Link building, content and technical SEO are the three widely accepted pillars of SEO. The most hotly debated of the three is link building. There are plenty of articles online stating that link building is dead. That is not true, however link building has certainly evolved for the last decade starting with the Penguin update in 2012.
In today’s world link building is all about quality. The quantity of links alone is not going to move the needle anymore. In fact, these links can actually negatively impact your website in the search results.
Quality of Inbound Links Matter
Let’s talk about quality.
I must get about a dozen cold emails and messages on LinkedIn every week offering me “high DA guest blog links”
Does your business want links with high DA (domain authority)? Absolutely. However, you likely do not want these links even though they have a high DA.
Domain Authority is a metric used by various 3rd party SEO softwares such as AHREFS and SEMRush but what that DA doesn’t account for us the part that Google and other search engines really care about the most: relevancy.
At the end of the day Google wants to provide the best possible user experience to all searchers. It is my opinion that they also do not want the top positions in search to automatically go to the business with the most money, which is exactly what would happen if people could just continue to buy links solely based on one metric like Domain Authority.
This is how user experience factors into this whole equation. If you create really amazing content, people will naturally want to link to it.
Let’s use this very blog post as an example – it is about link building. If another SEO blog or person enjoyed this content, and they chose to create an article on a similar topic and thought my blog post would add value to their piece they could externally link to this very blog post. Anyone who reads their article and clicks that link to this blog post would have a natural user experience. There wouldn’t be anything forced about the interaction.
I believe this to be the ideal way of building links.
Here are some other things search engines do not want to see when it comes to link buildings.
Avoid Private Blog Networks (PBN)
Private Blog Networks (PBN) are a group of websites that are owned and operated with the sole purpose of selling or generating inbound links. This is something Google’s John Mueller has said plenty about in the past.
Stay Away From Bad Neighborhoods
Bad neighborhoods – often times these cold solicitation emails for “high DA links” are on websites that were created for the sole purpose of building and selling links.
Here are some ways to tell if a website was built for the sole purpose of building links.
- No contact information available. No address, phone number of even email address.
- The footer of the website has a link to an SEO company.
- Each post on the blog has “money keyword anchor texts”.
- There is no real theme to the website it’s just random blog post article after random blog post article.
- You can also check the domain itself on a website like majestic.com and see what sort of link profile it has.
If you have purchased these links and you cannot get the seller to remove them, you can always submit a link disavow file in Google Search Console. If you are in need of a link audit, please connect with me.