Search engines look for many things when ranking websites on search result pages (SERPs), and backlinks have remained some of the most important ones. The sites that link back to your website influence how search engine algorithms see you. If several authoritative websites link to your page, it means they trust it enough to recommend it. Because that is what backlinks are; they are recommendations. A website is willing to have visitors leave its page and direct to yours, which says something. For this reason, a site owner has to do everything to get high-quality backlinks.
Before search engines grew sophisticated with updates like Panda and Penguin, people used various black hat strategies to generate links to ‘beat’ the system. However, search engines, not just Google, are smarter, and those tactics will only ruin the reputation of your website. If you want to build a superior standard backlink profile, you must be ready to put in some real work. Not every website owner may have the resources to hire experts to handle the backlink building, so learning a few strategies helps.
The Quality Of Backlinks
What does it mean to have authoritative backlinks? How can you tell which links are worth having and those that should not be associated with your site? Search engines use several elements to rate the credibility of backlinks, and keeping up with all of them can be a tad difficult. However, that you can include a few in your link building strategy to eliminate guesswork.
Domain authority is a metric that Moz developed to determine the trustworthiness of a website. Sites are ranked out of a 100, so the higher it rates, the more credible it is. Ideally, you want to get backlinks from sites that rank 80 and above. You can use the Moz tool to check the domain authority of specific sites and add them to your list. A few other applications are available that people can use to check the domain authority of particular websites.
Natural Link Patterns
Natural link patterns allow search engines to determine the credibility of backlinks. Link farms were a popular concept not so long ago. Website owners would park hundreds of links somewhere and then push them on their pages regardless of their standards. Now, search engines will consider how naturally links are connected to a website before ranking it. Natural link patterns mean that your backlinks should be niche-related. A kitchen website with backlinks of DIY cabinetry seems natural, but links from a car rental agency are suspicious. For this reason, you have to factor in the natural link patterns that a website has before using it as a backlink.
The age of ownership of a domain may not be a huge factor, but it is a significant one when you want to get high-quality backlinks. It is hard for search engines to trust domains that have exchanged ownership multiple times in a few years. Of course, you can still have a site that is only a few months old but has built a robust reputation.
Most people may not consider it, but anchor text plays a big role in the quality of backlinks. A website that contains keywords and phrases that correspond to your content is the best option. It is even better if those keywords are used as anchor text to direct to your site. Some websites just pick random words in a sentence and use them as anchors, which can hurt the credibility of a site. Proper use of anchor text makes it easier for search engine crawlers to locate information. Exact match anchor text can enhance the quality of backlinks considerably.
Smart Approaches To Get High-Quality Backlinks
So, you understand what constitutes high-quality links but how do you go about landing them for your website? A few time-tested strategies will allow you to build high-authority links. Some caution before you start; patience is required. Don’t expect to find authoritative backlinks and see your search engine position improve in a matter of days.
A simple way to get high-quality backlinks is to find sites that accept guest posts and pitch to them. What happens is that you give a site free content and then it includes a link back to your page. It is not that straightforward, though. Just because you have a guest post to pitch does not mean that a high authority site will agree to it. Some website owners present poorly written or low-quality articles that don’t make any difference to the host site.
Websites with high domain authority are very keen about the content they include on their pages. It has to be relevant, valuable to the reader and actionable. Keep this in mind when pitching for guest posts. Stay away from generic topics that website users can find in a hundred other places. Start by making a list of the sites where you would like to guest post. A good way to find sites to send your content to is to look at where your competitors are posting theirs. News sites and industry platforms are some of the best options. Then get experienced and expert content creators to come up with material that sets itself apart.
Strive for Evergreen, Original, High-quality Content
The type of content that you have on your website will influence your efforts when trying to get high-quality backlinks. Your content should inspire readers into action if that is the intention. If it is to educate, the material should be fact-based. Remember that your website is an extension of your brand, which means that the content posted there is part of the image. No authoritative site will want to attach itself to a poor brand image. Give other sites a reason to want to link back to you.
Work on content that doesn’t degrade with time. High domain sites are more likely to link back to content that doesn’t expire after three months. Evergreen content is great for building an information resource. With timeless content, you can go to your archives and pull out a two-year-old article that any authoritative website will accept. Focus on generating material that is not so laden with keywords that it sounds unnatural. Aim to inform, entertain and educate with content, and you are less likely to get it wrong.
Every website owner should understand the power of good relationships with other platforms. All the guest posting, fixing broken links and superior standard content may be for nothing if your site doesn’t have relationships that it can leverage. One way to forge relationships is to feature other brands on your pages. For example, a swimming pool installation company can feature pool and hot tub brands on its website. The point of such relationships is that those brands can feature yours on their platforms, which may include social media.
You can write reviews and testimonials for related brands and get a backlink in the process. Websites have roundup posts, interview or quotes from industry experts, and that is another way to get high-quality backlinks. Volunteer for interviews about best practices, your career or any relevant topic. Social sharing can help you establish a mutually beneficial relationship with a high authority site. Make it easy for other sites to share your content on their platforms using social sharing buttons.
Build Broken Links
The tactic of fixing broken links is one of the oldest and a fairly effective one when looking to get high-quality backlinks. Broken links are not uncommon, even with the most credible sites. You may find an interesting blog or information source that has great potential as a backlink only to find that the ‘Page Does not Exist’ or a 404 error.
Broken links happen for many reasons but mostly is when a site moves around its content and doesn’t redirect users to the new location. Such errors are bad for the reputation of a website because they mess with the user experience. Imagine a visitor who ends up on a blog, clicks a link only to be disappointed. Any website owner would like to know if his or her site has a broken link. What you can do is offer content that is similar to the missing one, and in exchange, you get a backlink. Of course, you have to provide relevant and interesting content that will meet the standards of the host site.
A website owner should invest in high-quality backlinks because the alternative can cause irreparable damage to your site. Google has Webmaster guidelines that websites must adhere to when optimising for better SERP rankings. The search engine also has manual penalties to dissuade website owners from engaging in black hat SEO practices when link building. Don’t fall into the temptation of buying second-rate links. Even if you get lucky and end up with improved rankings on search page results, those actions may cost you later. The risk of your website losing credibility is too high. Invest all the time you can spare to get high-quality backlinks that will boost search rankings, drive more traffic to your site and consequently, increase your online visibility.