basics of link building
Link building is the most important aspect of SEO. It is also the most important metric Google uses to rank websites. There are many websites and tools that have been developed throughout the years to help marketers record and track the most important metrics regarding link building. These links can be generated in a number of different ways, but the most valuable way is via editorial links.
Google has this crazy algorithm that uses over 200 different metrics to rank your site. Although the biggest factor Google uses are the links that are pointing to your site and others. When one website links to another website, it’s seen as an endorsement (it also builds trust in your site). Google will recognize that people link to your site and find you trustworthy and vice versa, thus rewarding you with authority.
We can all agree that link building is very important, but there are right ways to do it and wrong ways to do it. The right way is by getting natural links to your site – the wrong way is paying for spammy links. Google is always trying to improve their learning and AI to make their search engine even better. Although we can’t learn all there is to know about Google’s algorithms, there are many tools and marketing agencies that have spent time trying to figure out Google’s search algorithms.
Moz is one of these tools/marketing agencies. They are regarded as the industry standard when it comes to links and link metrics. Moz developed the terms “domain authority and page authority,” which is a measurement that roughly determines the rank of your website, which are on a scale of 0-100. They also have a browser extension that can show these metrics on any website with a click of a button. If you can increase the page and domain authority of your website by gaining good links, you will rank higher in Google.
The thing about the domain authority score is that it is not on a linear scale, but rather a logarithmic scale. Basically going from 0-1 is really easy. Then it gets tougher and tougher to move from 1-2, then 2-3, and so on. There are very few websites that are in the high 90’s. For example, Arcane Marketing’s domain authority is 28, for us to go to a 29 will be about the same amount of work as going from a 1-10. Domain authority is dependent on the quantity and quality of links pointing to your website. When a page links to another, they are passing on a small amount of their authority onto that site.
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Ahrefs is another useful tool for marketers and business owners to use. This will give you a very good idea of your link metrics; links coming in, what domains have linked to you, lost links, and broken links. Like Moz, Ahrefs has been putting in great time and effort into developing their information, and the more you use them, the more you will understand how they can help you. Like many of these types of tools, there is a free version, although it is limited. The paid version will will provide much more valuable and actionable information. Moz and Ahrefs are probably the 2 best tools you can use when researching your link profile. Majestic and SEMRush are very useful as well.
Once your business gets started with link building it can sometimes be pretty frustrating; there are easy and hard ways to do it, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of bad practices that once were usable that are now not so good (spam). Google has also spent considerable amounts of time perfecting their algorithm to detect spam. Paying for links is a popular method to use, but often this results in spam and could result in a penalty. There are legitimate ways to pay for them, such as press releases that do result in links. You do not want to get involved with bad link building practices, this could associate your business with sexual and gambling sites, which is never desirable. Link farms are another spammy link service, these are sites that only exist to push out links. Again, stay away from these.
Another link building strategy is to utilize guest blog services. Google has said that they don’t value links from guest blogs, but there are some blogs that are set up correctly that don’t violate Google’s terms of service. Just make sure that any links you post to a guest blog service are “nofollow” links. If you have more questions about guest blogging, reach out to us.
Google prefers natural content and links, things that will provide value to your website or another’s products or services. Editorial links are the best possible links to get. That is when you have a page or content on your site that another finds valuable and thus they link to you without payment or other forms of compensation.
Content & Link Ideas
We all want to generate great links for our sites, but how can we produce content that will provide value to both Google and other websites? Well, find an issue your business is having a problem with, and search it on Google. If you can’t find a good (very specific to your question/problem) answer in the first 2 pages of Google, then figure it out yourself and write a blog post about it. If you can, make a Youtube video about it and include it in the blog post. Doing this correctly can and will reward you in the future!
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