Link building strategies to avoid
Some link building strategies you should avoid at all cost. Even though they might be tempting, please stick clear for your websites sake.
Google is transparent on two strategies that a strictly against their guidelines:
- Buying PageRank-passing links otherwise known as follow links.
- Randomly exchanging links
Google says, “If your site’s visibility in the Google index is important to you it’s best to avoid them.”
You can read in detail Google’s policy on building links. But in a nutshell, any links that intend to manipulate your rankings are a violation of the guidelines.
How to evaluate backlink quality
Evaluating the quality of a link is subjective, and many professional SEOs will have different opinions.
But I find in most cases, that most use at least one or all the below factors.
Relevancy of the Site
In my opinion, relevancy is critical when evaluating a backlink.
For example, my website focuses on digital marketing, so a link from a food blog wouldn’t hold much weight.
“today it’s more the relevance of the site’s theme in regards to yours; relevance is the new PR.”
Authority of the Page
Following relevancy, I always look at the authority of the page that links to yours. Even if the website is relevant, you don’t want a link from a low-quality page.
Tools such as Moz Link Explorer and ahrefs site explorer can help you evaluate the authority of a page. Here’s an example from ahrefs:
URL rating shows how strong the authority of a page, and DR shows the authority of the entire website.
Authority of the Site
Next up is looking at the authority of the entire website. Often you might be getting a link from a page that doesn’t exist yet. So, looking at the site authority can help gauge how valuable a link would be.
Again use a tool like Moz Link Explorer and ahrefs site explorer. Here’s an example from Moz:
Link’s Position on the Page
A links position on the page is also essential to how valuable it is.
The best links are editorially placed links, which are links positioned within the body of the article. Editorial links are more natural and powerful because the website is recommending your website.
Links in the footer or hidden links won’t be valued as high as an editorial link.
Follow vs. nofollow links
There are two types of links on a page a follow link and a nofollow link. A follow link will pass link equity. A nofollow tells search engines “Don’t follow links on this page” or “Don’t follow this specific link.”
From an SEO perspective, nofollow links aren’t great because you won’t get as much value. But, it’s important to mention a high-quality, natural backlink profile will feature both follow and nofollow links.
So, don’t be too concerned if you are getting nofollow links but try to acquire follow links where possible.