You can’t blame people for being confused when it comes to building links. After all, the laws of Google and other search engines aren’t readily available. In fact, the world of SEO involves traversing some very murky waters indeed, if you want to reach your destination. With so many rogue agents out there using black hat tactics to pick up links from spam sites, many people are cautious when it comes to link building. In fact, the very practice tends to create a shudder of negativity in even the most seasoned online marketer. You already know that building links is a long-term strategy that requires patience and perseverance, but check out these five things you never knew about link building:
1. You can’t get “too many links” too quickly
If your company has ever incurred a Google penalty or you know someone who has, you might be fearful of getting too many links too quickly. But, it really isn’t about the number of links or the pace as much as the type of links you’re acquiring. You won’t get penalized for getting a ton of link juice from reputable sites with low spam scores. As long as you play by the rules using white hat tactics, you should be looking to get as many links as you can. You’re building a temple here, not a sand castle. It takes hard and continuous work and a lot of common sense.
If you reach out to sites with high spam scores and questionable content, if you work with dodgy SEO companies and consistently throw up a pattern of poor quality, spammy links, Google will take a closer look at your site. And you might get penalized. But if you’re focusing on relevance, quality, authority and popularity, there really is no such thing as getting too many links too fast.
2. It’s OK to ask for a link directly
“But asking for a link will get me a Google penalty! Won’t it?” No! It’s no mystery by now that websites need links in order to improve their SERP ranking and domain authority. So, one of the best ways to get links is by asking. There’s little point in a journalist writing a compelling article about your company, or using a press release if they fail to link back to your site. They know this. So, if you provide them with material, ask for a link.
What’s not OK when it comes to building links is offering some kind of bribery. Payment, excessive link swaps, promises of favorable reviews. These are all sketchy habits that will appear on Google’s radar after a while. But, if you’re playing nicely, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a link directly, so don’t sweat it.
3. It’s cool to get more than one link from the same site
No doubt you’ll hear the words “link diversity” thrown around a lot during your link building campaign. It’s important to get links from different sites, of course, regardless of the industry you’re in. A varied link portfolio is a search engine friendly one. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get more than one link from the same site.
Remember that while your link building efforts are about, well, building links; you’re also looking for traffic to your site. So, if you’re getting 10 links on 10 different pages from a popular site that’s sending traffic your way, the more the merrier!
4. Links from non-relevant sites can be useful
While it’s true that search engines look for the reason a website would link to you, that doesn’t mean that off-topic links are of no use. In fact, the reverse is actually true. Seeing as how off-topic links are almost always editorial, they can be the best type of links because they are earned links. It’s also much less likely that your competition has these kinds of links.
As Google’s bots get more sophisticated, they no longer look only at sight relevance or the link source. They look at the whole context of the link and the text around the link. So, a high-quality article is always useful. Off-topic links are in no way going to be seen as manipulative links either. So, if a site has written an article about your company and is a trustworthy source, relevant or otherwise, it can boost your SERP ranking.
5. Domain authority isn’t everything
If you have some kind of hard-and-fast rule about domain authority, you need to flex your ideas a little. Domain authority can be a good indication of a site’s influence and worth, but it isn’t everything. Domain authority is a machine learning system that looks at all the metrics and calculates a score. Domain authority doesn’t take into account whether a site gives good quality editorial links, has the ability to rank you higher or even send good traffic to your site. In fact, some of the highest domain authority sites don’t have the highest traffic.
DA can definitely be a help, as can spam scores, but you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover or a website by these metrics. They may be a new website and have few links, but if they are high quality sites, don’t worry too much about their domain authority.
So, there you have it. Take a look at your link building efforts and ask yourself if any of your rules need changing. If you only look at DA, be sure to consider other factors. If you hold back on getting too many links, throw your caution to the wind! Just remember to apply white hat tactics all the time and a lot of common sense. Link building isn’t an exact science, so use your instinct and you’ll improve your SERP ranking along the way.
Christina Comben is content manager at translation and legal translation services provider, Day Translations. Multilingual and qualified to MBA level, Christina is passionate about writing, traveling and continued education.