Semalt SEO Expert Explains The Real Reasons Why Your Backlinks Are Not Working
The entire Internet is essentially a collection of sites, individual web pages and links. The term "world wide web" arose from the fact that various sites are linked through links. And a link is made when one site links to another.
Backlinks are links that lead from one site to another. For the site where the link is placed, it will be outgoing. But for the site to which it leads, it will be incoming.
Links that lead to other pages on the same site are called internal links. These links are important for SEO too, but its impact is not as crucial as the presence of external links.
Backlinks play a key role in website promotion. A site with a lot of quality backlinks is considered to be more popular than others, which is why search engines rank it high.
Backlinks are not easy to get, but the sites that get it have strong positions and are trusted by search engines. Which in turn leads to the attraction of targeted traffic.
Why backlinks are important for SEO
In one way or another, you can easily notice that almost every article on SEO and promotion deals with backlinks. Why is this so important? The backlink story began when the founders of the search engines Google developed a unique algorithm to evaluate the quality of sites.
This algorithm included the presence of backlinks and counting its number as one of the key factors. More the backlinks led to a site, more that site got credibility.
In fact, the idea was simple and effective for its time. It is logical that if any site is actively linked, then this site deserves attention. In other words, webmasters and users seem to vote for this or that site with their links. This algorithm has improved the search quality.
However, webmasters very quickly, realized that it was possible to promote almost any site in the search engines. And how? By purchasing links in large quantities. Moreover, the sources of backlinks were often extremely low quality sites, mainly made to serve as link donors.
In response, Google and other search engines have made changes to the algorithm. For a while, there were even rumors that the links had stopped working. But is it really so?
Are backlinks important today?
Of course, the algorithm has been changed. But not canceled! The changes only concern the source of the backlinks. If at the first stages the search engines took into account only the number of backlinks, not paying attention to their quality, today the situation looks exactly the opposite. Their quality is more important than quantity.
Backlinks are still playing a big role in promotion. And all the studies that have been carried out in this regard show that in competitive niches (and this is almost all commercial projects), the sites that appear in the top positions are those which have obtained strong backlinks from authoritative sources.
What backlinks are considered good
High-quality backlinks that have a positive impact on site rankings have the following characteristics:
- Placed on thematically related sites.
- Placed on authoritative resources with a high rating.
- Placed on high-quality websites.
- No nofollow attribute.
- Have a thematic anchor (a word or phrase, by clicking on which you go to the site).
- Located in the subject text that corresponds to the targeted page to which the link leads.
What backlinks are considered substandard:
- Links from sites of low quality.
- Links from sites that have minimal trust.
- Links from sites of questionable topics.
- Links from sites without unique content.
Despite the fact that, in general, low-quality links will often (or even more often) be simply ignored by the search engines, but the abuse of these kind of links could lead to penalties. Accordingly, dangerous links should be discarded.
Where do links come from?
Here are some options for getting free links:
- Writing a quality article, creating infographics or other useful content, and then offering it to site owners in response to a direct link.
- Creating various ratings, mentioning the site you are interested in and further contacting the site owner to get a link.
- Creation of various news fields, invitation of a reporter and a request to insert a link in the published article on your site.
These are just a few ways you can get free links, and again, creativity is the key!
Cons of free links:
- Links are conditionally free, because the creation of unique content still costs money and time.
- Difficultly predictable result, because all work is based on communication with site owners, and, in fact, you persuade them to link to you.
- All received links are 100% useful to users and 100% relevant, otherwise the site owner would not link to you.
- The ability to get unique links from sites with a very high trust and authority, for example, a link from the official website of a university.
- There is a chance that you will receive a link with a very serious response, which can generate serious user traffic. For the search engines, this will further increase your importance.
- There are only two options: buy links or not buy links. And if you chose the latter option, then, as in any situation where you need to save money, the main thing is to be creative! The basic rule of thumb in this case is: you have to be helpful.
Cons of buying links:
A number of tools are needed for a thorough analysis of the sites from which links are bought, because sites are often used whose quality is not obvious.
A number of tools are needed to thoroughly analyze competitors, because there is a risk of overzealousness in the buying process.
It is necessary to adhere to a certain number and quality of anchors and links, without standing out from competitors, otherwise you can get a ban from the search engines.
The complex process of finding and screening donor sites. Most sites with low link cost are "spammed", and quality news resources can be very expensive for a single link.
The main advantage: with the right work, you can get predictable results.
It takes less time to get links, because you don't need to negotiate with anyone and you don't need to create anything. Paid money = almost instantly got the result.
The ability to adjust the number and quality of links to your competitors.
But what about the other option? The paid option for getting links is essentially buying links and articles.
The Real Reason Why Your Backlinks Are Not Working
If the site is a car, then backlinks are its fuel.
But, not everything is as simple as it seems. There are many nuances in building backlinks that directly affect the growth or the fall of a project...
1. Internal website optimization
With internal website optimization, everything is simple. You need to understand that the better your website is optimized internally, the less will be the cost of backlinks.
It's just a fact. Therefore, the minimum checklist for optimization:
- first 200 words of text
- highlight the most important key in bold
- structured text
- text volume
- do not spam with keys, optimally 1-3% optimization
- presence of bread crumbs + correct keywords in
- good structure
This is the most basic one. But, for some reason, not many SEOs even implement everything on the site.
If the site is not normally optimized, then:
- spend a lot more on backlinks
- which is often not cost-effective
Therefore, before putting down backlinks, we first put the site in order.
Key Point: Good internal optimization often gives a quick boost to a new site and always saves on backlinks costs. Better is the internal optimization and lower is the backlinks' budget.
2. Anchor sheet
It has already been mentioned in the blog more than once about an anchor list, about its design and about how an unanchored link's profile looks like.
What is all this for?
Everything is very simple. For Google, anchor text is a strong signal to submit a site for filtering. If there is a lot of repeating anchor text, or the overall link's profile does not look natural, then this is a direct way to lose traffic or not get it at all.
Google loves naturalness. It's just a fact!
Small check list:
- always design an anchor sheet before linking;
- always estimate the dynamics - when and which link (with which anchor) will be placed;
- such TK to put to the link builder or contractor.
This is extremely important. And such things need to be handled by SEO experts, to guarantee the expected result.
- or the site gets manual penalties for backlinks;
- or it just doesn't grow.
Therefore, before adding links:
- first we do a detailed analysis by niche;
- collecting data;
- we make an anchor sheet for the desired task.
Key point: It is necessary to initially analyze the TOP in details. Design an anchor sheet. Distribute it by posting time. And only then add backlinks.
Not many people pay attention to the dynamics of linking / getting links. But in vain!
Often dynamics is a big decision and is a key factor in getting the top.
- competitors have few backlinks in the niche;
- let's say 40-50;
- if you put it down as usual, for example, 50-100 per month;
- then it will seem suspicious to Google, and the site will not go quickly to the top.
Also, the dynamics strongly depends on the type of backlinks.
- the dynamics of the links from the main pages are usually very slow;
- the comments are much higher;
- by guest posts somewhere in the middle between the links with the main and comments;
- Linking from home pages.
We are currently testing slow dynamics for a number of niches on a couple of dozen projects, and the result changes the view on dynamics in general.
Key Point: A common reason for the sites that are not growing can be too fast dynamics, which Google notices and considers unnatural.
4. The Random Documents Algorithm by Google
This also applies to dynamics.
Briefly about the algorithm:
- if you have placed a few links to the site;
- and it sagged;
- then if you start putting more;
- it can continue to grow extremely slowly.
According to this patent, after such a subsidence, it is better to do nothing for the next 20 days. Since your site is under the gun of Google.
Few people know about this algorithm, and in such situations they usually continue to build backlinks. As a result, the site does not grow or its growth is almost imperceptible.
This happens especially on fresh sites, which, after restoration and indexing, immediately begin to pump.
5. Types of links and their quality
The real risk is to use only 1 type of backlink. Therefore, it is important to understand:
- that different sources of backlinks are needed;
- some types of links will be just thinning;
- only mega high-quality links cannot be present - it looks unnatural;
- of the main types of links that most use:
- PBN / satellites / meshes
- Links in articles (guest posting, outreach)
- Citations (for local SEO, but not only) = directories
- Social links (Reddit, Facebook, Google +, Twitter)
When building a link mass to a site, it is important to balance the types of links. To make your link's profile to look natural.
Key point: Do not use only 1 link type to build link mass. Since when you reach the top, you can get an assessor check and lose traffic.
The site entered the top as it left it. The reason is only direct anchor, only links from PBN, very normal dynamics. Immediately went to the TOP 3 by RF request in the country.
In this case, it was just a test experiment. But, if you promote a white fluffy site in this way, you need to understand how great the risk is and be prepared for it.
These are not all reasons. But in our experience, these are the most basic ones. Therefore, you need to pay attention to:
- good internal optimization;
- normal anchor list and plan it in advance, before posting links;
- dynamics and first analyze;
- know about such a random algorithm, which can affect the growth of the site;
- diluting the link's profile normally and making it natural.
In this case, the likelihood of results per strand increases.
Backlinks are still important for SEO optimization and promotion. But it is important to remember that links must be of good quality and from related sites. Thus, the main secret of successfully getting into the TOP of search engines comes down mainly to two points: creating good quality relevant content and getting backlinks. When these two conditions are met, your site will get the boost it needs to reach the top.