Link building (or link building and link building written) refers to the process of linking external websites to your website or creating internal links within your own websites. Link building is a method for search engine optimization (SEO), which is assigned to the area Offpage optimization.
The techniques in link building are used to optimize a placement of a website in Google or other search engines.
There are several factors in search engine optimization. For one thing, what’s happening on the website itself is important. It should be ensured that a website is technically well designed ( technical SEO ) and that the content of a website is high quality, relevant and well optimized ( Onpage SEO ). In addition, it should be noted what is done outside the website ( Offpage optimization ). This includes how the link structure is structured, which ensures that traffic from other relevant pages is directed to the own website.
Understanding Linkbuilding and Offpage Optimization
Link building can be a time consuming and difficult process because not every link or backlink(link to your page) has the same quality. Nowadays, link building is essential for internet marketing to succeed online.
So far, at the beginning of 2018, a lot has already been written about link building, trying to make a definition or writing various shorter articles about link building. A complete guide with holistic overview and useful tips was missing. Until now!
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about link building and show you how to become a linkbuilder and build quality backlinks.
We hope you find practical tips in this guide that can help you on your way!
Link building. Why is link building important?
Google places a high value on the incoming links that a website receives from other websites.
The number and, above all, the quality of backlinks to a domain created by link building together make up one of the three most important ranking factors for Google and other search engines. These parameters play an important role in the evaluation of a website when it comes to placing the website in the search results for different keywords high or low.
Links serve as a signal generator for the search engine .
You can compare the signals of linkbuilding with your everyday work situation. Let’s say you start with a company and get very good results. If none of your new colleagues notice this and do not tell them about it internally, no one knows how good you are and may not get the recognition you deserve.
But if your colleagues and supervisors at meetings tell you how good your results are, it will send out a signal that could possibly lead to a promotion. This will probably make your job with your supervisor more popular .
Although this example is quite striking, it works similarly with links and search engine optimization. The theory and the idea behind it is that a website gets more important the more views a page gets from different web pages in an industry.A domain with many high-quality incoming links, also known as backlinks, is rated better in Google than a website with less high-quality backlinks.
What are backlinks and why are they important in SEO Linkbuilding?
A backlink is a reference (in the form of a hyperlink) of a foreign website to your own website.
When a website refers to a foreign website, it means that the foreign site is relevant to your site for one or more reasons. For example, the reference may be used based on additional information about a particular topic or placed as a source reference. A backlink can also be seen as a rating that gets a website. Many reviews have a positive impact on the position in the search results. Backlinks are thus the PR and marketing of your website in Google.
What is a link?
A link (or hyperlink ) is a link from one place to another on the Internet. When someone clicks on a hyperlink, it is directed to a new information path. Links link different websites and the Internet together.
The anatomy of a link . In other words, what is a link in HTML?
To understand link building and work as a link builder, it is necessary to first understand the basics of how a link looks like and how to create a back link.
The image below shows the anatomy of a hyperlink in the HTML code:
- Opening : A hyperlink begins with an anchor tag (< a ) that indicates to search engines that a link follows.
- Reference : The href attribute indicates the position of the links. The text in the quotation marks determines the URL to which the link relates:
(href = “https://www.eyet.org/linkbuilding”).
- Anchor text : The anchor text (also: anchor text) is the text that is displayed in the clickable part of a link.
With this you can give both the visitors and the search engines an idea of which topic the linked page refers to: (> linkbuilding <).
- Closure : then the link is closed by the closing tag of the anchor element (/ a >).
Differentiation: Dofollow and Nofollow on the left
As described above, there are two different types of links. By default, the link is Dofollow (and looks like described above). In response to search engine optimization spam techniques (more on that later), the Nofollow tag was also introduced.
With Nofollow Links, webmasters can ensure that a reference to another site is sent from their website through link building, but no page rank (or link juice) is sent here.
In other words: Google does not assign a value to a link with a rel = nofollow attribute in the HTML element, as is the case with a normal link.
In forums or blog comments, you can expect to automatically set nofollow links there.
Are Nofollow links bad then? No not at all. In fact, having nofollow links in your link profile is good and natural (more on this later).
Quantity vs. Quality of the backlinks
What is Linkbuilding in qualitative and quantitative terms?
For Google, a link is a signal of popularity and relevance .
The more different domains link to a website and the more different backlinks a website gets, the more popular it becomes (due to the quantity of links ) in the eyes of search engines like Google.
It is also important from which other domains a website receives backlinks. A backlink from a recognized site is more valuable than a link from an unknown site.
In addition, the content of a page from which the links are sent is relevant.
For example, for a website about cars, it’s more valuable to get a backlink from another domain via a car than from a domain over women’s clothing. All this should be considered in terms of the quality of a link. An irrelevant link will have little positive impact on visibility on a search engine and may even have the opposite effect (more on that later).
The quantity and quality of the backlinks of a particular web page were previously translated into the so-called PageRank (PR) of a web page.
This method is based on an algorithm and named after Google founder Larry Page. He calculated a score for a domain (from 0 to 10) based on the backlinks to the relevant page. The higher the value, the stronger the signal that the website has relevant content.
In the time before Google, only the absolute number of backlinks (also called in links) was important for link building. This has changed a lot since PageRank. As a result, the whole approach of link building has changed a lot.
Today, in the SEO world, various indicators are used by several SEO marketing tools to evaluate the so-called “link profile” and the domain and link popularity of an existing website.
Examples include Majestic’s Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) and the Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR). These reviews indicate if backlinks from other domains have a good reputation and high authority.
The domain rating in Ahrefs increases when a domain receives more links from other domains. Pages that have a high DR weigh more heavily than those with a low domain score.
While the Trust Flow displays the confidence or “quality” of the incoming links to the website, the Majestic Citation Flow displays the “quantity” of the backlinks to the corresponding website. A link from a recognized website in a particular area weighs more heavily and translates more trust in a website than, for example, a little-known blog.
High-rated sites get better positions faster in Google and other search engine search results. The generation of backlinks through link building is therefore also crucial in 2018 in order to rank higher in Google in the future.
This is not only the result of earlier statements by Google itself, but also from various surveys that sought to find out which factors have the greatest impact on higher positions in Google.
This is substantiated by various studies from well-known SEO websites. Information from the study of MOZ , the Searchmetrics Ranking Correlation Study , as well as the 2017 Stone Temples research, provide relevant data on Google’s relationship between links and rankings.
These studies show that, compared to other important SEO factors, the number of referring domains correlates most with the higher positioning in a search engine (referring domains) .
Link building (off page optimization) is therefore essential if you want to make your website visible to your target group on the Internet .
What does a good link building quality mean and what does a natural link profile look like?
Link building has a strong positive impact on Google search results.
- But what is a good backlink?
- What influence does the anchor text have on the placement in search engines?
- And what does a natural link profile look like now?
Questions to which we give you answers in this section.
What is a good link profile?
With a natural link profile, the number of organic backlinks grows and varies. This is how Google and other search engines rate it.
Therefore, link building should be done regularly. This means that links are best created continuously (in a natural time frame).
It is not recommended to build a lot of links in a week and then again for several weeks or months to create links. This is “unnatural” and search engines penalize websites that are trying to reach higher positions by manipulating link building.
A Penalty from Google can cause a large number of keywords to be removed from the Google index and make your website appear poorly or not at all on search results.
For this reason, a thoughtful and professional link building strategy is essential.
For linkbuilders to meet these requirements, it is important that they regularly receive multiple good quality backlinks from both large and small web pages for their domain.
Other important factors are the different distribution of anchor texts (distribution) and a balanced distribution of do-follow and no-follow links.
The ideal anchor text distribution
100% perfect anchor text distribution does not exist, as it depends on your industry, competitive behavior, and website orientation.
However, SEO experts agree on what a desired and safe distribution is during link building. The following table shows an overview of the recommended distribution with associated anchor types.
- 70% Brand Anchor text (Mark Anker text): Google prefers strong brands. Backlinks with your brand name are the least marked as spam. The main part of the anchor text will preferably be the brand anchor.
- 20% URLs (regular URLs): Another natural anchor text is linking without anchor text. This means that no anchor text is specified and the anchor is the full URL (read more under the heading “Anatomy of a link”).
- 5% Generic anchors: These are so-called safe and neutral words that are not related to the content of your website. Examples include: “More information”, “Read more” or “Continue on this website”.
- 4% Partial keyword match anchors : In these anchor texts, you can use the words that you want to score in Google, but in combination with other neutral words. For example, if you wanted to search for the keyword “driving lessons,” “More driving hours information” would be a keyword-related anchor.
- 1% Exact match anchors : The Anchor text matches the exact keyword you want to rank in the search engine.
This is obviously the most effective anchor text to score, but also the most dangerous. Excessive use of exact anchor text in link building is one of the main reasons for Google’s Penguin Penalty (more on that later).
Are all links the same? No! Some are the same
The quality of the pages and the authority of the domains from which the backlinks come are important, since they can speak for the relevance of their own domain. Traffic-strong websites from similar subject areas tend to link to other qualitative websites and are not linked to smaller, non-visible pages.
What is Linkbuilding today? And how is that different from the past?
Over the years, the implementation of search engine optimization and thus the development of links has developed strongly. Due to various algorithm updates from Google, techniques that were used for link building years ago will have no effect in 2018. In some cases, obsolete approaches can be harmful even to one’s own side.
The most important update for offpage optimization (link building) is the ” Google Penguin Update “.
The purpose of this algorithm is that Google rates the quality of links between various websites and punishes unauthorized link building techniques to prevent abuse and unnatural manipulation.
This algorithm has been constantly updated since its inception in 2012 and is now so advanced in 2018 that we are talking about the real-time Penguin algorithm (Penguin 4.0) . This means that Google Penguin is now continuously and faster than ever punishing domains in the use of unauthorized link building strategies.
Some examples of black hat techniques (unauthorized search engine marketing techniques) are:
- Automatic link placement on many different websites.
- Weblogs that focus only on sending links (link farms).
- Comment spam (link placement as a comment below an article).
- Links to unrelated directories of low quality (business directory).
- Unnaturally many link references from the same website.
- Link building through the exchange of backlinks with other websites without relevance.
Are these techniques no longer used today? However, in fact, these are still commonly usedbecause these link building techniques are often cheap and do not take much time.
There are still many so-called “link building experts” who use these techniques and offer their customers link building packages in which they put many links for relatively little money.
This may sound appealing to a layman, but as mentioned earlier, this type of link building will tend to negatively affect websites in the long term.
The Black Hat techniques can have a short-term effect. But from our experience, Google Penguin is able to quickly identify this and penalize your domain for these practices. In the worst case, the consequence would be that you would no longer be findable for your target group on the Internet.
Use legal (white hat) techniques that do not violate Google’s policies.
Relevant links from different domains
In 2018, it will be more important than ever for your marketing to get backlinks from high-quality domains and that these links are relevant to the content of your own website.
If your website is about clothing, then it’s good to get backlinks from other websites like clothing stores or blogs, but not from a website about cars, for example.
In addition, a backlink from a new additional domain is better than a link from a website from which you have already received a link.
You can compare it again with the colleague who tells in a meeting that you are doing a good job. It obviously has more effect when, at a subsequent meeting, another colleague says that you do a good job of getting feedback from the same person over and over again. This is how it works with link building.
The better the links, the better the result of your website in the search results, which can ultimately lead to a greater success of your company .
How do you build links? Several ways to get backlinks
What does linkbuilding mean for you as linkbuilder in practice?
The purpose of link building is to get backlinks from other websites to your website.
Linking multiple backlinks to your domain will make your SEO better and you will earn more on Google for different search terms (keywords) relevant to you, making it more visible to your audience in Internet search results .
- But how can links be built?
- What should you do to make other websites refer to you?
- What is your favorite focus?
Linkbuilding is a comprehensive process that costs time and energy. At least that’s the case if you handle the offpage optimization properly.
It’s important that the focus is not necessarily on getting as many links as possible, but creating interesting and relevant content that can be found by your audience.
Valuable content is shared faster in the form of links as well as social media. You can benefit from it. There are a number of link building strategies that can help you create more backlinks.
Some offpage strategies take more time or are more effective than others in search engine optimization.
Various link building techniques
Below is a list of different link building techniques that you can do yourself and start right away:
- Register your domain in relevant business directories
, it is important that the directories of good quality and relevant to your own target audience is.
- Create unique content on your website. This content should provide added value to your audience. If the content is interesting enough, they will also be linked.
- Linkbaits are interesting and visually high quality content offered to “attract” links from others to your website. This is especially useful for videos, infographics and white papers.
- Write guest contributions for other websites, the so-called “guest blogging”.
You can offer other website owners to write a relevant article on a topic that is thematically well suited to the interests of its readers. In this article, you can then place a link to your own website.
- Publishing press releases .
If you’re new to your business or industry, you can write a press release about it and send it to (local) news portals or other domains in your industry. When they publish the articles, they usually receive a backlink in the form of a source reference.
- Become active in various forums and blogs and then reply with a link to your webpage in the comment (often these links are automatically in Nofollow).
- Do an SEO link building competition analysis .
Analyze where your competition gets its backlinks. Are these also interesting websites for you? Then ask these pages to also link to your page.
- Take advantage of an ABC link exchange . Because link-sharing between two websites often does little and can be harmful (more on this above), this is a good and effective link-building technique. Simply put, website A refers to B, page B refers to C, and website C refers to A. This will give you a backlink to Domain C without having to place a link directly there.
- Broken Link Building : This is a costly but very effective link building strategy. Here you check whether there are so-called ” broken links ” on linked websites , from which you would like to have a link. This means that before a link reference has been placed on a page, but it no longer exists (eg because the website is no longer online and therefore the link is broken). You can show this to the author of the article and the webmaster and ask if he would like to change the link to your website.
- Product Testing : Have one or more products tested (for free) by a blogger in your industry. In return, you will receive a product review on its website with a backlink.
Each linkbuilder has their own preferred link-building techniques. Which of the above options you use, you can of course decide for yourself. The orientation of their link building strategy depends on which company goals they pursue and which focal points you want to set (also with regard to possible costs).
There are a number of practical tips on what should and should not happen during link building.
Link building tips that you can now use as Link Builder:
- Make sure you get both Dofollow links and Nofollow links. This is more natural than the mere placement of Dofollow links. (for example, you can easily get them in forums or social media channels).
- Backlinks from different domains with different IP addresses are worth more than links from domains with the same address. Make sure you get referrals from many different websites with unique IPs.
- Make sure that your links during link building with varied anchor texts for a natural link profile certainly varied be.
- Remember reciprocal link building (sharing links) with strong domains only and make sure that this link has significant added value at all times (otherwise this technique is prone to Google’s Penguin Penalty).
- Make sure that you get links to different (sub) pages of your website and do not target all backlinks on a single page.
Make sure you are linked to both your home page and other landing pages (also known as deep links).
- A backlink of a website in the same language and the same country-specific top-level domain (ccTLD) , such as .de , is more valuable than a link of a page written in another language.
- How many other external links are sent from the page from which you receive your backlinks? Who else will be linked? Make sure there are not too many other outbound links to other webpages on the page.
- Share your content in social media . Although social signals (such as social links, likes, and shares) are not nearly as important as those of websites, social media activity is also having more and more impact on Google’s search results.
You should not do that when building a link!
- Create links to bad internet sites located in so-called ” bad neighborhoods “. Avoid linking to the 3 Ps pages (pills, porn and poker sites) and the spam forums.
- Do not build up your incoming links at irregular intervals . Too many links in a short time and then for a while not to create, is recognized as an unnatural link profile.
- Place irrelevant links . Make sure the link you place as link builder is always linked to the topics on your own web page. If you have a website about shoes, a backlink from a fashion blog might be interesting, but not a link to or from an online store for office supplies.
Become a specialist in link building (offpage optimization)
With this guide we have introduced you to the concept of link building (or the synonym Offpage SEO). The meaning and key concepts have been explained and we have highlighted a number of useful and practical tips and strategies.
Obtaining a top position in the search engine is very valuable today, as more and more people in Germany use Google. The offpage part of the complex SEO specialization plays an important role in the success of your website .
We hope that we could give you an answer to the question “What is Linkbuilding?” And that you are now also enthusiastic about Offpage Optimization and that as Link Builder you can advance your search engine optimization well.
Of course, if you prefer to have link building done by a seasoned expert , you can outsource link building to a professional for optimal performance.