If you were to believe the promises of “SEO experts” on Fiverr, your rankings are determined by one thing only: backlinks, the more you have the better your rank. In reality it is not so cut and dry. Yes backlinks are the single biggest factor that Google considers in page rank, but success in rankings can not be reduced to more is better, the quality of your backlinks is more important now than the sheer quantity.
There was a time when it didn’t matter who linked back to your site. The math was simple in the early days of SEO: the more links pointed to your page, the higher the chances of ranking high in search results.
Things have changed dramatically since the Google’s Penguin Update in 2012.
Don’t get the wrong idea: backlinks are still important. They help web crawlers decide which sites are authoritative enough to deserve a top ranking position. The quality of the links you get, however, matters more now than the quantity.
Why Google Started Flagging Certain Backlink Practices
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to understand that Google cares about one thing and one thing only: delivering the best results to Internet users. Naturally, showcasing spammy pages in top position detracted from their goal, so Google had to tweak its algorithm. That’s what the first Penguin release did: it analyzed backlinks and shady practices and flagged websites that purchased links or registered to link network databases.
Google never said that link building is bad or a dying practice. However, it encourages websites to build their backlinks organically from sources that are relevant to their niche and audience. And, it makes sense. Why would you want backlinks from a web design site if you have a gardening blog? After all, it adds no value to your content.
So, What Is a Good Backlink?
First of all, your backlinks should be relevant to your audience. Then, it should come from relevant, authoritative websites in your niche. That way, people that land on your page through a backlink will already have an idea of what to expect. Moreover, they’ll be more likely to spend time on your page and explore your content just because a high-authority domain recommended you.
The main reason most businesses fail at this tactic is that building quality links is hard work. You have to convince authoritative sites in your industry to vouch for you. Look at other small quality websites in your niche that may help you advance your SEO purposes.
Use tools like Monitor Backlinks to look for potential partners and check if a website is considered safe or not by Google.
How Does a Bad Backlink Hurt You?
Poor-quality backlinks can get you a Google penalty. And, don’t take them lightly because recovering from one, especially a link building penalty, takes a lot of time and hard work. When Google registers unusual activity on your website, it will monitor the legitimacy of your backlinks and eliminate you from the search results if you use shady practices to drive traffic. That can hurt your business’ bottom line.
More than that, bad backlinks can damage the relationship you’ve worked so hard to build with your audience.
What to Do About It?
We get it: link building is an energy and time-consuming tactic. You have so many things to worry about that you can’t focus on getting quality backlinks for your website. If that’s the case, then you need the help of an SEO expert.
Contact Polianna SEO and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your backlinks are helping you or hurting you. CEO and founder John Victoria will personally analyze your backlinks and your SEO strategy as a whole. Fill out the discovery form today and get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.