The Principles of Link Building
The Principles of Link Building
Before we get into the exact strategy, we need to get into some of the theory behind SEO.
If you are already an experienced SEO, you have permission to skip ahead… however, if youʼre a beginner, itʼs important to have an understanding of why we do what we do.
As I mentioned in the last chapter, backlinks are the second most important part of SEO (behind keyword research).
But first, what is a backlink?
Backlinks are basically links on other sites that point to your domain. Google decides which websites will show up on the top of their search results depending on which websites get the most backlinks (backlinks are counted similarly to as “vote” of endorsement).
The problem is that marketers began to take advantage of this by creating massive amounts of spam links to their sites to exploit this loophole.
Eventually, Google decided that they would only count votes from trustworthy websites.
So What Exactly Does Google Look For?
Googleʼs algorithm has become much smarter and refined over the years.
But what Google looks for, and will always look for is: naturalness
In order to accomplish this we need:
1. Link Diversity
2. Link Velocity (Consistency)
3. Natural Anchor Texts
In order to be seen as non-manipulative, your backlinks need to be as diverse and natural as possible.
If every single one of your links came from a certain forum with the same anchor text, then you would be seen as very manipulative in the eyes of the search engines.
This means, a site with just one type of link (like blog comments) looks a lot more suspicious of trying to “game the system” than a site with a lot of variety of links (like blog comments, forum signature links, guest posting links, links from other real sites, etc).
The more diverse your link profile, the more natural it looks.
We want our sites to look like they are being “talked about” by other real people on the internet. If our site were growing naturally, we would have links coming from all types of different sources.
Link Velocity (Consistency)
Link Velocity is the term used to describe the speed at which you build links. The rate at which you build your links is an important factor to coming off as looking natural.
Many marketers tackle SEO in a very barbaric way – attacking sites with a huge influx of backlinks all at once.
What we will be doing instead is building links in a more natural fashion.
If you suddenly have 100 links pointing to your site in 1 day as opposed to over the course of a month, it raises some flags with Google.
Another example, if your site had zero links one month, then a couple thousand the next, it would be seen as unnatural.
Thereʼs no exact number you should build each day or each month, but think of it this way: If I built 50 links one month, then 100 the next, it wouldnʼt be seen as unnatural if I kept at the pace. But if after that month I built little to no links, it wouldnʼt be natural.
Keep a manageable, steady pace and improve upon it each month. Of course there is the possibility of your site going viral overnight and thus gaining 100 in one day… but itʼs better to play it safe and build links consistently than to draw any unwanted, unnatural attention.
Natural Anchor Text
This subject is so important (particularly because all the latest Google penalties surround anchor text optimization) the next chapter is dedicated entirely to anchor text optimization…
Yes, itʼs that important!