Chapter 4. Off-Page SEO

How To Build Backlinks: Link Building Do's and Don'ts

How To Build Backlinks: Link Building Do's and Don'ts
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Utilizing backlinking smartly can make a massive difference to your website’s search engine ranking. But first, it is essential to know what backlinks are and how to build backlinks.

Backlinks help websites to be more discoverable. The more backlinks your website has, the more chances it has to be found. Backlinks also help search engines determine the quality of your website and then use this information in the ranking results. With valuable backlinks, you may get your website ranked higher by search engines for relevant search queries.

In this learning section, we'll give you essential knowledge about backlinks.

What Are Backlinks and How Do They Work

A backlink is a link created on one website that directs to your page. These links are also called inbound links or incoming links. Backlinks are extremely important for SEO as they provide two key benefits:

Benefits of Backlinks

  1. Improved search engine ranking: Having quality backlinks for your website offers various advantages for SEO. As more websites have links that land on your website, you get more votes that tell search engines about your credibility and usefulness. This increases your website's Domain Authority and Page Authority, resulting in a higher ranking by Google and other search engines. Ultimately, the higher page rankings give you better organic traffic.
  2. Bringing in referral traffic: Backlinks act as a virtual gateway leading users to your website from another website. As soon as the visitors click on a backlink, they are directed to the landing page on your website. Thus, you get more and more referral traffic from the linking site. It can help you generate more leads and higher engagement.

How To Build Backlinks: Creating a backlink that is worth

So the next big question is – are all the backlinks worth it? To get this question answered, let's first understand the different types of backlinks.

Types of backlinks

There are two types of backlinks: Natural and Manual backlinks. Here is some brief information about each one of them:

  • Natural Backlinks: Natural backlinks are created and placed by websites without the linked website’s owner asking for them. These links can be a part of the website’s editorial content, social media content, comments, forum discussions, or a mention. It is a backlink you earned due to the relevance of your content. For instance, a nutrition expert writes a blog on healthy recipes and includes a link to a website that sells health supplements online. This is voluntary backlinking that comes as a recommendation and is highly valuable. Editorial inks are a type of natural backlinks based on a similar concept. These links are explicitly included in the editorial content created by independent publishers, journalists, or bloggers. When editors find relevant content, they create the link due to the quality and value of the content. Editorial backlinks are placed in articles, blogs, and news sections on the other website. For instance, a journalist writes an article about an interview with a leader and includes a link to the leader’s blog or website for readers to learn more about his insights.
  • Manual Backlinks: Requesting social media influencers, bloggers, online directories, and other relevant website owners to review your services or products and post a backlink to their website is manual backlink creation. Guest blogging, social media promotion, participating in interviews on other websites within your industry, broken link building, resource page link building, and reaching out to local business directories are a few ways to do it. For instance, a cosmetics company’s marketing team reaches out to relevant bloggers and requests them to review their product or service, offering free samples.

In addition to incoming links, there are other types of links called internal links, which are links placed within the same website for its different pages. These let the users navigate the website effortlessly and discover its different sections.

High-quality vs. low-quality backlinks

A few critical factors make a backlink good or bad. A good backlink comes from a trusted source relevant to your website or industry. Good links are organic and voluntarily created by third parties because of the interest of their audience and the genuineness of your product or services. There is no exchange of money included. These high-quality links with unique anchor text should direct the user to a trusted destination, not an unexpected URL, and should not be hidden by search engine crawlers in any way.

On the other hand, the creation of low-quality backlinks includes an exchange of money and other perks. Spammy websites and large-scale paid links schemes may be included. These are guilty of over-using keywords and trying to manipulate search engines.

Key factors as high-quality backlinks:

  1. Authoritativeness: Backlinks from authoritative websites are considered good links. Links from high-ranked web pages with many followers transfer more visitors than the weaker ones. These are more effective at passing link equity or link juice.
  2. Relevance: If the website is related to what you do, there are higher chances that it will bring more related traffic to your website. For instance, a website that posts technology news is more likely to bring valuable traffic to your gadgets-selling web pages than another one that sells baby products.
  3. Natural backlinks: Backlinks earned through valuable content appear natural and are more favored by search engines than manually created ones.

Link Juice

"Link juice" is a term used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to describe the value or equity passed from one site or page to another through hyperlinks. Essentially, it refers to the power or authority that a link can transfer to another webpage regarding ranking ability.

Search engines like Google consider links as votes of confidence or endorsements between websites. When a webpage links to another site, it shares some of its own site's authority with the linked site. This shared authority, or link juice, can help improve the linked site's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What Is Link Juice?

Note: DoFollow and NoFollow

DoFollow and NoFollow links are HTML attributes that instruct search engines to pass or not pass the link juice to the linked website. DoFollow links contribute to the visibility and ranking of a website, while NoFollow links indicate sponsored or paid links that are not followed by a search engine. DoFollow links allow link juice to flow freely from one page to another, contributing to higher SEO rankings, while NoFollow links result in not passing any link juice. By creating high-quality content and building relationships in your niche, more DoFollow links can be achieved.

DoFollow vs. NoFollow

Regarding HTML coding, you don't need to add any specific attribute to the anchor tag. By default, all links are considered DoFollow.

Example of DoFolllow Anchor Tag
<a href="https://www.example.com">Link</a>

To make a NoFollow link, add the rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag. This instructs search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link's target in the search engine's index.

Example of NoFolllow Anchor Tag
<a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Link</a>

How to earn backlinks to your website

You can earn backlinks that will positively influence your website’s ranking in many ways. Some of them are discussed below:

Asking business directories for inclusion

You can submit your business information to online platforms like business directories for inclusion in their categorized listing. This will help improve your website's visibility, credibility, and local SEO. You can also include comments on blogs and forums with your website link in the signature. Statistical linking can also be practiced by providing relevant statistics about your niche obtained by running surveys and publishing the results on your blog as news to generate inbound links. You can also make use of social media for spreading the news.

Guest blogging

Focus on creating fresh and valuable content your audience may be interested in. Contact other websites to post this content as a guest post with links to your website. If your target audience connects to it, it will generate leads on its own.

Broken link building

Broken link building is a link-building approach that asks a relevant website owner to add a link to your website instead of keeping the broken link. Broken links occur when a URL on a webpage links to another page that no longer exists or returns a 404 error. First, you have to identify websites in your niche that have content related to yours. Broken links can be found using SEO tools like SEMrush and Check My Links. The owners of these websites can be contacted and asked to replace these links with backlinks to your website that provide valuable related content.

Broken Link Building

Competitive content and infographic promotion

Determine your audience and create compelling content or infographics that are informative or visually appealing. Promote your content or infographics to relevant websites within your industry by contacting influencers and online communities or forums, bloggers, journalists, and influencers sharing similar content. Encourage them to share or link to the infographic. Track the results to improve the process.

Note: Social Media Marketing is one of the critical strategies of link building, but we don't cover it as it will be explained in the following learning section - SEO and Social Media Marketing - What Are Social Signals?

Link Building Do's and Don'ts

Before you start link building for your website, learning about a few do's and don'ts in link building is crucial. The most important of them are discussed below:

Things you should do:

  1. Creating valuable and informative content – Create and post relevant content on your website that you think will be valuable and informative for your audience.
  2. Connecting with relevant websites in your niche – Look for websites related to your niche or industry. Try to contact them to get organic backlinks for your website.
  3. Establish connections with influencers – Socially admired figures like influencers or bloggers may help you spread the word about your website. Try to establish relationships with these individuals for natural link-building opportunities.
  4. Use anchor text smartly – Include diverse anchor text in your content using different phrases with the same relevance. Anchor text should look natural and easy to interpret.
  5. Monitor the backlinks regularly – Keep an eye on whether backlinks to your website are working correctly and if there are no spammy or low-quality links. And if there are, take appropriate action to eliminate them.

Things you should avoid:

  1. Relying on buying links – Organically earned links work way better for search engine ranking than purchased links. Furthermore, search engines can impose penalties for guideline violations if they encounter purchased links (Link Spam).
  2. Mass backlinking services – Mass backlinking services are yet another guideline violation. Link farms and low-quality websites offer these services, but these should be avoided at all costs.
  3. Over-optimization of anchor text – Using the same anchor text all over the content or over-filling keywords makes a case of keyword stuffing, which should be avoided.
  4. Ignoring the link quality – Make sure all your links are working correctly and coming from reputed websites, not spammy ones. Such services won't stay for a prolonged time and would instead harm your website ranking.

Conclusion

Backlink building is a continual process and is only accomplished over time. As a beginner, you need to learn how and where to place effective links and how to monitor them. Hiring an SEO specialist can be very advantageous here. As backlink building is very time-consuming, professionals can help with their expertise in using efficient SEO tools to achieve your goal faster.


You can also learn this topic on Kindle. ClickAmazonKindle.

Utilizing backlinking smartly can make a massive difference to your website’s search engine ranking. But first, it is essential to know what backlinks are and how to build backlinks.

Backlinks help websites to be more discoverable. The more backlinks your website has, the more chances it has to be found. Backlinks also help search engines determine the quality of your website and then use this information in the ranking results. With valuable backlinks, you may get your website ranked higher by search engines for relevant search queries.

In this learning section, we'll give you essential knowledge about backlinks.

What Are Backlinks and How Do They Work

A backlink is a link created on one website that directs to your page. These links are also called inbound links or incoming links. Backlinks are extremely important for SEO as they provide two key benefits:

Benefits of Backlinks

  1. Improved search engine ranking: Having quality backlinks for your website offers various advantages for SEO. As more websites have links that land on your website, you get more votes that tell search engines about your credibility and usefulness. This increases your website's Domain Authority and Page Authority, resulting in a higher ranking by Google and other search engines. Ultimately, the higher page rankings give you better organic traffic.
  2. Bringing in referral traffic: Backlinks act as a virtual gateway leading users to your website from another website. As soon as the visitors click on a backlink, they are directed to the landing page on your website. Thus, you get more and more referral traffic from the linking site. It can help you generate more leads and higher engagement.

How To Build Backlinks: Creating a backlink that is worth

So the next big question is – are all the backlinks worth it? To get this question answered, let's first understand the different types of backlinks.

Types of backlinks

There are two types of backlinks: Natural and Manual backlinks. Here is some brief information about each one of them:

  • Natural Backlinks: Natural backlinks are created and placed by websites without the linked website’s owner asking for them. These links can be a part of the website’s editorial content, social media content, comments, forum discussions, or a mention. It is a backlink you earned due to the relevance of your content. For instance, a nutrition expert writes a blog on healthy recipes and includes a link to a website that sells health supplements online. This is voluntary backlinking that comes as a recommendation and is highly valuable. Editorial inks are a type of natural backlinks based on a similar concept. These links are explicitly included in the editorial content created by independent publishers, journalists, or bloggers. When editors find relevant content, they create the link due to the quality and value of the content. Editorial backlinks are placed in articles, blogs, and news sections on the other website. For instance, a journalist writes an article about an interview with a leader and includes a link to the leader’s blog or website for readers to learn more about his insights.
  • Manual Backlinks: Requesting social media influencers, bloggers, online directories, and other relevant website owners to review your services or products and post a backlink to their website is manual backlink creation. Guest blogging, social media promotion, participating in interviews on other websites within your industry, broken link building, resource page link building, and reaching out to local business directories are a few ways to do it. For instance, a cosmetics company’s marketing team reaches out to relevant bloggers and requests them to review their product or service, offering free samples.

In addition to incoming links, there are other types of links called internal links, which are links placed within the same website for its different pages. These let the users navigate the website effortlessly and discover its different sections.

High-quality vs. low-quality backlinks

A few critical factors make a backlink good or bad. A good backlink comes from a trusted source relevant to your website or industry. Good links are organic and voluntarily created by third parties because of the interest of their audience and the genuineness of your product or services. There is no exchange of money included. These high-quality links with unique anchor text should direct the user to a trusted destination, not an unexpected URL, and should not be hidden by search engine crawlers in any way.

On the other hand, the creation of low-quality backlinks includes an exchange of money and other perks. Spammy websites and large-scale paid links schemes may be included. These are guilty of over-using keywords and trying to manipulate search engines.

Key factors as high-quality backlinks:

  1. Authoritativeness: Backlinks from authoritative websites are considered good links. Links from high-ranked web pages with many followers transfer more visitors than the weaker ones. These are more effective at passing link equity or link juice.
  2. Relevance: If the website is related to what you do, there are higher chances that it will bring more related traffic to your website. For instance, a website that posts technology news is more likely to bring valuable traffic to your gadgets-selling web pages than another one that sells baby products.
  3. Natural backlinks: Backlinks earned through valuable content appear natural and are more favored by search engines than manually created ones.

Link Juice

"Link juice" is a term used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to describe the value or equity passed from one site or page to another through hyperlinks. Essentially, it refers to the power or authority that a link can transfer to another webpage regarding ranking ability.

Search engines like Google consider links as votes of confidence or endorsements between websites. When a webpage links to another site, it shares some of its own site's authority with the linked site. This shared authority, or link juice, can help improve the linked site's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What Is Link Juice?

Note: DoFollow and NoFollow

DoFollow and NoFollow links are HTML attributes that instruct search engines to pass or not pass the link juice to the linked website. DoFollow links contribute to the visibility and ranking of a website, while NoFollow links indicate sponsored or paid links that are not followed by a search engine. DoFollow links allow link juice to flow freely from one page to another, contributing to higher SEO rankings, while NoFollow links result in not passing any link juice. By creating high-quality content and building relationships in your niche, more DoFollow links can be achieved.

DoFollow vs. NoFollow

Regarding HTML coding, you don't need to add any specific attribute to the anchor tag. By default, all links are considered DoFollow.

Example of DoFolllow Anchor Tag
<a href="https://www.example.com">Link</a>

To make a NoFollow link, add the rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag. This instructs search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link's target in the search engine's index.

Example of NoFolllow Anchor Tag
<a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Link</a>

How to earn backlinks to your website

You can earn backlinks that will positively influence your website’s ranking in many ways. Some of them are discussed below:

Asking business directories for inclusion

You can submit your business information to online platforms like business directories for inclusion in their categorized listing. This will help improve your website's visibility, credibility, and local SEO. You can also include comments on blogs and forums with your website link in the signature. Statistical linking can also be practiced by providing relevant statistics about your niche obtained by running surveys and publishing the results on your blog as news to generate inbound links. You can also make use of social media for spreading the news.

Guest blogging

Focus on creating fresh and valuable content your audience may be interested in. Contact other websites to post this content as a guest post with links to your website. If your target audience connects to it, it will generate leads on its own.

Broken link building

Broken link building is a link-building approach that asks a relevant website owner to add a link to your website instead of keeping the broken link. Broken links occur when a URL on a webpage links to another page that no longer exists or returns a 404 error. First, you have to identify websites in your niche that have content related to yours. Broken links can be found using SEO tools like SEMrush and Check My Links. The owners of these websites can be contacted and asked to replace these links with backlinks to your website that provide valuable related content.

Broken Link Building

Competitive content and infographic promotion

Determine your audience and create compelling content or infographics that are informative or visually appealing. Promote your content or infographics to relevant websites within your industry by contacting influencers and online communities or forums, bloggers, journalists, and influencers sharing similar content. Encourage them to share or link to the infographic. Track the results to improve the process.

Note: Social Media Marketing is one of the critical strategies of link building, but we don't cover it as it will be explained in the following learning section - SEO and Social Media Marketing - What Are Social Signals?

Link Building Do's and Don'ts

Before you start link building for your website, learning about a few do's and don'ts in link building is crucial. The most important of them are discussed below:

Things you should do:

  1. Creating valuable and informative content – Create and post relevant content on your website that you think will be valuable and informative for your audience.
  2. Connecting with relevant websites in your niche – Look for websites related to your niche or industry. Try to contact them to get organic backlinks for your website.
  3. Establish connections with influencers – Socially admired figures like influencers or bloggers may help you spread the word about your website. Try to establish relationships with these individuals for natural link-building opportunities.
  4. Use anchor text smartly – Include diverse anchor text in your content using different phrases with the same relevance. Anchor text should look natural and easy to interpret.
  5. Monitor the backlinks regularly – Keep an eye on whether backlinks to your website are working correctly and if there are no spammy or low-quality links. And if there are, take appropriate action to eliminate them.

Things you should avoid:

  1. Relying on buying links – Organically earned links work way better for search engine ranking than purchased links. Furthermore, search engines can impose penalties for guideline violations if they encounter purchased links (Link Spam).
  2. Mass backlinking services – Mass backlinking services are yet another guideline violation. Link farms and low-quality websites offer these services, but these should be avoided at all costs.
  3. Over-optimization of anchor text – Using the same anchor text all over the content or over-filling keywords makes a case of keyword stuffing, which should be avoided.
  4. Ignoring the link quality – Make sure all your links are working correctly and coming from reputed websites, not spammy ones. Such services won't stay for a prolonged time and would instead harm your website ranking.

Conclusion

Backlink building is a continual process and is only accomplished over time. As a beginner, you need to learn how and where to place effective links and how to monitor them. Hiring an SEO specialist can be very advantageous here. As backlink building is very time-consuming, professionals can help with their expertise in using efficient SEO tools to achieve your goal faster.


You can also learn this topic on Kindle. ClickAmazonKindle.

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