One topic that I have come to realize is incredibly important in the world of SEO is link building. How does a website become popular and gain tons of links to it? I think MOZ explained link incredibly well by saying
For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines can discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways.
Links are seen as votes. The more votes you have to your site the higher your going to rank in search engines. However, links are not the only thing to good SEO. It is only a piece but a large piece. So, keep this in mind as you are developing your sites.
Having popular websites link to your website are going to increase your visibility on the web by a ton. Another thing that will help your site become more visible is having other sites within your niche link to you. It seems as though it helps your SEO by having sites that revolve around the same topic as yours link to you rather than just general sites. Anchor text can also have a huge impact. If a few dozen site link to a page with the right keywords the popularity of that page will increase tremendously. However, you don’t just want any site to link to you. You want good sites to link to you. This is called TrustRank. In the graphic below you can see how how crawlers can categorize your site and the amount of spam involved.
Once you have received a high ranking and lots of links linking back to you, you need to keep this up to date. Don’t let your site go stale. Also don’t forget about social sharing. This will help with the links that are linking back to you.
Did you know that links higher up in the HTML is going to be considered more powerful to SEO?
A few tips that MOZ put together are:
- Links Higher Up in HTML Code Cast More Powerful Votes
- External Links are More Influential than Internal Links
- Links from Unique Domains Matter More than Links from Previously Linking Sites
- Links from Sites Closer to a Trusted Seed Set Pass More Value
- Links from “Inside” Unique Content Pass More Value than Those from Footers/Sidebar/Navigation
- Keywords in HTML Text Pass More Value than those in Alt Attributes of Linked Images
- Links from More Important, Popular, Trusted Sites Pass More Value (even from less important pages)
- Links Contained Within NoScript Tags Pass Lower (and Possibly No) Value
- A Burst of New Links May Enable a Document to Overcome “Stronger” Competition Temporarily (or in Perpetuity)
- Pages that Link to WebSpam May Devalue the Other Links they Host
Having links in your sidebar could actually hurt your instead of being good for you. Whenever you have links located in either the sidebar or footers, your keywords can be ignored or even penalized. The goal is always to have links within the content of a page.
Tips & Tricks to Getting Links:
- Get your customers to link to you
- Build a company blog. Make it a valuable, informative and entertaining resource
- Create content that can be easily shared virally
- Be newsworthy
So, what about those pesky no follow links? First off lets start with explaining what no follow links are. In order to start, we should start by looking at a link.
<a href="signin.php" rel="nofollow">sign in</a>
You can see the rel=”nofollow” section. This is what we call a No Follow. This causes crawlers from search engines to ignore any links that have the rel=”nofollow” and not count that link as a vote for the site. Since we all want to rank high on Google “From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.” The reason for having a No Follow within your link is because of untrusted links, paid links, or crawl prioritization.
Anchor Text’s can also make or break the SEO in regards to link building. Let’s look at an anchor text.
<a href="http://www.example.com">Example Anchor Text</a>
The anchor text is the hyperlinked words within a web pages. The wording that is chosen for your anchor text can be very important because it give the crawlers an idea of what the subject matter of the link is about. MOZ has done some research and found that if you have multiple anchor texts within a page but they all link back to the same place, only the first one counts. MOZ also pulled together some of their keys on setting up your anchor texts
- If many links point to a page with the right keywords in their anchor text, that page has a very good chance of ranking well. Real examples of this include the search engine result pages for the queries, “click here” and “leave.” Many of the Google results for these queries rank solely due to the anchor text of inbound links.
- People have a tendency to link to content using the anchor text of either the domain name or the title of the page. This is an advantage to SEOs who include keywords they want to rank for in these two elements.
- Too many inbound links to a page with the exact same keyword-rich anchor text may cause Google to scrutinize that site’s link profile more closely; using manipulative methods to acquire keyword–rich anchor text is not recommended.