Boosting search engine rankings is something businesses should be concerned with if they were to exploit the Internet’s ability to enhance their business outcomes. For this post, the focus will be on the use of backlinks in search engine optimization (SEO). Learn about the importance of backlinks and the many ways they can be used to enhance ranking. Also, find out what a high quality backlink really means.
Does Backlinking Still Matter?
The answer is yes. Even after several changes in their algorithms, it can be said that backlinking still does matter for SEO. Google, in particular, continues to put weight on links. Backlinks are still one of the major Google ranking signals in 2017. Google comes up with a link score based on the quality scores of individual links and the number of links pointing to the site. In other words, backlinking matters and you need to make sure you cover both quality and quantity.
What Are High Quality Backlinks?
There is no fixed definition or description for what it means to be a high quality backlink. However, essentially, high quality backlinks are links from high authority websites that link to your site or page using your keywords or keyword phrase. These backlinks should also be on a website or web page that has content that is similar or related to your site or page. High quality backlinks ideally should also be able to send traffic to your site. Moreover, to be considered high quality, some pundits suggest that they should be in the content (not a link on the footer/header/sidebar) and should not be paid or reciprocal.
Here’s a summary of the expected qualities of high quality backlinks:
- Should be from a relevant source
- Should be from a high authority site
- Natural anchor text distribution using the keyword or keyword phrase you optimized your site/page for.
- Advisably linked within the content
- Preferably sends traffic
- Not paid or reciprocal
A high authority website, by the way, is a site that is trusted or well known for being a source of quality and original content. It is a site that has been in existence for a long time and has earned the reputation of offering quality content.
Generally, a high authority website is a site that enjoys high volumes of visitors or traffic. Also, It typically appears on the first few pages of search engine results.
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Most Effective Ways to Get High Quality Backlinks
So how do you obtain high quality backlinks? There are a number of ways and some of the most effective ones are listed below:
01. Producing quality content and promoting it.
Content is king even when it comes to backlinking. Without good content, you will rarely find an authority website to link to your site. You need to publish and promote quality content that is relevant to your target audience, useful, original, and interesting. Give potential sources of quality backlinks a reason to link to your site by offering useful and interesting content.
02. Adding your link to your social media profile.
Not many realize that they can easily get quality links from their own social media accounts. Most social media sites are regarded as quality sites with good amounts of traffic. By adding your site’s link on your social media profile section, you instantly get a quality backlink.
03. Social bookmarking.
Just like social media sites, social bookmarking sites also enjoy good online reputation and link value. Use them to bookmark your site or certain pages of your site and get an easy quality backlink. If others find your bookmark interesting and useful, they may visit your page and even link to it on their blogs or social media.
04. Guest post writing.
Guest blogging or the writing of guest posts on other bloggers’ blogs is an effective way to get quality backlinks. With it, you get to negotiate an opportunity to write content for an authority site and add your link in the content. What’s great about guest blogging is that if you create a helpful and engaging post, the readers of the blog you are writing for may visit your site (as they click on the backlink) and help further promote it on their social media pages or through their blogs. Just be sure to thoughtfully insert your link in the guest post to convince readers to click on your link. Moreover, be sure you are creating a quality guest post, as low quality guest posting is deemed a violation of Google’s guidelines.
05. Putting videos on video sharing sites.
You can come up with interesting videos and post them on sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. You can then add your link on the “info box” or “description box” of the video. While most links on these sites are “nofollow” links, they can still count as quality backlinks as they can still help bring in traffic and they provide indirect SEO benefits.
06. Infographic and document sharing.
There’s also the option to submit your multimedia content, infographic, and documents in sites specifically created to share these. Don’t forget to prominently add your link and make sure that what you are sharing is of use to others. Don’t waste your time with article directories as Google already devalued them.
Note on Foreign Website Backlinks
It’s worth noting here that Google is averse to backlinks coming from foreign language websites. If you have backlinks from Indian, Chinese, or Russian websites, these can be considered suspicious. This may lead to undesirable consequences (penalties from Google). That’s why if you are going to write posts or if you have a section of your site intended for regional or local audiences that is bound to get links from local non-English sites, you may want to have these posts or the content in this section translated. You may need competent website localization for these.
The significance of backlinking in SEO is unlikely to disappear or be significantly diminished anytime soon. It is something useful not only for search engine crawlers but to human readers as well. It is also a way of grouping similarly themed sites together to make them easier to find online. Consider using the backlinking methods discussed above and experience a boost in your search engine rankings.
About the author: Bernadine Racoma is a senior content writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. After her long stint as an international civil servant, she has aggressively pursued her interest in writing and research. She has notable fondness for things related to technology, travel, lifestyle, social media, and current affairs. She is also an advocate and mother to 7 successful children.