Link building remains by far one of the most important elements of an optimized website for search engines. Despite understanding its importance, many businesses experience difficulty evaluating the value of backlinks and are unsure about how to obtain one from a trusted website.
Being able to evaluate a possible, or previously built link, is important for quality link building, maintaining a white hat SEO presence, and for abiding by Google Search Console standards. Without these skills you will not be able to make proper judgment on a quality link bait campaign and any webmaster outreach will be useless. As well if there is a bad quality link pointing to your website and you do not do anything about it, you may be penalized by a Google Algorithm update.
The following blog post has been written to educate you on link building best practices in 2018. In it, our digital marketing training advisors have included 6 questions you can ask yourselves regarding the quality of any possible links pointing back to your website.
1. Is the website indexed by Google?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. One way to check if a website is indexed is to type in the URL in the Google Search Bar. If the URL is not within the first 3 results, the website is either not indexed or has been penalized by Google algorithm updates. At this point it is best to avoid the website if there is no relationship established. If the website is already linking to you, your first course of action should be to contact the webmaster to remove the0 link. If that does not work, you may choose to disavow the link using Google disavow tool.
2. What is the quality of the writing?
Any person with a computer and an internet connection, in theory, can publish on the World Wide Web. It is therefore critical for users of the Web to develop a critical eye to evaluate the credibility of the information they are reading. The following information and questions will help you determine whether a website is credible or not:
a. Authorship – What is the name of the author? What qualifications, credentials and connections to the subject do they have? Where else does this author publish their information?
b. Current Research – Is the information on the website current? If there are outdated, cited resources that do not work or are too old, what does that say about the credibility of the information being provided?
c. Citations – Does the resource have a complete list of works cited? Are the works cited credible resources written by authoritative figures? If not, what is the author’s relationship to the subject to be able to give an “expert” opinion?
d. Originality – Is any of the work plagiarized? If you were to go on Copyscape.com, is the amount of duplicate content less than 20%?
3. What is the domain strength?
Domain strength is the value of an entire domain. Instead of looking at the value of individual webpages, we recommend that you look at the domain as a whole to understand how it will benefit you and your online marketing campaign in the long run. In terms of link building, site strength is a good metric to use because you want to get links from websites that are very strong and are recognized as “good quality” links by Google. By “good quality” we mean there is little chance of them being hit by algorithm updates. Most domain signals are ranked between 1 and 100; 100 being the strongest. If the links you get are from strong domains, they will pass more strength to your own website, which is a clear signal to Google that you have a good site that deserves to rank well.
4. How much traffic is the website getting?
In your assessment of incoming traffic, you want to make sure that the traffic is either steady or increasing. You also want the bulk of the traffic to come from the website’s geographic target area (and your target area to a certain extent). You do not want to see big traffic crashes or traffic coming from link farms.
Newly-built and emerging websites should not be discounted. Everyone has to start somewhere. Our advice is to speak to the webmaster and make sure that the set up of the website is conducive to Google Webmaster Tools guidelines. Should the rules be followed, there is no reason why you cannot use the website for link building purposes.
5. How relevant is the content of the website to my industry?
While the quality of the websites that link to yours is of paramount importance, it is also important that these sites are relevant to your industry. According to Google’s ranking rules, how useful a user finds a search result goes a long way in determining the rank of that webpage.
Approaching websites to feature your content or offer you link backs will only be useful if these sites have anything to do with the keywords that are tied to your industry.
Use this simple four-step test to determine whether a link is relevant or not:
- Make sure your earned links are from sites in the same industry as yours.
- If the site is not directly related to your industry, it should at least have a section that is related to your industry/product.
- Links from unrelated sites only work if the content on the page that provides the link is directly related to the content on your webpage that receives the link.
- The link that you earned should be relevant to the overall context of the page which gave you the link.
6. What is their social media marketing status?
For every website you want to create a link building relationship with, it is important to see what their social media marketing status is. Ask yourself: what platforms are they currently using? Are your customers using the same social media platforms? Are fans and followers of the websites interacting with the shares on the social networks? If you answered yes to all or most of the questions, this is a sign that the site is being promoted and wants to increase its traffic and prominence in your industry.
We are the first to admit that Link Building is not an easy process! However it remains the most effective way to increase visibly within search and Google. Another benefit to link building is the increase in referral and inbound traffic. Once placed, the links exist indefinitely and can be clicked by readers at any point. If you have any questions or run into roadblocks, we recommend taking our online digital marketing course. We also offer custom digital marketing corporate training for both frontline staff and management.
DMAC | Online Digital Marketing Courses and Customized Corporate Training
DMAC is an online platform that offers a practical and focused online digital and social marketing course. DMAC also provides customized digital and social media marketing training for businesses. Anyone that is looking to further their career in Marketing will gain a vast amount of practical knowledge and will also become certified in digital marketing with the online course. Please visit our website for further information or if you would like to get in touch with us, please contact us at 1-855-493-3622.