Quality & Quantity
It might sound like the best of both worlds but search engines, particularly Google are placing an exceptional amount of influence on link building – both quality and quantity!
Linking from one website to another will boost your SEO rank. Other factors include anchor text, page rank and relevance of the website linking to your website.
Google recently updated their algorithm with the Panda Update which changed the way links were considered. A link from an article site has a lower value compared to a .edu, .gov. etc website. This means link building is no longer quantity based – it’s about quality too!
Selecting the right links
It’s important to select the right kind of links back to your website. The more links on a web page the less emphasis the page will have. The page rank of a page also makes a huge difference. Google ranks web pages from N/A to 10. The higher the page rank the more authority it carries when linking back to your website.
The type of website makes a difference too. Government websites have a .gov ending to them and as such not everybody can own a .gov website. This means a link from a .gov website will have more authority.
Google Panda Update
Early in 2011 Google decided to change its algorithm. To everyday people using Google to find search results it won’t have made a difference, they’ll have still been able to get search results and an answer to their question. However, to website owners depending on Google as a source of revenue it was a disaster.
Google is an important source of information for consumers and businesses. 85% of all search engine activity goes via Google. The Google Panda update changed how Google showed their search results. As a result, some websites fell drastically in the search engine rankings leaving them frustrated by Google’s antics.
In fairness to Google, it was combating a long overdue problem – spamming to become top of the Google rankings. Previously, companies were spamming article websites in order to gain credibility with Google and improve key phrases. The Google Panda update rectified this.
Google changed how important inbound links were as well as how important social (facebook, twitter etc) was perceived. Inbound links were always important, however now the type of inbound link matters more. Links from article websites such as ezinearticles have dropped considerably with links from newspaper websites and other sites being boosted.
The Google Panda update has since been tweaked but continues to be controversial.
Beware! Link Building Tips
- Purchasing links on other websites, forums, blogs etc can be costly both financially and to your SEO rank. Google will monitor where your links are coming from
- Set it in stone – ensure your link is available for the long term, or if it’s on a month-by-month basis ensure you set the terms of the link
- Reciprocal linking. Google can monitor reciprocal linking and doesn’t value two way links as powerfully as one way – although sometimes there is no option. It’s still a good idea to build quantity.
- Link relevance is important. Linking from a website about Polish food to a your website about accountancy also has a diminished value. Try and focus your linking strategy on value.
- The anchor text (i.e. the words which link to your website) are important too for keywords. The words “Accountancy Help UK” will help where you appear in the search engines for the term Accountancy Help UK, whereas “Click here” will mean you miss out on the benefit anchor text can bring
Ultimately with link building it’s one piece of the SEO jigsaw. You have to ensure your website is built correctly, optimised accordingly and promoted gradually over time. Link building is essentially important to developing a successful website and it can often take a great deal of time (like most SEO work).