The history of backlinks
Backlinks are offsite links that direct traffic to your website – and are a key metric for website ranking. But how can a search engine optimisation agency successfully execute link building with Google self-regulating the link building game?
Many SEO agencies once used black hat (unethical & low quality) link building to easily acquire links, and climb rapidly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). But now, only high-quality and relevant links carry any weight, and bad links will possibly damage your SERPs performance.
This is because Google caught on and released the Penguin algorithm, which lead to thousands of UK websites being penalised. Now webmasters can include ”nofollow” attributes to remove the direct association in links between websites, meaning that there is little SEO benefit in them.
However, a well placed link attached to good content will still deliver traffic, even if it’s a “nofollow”. This is why we do SEO, to get you more relevant traffic. But we won’t get into the whole bot focus VS user focus SEO approach – not today anyway.
Today I’m talking about the value of links for SEO. The aim for every SEO agent is to place good quality, engaging content on highly visible sites with a strong domain authority and get a follow link back to their site. But is this enough?
Google is smarter than that! What if Google looked at your links as relationships instead of votes? A one way relationship would look a little suspicious. I always come across the big names in SEO talking about online relationships, so why wouldn’t Google look at the quality of your relationship as well as the quality of your content?
Let’s say that the link is the key indicator of a relationship between your website and another (of course other factors would exist). If you post a single link on that website it might look spammy, but if you have multiple links, flowing in both directions, it will appear more like a conversation and surely Google will reward that more than a one way monologue.
If you obtain a valuable link from a credible source, it should also be of importance to your visitors. So you should let them know about it. Shout about the different websites that support yours, this will build trust and credibility for your brand – so long as they’re relevant websites.
What I’m saying is that SEO agencies that focus solely on gaining inbound links, actually neglect an important aspect of offsite SEO. If you gain a credible link from an authoritative source, then you should link back to that source. This will make it appear more like a relationship and less like a one off link.