When it comes to earning credibility with search engines, the quality of a backlink is much more important than the number of backlinks pointing to your domain. You can achieve better search engine optimization with just a few ethical tactics. When you realize this, it makes most link building activities worthless and sometimes even damaging to your SEO.
What is an quality backlink?
A quality backlink is a backlink that adds rank to your pages and domain without violating guidelines set by popular search engines such as Google. When higher quality sources link back to your website, your SEO improves. What you want to avoid are backlinks from low-quality sources that can damage your SEO and PageRank.
Backlinks that could hurt your SEO
Google takes action on low-quality and spammy sites, including the linked sites. The search engine will issue both automated and manual penalties on such websites, and it’s your job to avoid spammy backlinks. Google’s algorithm is becoming more sophisticated in detecting these types of backlink activities with every update they make. The best rule of thumb is to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and make it a point not to violate them.
Here is a list of some of the types of backlinks that could hurt your SEO and rank:
- Paid backlinks that pass PageRank. If you are paying for a backlink, make sure it does not pass any PageRank by adding a rel=”nofollow” value to your backlink (learn more here).
- Link building widgets. Blog widgets that build backlinks in the form of link exchanges can get your domain penalized.
- Backlinks from sites that Google has devalued. If you have a high number of backlinks coming from domains that Google has devalued (ex. some article directories), your site may become devalued in the process.
- Bot comments on blogs. Google’s algorithm can recognize low-quality blog comments, especially when these low-quality backlinks appear in high volume, and will penalize these low-quality links.
- Low-quality duplicate content and spun articles. Search engines give recognition to high-quality content backlinks. On the other hand, backlinks from duplicate content and low-quality content such as article spinning schemes are penalized.
- Irrelevant backlinks. Backlinks from domains that are irrelevant to the content on your domain are deemed useless and even damaging from Google’s standpoint.
- Excessive link exchanging. Exchanging links hurts your SEO because of how many other links appear on the page you receive the backlink from. The more links that appear on any given page without high-quality content devalues the rank (if any) that passes to the domains they are linked to.
- Large-scale article marketing and guest posting campaigns. Article marketing and guest posting only works when you provide high-quality original content.
Search engines are becoming increasingly aware of what link schemes look like. You can find more information about what Google refers to as a “link scheme”.
Backlinks that can help achieve better SEO
Knowing what to avoid is a great start and will keep you from spending any more time on strategies and tactics that don’t work. Here is a list of backlink strategies you can begin implementing to help achieve better SEO:
- High-quality, relevant guest posts. Some content creators have abused guest posting with unhelpful content that adds little to no value. Creating high-quality guest posts on authority sites that are relevant to your content can produce excellent SEO ranking increases.
- Organic links by creating “better than the best” content. An organic link that you never asked for is the ultimate backlink. To receive unsolicited backlinks by creating this type of content, find the best content on a particular topic, and make it even better. Providing the best resource on a topic will generate a flood of organic backlinks as well as social sharing on your post.
- Social links. Google is always updating their stance on how social media impacts SEO and domain rank. The current consensus is that social proof provides a direct correlation in ranking but not causation. Essentially, receiving an increased social proof and sharing of your content will attract organic links and correlates to how well a specific page will rank.
- Well-designed infographics. Infographics are more than a growing trend and have become an essential tool for producing high-quality content that people want to share. When you publish an infographic on your blog or website, include an embed code that allows others to post your linkable infographic to their site.
- Ethically stealing your competitor’s backlinks. If you want better SEO rankings, find out where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. There are dozens of tools that can retrieve this data. Find out how they get their backlinks and copy them. If a competitor ranks much higher than you, you can assume their backlinks maintain the quality that search engines are looking for.
- High-value comments on authority blogs. Think about quality over quantity on this one. Instead of writing a hundred comments on all the blog posts you can find, choose a handful of posts that allow backlinks in comments that search engines find valuable. When commenting, think about the people who read these comments. Writing a comment that adds tremendous value to the community will be rewarded. When done ethically and written with high-quality, these high-value comments can consistently increase your SEO ranking.
- Creating list-style ultimate resource guides. Similar to writing content that is better than the best, consider creating an ultimate resource guide on a specific subject. When you publish the most in-depth resource on a topic, people take notice. More relevant domains will begin linking to this high-quality content, and social sharing for your resource guide will consistently increase as well.
High-Quality Backlinks = Valuable Backlinks
Quality backlink generation is a valuable tool to master that you can only achieve by creating high-quality content. Whether that content is produced in the form of a resource guide, a blog comment, a guest blog, or an infographic, your SEO success is representative of the quality of your content.
You must remember that creating content for the human who reads it is much more important than finding any trick or loophole for gaming the ranking system. Search engine algorithms only get smarter with every update, and they are getting sharper about recognizing the difference between valuable and invaluable content. Follow this guide, and you will be well on your way to achieving better SEO with quality backlinks and high-quality content.
Building high-quality backlinks can be a very tough, long and tedious task. That’s why we are here to support you through that. Our team offers a variety of SEO Services that focuses on a holistic approach. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a completely free SEO Consultation where we can review your SEO efforts and provide you with a game-plan beneficial to your business.