Introduction

When it comes to off-site SEO links aren’t everything, but they are attributed to a large percentage of search ranking factors within Google’s algorithm. It is through links that Google can analyze the popularity of a website or webpage. Simply think of each link as a vote, and when someone links to your website, they are giving your website a vote. This vote says: “I believe this site I am linking to offers valuable information”. If your site receives enough outbound links (votes) from other sites around the internet, it leads Google to believe that your site must have useful information and thus places it higher in the search results. For this reason, we believe that obtaining links from various websites is the single most important part of off-site SEO. Next, let’s take a look at what type of links are valuable.

Link Profiles

A link profile is the makeup of the various types of links you have linking to your site. There are many types of links, and an established website often has some from each category. Previously we have talked about links from other webmasters with related sites. These will be your most valued links, as again they count as a vote from fellow webmasters saying, this website provides value! But for an established, high-quality site that truly provides valuable content, links should naturally flow in from everywhere people may be talking about your website. This includes social media, web directories and maybe even some news related websites or blogs! All these links combined is what makes up your link profile. Now just what should your link profile look like? No one knows for sure, but when building your link profile keep the following three things in mind:

Type of links

First, you must understand that not all links are created the same. You will only want to seek out links from websites in the same category or niche as your website. If your site is about online casinos, you will want links from fellow iGaming sites. A link from a pool company isn’t going to do you any good and will be seen as spammy. Use common sense when obtaining links, as they should be as natural as possible and provide value for both the giver and recipient. Remember that trustworthy websites tend to link to other trustworthy sites. With this in mind, you should only seek links from fellow sites of the highest quality, and ones that will complement your website.

Link Popularity

Web sites like Wikipedia are a great example of link popularity. There, you see many links from different sources. The abundance of links from an incredible number of sites tells the search engines that this website is probably very important and is popular among viewers, therefore it is trustworthy.

Niche Specific Links

Relatable links are more important than links that have nothing to do with your site’s niche. If your website is about slots, you’ll want to aim for links that provide value to the readers such as information about casinos versus sites that have unrelated content.

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The quality of links

This is the most important, as a link from a very high-quality site is worth a great deal more than a bunch of lower quality links.

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The quantity of links

You will want to have at least a good handful of links to get started, but the higher the quality of a link, the less in quality you will need. As your site grows you naturally gain more links as you gain exposure.

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Link Profile

A good link profile is as vast and varied as possible, be beware of link directories as many are of low quality and can be seen as spammy. A few good link directories will usually be more than enough.

Anchor Text

This is how search engines will identify what search terms a website should rank for. Organically, a website or web page will have a variety of anchor text. However, it should be closely related to the subject of what you wish to rank for. For example, one website may display your anchor text as “UK Online Casinos” while another may show it as “United Kingdom Casinos”. This will help you rank in Google for online casinos available to UK players.

Trusted Domains

It has been said that 60% of websites on the internet are spam. It is the search engine’s goal to weed out these results and place the most relevant sites at the top. In order to give you the best experience possible, search engines need to weed out the spam. To be sure that your website comes up for relevant searches you will need to gain links from highly trusted domains.

Link Neighborhoods

We have talked a lot about obtaining links from other websites. But websites that you yourself link out to may be just as important. A website that links out to a spam site, if often seen as a spammy website itself. Your link neighborhood is made up of sites that link to you, as well as sites that you link to. It is just as important that you only link out to sites that complement your site and provide your readers with a valuable content.

Fresh Links

Link signals tend to fade over time. Google may see a website that has stopped receiving new links as going stale and one that may be no longer relevant. Fresh new, or continuously receiving new links tells Google that your site is still relevant and popular. Therefore it is important to continue receiving new regularly links over time.

Social Shares

Social media has become a great way to share information. However, it is said that search engines treat links from social media sites differently than those from fellow websites. While it seems they do not carry the same weight as links from other sources, search engines notice them nonetheless. Presently search professionals debate exactly how much search engines factor in social signals, and while it seems they are on the lower end of the spectrum, no one is denying their importance.

Many are at odds about how important social shares are, although at the end of the day they are recognized by search engines but it is unclear how they help a website’s ranking.

When someone with a very large social media following shares a lot of material, that material is more likely to be reflected in Google’s search results. This is true of most social circles, the big three being Facebook, Twitter, and services (Google+, YouTube, etc.) It is also very beneficial from a marketing perspective to have your content shared by highly influential people with a large social media following.

With that said, are Social Media Shares the Same as Obtaining Links from Fellow Webmasters? Simply put: no! While there is some evidence that social media shares; Tweets, Plusses or Likes improve rankings. Links from fellow webmasters are considered far superior as a way to boost search engine rankings.

The Power of Social Media

The Basics of Link Building

The single most important component of offsite SEO.

The Basics of Link Building

While some may consider link building an art, just about everyone will agree that it’s the most challenging part of SEO. But it is also the most critical to success. While there is no right way to go about link building, one must be creative in their attempts. This in itself is often considered a full-time job, one that requires a hustle, and often a budget. No two individuals will go about creating a link building campaign in the same way, but below we will take you through three or the most common types of link acquisition.

Natural Link Building

Natural links are those given to a site naturally by other sites, ones that voluntarily link to your site. This is the best kind of link to as it requires no further work on your part, other than the initial creation of providing great content that is link worthy. But the catch 22 is, before anyone can link to your site because of your incredible creativity, they must find it. That’s where following two sections come into play.

Manual Link Building

This type of link building requires outreach, as the webmaster must reach out to fellow websites by emailing other blogs and websites. This usually also includes submitting your URL to web directories and promoting your site on social media. This type of link building requires creativity as the webmaster must convince other webmasters to link to their website, usually by explaining the mutual benefit in doing so. As it is natural for a website owner to ask, “Whats in it for me?” This type of link building becomes a lot easier when you provide a unique service or high-quality content that is beneficial to readers.

Self Created Links

Many websites offer visitors the opportunity to create their own links. This can be done through user profiles, blog comments, forum signatures, etc. While these links often provide the lowest value, they can have an impact on some website. While to many of these links will be seen as spammy and can get a website penalized, it is common for a website, especially a new site to have at least a handful of these links within their link profile. With that in mind, the majority of these types of links would be pursued with caution.

Examples of Link Building Strategies

There are several ways to get visitors to link to you, but the most basic is to provide useful information not provided elsewhere on the internet. You may also provide a service that others may find useful. The key here is to think outside the box and to be as unique as possible.

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Article Exchanges

An article exchange is a mutual agreement between two parties to host each other’s article. You will both act as a guest blogger on the other’s website, writing a well-crafted, high-quality article that is beneficial to the owner of the site. By guest blogging, you provide that webmaster with a unique perspective on a subject that you provide superior knowledge about. It is similar to how a radio show might have interviewed a guest, or have a speaker on their show. In return, you are able to include a link back (plug) to your website giving you credit as the author of the article.

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Linkbait

Linkbait often inspires natural linking by being so overly shocking, humorous or ingenious that others can’t help but share your story. Link bait is an article written for the sole purpose of shocking its audience into sharing, with the possibility of going viral.

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Become Newsworthy

Making the news is a great way to get your website out to the general public, often causing others to link back to your site. Again, thinking outside the box is key here. Maybe you are holding a raffle, or giving a generous donation to a charity. Other times simply making a controversial statement will do the trick. As they say, no press is bad press.

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Buying Links

Google advises against buying links for the purpose of boosting rankings. As said earlier in the article, each link counts as a vote of legitimacy to the usefulness of a site. Therefore buying links is essentially seen as cheating, or manipulating the system by Google. Understandably sites caught buying links can be penalized, and even blacklisted by Google. For this reason, we caution against buying links from other webmasters.

Start Your Campaign

Beginning a successful campaign or plan requires some steps to be taken. The first step is to create a few simple goals followed by a strategy to achieve those goals. When it comes to link building, you’ll soon realize that this is one of the more difficult things to complete. To help make things a little easier below we will give our formula for building a link campaign;

Relevant Search Terms

Be sure you are targeting the correct search terms and use appropriate anchor text. Your anchor text should be varied, yet closely related to your search term or website name. All your hard work will go to waste if you are ranking for search terms that no one actually searches for. This can be achieved by using our SEO tools located on this site.

Article Exchanges

Writing articles for other websites in exchange for articles to be written for your website is a great way to build backlinks. Aim to set up exchanges with high-quality websites that provide a value to your own. Remember a few good high-quality links will yield much better results than many mid quality links.

Referral Traffic

When it comes to link building, you don’t want to just rely on search engines. Placing your links on other high volume websites that are closely related to your niche will provide you with a higher than normal rate of click-through traffic. This will give you a better level of importance from the search engines. Additionally, you’ll also gain more traffic from visitors who are actually looking for what your website talks about.

Tools for Success

To measure your success in link building, you will want to verify an increase in search traffic, better rankings and more referring link traffic. If within a few months time these stats do not increase, you may want to revisit your strategy by re-analyzing your link profile and may want to take a second look at onsite optimization of your web pages.

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