Earlier in this series (Click here for post), we discussed the importance of good content for high Google rankings.
Many of the same principles we’ve covered align with backlink usage – the practice of linking your content to other sites. Much like keywords, backlinks are most valuable when placed front and center in a reputable piece. Google algorithms ask a couple primary questions when assessing backlinks.
What is the Source of the Backlink?
Having lots of franchise links is good, but if they are not trusted or are out of date, they won’t do much for your website’s rankings. Backlinks from sites that Google considers great sources on their own are much more valuable. Google algorithms look for these features:
- Experts: Links placed on expert sites are desirable. An expert is well established in his or her field, with a highly ranked page of their own. Google will also factor in respectable top-level domains such as .gov designations.
- Competitors: If a competitor or someone in the same field is producing a backlink, it holds significant weight.
- Sponsors: A link placed with “sponsoring site” language is not as impactful.
- Owners: When the site owner places a backlink, it is powerful. If a site user posts a link, it means much less in the Google algorithm.
Is the Referring Site Legitimate?
Google algorithms will examine the site a backlink comes from to make certain it is a genuine referral. A single Class-C IP can host multiple sites. It can therefore mask referring links that all originate from one person or organization. Google views a large number of backlinks from the same Class-C IP with skepticism.
If the majority of a site’s backlinks are from one company or one page category, the algorithm will mark it as possible spam. It is worth noting that multiple backlinks from the same legitimate source, although not marked as spam, are compressed to count as only one link.
Backlinks are not just a numbers game. To have a real impact on a site’s ranking, they must come from reputable sources. Remain an active part of the community to generate genuine and powerful backlinks.