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You might hear that link building is dead, especially now that Google and other search engines have come up with new algorithms to determine the quality and relevance of external links.
It is not so much as dead, but a skilled practice that requires careful thought and research. There are certainly right and wrong ways to go about placing backlinks.
Online businesses in Singapore can really benefit from taking hold of backlink information and using it to find reputable, quality sites they can use to increase SEO and be seen.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks, also called external links and outbound links, are hyperlinks to your website placed on someone else’s pages. Simply put, they link a reader back to you, when they are reading something else.
When your link appears on someone else’s page it gives your business a strong association with their success and builds trust that you are respectable and reputable. It’s a little like having the host website vouch for you and your business ability.
Are Backlinks Important?
Backlinks are important in increasing your Google ranking and helping people find your website through search.
When online information first became public there wasn’t much content to choose from. Finding a website relevant to a user’s search was simple because there wasn’t a lot of data to sort through.
Now, with literally millions of pages of information about every subject imaginable, bringing back the right list of possible matches when someone searches a subject online takes a lot more effort.
In order to be as helpful and accurate as possible, search engines, like Google, have created complex algorithms that shift and sort the mountains of data online extremely quickly.
This algorithm uses keywords within content as well as looks at the trust a website has from backlinks to determine how well online information matches what a user is searching to find as well as the quality of that information.
When you have backlinks placed on relevant websites, your ranking on a search return will increase ahead of your competition who don’t have backlinks placed on other sites.
Is there such a thing as bad backlinks?
There are times when backlinks can be harmful to your Google ranking. Always choose websites that you trust and that are reputable to place your backlinks.
There are spam websites and hoax websites that will be very happy to place your backlinks 9often for a cost). These sites will damage your Google ranking.
Hoax and spam websites are known to Google search algorithms and perform poorly on search returns, basically, they are blacklisted.
If you unknowingly accept backlinks from everyone who offers, chances are you will join a number of blacklists by association and your traffic with tumble.
The more of these links you have, the more your web ranking will suffer. Don’t associate with anyone you haven’t researched yourself and know to be a solid company. A quick and simple way to test how strong your backlink will be is to anlayse the website on a tool such as Ahrefs or Ubersuggest.
What backlinks should I avoid?
You should avoid placing backlinks on pages that are not relevant to your business.
Because Google spiders can scan for relevant backlinks, they will know if your content and the host content is similar or different. It is important to avoid placing backlinks on websites that are not related to your business.
Even if that website is strong and performs well, if it is not in line with your business type, your link will be seen as advertising, not as offering helpful additional information to readers. Always place your backlinks on sites with relevant information to what you offer.
How can I get more backlinks?
The best way to get backlinks is just to ask for them. Look for websites that harmonise with what you offer through your business and ask them if you can link back to your content.
Your website doesn’t need to be big to get recognition. If you have quality content that is interesting and engaging, you will find that relevant businesses will be happy to place backlinks or they might even reach out and make an offer without you having to ask.
The more value they can see in what you offer to their customers, the more likely they will be to provide backlinks. Be sure to explain how your site will benefit their customers.
Can I have backlinks to Private Blog Networks?
It’s best to avoid backlinks to Private Blog Networks as they do not perform well on Google rankings.
Private Blog Networks are one of the easiest places to buy backlinks online. They are always actively seeking backlinks and will fill their pages with them, bringing in your money without supplying content of their own.
Unfortunately, they don’t rank well on Google and you may even find your own website penalised by association. As well as these sites not being relevant, therefore lacking quality, Google algorithms can see that there are far too many links on Private Blog Network pages, overpowering content.
Look to place your backlinks on external sites that have 600 words of content per page or more. Do a search to see how well a site ranks before you agree to write a guest post or share your content with them and always look over the pages to see if the content is informative and engaging.
Can I put my links in blog comments?
It is considered bad form to place your links in the comments sections of other blogs. As well as looking like spam, you will annoy readers who are looking for genuine interactions.
Most backlinks in comments are removed straight away by website owners to deter people from doing it so there is really no benefit in doing this.
You may also find you are penalised by Google and see a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
Placing genuine and helpful comments is a positive way to gain business awareness and attract attention, just be sure to do it the right way and leave the backlinks out.
Where is the best place to put backlinks?
Your backlinks should be placed in the body of the text, or early in the content introduction.
Avoid having backlinks in the footer or sidebar of the page as it will look like a sponsored ad.
You want to be seen as an affiliate, not as cold marketing. Google will also find it easier to award you quality recognition when your link is placed in the content body.
Do I need a Do-Follow or No-Follow backlink?
In order to stop spamming and an influx of relevant links on pages, Google introduced No-Follow backlinks that mean they don’t get Google recognition. You want a good balance of both Do-Follow and No-Follow links. It gives you credibility and shows that you are genuine. Make this a factor both when you are outsourcing as well as building other website lions into your own.
Because content and use of the internet is constantly evolving, so are the algorithms in place to help guide users in the right direction. That means that you’ll need to stay up to date with changes to backlink preferences so that the systems you are using and paying for are successful and rewarding.
There are a number of companies in Singapore that can assist with search engine optimisation and help manage your backlink profile. If you want to be competitive in digital marketing in Singapore, get in touch to see how search engine optimisation strategies can work for you.