Having a diverse collection of natural backlinks is essential for your website to rise to the top of the search rankings, and is a crucial part of any search engine optimization campaign. While creating engaging content will lend itself to backlinks creating themselves through social sharing, knowing how to embark on a proper link building strategy is part art and part science.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks, or inbound links, are links from other websites to another. The search engines, particularly Google, analyze these and use them as a measure of a site’s authority. The rationale behind this is the more sites link out to another particular website, the more trustworthy and authoritative it is considered to be. The more inbound links a site has will play a key role in determining its overall rank.
Can’t I just buy backlinks?
While it is true there is no shortage of online sources selling backlink packages cheaply, this strategy is not recommended. Backlinks are not evaluated equally by Google, as the quality matters much more than the quantity of inbound links. As a general rule, the easier it is to acquire backlinks, the less value Google applies to them. Google will view such links as “spammy”, and having a plethora of low-quality backlinks will actually hurt your rankings. Only real, natural backlinks from other trusted sites will give your site a boost
How do I build natural backlinks?
Ideally you would like to acquire links that fall under certain criteria. They should be from other sites related to your niche, or at least with a fair amount of trust factor themselves. They should be links in which you have no control over the anchor text used, meaning that you are not able to influence how the outbound link appears on their site. Finally, any links that are scalable – meaning there are millions of possible variants for link builders to use – will introduce noticeable patterns into Google’s algorithm that will penalize your rankings. However, Google loves natural backlinks, and these are the type which will help your site’s rankings.
While it’s a more time-consuming process than simply purchasing links, it’s well worth it in the end. And it’s not difficult; it simply involves networking with other webmasters and getting them to link out to you. Knowing how to do this effectively is what separates unsuccessful websites from successful ones.
There are several strategies to use. It’s important to remember that simply asking for a link doesn’t usually work; offering something of value is the best way to proceed. We’ll take a look at some of the best ways to obtain backlinks.
Point out broken links
Websites frequently offer pages devoted to helpful links. By finding these and combing them for broken links, you would be doing the webmaster a favor if you brought this to their attention while simultaneously suggesting one of your blog posts as a substitute.
The way to do this is by using Google and a free Chrome extension called Check My Links. Using your Chrome browser search for “Check My Links” and press the button to install. Once set up you’ll be ready to find broken links in your niche.
Finding link rolls in websites is easy with the right search string. Go to Google and type “nichename inurl:links”, without the quotation marks and replacing “nichename” with your actual niche name. For example, if your niche is dog training then you would type dog training inurl:links. This will return a list of websites that suggest outbound links to their readers, and is where you’d ideally like your website to be listed.
Go to each page. Once on your screen push the Check My Link button at the top right corner of your browser. The extension will check all the links on the page and highlight in red those which are broken. If any of those are relevant to your niche, contact the webmaster to advise them and suggest your article as an alternate. If you don’t have one that is similar, then it might be worthwhile to write one. The website owner would perceive this action as being valuable to them, and is very likely to add you to their list of links.
Mention other websites in a roundup post
What’s a roundup post? It’s a post you write that features excerpts and information about other websites in your niche. Citing those authors in your posts will position them as experts in their field. Then, email the webmaster with a copy of the link and let them know about the article. Don’t ask for a reciprocal link; instead, leave it to them to decide. They should be grateful for the recognition and will likely link to you in return.
Ask the webmaster to share your content
As mentioned earlier, asking for a link is not usually a successful strategy. Instead, appeal to their ego by contacting them to praise their work. Tell them you found it very informative and ask them a question about it. After they reply, mention that you also run a website and would be grateful if they would consider sharing it with their audience. By putting it this way, you are again offering something of value to their readers while letting them know you value the website owner’s contributions.
Find out from where your competition gets their links
Knowing from where your competitors get their inbound links makes it possible to copy them. By analyzing their sites for backlinks, it’s frequently possible to obtain the same links yourself.
Go to Open Site Explorer (opensiteexplorer.com). Type in the URL of a competitor’s website. The next screen will show you a list of backlinks pointing to the site. Many will be blog and forum comments. Identify these and go to the same source and create your own.
While not an exhaustive list, these strategies will help you to obtain natural backlinks in a relatively simple fashion. By following effective SEO strategies and using real, trustworthy backlinks, you will soon find that your website climbs high in the search engine rankings.
These days you have to be more careful where you get your backlinks from. Due to changes at Google with Panda and Penguin, your website could be gone from Google one day when you wake up.
So, it makes send to diversity your backlink and website building and build a few sites in case something does happen to one site.
There is also a whole other approach you can take and it does work but does take a huge amount of time. And, that is creating quality content and sharing it over social media. Then, in time depending how good your content is. Your work will get shared over the web and natural backlinks will start to occur.
This strategy does take a huge amount of time however, and can be very frustrating for new webmasters. But, it does work if you are willing to put in the time. The trick is you need to really help people and create content that is true quality.