Link building is a tactic used to acquire backlinks, which are links from other websites.
A proficient link-building strategist, or link builder, will concentrate on promotional activities to secure high-quality and trustworthy links. This approach is not undertaken without good reason.
In 2016, Google stated that backlinks are one of the main factors it considers to rank websites. This data, combined with the growing digitization, makes the work of link building — or building links — gain more and more popularity.
A quick Google search lets you find many companies and professionals offering the service. Many brands, however, due to a lack of in-depth knowledge of the methodology, end up falling into “traps,” opting for works based only on price and with low quality. That’s when they don’t resort to a homemade solution and decide to implement a backlinks strategy independently.
It is worth remembering that we are talking about a highly specialized job, and if done the wrong way, it can have negative consequences, such as worsening rankings and even punishments by Google.
In this post, you will understand better:
- The importance of a backlink strategy
- What to consider when hiring a link-building company
- Why it is essential to have professionals specialized in this endeavor
The importance of backlinks
You need to understand that backlinks go from one website page to another. If someone links to your site, you get a backlink. If you send a link to any website, it will have a backlink from you. Google usually values backlinks a lot because they see them as votes of confidence. According to UppercutSEO, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it receives from Google.
Therefore, for the search engine to “trust” your site enough to rank it on the first few pages of search results (SERPs), it must be referenced by other sites. However, you need to understand that when I talk about other sites, I’m not talking about any sites but sites with good authority metrics and natural traffic.
Black Hat: Strategies to Avoid in Link Building
As I said at the beginning of this post, getting backlinks from quality websites pointing to your website takes work. Shortcuts are often quick and cheap, but the results can be pretty harmful.
It is necessary to point out that not all backlinks are created equal. The Internet is full of SEO tutorials and guides for content producers containing “magic formulas,” which promise to take you to the top of Google searches “with no effort.”
The truth is that these materials often promote tactics that go against Google’s guidelines, encouraging the so-called Black Hat SEO, which can result in your site being penalized.
Black Hat SEO comprises manipulation practices, which include:
- Use of networks of sites that feed each other with links
- Inserting links in comments on websites or blogs automatically and on a large scale
- Purchase of links and/or links inserted in content without context
Google’s algorithms change, which makes SEO dynamic. Therefore, if in the past these techniques made sense, today they not only do not work but are already identified by Google as harmful.
After all, link building is not about randomly distributing content. It implies knowing where to publish and how to publish. During the process, the metrics of the potential sites are analyzed, which must be good for the backlink to be effective in quality.
These metrics are responsible for determining your site’s level of relevance to search engines and its ranking according to Google’s algorithm. Black Hat strategies usually do not consider the quality of the sites but the quantity.
Why Diversify Referring Domains
Referring domains are websites that send at least one link to your website. So, if your website has 100 backlinks from 50 different websites, you have 50 referring domains.
Referral traffic demonstrates which sites visitors come to your content from. This indicator can be seen as a third-party recommendation, and this type of access counts greatly in ranking a company or business on Google. The more different sites are used in your strategy, the more referring domains you will have.
I have mentioned that there are no benefits in publishing on any random site and that always resorting to the same blog is unfavorable. To this end, relationships count for a lot, and the diversity of blogs, websites, and news portals can be used to your advantage to create a good link profile. A bold link-building strategy will consider this aspect, working to improve your referral traffic.
Anchor texts are important for the Link Building strategy
Remember I said that Link Building is a sophisticated SEO strategy? In addition to everything I have already mentioned, there is still care about the term that carries the link, the anchor text.
Google uses the terms in the anchor text to better understand which keywords the referenced page should rank for. However, after launching the Penguin algorithm, the search engine started to give even more weight to the anchor and see the massive use of exact keywords as something negative.
If you get a lot of links with the exact anchor text, they might look suspicious to Google as a sign that the links weren’t fetched organically. In this way, the links should contain a natural variation, contributing to a more fluid reading.
Let’s give an example to make it clearer. Let’s say you have a link building agency, and after researching keywords, you concluded that you should work on the keyword “link building services.” That’s the exact term. Variations for it could be “link building specialist,” “link building company,” or “Content Linking Strategist,” for example.
Anchor text analysis, therefore, is one of the important steps in the Link Building process and will undoubtedly be part of the service provided by a specialized agency.
Attention: SEO is medium to long-term investment
Unlike traditional paid media methods, investment in link building brings consistent results, and this takes time. When you choose Google Ads, you usually choose a specific period to increase your visibility temporarily. As soon as your resources expire, you “disappear” from Google ads and consequently from your customers’ view.
Backlinks improve organic positioning, that is, permanent links obtained without paying for ads. That is, if any company or professional that works with backlinks promises quick results, be suspicious.
Link-building work allows you to build a solid structure that can survive the test of time. However, the results come in the medium or long term. Don’t forget that you will be working with a tool whose effects will reflect on your Google ranking. Taking shortcuts or embarking on an endeavor led by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing can be a real shot in the foot.
A poorly executed link-building strategy can result in penalties. Consequences range from ranking loss in search engines to having your site de-indexed by Google, meaning it won’t appear in search results. This is undoubtedly the worst scenario for anyone needing the Internet to offer their product or service. And reversing it costs time and money. One key to avoiding these consequences is knowing what you are doing.
When working with an agency specializing in backlinks, with professionals who can maximize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics, your results will undoubtedly be better and safer in the long run.
Joseph Cruz is the co-founder of SharpRocket, SearchCart, and SassPursuit, all Link Building Agencies based in the Philippines with over a decade of expertise in strategic link acquisition and a passion for driving organic search visibility for businesses.