It’s no secret that backlinks play an important role in where and how websites rank in the search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and even the second-tiered search engines all use backlinks as part of their search ranking algorithm. But not all backlinks are made equally, which is why it’s important to focus your efforts on obtaining high-quality links.
One indication of a high-quality backlink is relevancy. In other words, you should ask yourself if the source of the backlink is relevant to your website. If you own a health-related website, for instance, you should obtain links from similar health-related sites and sources. Search engines, place a great deal of value on link relevancy, so don’t underestimate this component.
Low Number of Outbound Links
How many outbound links are on the source page? Pages with an excessive number of outbound links may be viewed as spam by the search engines, in which case creating a link here would do little-to-no good. In fact, it could actually have the opposite effect by triggering a penalty. To prevent this from happening, only obtain links from pages and sources with a low number of outbound links.
It may not hold as much weight as it once did, but PageRank is still a prime indication of popularity and quality. Pages with a high PR offer greater SEO value than pages with a low PR. It’s just that simple. So, when searching for new backlink opportunities, check the PR. As most seasoned webmasters may already know, each page is given a PR of 0-10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
In addition to PageRage, you should also check the Alexa Rank of backlink pages and sources. Alexa Rank is used to gauge the overall traffic of a website. Unlike PR, however, the lower the Alexa Rank, the better. Google, for instance, has an Alexa Rank of 1, meaning it receives more traffic than any other website.
Building links with relevant anchor text is helpful for boosting your site’s search rankings for specific keywords. Keep in mind, though, that anchor text should be diversified so it doesn’t raise any red flags among the search engines.
Some websites may include the “nofollow” attribute on outbound links, in which case Google will not follow them. Ideally, you should focus the bulk of your off-site SEO efforts on links that do not have this attribute.
Now that you know what to look for in a backlink, how to you go about getting them?
Knowing what to look for in a backlink and actually building high-quality backlinks are two very different things. There are so many different strategies for building backlinks that it’s easily overwhelming.
The essence of all of these strategies: shareable content.
FastCompany is a perfect example of a company that creates shareable content, specifically in the form of infographics. Your hard pressed to find a good blog that hasn’t attributed an infographic to FastCompany.
Infographics, like the one below, have become one of the most notable link building tactics used online because they cover all the bases when it comes to sharing information.
I talk about many other safe link building practices in one of my recent posts, Safe Link Building Practices That Won’t Get Your Site Penalized. Or if you’re looking for tips on creating great content that will get shared, click here for 75 great content ideas.