Fundamental Link Building Practices to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings in Google




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We hear the entire buzz about getting back links over the web, but why are links so important to gain higher search engine rankings? First of all, links allow the search engines to find and index your website in the search engine databases. Second, high quality links help drive direct traffic and give the search engines an indicator of the importance of your website. The amount, the quality (trust), and the relevance of back links, will reveal many important signals to the search engines to determine the order of ranking.

Obviously, Google cares first about its users, which are their utmost priority. All their technology is based on this philosophy. The more and the better they are able to satisfy their users, the more they will increase their market share (to sell more Adwords ads). They don’t want to ruin their SERPs with useless spam. This is why links from trusted websites are so important. The more trust the more and better rankings you will get.

In order to rank higher, you have to understand how Google places value on links. Each link is counted as a vote, but not all links are created equal meaning that not every link’s value is counted the same. If a link is deemed as high quality, it will pass on more link juice and therefore help your website gain higher ranking positions (compared to lower quality links). This means that getting a few links from really established and trusted websites (a.k.a. authority websites) is worth much more than a big quantity of low quality links. This brings us to the next point.

What is a Trusted (Authority) Website and What Qualities does it Possess?


It usually has lots of visitors.

It usually ranks well for a wide variety of popular and competitive keyword phrases. If a website ranks well for competitive keyword phrases, it’s a great sign that the website is highly trusted. Wikipedia is an example of a highly trusted source, which is cited from many research journals, government websites, media and the like, thus gives them that kind of high authority on the web. An authority website gets cited from these sources based on its merit, which is something they have earned from the web community. Obviously, trusted websites offer something of high value to other people, which is why it gets referred to.

It’s well established in the industry and the domain is usually older. The age of a domain is usually commensurate to its authority. You can check how old a website is by going to the Way Back Machine, http://www.archive.org (See Fig. 7.1).


As you can see, Wikipedia went live on January 27, 2001. You will also be able to see what their website looked like in the past. (Fig. 7.2)


It has a good amount of high quality inbound links from other established websites in the industry. If a website has a high ratio of “junky websites” with little importance linking to them and just a few links/or none from established sources, the amount of trust that is being passed on to the website is less and vice versa.

It has lots of unique, high quality, and fresh content as Google wants to present this on top of the SERPs. If your website has established trust and authority in Google, your optimization becomes so much easier because all the new content that you publish on your site, will be crawled and indexed quicker, and also ranked higher. Likewise, a website with low trust/authority will be crawled less and new published pages will usually not appear high for any competitive phrases, as its source is not yet trusted. To establish yourself as an expert should be a core strategy and agenda that you continuously want to pursue for your website. When your website continuously publishes fresh and highly interesting information it will usually earn its way to the top gradually.

Finally, it usually has a high Google Page Rank.

Relevancy of a Link


While it’s important to have trusted websites link to your website in order to establish more credibility for your website, it’s also important to get links that are of high relevancy. If there is a close match between the pages that link to each other, the relevancy is higher. If you have a website that sells boat tours and you get a link from a travel related page about boats, this would be a highly relevant page. Remember that the relevancy is measured from webpage A to webpage B and not site wide.

So if you have a link from a related page, but the website is not about this related topic, it’s still considered to be relevant because both pages match. Therefore, it’s important to get thematically related pages to link to related pages on your website to increase relevancy. JC Penny got penalized heavily by Google for having an unnatural high level of irrelevant websites linking to them, so your link building efforts can go south very quickly if you do not pay attention to the quality and trust of a back link.

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13 comments:

  1. You mention that getting backlinks from "older domain" more authoritative. One question regarding it. What is the optimum age for determine this is a authoritative site or not? For instance one year old domain or two year old domain? Or we have to check domain authoritative comparing another domain?

    Thanks!

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  2. In the internet marketing field, there is no shortcut way to get success fast. So give less attention on link building.

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  3. Thanks for your post, Johan. I'll proceed to publish content as written. Fortunately, quality is important.
    @ Paul: Might it be possible to take a look on usability of a blog, too? I often ask myself whether my widgets and design is user friendly. Do I offer a share friendly page? What's missing?

    I look forward to reading from you and your guest bloggers.

    Beste Gröten, Nico

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  4. Chris, thanks for the feedback. In regards to the age of the domain, we probably should not stare ourselves blind to it but usually the age is related to the trust. If a domain shows up in the top of Google results for competitive phrases, there is a high chance that the domain is already trusted. I believe there is no optimum age limit but of course the older the better. However some domains can gain authority quicker than older domains so I believe Google also look at the speed "rate" of how quick a domain matures so this is another reason why not looking only at this metric. I use the waybackmachine just as a yard stick to get an understanding of how long they have been around....I hope that helped some...Johan

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  5. Greetings and thank you for this great and useful post! Really nice tips and you helped me to understand better what is the trusted authority site and the importance of the link relevancy. Really nice example with JC Penny!

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  6. Thanks I really enjoy reading your website and have learned a lot from your blog , I am on blogger and trying to make it as visible as possible. Some of your simple tips have really helped me.

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  7. this is great information and similar to what I have read elsewhere. My main question is where is the best place to get a list of the sites where I can place high quality backlinks? there are loads of companies selling lists but I don't know which are worth using and which to avoid?

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    Replies
    1. Personally I feel there is no Good place to buy links as It's against Google TOS.

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  8. It’s fairly difficult to know exactly what creates for a reliable website, but there are a few good feeling factors you can do to make sure that your website is regarded to be as reliable as possible.

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