In this post I talked about link building and how not all links are equal. I mentioned how Google can figure out the quality of the sites linking back to you by looking at the sites that link back to them. Low quality links include links from article directories, website directories, and sites in public blog networks. There are a bunch of other places that are probably considered ‘low quality’ as well.
Basically it’s a lot of the stuff most SEO firms will charge you a small fortune for. Which unfortunately might not really get you the results you’d like.
And there are also low quality LINKS. These links may be on what are considered good quality sites, but Google has ways of determining if the link should be trusted or not.
They can look at the text around the anchor text (that’s the part of the text that links to your page). So if you have a link mixed in with descriptive text about your site versus if you have your link all by itself. And they probably give more weight to the links within content that relates to the topic. Then they also have ways of adding in what type of page the link comes from.
Forum profiles were a big thing a few years ago. That’s where you go to a forum and open a profile (as though you’re going to be a member of the forum and start posting). But instead of contributing and posting on the forum you just add a link to your website in the forum profile page. Whoa! You’ve got a link.
I’m sure these have been devalued for years. At one point they worked well. But now they do nothing or may even cause problems with your site’s ranking. So that’s another thing to consider.
There are also links on a big links page.
Many sites have a resources page and some of them have hundreds of resources. Sometimes they don’t even make sense. Like if someone’s got a site on dog training and they have a resources page with dozens of links back to SEO firms. Those aren’t resources for people interested in dog training, so that’s going to look a little strange. And you’ve also got link sources where anyone can go and get a link.
You can pay to have your site listed in pay directories. Some check the quality of your site, others don’t. So anyone can get a link from the one’s that don’t as long as they pay the money.
There are many other sources of links like this. They are more or less manufactured links. You can get them from article directories. As long as you write a decent article following their guidelines, many article directories will allow you to include a link in your resource box (that’s a little blurb about your site at the end of the article). So anyone can get those links.
Or a press release. As long as you write a press release then you can get a link back to your site. So again, anyone can get those links.
The reason I bring up all this link building at all is because Google has placed a lot of emphasis on links (and still do). They want each link to kind of be a vote for your site. You get a link and that means your site has a vote that it’s got something interesting on it. If you’re able to buy links or manufacture them then it kind of messes with Google’s ranking system. I’m sure their engineers sit around thinking about how to determine which are the real links given by a website when they think the site has something cool or interesting on it and those that are bought or manufactured. In the end you could maybe only have a handful of real links on your site and outrank a competitor who’s trying to rank for the same keyphrase who’s got 1,000 or maybe even 10,000 (or more) really low quality links.
Although a lot of manufactured link building has worked great in the past, it’s getting less and less effective.
So, what to do
The best way to get higher quality links is to make sure your site has something of value on it. That way it’ll be more likely to get linked to. If you want to be more proactive about the process, then you can tell people about your site or new content as you add it. Some of them will link to it.
The nice thing is then you can wind up with traffic from the links. And your visitors will be most likely to pass your content around and refer it to others. All this brings you more traffic in addition to the higher rankings you’ll most likely see.