Neil Patel is one of the world’s most respected internet marketers. He made an important observation about SEO link building in an interview in Search Engine Watch in 2013. This was in connection with the effects of “Penguin,” Google’s full-scale algorithm upgrade of 2012.
In response to a statement that “the four elements of links are quantity, quality, diversity, and velocity,” his observation below is as true today as it was then [emphasis added]:
“… you take all those elements and you figure out what the ideal mix is. And in most cases… it’s better to get quality over quantity.”
And the best way to manage this complex quality control issue, for an increasing number of contemporary businesses, is to outsource the link-building component of SEO and search marketing.
Many leading SEO agencies and consultants are now turning to outsourcing for link building as well. This is because technical and logistical hurdles are relatively high, and the stakes are even higher.
The Relentless Progress of Search Technology
Some of the old link techniques not only no longer work — they actually work against websites that fail to keep pace. One high-quality link is worth more in ranking strength than any number of low-quality links. In fact, search engine sophistication now enables Google to recognize links from dubious sources and subtract website ranking points for connecting with them.
Many of the most popular and authoritative link sources can be intimidating to approach. On the other hand, many of the easiest websites to connect with are little more than directories of websites broken down by keyword category. Some of these can be spammy operations with negative ranking value. Others are essential directory listings, especially for a business focused on local marketing.
The challenge for many business owners and webmasters is to develop a reliable, scalable system of quality control that develops ‘good’ links and eliminates ‘bad’ links.
The Secrets of Success in Link Building
SEO best practices have always followed the dictates of artificial intelligence (AI) and ‘bot’ culture. Search technology continuously adopts the best available machine learning to catalogue and track web content. So it makes sense that Patel’s observation becomes even more accurate as AI advances further and faster all the time.
Quality, not quantity, is what makes for effective SEO in building inbound link connections. Constant website performance monitoring and regular testing is the only way to be sure of keeping up with the state of the art in link building. Constant outreach is the only way to stay in the forefront of the most competitive market spaces.
Outsourced link building is simply the most efficient, effective way of dealing with this constant change and complexity to ensure that website clients get the necessary results from their overall SEO investments.
Link SEO Results to Website Traffic
When it comes to inbound links and web traffic, you need to emphasize quality over quantity more than ever before. The terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are used here not to make moral judgments but to describe the usefulness of any external website.
A ‘good’ site is one where your potential customers (based on keyword search similarities) are known to spend time, attention, and possibly money as well. A link from that site to yours will ‘impress’ the Google search algorithm and thus improve your site’s search ranking. It will also direct referral traffic to your site as visitors follow the link from that site to yours. Traffic based on an authentic similarity of interest is pre-qualified and more likely respond positively to your offering.
A classic example of a ‘bad’ site is one that’s part of a Private Blog Network. PBNs are collections of websites that are set up for the purpose of linking back to a target site, thus providing fake authority and popularity for the target site. The intended audience is search engines. Content on these sites offers little or no value to visitors who end up there. Little or no human traffic will follow through these links as visitors there will just ‘bounce’ away.
This will reflect over time by dropping these sites down in organic search results. It can even lead to penalties imposed by Google, including complete blacklisting of sites associated with the PBN.
Build Solid Links With an SEO Pro
So, how can you increase the diversity and velocity of links from respected and popular sources? How can you avoid the attention of spammers? Great content and high-quality links go hand in hand. Within that great SEO content, variety in the words used for link anchor text copy is important. You can’t just keep using the same keywords and phrases over and over without getting Google’s guard up, to say nothing of boring your human readers to tears!
Fortunately, powerful online link analysis tools like Ahrefs and Majestic can work wonders in the hands of a qualified link building expert. Information gained through these resources can guide the development of website content and propel successful link-building strategies and tactics.
Explore how these ideas link up with your business objectives, along with other winning SEO tips and practices. Take advantage of a free consultation with Paul to see what’s right for you.