Google test 15,000 changes to its algorithm per year and implements somewhere around 200 of them. Since its founding in 1998, you can imagine how much different the search engine is now, 15 years later. However, links to your site are still the largest of many factors Google considers when determining how highly you should rank for particular keywords.
In reality, you can’t just build links to any old place on the internet, although you could in the early days of Google. Well, you can, but there are much better ways to get links than others. A single high-value back link counts as much as hundreds or even thousands of low-value links. With all of that information in mind, here are some tactics we use and recommend use for building links to your site:
The Higher the Page Rank (PR), the Better
PR has nothing to do with how highly you rank. A PR 5 page for example, can be outranked by a PR 2 page and this often happens on Google. Page Rank, in fact, is a term coined in honor of Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. Generally, SEO professionals view Page Rank as a measurement of the quality of links to a certain page.
When it comes to sites you want to get Page Rank from, the higher the PR, the better. It’s easiest to get links in the 1-3 range, with 4-6 being difficult, but more achievable. Sites with a PR of 7 or more can be found, but the ones easiest to land are typically on very niche topics that have little to do with your site’s topic. In many cases, a PR of 7 or more usually indicates a website with a great reputation – usually a blog with hundreds and thousands of readers, or a prominent corporation.
Links from these sites are exceedingly difficult to land, and typically they require a strong relationship with someone in a position of power at the site.
Related Sites Work Better
Google wants to see sites linking to you that cover a topic similar to yours. If you are an auto company, for example, having a link from a sports website would be valued lesser than links from a classified ads auto site or a do-it-yourself auto repair blog. Links from sites not as closely related to yours in terms of topic simply count less.
All Anchor Texts Match Your Keywords Exactly
If you are targeting the keyword “auto glass repair New York City,” then the text your links actually display should read the same. Many SEOs believe in a diversity of similarly-related anchor texts, but we’ve found exact-match text works well for helping you rank.
Links Must Come from a Diversity of Sites
The more sites your links come from, the better. In the past, you could have created a ton of links on a few forums and shot your rankings up through the roof. You can still keep most of your links coming from just a few sources, but you climb up the rankings higher and faster by using a diverse base of websites to create your linking structure.
Building Must Happen at a Natural Pace
If Google sees 1 link one day, and then 1,000 the next, it will be somewhat suspicious of your website. If these links are all built, then your rankings will suffer. But, the exception to the rule no one discusses is that if these links are legitimately provided by a variety of websites and users, it can be seen as natural. Think about “Psy,” who does his thing on YouTube called “GangNam Style.” Even though the number of links to his content exploded over night, it would still be seen as natural because people would actually be looking for his stuff when Google keywords related to his content. Google wants to provide relevant results people are looking for, not sites manipulated up the search results. So, this type of content would rank well right off the bat.
For most businesses, however, we don’t capture the fascination of the public at large like Psy. For us, it makes more sense to build links at a steady, natural rate. If we built a million links in a week for an auto repair site, Google would be awfully suspicious, and probably would reduce the effectiveness of those links and that site’s rankings.
It Takes a Ton of Time You Don’t Have
While link building is one of the most critical factors in ranking your site highly on the search engines, it’s a very time-consuming process. And, Google is only going to make it harder because it wants to return only the most relevant results to its searchers. You see, link building is becoming the traditional form of marketing, and therefore, it’s a separate profession, just like someone who creates radio or television ads for a living.
If you need help with pushing your site up the search engine rankings, Devenia handles all types of link building. Contact us and let us know how we can help.