When it comes to SEO, a lot of people know that having a strong backlink profile for your site sends all the right signals to Google that your site is a good, reliable place to find information about the services or goods you provide. There are good ways to gain backlinks, and there are definitely bad ways! Here we uncover some of the facts (and fiction) about backlinks and link equity.
What is a backlink?
The first thing to understand about your link profile is what a backlink actually is. A backlink is essentially another site providing a link to your website. Each of these links count as “votes” for your website, showing search engines that you have good information or products available related to the keyword or topic of that website.
These backlinks are there for as long as the link is active (not deleted or changed), and are viewable by search engines when they index. You accumulate a backlink history over time, as people link to your site from theirs.
Why you should be careful with your link profile
When you are trying to establish your website and get it ranking higher on search engines, it can be tempting to try to manipulate the search engine by getting lots of links to your site. A long time ago, this sort of practice was actually quite a reasonable way to perform SEO, with many businesses getting loads and loads of links quickly through cheap outsourced link building sites. Nowadays, the likes of Google have changed their algorithms plenty of times to prevent these practices from being effective. In fact, if you work in this way now, you are highly likely to be penalised by Google!
The problem began several years ago, when lots of fake designer goods websites were actually able to outrank the genuine brands for their selected keywords (such as Gucci handbags, Rolex watches etc). Google soon realised that the dodgy websites were using mass backlinks on poor quality sites to easily accumulate an enormous backlink profile. They changed the algorithms drastically, so the quality of the backlink was much more important than the quantity. A good quality backlink comes from a reputable, recognisable site which is highly relevant to the business you operate in. It’s no use getting a link from a site which is nothing to do with your niche – an example would be something like a link from a popular sewing/craft blog when you sell double glazing; they are not related at all.
How we can help
We are still approached by companies today who have got themselves in a pickle when it comes to backlinks. Some have been inadvertently affected by poor quality backlinks by using SEO companies who insist on using old fashioned SEO techniques (like the mass backlink building described above). Others have been tempted to buy into cheap link building plans and have ended up with lots of poor quality backlinks on their link profile. Some have even ended up with Google penalties, which make ranking much more difficult.
Here at SEO Moves, we can help to mitigate the problems with poor backlink profiles, and guide you towards cleaning up your link equity. We have the knowledge and understanding of what makes a good quality link, and more importantly, how to obtain them! If you are in doubt over the quality of your backlinks, get in touch and find out how we can help you clean up your links, get out of a manual penalty or develop your link profile.