BACKLINKS, don’t you love them? Backlinks are what makes search engines run. Period. When it comes to SEO, there’s no more of an important ranking factor for Google’s search engine. Understanding all the different analytics, data and values for backlinks can be exhausting, literally. Often, link building is one of the most time consuming SEO strategies in your wheelhouse. Some are great with backlinks, others not as much. However, if you only learn one things from this article, it should be that backlinks are critical to ranking your keywords and there’s nothing else that comes close to comparing.
So you’ve been told that backlinks get results. It’s officially 2016 and to answer your question, YES. Backlinks are the top ranking factor for SEO, but not the only one. And not the only significant SEO technique, but they’re certainly important. A backlink is when another website links to any page of your website. Links 101 there. Take Google for example. Google views backlinks as trust factors and votes from one website to the next. In order to win in a vote, you need the most votes, right? Same case here. While that analogy is not always true, the majority of the time it is. Websites that have thousands of referring domains are often ranking heavily in search engines. So the more votes you can get for your website, more than likely, the better you’ll be.
Two key elements that are important factors when it comes to links. Number one, relativity. Backlinks with the highest relativity scores will have priority. Number two, authority. Authority platforms often carry more SEO value, the same can be said about
Backlinks have always been an important for search engine optimization and search rankings for years now. In 2013, we saw some big changes that changed link metrics forever. Google, the leading search engine by far, controls over 68 percent of all searches. In 2013, the famous search engines made vital changes to search engine algorithms that forever changed the landscape of links. Afterward, we’ve even saw major ranking players fall from grace per say. Needless to say, link building was forever changed. We saw more changes in 2014 and then again to local search in 2015. Now 2016, I’m sure we’ll see more changes as Google continues to provide the best search results based on site popularity and metrics.
Today, link building is still as important as ever. The way we build links has changed. There’s a lot of risk and reward in link building, more so today then ever. Tough choices have to be made and if you don’t know what you’re completely doing when you build links, you can jeopardize your company and website forever. It can jeopardize your company if you build links and your reputation as well. That’s a lot of responsibility for a freelancer, even a company. Learning proper link metrics, analysis and data is the key to success.
Every link has a value that breaks down into multiple categories, no two links are alike. Although you can get two links with the same strength in terms of link value, all links have different metrics. In order to evaluate your links, you’re going to need some type of software to give you data and analysis. For Hale Associations, we’re a big fan of WebMeUp’s SEO software. I’m not an affiliate nor do I promote this SEO software, it works and that’s crucial. Ahrefs is another great website, far more expensive then WebMeUp. The point, you need a tool that will read data and give you feedback for individual link metrics and values. All of the pictures below are from the interface of WebMeUp software.
Evaluating Link Values
As mentioned above, every link has a value. Some links are extremely valuable, often coming from authority websites with a decent sized Google page rank. Some links are do follow links, others are no follow links. Do follow links pass along link value from one website to the linking website. These are the links that everyone aims for. No follow links pass very little value. Although this is true, you need your fair share of no follow links to keep a diverse link profile. If you refer to the picture above, you see mixed links that are do follow and no follow. The software tells us which links are do follow links and which links are no follow links.
One of the new features added to WebMeUp is the Link Risk feature. This is extremely useful for link building and evaluating link values. It calculates a percentage 0-100 to each link, warning you if the link is at risk for a penalty. In this screenshot, you can see that all the links are trusted and show no risk of a link penalty.
The picture above shows us important link metrics and analysis that give us insight in determining the value of the link. We can see the anchor text that is given for the specific link on the far left. We see our homepage link in the next option. Next, we see the page strength for the specific link, which is the complete link value for all combined metrics. The next feature shows us the page rank of our domain to the specific set URL. The following section displays the page rank of the linking domain. This stat plays a vital role in the strength of a specific link. Lastly, you have your Alexa rank, which plays no role in a link’s value.
Link Building Tips
Without having link building software, SEO software or some type of link building tool, it’s difficult to determine the value of a link. With this software and many others, you can also plugin a competitor URL to see who they are building links through. You can use these metrics for a number of link building techniques and evaluations.
If you’re building links, you should put your focus on high quality, high link valued authority websites. As you can see, just because a PR6 website links to you doesn’t mean that you get PR3 back. This is a SEO myth. I’ve heard it a number of different times in the past decade and it’s completely false.
You want to put in the effort to research relative links that will bring your website the largest value for links. You want to make sure the link is do follow if possible and you want to make sure that your links are diverse. Although it isn’t pictured in this article, you want to make sure your links are coming from different IPs. Make sure your anchor text are diverse also. Link building should always be carefully planned. If you’re a link builder or SEO, you don’t want the risk of penalty. Always use your link values to determine the best link building strategy possible for your domains.