Types of SEO Link Building for Your Site
Having an understanding of link building is as imperative as any other ranking factor, and in order to break down the various types of links there are we need to ask ourselves why we have links in the first place.
According to Google, in general, webmasters can improve their site ranks by increasing the number of quality sites that link to their pages.
Why do we use links?
Links have the most effective long term benefits to any website, yet it is widely known to be one of the toughest tasks an SEO Executive will face. They be of great value to your rank in the search results if you take the correct approach. They are the glue that links your web pages and other websites together. So, when applying this to SEO you have to think of it as the basis to your site.
Google have tested a version of the search engine where links are not considered as one of their 200 ranking factors, and continue to explain that even though there are tons of spam, it is still a huge help to them when attempting to filer sites by relevancy and then rank them in the SERP’s. This guarantees that users get the most relevant results based on what they search for.
So, before you attempt to build links, it is good to understand the various types of links you should, and should not be working with. However, each link can take shape in many forms, they usually split into 3 main categories.
- Natural Backlinks
These links are beyond your control, and generally get planted by other webmasters. Google believe these to be the most natural and relevant. However, we have to be aware that there could be some solid links, and some that are considered low quality. Witnessing these links in the hands of other people can be rather frustrating at times, considering there is always a chance of spam and undesirable attraction.
Natural backlinks are the links that you did not know were coming, so constantly monitoring them is the way forward. This includes creating a backlink profile analysis of your site, and ask to get the bad links removed by Google. During your analysis, you need to plan to identify other key areas including:
- Broken links
- Live backlinks
- The broken pages of those links
- No-follow links
- The number of backlinks to your site
- Do-follow links
- Referring page of links
- Anchor text of those links
- Links we create ourselves
These are links that can be added to off-page resources. As you can probably imagine, this is where Google receives the most spam, and is most likely to be the cause of a penalty. Back in the day SEO Experts spammed these to the point where users were directed to content that was of no interest to them. They can be created in numerous ways including:
- Comment sections
- PBN (Private Blog Networks) Sites
- Footer links
This method was successful in the short time (and still is), but in the long run your backlinks become un-natural and will probably trigger a penalty. However, people still use this technique to build up their third-level links in order to add extra authority to their second-level links. So, unless your content is relevant, and you are linking from high authority’s sites, we would recommend steering away from this in your first-level set of direct links.
- Links through outreach
These are the links we get from others by identifying linkable sites, creating long term, trusting relationships with webmasters, and directly asking them to link to your site. By supplying them with quality content for their website, you can get the link in return for your effort.
I find that it is gotten to the point where webmasters are not as worried about receiving quality content for links, but more about asking for money and getting below average content for their website, in return for the link. So even though a site has a blog, it is always good to spend some time checking through the quality of the content.
Unique content that has a hook will go very far in outreach. Once you have your content the strategy is to keep your site is as relevant as possible, build relationships with webmasters, and finally negotiate the link.