Did you know that link building has a huge impact on search engine rankings?
Most beginners find this to be pretty challenging though. If you part of this group, then you just landed at the right place. The main goal of this post is to build a foundation from which you can better understand how search engines may use links and what the best approaches may be.
That said, let’s take a look at types of legitimate links in link building:
- Backlink: also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links” are links from one website to a page on another website. Search engines consider backlinks as “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.
- Internal links: An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Users and search engines use links to find content on your website. They are not as valuable as external links but they also reduce bounce rates.
- External link: They are a hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source). External links have a greater impact on search engine rankings than internal links because they are valued by search engines as external votes of confidence/popularity in a web page.
Follow vs Nofollow links in link building
What are no follow links?
Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. The nofollow tag tells search engines to ignore that link. Because nofollow links do not pass PageRank they likely don’t impact search engine rankings.
Nofollow vs. Dofollow Links — What’s the Difference?
The only technical difference between the two is that a nofollow link has a nofollow tag.
As a user, you can hardly tell the difference between a nofollow and dofollow link. You can click on, copy and use a nofollow link like any other link on the web.
To simplify the difference, Dofollow links help your search engine rankings. Nofollow links don’t.
Why use nofollow links if they don’t impact rankings?
- Untrusted content: Most of no-follow links are designed to protect the publishing site. For example, it’s common practice on sites where the comments section allows users to post links because those links could connect to spammy or abusive content, which the site doesn’t support.
- Links that don’t need to be crawled: As Google crawls (indexes) your site, it evaluates the follow links. If your site includes links to pages that have nothing to do with search (think password-protected sections), you don’t want Google to waste its limited time crawling those pages. A no-follow is important to include.
- Paid links: Search engines go a long way to ensure that SEO isn’t a pay-to-play game. Thus, if a site is paid to include a link, the link should be classified as no-follow. (I go into more detail next.)
Any link that has the nofollow tag is technically a nofollow link. But generally, inbound links from these sources tend to be nofollow:
- Blog comments
- Social media (for example, links in Facebook posts)
- Links in forum posts or other forms of user generated content
- Certain blogs and news sites (like the Huffington Post)
- Links from “widgets”
- Links in press release
Create quality content
One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is link-building backward. They focus on the link rather than the content that’s linked to. Your content should be meaningful and valuable to drive views, impressions, engagement, and, most importantly, conversions because your business is nothing without catering to its customer.
Write guest posts
Guest posting is a tried-and-true tactic for legitimate link-building. The trick is to create and offer content that’s truly valuable to the third-party blog. Keep your request or pitch for a guest blog post short and snappy – the person at the other end of the email should know what you want to write about – and how it will resonate with their audience – within seconds
Craft unique case studies
Facts and statistics are great content to earn legitimate backlinks – hard data sets your content apart. Telling fact-focused case studies can be as good as gold when it comes to shares and links.
Infographics and other graphic visualizations also are great ways to achieve backlinks. They’re likely to attract more interest from audiences because people process visuals around 60,000 times faster than written text.