People who are arguing that backlinking is dead or has become irrelevant can never be more wrong. As of 2023, recent research and correlational studies show that it is still one of the top commodities in the world of search that consistently delivers the competitive edge a website needs to outrank its competitors and rule search engine result pages.
Link-building is just like contesting an election, where a candidate organizes a campaign and requests his peers to support him. He approaches people who don’t know him to convince them of the value he can provide while making certain promises that he will deliver in the long term. However, unlike most politicians in link-building, you usually have to deliver on the promises.
In simple words, backlinks can be considered a vote in your website’s favor from other webmasters. It signals to Google that this website is not only good enough to rank but also respected among its peers belonging to the same or similar industries.
All Links are Not the Same
Like us humans with our different strengths and shortcomings, not all backlinks are the same. Many factors determine the value of a backlink for search engines. These include:
Domain Strength & Relevance
Getting links from authoritative websites that have high domain authority and are relevant to your niche is a great way to ramp up your website’s score. The higher the score, the higher you will rank on SERP. Not only this, but it’ll also improve your site’s authority score, making it a credible source of information. But you’ll need to ensure that you’re using the sites that are relevant to your domain’s niche and content.
Page Rank & Web Traffic
High traffic and page rank are value signals that signify the popularity of a website. Getting a link from a top website with consistent and unique traffic from diverse sources can do the same for your website in the long run.
Positive User Experience
User experience is one of the important things that website owners need to consider. Websites that are user-friendly, offering features for easy navigation, data and content access, and more, are considered worthy to be ranked higher than others, once the content is relevant to the search query.
If a website is providing a positive user experience to the end-user, consumer, or its audience it is a big value signal for search engines. Securing a link from such a website means more conversion, if your website is relevant and able to deliver the same value and experience to the end-user.
As stated earlier, content quality and relevancy are quite important when it comes to site authority and credibility. The better the content, the better it’s able to address the search query; hence, it’s ranked higher than other websites.
By building external links you are asking the other website to validate your content. Here, if the linked website’s content is not optimized enough for search or user-friendly it won’t do you any good. Also, you need to ensure that your content quality remains consistent throughout the site and connected pages, especially the blogs.
Moreover, you need to ensure that the information you’re sharing is authentic or at least carries a disclaimer with it.
The Importance of Niche Relevance
Lastly, as already mentioned niche alignment is extremely important for link building and anchor text placement. Anchor text is the phrasal link in your content piece that builds the external gateway. If the anchor text and its placement are unnatural and irrelevant then the gateway is weak, if both are natural then the link is strong.
For instance, there are essentially four types of niches, primary, shoulder, tertiary, and irrelevant. Imagine that you are an internet service provider, here your primary niche would be related to internet equipment, gaming, and large networks. Your shoulder niches will be related to streaming and OTT platforms.
Tertiary niches would be things that can be either connected to the internet like mobile applications or can be molded in a certain way to give the impression. Extraneous niches like pets and climate change are those that are completely irrelevant and such connections make a negligible variance in the website’s overall ranking.
Backlinking Best Practices
Create Exceptional Content
Pitching high-quality, dynamic, and relevant content is one of the best ways to secure a backlink as almost every site requires content for its blogs to drive traffic. So, the best thing to here is to conduct an objective analysis of the webmaster’s requirements
Focus on Organic Link-Building
Organic link-building may be a time-consuming process, but set your website and brands for life. By building authority on the internet through diverse mediums you don’t have to do any work for link building as new startups in the same industry will simply approach you for publication.
Build Long-Term Relationships
Another important aspect is maintaining long-term relationships with key influencers that can ultimately allow you to not only refresh links or add new ones but can even lead to brand mentions in their blog sections depending upon the relevancy and correlational aspects of both websites.
Utilize Linkable Assets
Creating linkable assets like infographics, guides, and case studies can provide a competitive edge in terms of content concerning other webmasters reaching out to the same website.
Enhance your Outreach Game
For clear communication of the value and relevance of your content to the webmaster, a personalized approach to outreach is one of the most essential skills to have in link building.
Ensure No Link is Broken
While you can focus on building authority links, you need to ensure that the links you’re getting aren’t broken. Even if you’re interlinking content pieces or information on your website, you need to ensure that everything is readily available on the link.
Broken links can occur due to a variety of reasons such as poor internet connection unable to connect the database, mistyped URLs, URLs having changed, etc. You need to evaluate the links and make sure that there’s no such occurrence.
Avoid Black Hat Practices
Another important thing to keep in mind is to avoid black hat practices at all times. One of the most common among them is paying sites for backlinks, which is banned by popular search engines like Google and can get you blacklisted if you get caught or reported building a link this way.
Additionally, keyword stuffing, cloaking, sneaky redirects, comment spamming, link farms, and PBN are other black hat practices that can potentially damage your website’s reputation in the long run.
Lastly, not having a secure network is another red flag for both search engines and webmasters as consumer data privacy laws are very strict these days. Here, a secure and reliable internet that comes with added security features can go a long way to protect all interlinked networks.
Link building not only requires a great amount of patience and persistence but also a number of dynamic approaches to generate value for yourself and the other party.
Samantha is a professional marketer working in the domain for more than 8 years now. By collaborating with numerous clients on various projects, she has illustrated her in-depth knowledge and skills in digital content creation, which has earned her name in the industry.