One of the tasks that consume us the most time in our SEO work on a website is probably the Link Building. In addition, if we do not know very well how it works, how Google interprets it and how to generate natural and quality links, what we will inevitably achieve is wasting a lot of time to get anything and even that Google penalizes us.
In this basic guide on Link Building, we will try to explain briefly and globally the different points that must be taken into account when starting to search and get links, as well as several tips to know and control these links.
What to consider when making Link Building
We should take several points into account when generating links. As is well known, not all links count not the same nor are they equally relevant to Google.
Diversity in the domains
Google analyzes something called “domain diversity”, which means that the wider the number of domains – provided they are of quality – the better. Thus, it is better to have a link from six different domains, than six links from a single domain.
You are not going to position five times better for a page because you have five links to that page from a single domain: in the variety, there is the taste, for Google too.
This is logical, but many times we forget as soon as there is a clear opportunity to get a link: if the content of a page has no relation to the content of the page to which the link is directed, it loses a huge amount of value, if not all, its effect being almost null.
For example, if we have a t-shirt website, a link from a fashion blog will be more important than a link from a travel blog.
The balance between internal and external links
It is very important that the page on which we “place” the link enjoys a good balance between external and internal links.
Imagine that we are Google and we reach a page that has never had external links and suddenly one appears suspicious, right? we might think that there is something strange in that link; and now the opposite case, if a website has hundreds of external links but it has very few internal ones, we would think that this website is only dedicated to putting external links – surely for payment. In addition to these links would almost no value.
Google knows how to differentiate very well the different parts that make up a website (header, body, footer, etc.), based on the location of the link, it will pass more or less value.
Hence the importance of the link being in the body of the text, since it probably has more relationship with it than if it were in the footer or in the header.
Diversity of Anchor Text
The anchor text (or link text) is the text in which we can click on a link. If in the anchor text there is a keyword related to the page you are pointing, Google will know better what that page is about, so it is important to make use of important keywords.
Now the difficult thing is coming, since Google released the Penguin update, it is very important to have a natural anchor text pattern, so it is important to use different or natural anchor texts, such as the type “click here”, “your web” and use the page name itself or its URL as anchor text.
Link building tactics
There are thousands of link building tactics, but we can divide them into two, the tactics for what we get that link us naturally and for which we get linked manually by doing an opportunity search job.
Generate links naturally
For me, this is the one that produces the most satisfaction and the one that gets the best results. It consists of creating quality content that people really want to link. The challenge is to create that content.
There are several ways to create remarkable content that people want to link:
- Post a tutorial about something that many people use, be it a tool, a plug-in or a program
- Publish infographics, contests, surveys, analysis or interviews
- Create a useful application or tool, how it can be a simple and useful plug-in as Word Count for Chrome
- Attacking people’s sense of humor always works, a good example of this is Death by Caffeine, a simple web application to know ‘how much caffeine we would have to drink to die’.
- Generating controversy in a constructive and original way is something that always attracts people’s attention.
In addition to these, there are hundreds of ways to generate natural links, either with original 404 pages or confirmation emails such as the Baby CD, which made this small online CD sales company rise to fame.
Generate links manually
The first thing to do when generating links manually is to find relevant websites where we want to get a link.
This can be desperate, but there are many tricks with which we can find pages with content related to our website and know if they are relevant or not.
- Search in related forums, we can use a little trick, search Google in the following way: inurl: keyword forum, so that ‘keyword’ is the subject of the page we want to link to
- Search with link analysis tools such as Open Site Explorer which links our competition has and go for them
- Search in the Google blog search engine for publications related to our website, always noting that they are recent filtering by date
- Write quality blog posts that allow guest blog posts
- Search for websites related to ours that no longer exist, find out what other websites link them and tell the webmaster that you have broken links, suggesting that you replace them with a link to our website. This tactic is known as Broken Link Building
To know if the websites are relevant or not, we can use the Mozbar that will show us the Pagerank and the authority of the domain of the pages.
A gift: In this post of PointBlankSEO you will find a huge list of strategies to get links, being able to filter it by difficulty, the time required and value.
Controlling dangerous links
It is very important not to have dangerous links that point to our website and make us earn a penalty from Google, to prevent this we have to know perfectly what links we have.
Make a list of our links
For this we will use Google Webmaster Tools, which in a few simple steps will give us a detailed list of all the links that Google has detected:
- Log in to Google Webmaster Tools
- Go to Traffic> Links to your site
- Click on the “more information” link in the “with more links to your site” section
- Download the latest links
In this way we have downloaded a complete table with all the links that point to our website, sorted by the day Google detected them.
The Nofollow tag tells Google that this link should not follow it, in addition to preventing that same link from transmitting any value to the page it points to. It would look like this in the code:
<a href= permittedhttp://example.com clearly rel= consequenofollow accordingly> Anchor Text></a>
Google wants webmasters who have sold links to add this tag, since selling links is a practice penalized by Google’s guides. With regard to the Link Building, although important links are what do not carry this label, it is good to know that there must be a balance between Nofollow and Follow links, since naturally Nofollow links should be generated from forums, blog comments or social networks.
The Disavow tool was released at the end of 2012 and allows Google to tell which links you want to ignore. The usefulness of this tool is aimed at recovering from a Google penalty after the alert notice arrives for suspicious links.
For this, three steps would be followed:
- Log in to Google Webmaster Tools and go to this tool
- Choose the correct domain and click on “disabow links”
- Upload a file with the list of links that you want Google to ignore
The file must be a txt following this pattern:
contacted the webmaster to remove link, no response http://website.com/page-name.html #various links from this domain domain: website.com
It is preferable to add a comment before each link to inform Google of the reason why you want to ignore those links.
- Outdated Content Finder
- This tool allows you to search for old or outdated content in a very simple way, enter a term and a period of time and search for content between those dates that contain that term, so you can write updated content and contact the webmaster in order to get a link thanks to your “altruistic” contribution.
- Broken Link Building
- This broken link search engine automates the search for broken or non-functional links on the web, thus the most difficult part of finding websites where making Broken Link Building is much easier. Needless to say, this technique is one of the most effective.
- Image Raider
- It allows you to track an image on the web, notifying you when someone posts it. This is very useful for contacting webmasters who have not linked you and asking them for image authorship.
- Google is increasingly giving signs about the importance of mentions at the local level. This tool allows you in a very simple and fast way to find mentions, both yours and your competitors. You can search for mentions by keywords, address or by phone.
- Link Building Query Generator
- Buzzstream provides us with this tool that generates search terms for Google in order to find search results to send link requests to niche directories, forums or find opportunities for links on websites or blogs.
- Fresh Web Explorer
- Another brilliant tool from Moz. It allows you to search for recent mentions, choosing between 1, 2 or 4 weeks. You can search your brand, the brand of your competitors or terms that are related to your niche.
- E-Mail Guesser
- It is a very simple tool but it can save you a lot of time. It has 3 fields: name, surname, and domain; What it does is find all the possibilities of e-mails and if there is an e-mail with these characteristics.
- Search for duplicate images, that is, if you have a copyrighted image, this tool searches for pages that are also using it, there you have the opportunity to write them to ask them to delete the image or to mention it as a source with its corresponding link.
- Boomerang for Gmail
- Many times the Link Building is based on contacting the webmaster and organizing the emails sent well, well, this tool notifies you if the recipient has read the mail or if it has not even opened it, allowing you to schedule it to be forwarded if it has not Answered in (for example) two days.
- Link Detective
- This tool facilitates dramatically the way in which a link profile is analyzed, uploading a CSV file (if you have Open Site Explorer you can upload your competitors) create a very visual «report» in which you divide the links by types: broken links, images, banners, text, etc.
- Check my Links
- Once you find that you have a chance of having a broken link, the best candidates are lists and selections, this simple plug-in checks the links marking which ones work or not correctly
- Redirect path
- It is very important that a link directs directly to the landing page, without redirects involved. Redirect Path indicates if there is any redirection and the path of that redirection, as well as the type of error that page has (404, 405, 502, etc.)
- There is little to explain about this plug-in, at the Link Building level it allows you to quickly see if a link is follow or not.
- Link Building Tool Bar
- This plug-in allows you to monitor Link Building campaigns in a very original way, when you do a Google search you can mark the results depending on the state in which your Link Building is on that page, that is, achieved, impossible, I am in it, contacted or checked later; so I save it and the next time that search appears in Google or Open Site Explorer it will be marked. Note: at the moment it does not accept more registrations
The link building is a very important aspect, but it should never be taken lightly, if we generate links in a suspicious way or of low-quality sites, what we will get is to put ourselves at risk of being penalized.
You always have to keep two things in mind, quality is better than quantity and the variety is the taste, so do not be SPAM and focus on the links that are really worth it.