Among the many digital marketing strategies in the eternal battle to win Google’s top positions, one of the most important is link building. But do you know what link building is and what are the biggest myths out there? Well, in this post we will clarify these doubts and show you a little […]
Among the many digital marketing strategies in the eternal battle to win Google’s top positions, one of the most important is link building.
But do you know what link building is and what are the biggest myths out there?
Well, in this post we will clarify these doubts and show you a little of the concept and the importance of this strategy for your ranking in the search engines.
So, come on?
General Link Building Concept
If we do an analysis of the remote past, when Google was still a master’s thesis at Stanford University, its general idea was to organize the relevance of the pages according to the quantity and quality of references made to them – that is, backlinks that pointed back to these pages -.
Then came PageRank and the first notion of the search engine as we know it today.
PageRank and google analytics came to Link Building, and this practice can be divided into 2 types :
- External link building
- Internal link building
We will understand each one better, below.
External link building
As we said above, Google always seeks to deliver the best content sought by the user, and that is consistent with the keywords searched.
Among the various factors that influence search engine rankings, the relevance of your content is one of the most important.
Therefore, to better measure this relevance, Google looks for how many times it is mentioned by other good and reliable websites.
Thus, it can be highly relevant content and should be better positioned in searches.
The strategies involve from guest posts to the active search for those who are linking competitors with the most strategic keywords for your business, then contact them and try to replace it with your content, generating a healthy external link for you.
To do this verification, there are several tools, such as:
But lots of attention! The line between this being considered a black hat is a very fine one, especially if you offer money in exchange for links, something totally objectionable and punishable by Google since you must build this authority by publishing very high quality and really useful content for your persona!
If you need help generating your persona, you can count on our personas generator!
Internal link building
The internal Link Building consists of placing links to internal content on your website that complements the information you want to transmit.
Building references to other pages within your site is a way to encourage user browsing and increase the chances of engagement, interactions and even conversions.
If you have complementary information, the user has a better experience and starts to rely more on your content to search for references.
In addition, if Google does not identify that the user clicked on links and navigated through your site, your bounce rate increases and, although it does not directly influence your positioning on Google, it is a metric that can say a lot about your website, as we talked about here – look at our internal link building! 😉
The Effect of a Good Link Building
Link building is the heart of a successful SEO strategy.
Searching for links in natural ways and with good domains (more on that below) will make you gain more and more prominent positions on Google, reaching the first page and, in some cases, even the first organic position.
SEO strategies are sets of good practices both on-page and off-page, where every detail counts.
However, it is safe to say that without good link building, you will hardly achieve the goals you aim for with them.
If you want to go deeper into how to put together an effective strategy, just access our article on it!
The Link Building Myths
With such importance, it is natural for rumours, rumours and factoids to appear, which, being repeated many times, end up being taken as “truths” by many professionals, but which are nothing more than myths.
Therefore, we will try to clarify the main link building myths, below:
1. “Never accept links from sites with a Domain Authority lower than yours”
We’ve talked about Domain Authority before here, but it’s basically a metric created by the world’s top SEO experts, Moz, to identify how strong a domain is when compared to others.
For this, he assesses a series of factors such as Visitors, backlinks, time spent on the page, conversions and many others.
This, however, says nothing about the quality of the site itself, it’s positioning, links, the relevance of content, quality of traffic and visitors.
Therefore, it is not enough to claim that it is a terrible place to get links. Yes, it is interesting to give a slight preference to sites with AD above 80 and avoid those below 10, but nothing prevents an excellent site that is more recent, for example, cannot generate links of extreme quality for you.
2. “Do not accept directory links”
Websites of the type “directories” are those that list other sites according to categories, becoming a kind of deposit of links to the most different subjects.
Some follow more demanding criteria and others less so.
Hence this myth: Disorganized directories and without a good selection of links, with the sole and exclusive purpose of SEO for other sites, are not really indicated to place a backlink to your site, and may even generate punishments from Google.
However, there are directories that are excellent sources of the search for lists.
For example, if someone searches for “bookstore in Belo Horizonte” and falls on a list of the best bookstores in Belo Horizonte in Apontador, the famous Brazilian directory, wouldn’t you want a link to the website of your bookstore in Belo Horizonte? Of course, you should want to!
Have a discernment between what is a directory of paid links and a directory with excellent sites and that acts as a resource for the user.
Try to make a checklist of some points before looking for or accepting links from directories, such as:
- Selection criteria of the websites listed
- Sensible organization of links
- Division by categories and subcategories
- Quality of the content of the links it disseminates
Some directories work with “no-follow” links, that is, they do not directly affect your rankings on Google, but they can still bring you a great volume of traffic.
3. “Do not make external links or to other sites, or you will lose authority, PageRank, etc.”
Again, this is a link building myth based on some fact.
In the past, PageRank worked in such a way that if a page had several links pointing outside it, then a portion of its PageRank would be passed on to them.
These are extremely outdated SEO rules. It does not represent the reality of today!
PageRank is not the only or the most important factor analyzed by Google’s algorithm for organic ranking ( find out more about them here ).
You shouldn’t be afraid to link to pages external to yours.
You should be concerned about linking to good external pages!
A common feature on high ranking pages is external links, and the pages they make are often above their competitors that they are afraid to do!
Therefore, pointing to other sites may be related to better positions.
Always remembering one of the golden rules: Make the link if it makes sense and the content on the other page actually complements the reader’s experience and has a good quality!
Google is concerned with the user experience, so if the external link optimizes the experience of your reader, the searcher will see it with good eyes.
4. “Don’t get links too fast, otherwise, you will be punished”
The support for this information is based on the fact that if your site starts to gain links at a speed above normal, then you are using tactics outside of Google’s code of conduct, so you will be penalized.
This is not true. What is true, is that if a pattern of low-quality links or with a “spammer” profile appears in the sequence, it can indeed trigger a punishment from Google.
And yes, if you are running a dubious ethics strategy involving purchasing links, private networks and the like, you will be subject to suspicion and punishment by Google’s mechanisms.
But if you are operating a healthy and cool Link Building strategy, there is no reason to worry about the speed at which you receive backlinks.
5. “Variations in your anchor text must be made in specific proportions and millimetrically positioned”
Some kind of “rule” that would look like:
- Anchor text with your brand name = 22%
- With reference to your brand = 31%
- With exact keyword = 16%
- Random = 31%
No, there is no correlation with this precise numerical distribution with its results.
However, it does not hurt to repeat: If you are practising questionable techniques, it is likely that Google will check your anchor texts and, if you notice that many of them repeat the keyword and little variation, you may get their attention and may end up checking your site manually.
So, if you continue on the path of the fair in the world of SEO and link building, also known as White Hat, there is nothing to worry about here.
Keep your content memorable, with references that make sense, and you won’t have to worry about that.
6. “Receiving more than one link from the same site is not useless”
It is proven that pages that are cited by more unique sources and individual domains rank better than those that have many links from fewer locations.
However, you should never refuse a good link from a website that has already mentioned other content, simply because there is no loss – on the contrary, you still have a lot to gain from it.
The importance of Link Building goes beyond SEO and Google rankings.
These links will bring you more traffic and qualified visitors. If you have backlinks from sites whose visitors identify with the problems that you also help to solve, at any level, this is traffic that you must want very much!
This is the case, for example, when we are mentioned by companies like SEMRush, Digital Results or so many others, more than once.
7. “Never ask for a link directly, or you will be penalized”
Imagine the following scenario: Your company was mentioned by a respected media outlet, in relevant and positive news.
This portal probably receives many daily visits and many of them may be curious to know more about you. Wouldn’t you ask for a link? Of course yes! Dream of this link!
Or, a local magazine or guide published a list of new vegetarian restaurants in your city. There is no problem sending an email notifying you that you have a new vegetarian restaurant and the link to your website.
But the existence of this myth is understandable. Some companies use tactics such as sending emails to their customers asking for links in exchange for discounts or special conditions or even sending emails offering the purchase of links, which is totally objectionable, as Google will always appreciate user experience and relevance from quotes to other content, and that’s what should differentiate good from bad sites, not your buying power or bargaining.
Google may decide to take punitive action against those who engage in manipulated and artificial link building, but as long as you do not engage in this type of negotiation, you can rest assured.
8. “Having links from sites outside your niche market hinders your SEO”
Some people think that Google has a logic to assess the level of correlation between Site A and Site B, and then say if it is fair to increase the rankings of that page due to that link.
Although it initially makes sense, it is not quite how it works in practice.
If this link is placed in context, comes from a good site and does not appear to be pushing the bar to be there for unique and exclusive SEO reasons, you can rest assured.
Accepting and looking for links from these sites is a great tactic. Even creating content outside your niche can be a great idea, as we talked about before.
At the end of the day, Google’s biggest concern will always be with the user experience.
It is a machine of intentions that always aims to improve its search engines, based mainly on what was the purpose of the search and how satisfactory its response was to the user.
Link building will help to build the relevance of your site to Google, as good sites pointing to others, means that they are authorities on the subject and will be better placed than those that are not cited by anyone.
We hope to have clarified a lot of the points involving link building strategies, their importance and some of the main myths surrounding them.
With so much content out there, it’s important to make yours more attractive to make it easier to quote from other sites. For that, check out our guide on how to create a great post, and after doing so, why not find another article on the web that can be complemented by yours?