Backlinks – also known as external or inbound links, are links from other websites directed towards our own site. Such links have two main benefits:
- They bring in direct traffic from people clicking the links, and also;
- Indirectly from boosting our search engine ranking.
In terms of ranking, every link to a certain website is seen by search engines as a vote for that website, and also access it to rank the site accordingly.
As for traffic, every backlink provides another access way to our site, which in return gives us more referral traffic. Links are arguably the second most important ranking factor for a website after the page title.
Link Building Strategies
The Link building strategy can be grouped into two methods: artificial and natural or organic link building.
Artificial link building
The artificial way for link building provides a much quicker way of ranking your site once you know the ins and outs of the link building process and doing it the right way.
It involves you to actively target a site, social media, or group of persons within your niche market and try to get backlinks from them.
This method also extends to using forum posting, blog commenting, and buying links which we will explain at the latter part of this post.
Natural or Organic Link Building
The natural link building doesn’t involve you to directly engage in link building campaign.
It is done by the inclusion of unique content, social media shares from your visitors, and through the improvement of your website quality. Content marketing can also be used for organic link building strategy.
Note: that the natural way of Link building does require a lot of effort and time to achieve a result.
Traffic or Ranking?
Generally, the traffic that a link can generate for your site is more valuable than the reputation it conveys.
The sole purpose we work tirelessly to increase our search ranking is to generate more traffic, so getting the traffic directly from the link is a much more effective way to achieve what the ranking should do.
The increased traffic from the link also means that your site has additional traffic that provides organic linking, and helping you in your link building efforts.
How To Discover Existing Back Links and Rankings For Your Site
Before starting a link building campaign for your website, you will need to have a way for getting updates so that you can keep track of your site ranking and incoming links.
Being updated will help you know how well your campaign is progressing and for this purpose, using the Google Search Console can help you keep track of all activities on your website.
The “Search Analytics” page provides an accurate listing of which keyword phrases you currently ranking for, and the ones that need more attention or improvement.
Additionally, Google Search Console lists backlinks to your site under the “Links to your site” page. There you can find the anchor text used in the backlinks, which should expectedly include the keywords related to your website.
Note: Google usually doesn’t reveal all the backlinks that it knows about and uses to determine your website ranking. It will apparently show you some random sample of links, probably to make it a puzzling task for webmasters to determine the full effectiveness of their link building effort.
Bing Webmaster Tool can also be used to get the list of backlinks if you are registered with them.
Before starting a link building or marketing campaign, make sure you download a copy of the backlinks and a copy of the search ranking table you find on your Search Console.
Doing this will allow you to accurately measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
How To Determine A Site Rank
There are possible ways to measure a site ranking; the most usual method is using Alexa.com. The Alexa website is embedded with many cool functions that include showing a site rank based on their estimated traffic levels.
To see your website rank, visit Alexa.com and run a search on their site for your domain name and it will display a wide range of valuable metrics with ranking information all for free.
The information includes traffic rank, trends, regional data, inbound links, average load time, top keywords, demographics analyses, page views per user, bounce rate, time on site, and host of other site data.
Note that for Alexa to provide any reliable statistics your site must have some good traffic and be at least among the top 1 million. Since the Alexa rank measures traffic levels, it can also be used to provide a rough estimate of how much traffic a site receives.
Another way to measure a site rank is through Google’s PageRank (PR) metric, although this is not as straightforward as using Alexa. PageRank assigns a number between 0 and 10 to web pages based on their importance in the view of Google.
In essence, the PageRank for a page is determined by taking into account the number of pages that link to that one page, and the separate PageRank for each of those linking pages. I.e. the more pages that link in, and the higher PageRank they have, the higher PageRank the linked page will get.
Keep it in mind that the method listed above for measuring site rank is not entirely the factual value Google uses to rank search results, they are mostly updated after 3 – 4 months thereby making it a rough metrics.
Notwithstanding, WebPages with a higher PageRank are more likely to appear at the top of search results for relevant search terms.
If you have the Google Chrome browser, you can easily view a site Alexa rank and PageRank, conveniently displayed on the status bar, by installing the SEOquake plug-in.
The SEOquake is a very useful tool for most internet marketers that you should also familiarize yourself with its full advantages. One of its many useful features is the ability to highlight Nofollow links on WebPages.
Dofollow and Nofollow Links
Dofollow link allows Google spider and all other search engines to crawl them, they are the normal hyperlinks that allow search engines to follow them to our own site giving us a backlink. they add link points to a website and effectively increase their search ranking.
By default, any link in HTML code without the “rel” attribute to Nofollow are all Dofollow links and have great importance on our PageRank.
Because such link allows our website content to be indexed faster and If a webmaster is linking back to you with the Dofollow link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you through that link.
On the other hand: Nofollow links are the links that contain the rel = “nofollow” attribute. Such a link has no bearing on your search engine reputation.
The attribute is designed specifically for search engines, in order to reduce the effectiveness of comment spam and spamdexing. It is supported by all major search engines – including Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
<a rel = “nofollow” href=”https://example.com”> this is an example of Nofollow link</a>
Most blogging software such as WordPress automatically assigns the Nofollow attribute to links in user-submitted comments. Many other popular websites like Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers also use the Nofollow on their web pages.
Although a Nofollow link will not affect your ranking, the traffic and visibility they bring to your site can often make it worth the effort to go after them in the same way as the Dofollow links.
Outbound links are basically the links we add on our site to other site and often use as an information source. Outbound links are good for SEO and whom we link to on our website can have a strong influence on our search ranking.
If you add links to other trustworthy sites of authority, then you are practically associating yourself with those sites. It shows that you know the valuable content in your field, and willing to share reliable information with your visitors.
Outgoing links can also work against you in the sense that you add links to low quality and bad websites they will negatively affect your site value. Therefore, make sure you only link out to high quality and relevant sites that are useful to your users.
Don’t link to sites that you wouldn’t want to visit yourself. Using outbound links provide some other benefit in a way that they give search engines a clearer picture of our site because of the relevant links and also provide the best way to connect or build relationships with influencers in our niche.
Links From Bad WebSites
Search engines recognize that you can’t stop people from linking towards you. Therefore, links from low-quality bad sites or link farms will usually not hurt you.
At worst, the link will be useless and will have no link value to your site or any other websites that have no business with them. However, if you decide to reciprocate a link back to them, then you are on a deliberate mission to harm your site.
Buying Links For Search Rankings
Links solely purchased for search engine optimization (SEO) benefits are not looked on favorably by search engines. Google will likely penalize site’s they found buying links, by devaluing their backlinks.
If link buying is a strategy you intend to apply on your website, you should focus on getting links from highly ranked sites that are relevant to yours.
You should avoid buying sitewide links, because search engines may consider them as spamming and will not give your site much value for them. Instead, focus on in-content links and front page links.