First of all, introduce myself, my name is David Ayala and I have been working in the world of SEO and digital marketing since 2003. Thanks to Álvaro for letting me participate in the blog to talk about something that I love, quality link building strategies.
What is link building?
Let’s first think about the most basic definition of link building : it is about creating links (hyperlinks) from other web pages to ours.
The purpose of creating these links as a general rule is to improve the positioning of our website, but we must not forget that it can also help us to generate visits to our website from that link.
What does link building mean for Google?
If we want to understand what link building means for Google and why it began to value it from the beginning, we must think of the most archaic Google when it all started.
At that time when there were no search engines and there were practically only other web pages and directories, how did a user find a web page ?
Simple, through a link.
Therefore, the more links a website received, the more chances there were for users to arrive, therefore, it had a greater popularity.
To understand it, we can outline everything as nodes and edges, the nodes being web pages and the edges links that link those webs, to more edges from other nodes, the more chances that a user “falls” on our website.
Is link building still working today?
As I have commented previously, at the beginning Google valued the links more “in bulk” because the more links you had, the more possible paths the user had to reach your web page.
To this day, link building continues to be an important factor in positioning, especially in sectors with medium / high competition.
However, unsurprisingly, link building has evolved and Google has fine-tuned its valuation of links.
Although it is still important in some cases to have a high volume of links, now other factors also come into play, such as their quality, thematic similarity, etc.
Therefore, although it is a factor that we must continue to work on, now we have to do it in a much “finer” way.
How to assess the quality of a link
In some sectors we have no choice but to work on all kinds of links because the competition is also working on them and in a more “savage” way, but as a general rule it thinks that fewer links of higher quality will always be better than many of low quality.
Next, I will explain some of the factors that you should pay attention to to assess that a link is of quality:
Authority of the web that links you
It is not the same that a newspaper like the world or the country links you to a small regional newspaper. The small regional newspaper probably has much less authority and therefore that link gives you less authority.
Status of the web that links you
We must be careful with the sites where we get links because if it is a “dead” site that does not position anything in Google, it may be that either that site is penalized or directly a site that Google does not value anything and therefore we would not be interested .
In the same way, also be careful that it is not a site full of spam, many links, etc., that has a minimum of quality.
Place from where your website is linked
Even if you get a link in a mega portal, if they put it in a sub sub sub sub sub sub section, it is very possible that the value of that link is very low.
When we seek to get links to improve our SEO, the ideal is to get follow links that Google can follow.
Apart from this, be careful with attributes such as sponsored with which we will be saying to Google, Hello! This link is sponsored! I am buying links! And obviously what we want is for our link building strategy to look natural.
If we want a quality link, it is not enough for us to leave a link and that’s it, we must give it context so that the URL where that link is placed makes sense. It is not the same to leave a link to a “dog food” website in a URL where nothing is said about anything or where it talks about “locksmiths”, to leave the link in a URL that talks about “dog food” , we are contextualizing our link.
If you have a dog food website, it will always be much better to get a link on an animal website than on a nut website. But it will still be much better to get a link on a dog website, or much better on a dog food website.
The subject of semantic affinity is a very interesting world and that can add great value to our links, so I will tell you more about it below.
How to know if one site is more related than another
When creating or buying links, it is important that we analyze the sites, and whenever we can, we get the closest possible sites.
Let’s think that the links are the equivalent to the recommendations in “real life”, and if we extrapolate an example we will be able to understand it better. If you are a neurosurgeon, being recommended by a butcher is fine, but it is much better being recommended by a family doctor. We go further, it will be much better if a surgeon recommends you, but if it is a neurosurgeon who recommends you it will be even better because it is understood that he is a person who understands a lot about this matter.
Returning to the world of the internet, we are going to see a practical example of how to know if a website is more or less related to a theme.
For this I will use the SE Ranking tool to see exactly which keywords the web is positioning.
On web 1 we can see how it is positioning 136,946 keywords, of which 37,661 contain the word dog. That is, 27.5% of the keywords are related to dogs (a more in-depth analysis of derived keys would have to be done, but we are going to see it like this to have an example).
Therefore, we can say that web 1 would be more akin to a dog web than web 2 and therefore it would be more interesting to get the link on web 1.
How to get related links in a simple way
This seems like a great thing and it is, but there are always little “tricks” or “shortcuts” to get things done faster.
One of these ways is through the LEOlytics link building tool where we have the option of giving us suggestions for websites related to ours.
We just have to select the theme of our website and through data mining and a little artificial intelligence they will give us suggestions of sites that have an affinity with our website.
Link building has been and continues to be an important part of SEO, so if we want to compete in searches in which competitors are working on it, we must also work on it.