How To Identify High-Quality Links And Low-Quality Links - Semalt Expert
One fundamental requirement for SEO success is the ability to gain high-quality links. What you don't find everywhere is how to identify which links are of high quality and which ones to avoid. As professionals, we spend quality time chasing after links. Many consider them to be the most powerful tool in getting a site to rank.
What we may not tell you is that not all links are considered equal by Google. So we do not just have to find links but quality links. Over time, search engines have evolved their algorithms to account for and classify links in different ways. This development has narrowed its use for determining how suitable a webpage is in providing answers to specific search queries.
In this post, we will be showing you what factors we consider when classifying high-quality links. We will also show you how we build these links.
How does a search engine use links?
With all the fuss about getting links, we feel it is important to understand its role in search engines. After all, that is what makes them so important. Links pointing to a website are important to search engines for two primary reasons:
- To discover the existence of that webpage.
- To determine information about it.
In its Help Documentation, Google explains that it interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote of confidence by page A to page B. These votes are important generally speaking. Still, the importance of the page casting a vote weighs heavily on the value of the link it provides. Pages that are linked by other important pages are considered important.
Bing also, in its How-To guide and Webmaster Help, explains that the Bing search engines prefer to see links built organically. By organic links, they refer to the types of links earned as a result of valuable content. This is an important signal to the search engine because it saves them the burden of having to verify if you are what you claim to be. It's like the president of the United States writing your recommendation letter to your bosses. You can imagine their reaction.
What makes links valuable?
It is clear that Google considers the number of quality links to a site to vote. The better the site linking, the more points the link gets. So what are the factors that determine the quality of a link?
Many SEO tools attempt to assign authority tags to websites and webpages. They do this to ascertain the quality or value of the links from such websites or web pages. Having an authoritative webpage linking to your webpage often serves as a strong signal, which itself is an authoritative source.
An authoritative site is a website that has been deemed a reputable source of information about a certain topic by the search engine. This reputation is what has gained its authority. Google, on its path, studies the nature of the sites that backlinks your site to determine its expertise and trustworthiness concerning a certain subject.
Here is an example:
Suppose a website is considered to be an expert in pharmaceuticals, but it links to lower reputable websites in the pharmaceutical industry. In that case, it shows that the well known and reputable site considers the lower one to be good enough to send traffic there.
This is a good impartial way for the search engine to find and index the lower site. Also, search engines will be able to determine the site's reputation and its authority on the subject.
When speaking about the worth of a link, many attribute a majority of that determiner to authority. However, authority isn't everything. Here is an example to clarify things. Imagine you are going on holiday to a country you've never visited. Would you feel more confident in the hotel recommendations given to you by a friend who stays in that country or a tour guide that doesn't live in the city?
The friend living in the country is likely to be a more relevant source of information on hotels in the area than a tour guide without boots on the ground. Generally speaking, we are likely to assume that a tour guide will provide more relevant information, but this is an alien area, so its word doesn't hold water. At least not when compared to that of your friend who lives there.
Similarly, search engines understand the value of a website in the industry linking to your webpage. In the example given above, a website that is focused on reviewing hotels is more likely to be considered as a more relevant source of information than a local community group that went outing to a hotel.
Both sites may have an article describing the best hotels in New York, but the Hotel review website will be more relevant in helping the search engine determine the best answer for the Best Hotel In New York.
Getting the best links for your website
When searching for quality links, we always look to build natural links from reputable sites with authority and relevance. These are indeed the best sources of links.
Fishing out the low-quality links
Since we consider relevant links to be linked from sites that have both authority and relevance, it only makes sense that low-quality links are links without these characteristics. Low-quality links are usually very easy to acquire, and they are usually self-created or requested.
For instance, some websites allow anyone to submit a link and these links are likely to have highly curated contents that lend it to being an authority. The fact that these sites allow just about anyone to submit a link with no specificity or industry or niche makes it highly irrelevant. Links from such websites will be of low quality, and they typically do not carry any benefit with them. At best, you will experience close to zero impact on your search, but they also serve as a dangerous threat. Google's bot can interpret the link as part of a manipulative linking scheme.
Google has a strict guideline on what they consider to be a manipulative link, and you want to make sure you're on the right side of its laws. Semalt, of course, has familiarized itself with these laws. Still, if you plan on generating links yourself, you should familiarize yourself with the linking guidelines of Google and Bing for starters.
Are you considering paid links?
First things first, paying for links is against the guidelines of most search engines. In the best-case scenario, these links aren't identified as paid links, so Google cant penalize you for them. On the other hand, if Google discovers that you bought a link from websites that are known to sell links, they may penalize the webpage it links to (that is your webpage).
There are good reasons why links are placed on websites for free. It is common practice for web experts to utilize banner advertising or affiliate marketing on the internet. In such instances, Google recommends that the webmasters clearly distinguish these links to be sponsored using the rel="sponsored" attribute. This informs Google that the link is one that has been paid for and is not to be used in calculating page ranking.
These sorts of links are acceptable, and while they may not influence your page ranking, they have their benefits in marketing.
What you should know about no-follow links
Before introducing the rel=" sponsored" attribute, Google and other search engine used the rel="no follow" attribute. Putting a rel="no follow" attribute into the HTML for a link shows search engine bot not to index the site or webpage of that link. Publishers used this attribute to stop search engines from following through on those links and assigning any benefits to them. So even if a high ranking site links your site but uses the rel="no follow" attribute, it wouldn't reflect on your ranking. Google has, however, announced that this attribute is only a hint, and they can choose to ignore it.
Generally, no-follow links are not effective for SEO link building purposes because link equality will not pass through the links. However, if people get to click on your link and come to your page, I would argue that these links aren't so useless after all.
Having a wide and varied link profile is great for SEO. When we look for ways to increase the number of links to our clients' sites in an organic manner, we look for only quality links. Going for easy, unrelated, or low-quality links is only a waste of time and resources.
Instead, we pay 100% focus, energy, and budget, creating amazing content for your website that will attract links to itself. Our team of experts ensures that the content we provide is of the highest standards, which improves the relevance and authority of your site. In the end, other websites would find it beneficial to link to your website.