The main and the only external factors of promoting are external links. According to experts on promotion, the success of building of high-quality link weight at a website mainly depends on the ranking of your website in the search results.
What is an external link?
External link is a link to a page that points to an external domain.
Many seo optimizers believe that getting external links is the most important task to achieve the top rankings of the website. This is due to the theory that the external links are one of the most difficult metrics to manipulate search results, so it is one of the best ways for the search engines to determine the popularity of a web resource.
Why external links are so important for your website?
To understand this issue to the fullest, first let us tell you about influence of links over search engine ranking. For example, Google uses a Page Rank algorithm, which lies in the concept of links usage as an indicator of importance. Put simply, each link to a webpage of the site is the vote for this page; each link has a different weight. As a result, the most authoritative is the webpage with the highest quality (having a good link juice) of links.
Webpages can increase their link weight by obtaining links from other webpages and by sending their link juice to other webpages.
This idea was used in the early days of Alta Vista search engine for the first time and then the idea began to be used by Google. This algorithm calculated the hyperlinks as votes of popularity. The webpages that had more links pointing to them have been considered as more popular. When they were deemed necessary for a particular query, the most popular and relevant pages would become the first page of search results in Google. Although this algorithm is much more complex today, it still includes the concept of external links as votes for the resource.
However, Page Rank is not the only factor that determines the value of links.
Additional factors that affect the value of the links:
Today the major search engines use a lot of indicators to determine the value of external links. Some of these factors include:
1. Anchor text
Anchor text is a part of the link that users can click to go to another webpage, it is used by search engines and users to understand what the webpage on which the link leads is about.
As it is shown in the example, the anchor text for links: Read more about car, leads to a webpage about cars. Thus, search engines and users have better understanding of the page on which the link is given.
Try to use the keywords in the anchor text which reflect the key themes of content and user queries. It should be noted that it’s not necessary to use repeating anchor text in different links as it can be seen by search engines as spam. Use different anchor texts instead, this will increase the context and usability for both users and search engines.
The more popular and important the website is, the more link weight it has. The website like Wikipedia has thousands of links from different websites, which means that this resource inspires confidence and is considered to be a popular and important website. To earn trust and credibility of the search engines, you need the help other resources to obtain links. And please note that the more popular the resource which contains link to your website is, the better.
Links that come from websites or webpages with the same subject your website or webpage has, have more weight than links from other resources with different subject.
The relevance of such links is more appreciated in the context of the query inputted by a user. If user inputs a query about buying a car of Ford brand, for example, and the resource has a link from website producer of these vehicles, this link does add confidence to a search engine that this website is really associated with cars. As a result, the more relevant links your website gets, the more confidence it earns from the search engines.
4. Independent sources
Here everything is easy: the search engines will not add "link juice" from those links that you make with your own website to your own webpages. Only the links from independent sources will have a good link juice. Even more, the search engines have learned to identify related websites that are designed to raise the rating of the main site. At the moment there are many ways to create similar techniques to add artificial link weight, but for search engine optimization they practically do not matter.
5. Links from different domains
It is very nice to get hundreds of links from different webpages of the same website, but search engines reduce the weight of such links. In practice, it is better to have one link from many domains, than many links from the same domain. For example one hundred of links from one domain will equal five or ten links from different domains, besides, the more links from one domain the website contains, the less the weight each of these links will have.
6. Links from different sources
In addition to obtaining links from different domains, it is also important to obtain links from different sources, for example, not only from social networks but from blogs, catalogs, media and other websites.
Search engines love the variety of sources and constantly change their algorithms, so it would be right to have a link to a variety of sources, which will significantly reduce the impact on the website in case your website gets under penalties.
Temporary factors are also very important for search engines; according to these data they can analyze the following information:
- When did the link appear?
- When did the link disappear?
- How long does the link exist?
The longer the link exists on your site, the more weight it gains by search engines. Also, the weight of link depends on the credibility of the source where it’s posted on.
- How fast does the link weight grow?
Growth dynamics is also very important for search engines. For example, if you get hundreds of links a day and if they are not event-related links posted in media, more likely they will be taken as spam by the search engines. So you need to approach the speed of link building to your resource rationally.
8. Links context
Besides anchor text, the search engines take into account several factors related to the context.
- Near-by links
If near-by links are of the same category as that of the analyzed link, it is taken into account by search engines as a positive signal. Conversely, if the subject of links on a single webpage have completely different topics, the search engines will take it as a negative factor.
- Location of link
If the link is located in the main body of content, it will be a positive factor than if the link is located for example in the footer.
- The text next to the link
In this aspect, the search engines take into account the text which is located next to links. Amicably it should also match the category of link.
Similarly, the search engines take into account the headers and context of the website.
9. Top-level domains
There is a perception among seo experts that some top-level domains such as .gov, .edu, etc. They are more effective for SEO. However, Google has made it clear that they consider all the links from different domains alike. Commonly websites with .edu domain are authoritative for the quality of content provided (it is often a good content on a specific topic related to the area of the university), but in any case, not because of the size of the domain.
How do I get links to the website?
There are several ways to obtain links, we will list them below:
Creating high-quality content
In order to get volunteered links one needs to create quality content and good service (if it is a service project), which will be referred by other resources and promote your own content effectively.
Recommendations on the creation of quality content:
- Study the keywords and target user requests.
- Use content that will prove you or your website to be an expert in your subject.
- Minimize the commercial orientation of content
- Do not post advertisements and purely commercial links within the content itself.
- If your content is commercial, it is not worth it to hide it.
Distribution of content through social networks and blogs.
It will be very helpful to get links from issue-related webpages in social networks or blogs. It can take place on paid and contract basis.
Using link directory:
Link directory can be a great way to get links to your website, but you should choose the directories that are created for the convenience of users, rather than to manipulate the ratings of websites.
It is very easy to add your website to a catalogue, what is more important is that you need to add the link to needed location. Sometimes you should pay for it but often it can be done for free. Also be sure to consider topic of the directory before placing links.
This is a very common practice in the promotion of websites, but it should be noted that search engines have very negative attitude towards the practice of buying links as this reduces the effectiveness of the search.
Where can I purchase links:
- custom-made articles and posts;
- any websites under contract with their owners;
- articles exchange websites;
- link exchange websites;
- automated systems.
Direct requests on placing links
This method works providing that you have a high quality content, which has agreed to be posted on other websites. In such a case it would be a very important the skill of establishing partnerships, it greatly simplifies the preparation of links.
Choosing the right strategy to build links
In general, the campaign on obtaining links should be based on well thought-out strategy and tactics of link building, which, in turn, must be drawn up on the basis of conducted investigations.
For proper implementation of this process we recommend the following procedure:
- Identify the websites that correspond your subject and may contain the link to your website.
- Identify the sources of links of your competitors
- Make analysis of the links directing to your website
- Define the methodology of interaction with potential resources that can provide links to your website
Well planned campaign on link building will pay off and recompense for time and money spent.
Now that you are familiar with the definition of external links, their importance in terms of promotion in search results and methods for their preparation, you will be able to build an effective link strategy and achieve high results in promotion of your website.