlink strategy.
As soon as the word got out in the late 2000s that links were the key to getting a top ranking, webmasters rushed to get as many links as they could. In response to this rush, reciprocal linking emerged, or in simpler terms, it means “if you link to my website, I’ll link to yours.” Linking websites often have nothing in common, providing no value to their audiences but only value to SEO efforts.
However, Google quickly spotted these link patterns taking place and severely discounted the value of reciprocal links due to relevance and authority issues. It is important to remember that the most quality links will come from sites related to your niche and to which you have not already linked out.
The 5 Best Ways to Generate High-Quality Backlinks
It takes strategy and thought to generate high-quality backlinks. Although it isn’t easy, it can be done with dedication and time. The following are five ways to obtain high-quality backlinks.
● Create infographics
You can earn valuable backlinks and drive traffic to your website with infographics. The ease of understanding visual data makes it attractive to online audiences. By creating infographics about trending topics in your industry, you will gain backlinks from those who wish to use them in their publications.
● Guest blogging
A guest blog is an effective way to reach a new audience. You will gain more exposure and increase your online reputation by publishing articles on popular websites. Find sites that accept guest articles in your niche and submit great content that readers will love.
When you engage in HARO link-building, reporters will contact you with their questions, and you will have to respond. The HARO e-mails are sent three times a day, and this strategy involves looking through the queries (organized by category) to decide which ones you qualify for. In response to the HARO query/reporter, you provide a short yet comprehensive answer to the reporter’s query. Afterward, the reporter links back to your website from your quoted response.
● Identify and repair broken links
It’s no secret that 404 errors are annoying. Broken links present a different concern for site owners: link rot. Search engines view links as testimonials and a vote of confidence, so it’s crucial to keep them current.
It may be difficult for a site with hundreds of web pages to keep them all up-to-date.
In broken link-building, you inform website owners that a link on their web page is broken and simultaneously provide them with a better link (yours). If there are any broken links on a website, you can search for them using the Content Explorer at Ahrefs. If you find any, you can contact the site owner. Be prepared to use this tactic at scale since it may not yield as much success when used on multiple relevant and high-quality websites.
When people know each other, they are more likely to do favors for them. That is why growing your network can help your website build links effectively. Get to know people in your industry and whose websites have similar content as yours as you expand your network and build your network-perhaps on LinkedIn. In addition, it’s important to check their DR and Trust Flow ratings.
Due to Google’s crackdown on manipulative and spammy practices, quality link building has become increasingly difficult. And with the market becoming more saturated, link building will become even more challenging. However, it remains true that backlinks are still one of the key ranking factors despite these challenges. So, the most important thing now is creating a winning strategy and understanding how to build quality backlinks.