Every website owner wants their page to garner a lot of traffic. You want people, especially your target audience, to find and visit your website.
But with the overwhelming number of websites and content, how can we make our sites visible? The key platform to help you achieve that is through search engines. Then again, these too have limitations.
If you’re like me, then you only open the sites that show up on the first page when you make a search. That’s because those are the ones with the most credible content about the subject-matter.
This is particularly true. Search engines make sure to put sites of the highest quality in the top ranks. Thus, you want your site to show up among the top results, for visibility and credibility purposes.
Google’s Link Building Algorithm
Since it is considered as the most popular search engine at this time and age, we will be focusing on Google. Google uses algorithms and link-analysis methods. These help them determine which sites will rank high in their search results. Their goal is to get high-quality websites on the top of the list. They want to give their users the best and most reliable content. So, they follow and consider elements to help their domain determine these high-quality sites. One of those factors is link building.
Links help the search engine analyze whether a website is legitimate or trustworthy. They do this through measuring the popularity and authority of the pages linking to these sites. If the pages that link to your site are trusted by Google, then it is likely that your website will be trusted as well. This works vice versa.
There are a number of link building factors you need to consider to pass Google’s algorithm. Once you ace that, you should see your site ranking high in search results.
Here are the 5 most important link building factors that will make Google trust you:
- The number of pages linking to your site
Quantity is important in this case. You want your site to acquire a lot of backlinks from other pages. This increases the probability of it ranking well in search. This is, of course, assuming that other factors, to be discussed below, are also performing.
Take a look at the chart below.
Backlinko.com analyzed the relationship of the number of backlinks and google ranking. They had a sample of 1 million websites. If you look at the chart, you’ll see that sites with the most number of backlinks ranked number one in Google.
Take for example Wikipedia. When we make a google search, Wikipedia often, if not always, ranks first in the search results. That’s because various pages have their content linked to the Wikipedia domain.
If a lot of pages are referencing your website for their content, it tells Google that you are a credible source. It sends a signal that your content is substantial and useful. This increases your website’s credibility and trustworthiness.
- Anchor text that links directly to your site
In pieces of content, we often notice underlined keywords highlighted in blue. These are called ‘anchor text’. When clicked, these words redirect the reader to another page. More often than not, this is the source where that certain information or idea was derived from. It’s sort of like the references you find at the end of articles. But instead of listing down the links, they are embedded in keywords. The words are chosen based on what best describes the website they are linking to.
Google makes use of anchor text to gain more insight on what the linked page is about. In this article, I highlighted several keywords. Notice the words ‘anchor text’ in the above paragraph are underlined and colored blue. Those two words are directly related to the site I linked it to. That’s where I learned about the concept of anchor text in depth.
Not only that, Google also memorizes the linked keywords used by varied pages that link to your site. Their algorithm utilizes these words to help your site rank higher. The more pages that backlink your website for specific keywords, the more these words become tied to your site. So when you search, for example, “anchor text”, there is a high probability that the website I linked those keywords to will show up in the top results.
- Level of Domain Authority and Page Authority
In the first point we made, we talked about the importance of the number of backlinks your site has. But in our effort to boost quantity, we shouldn’t forget that quality is just as important.
Even if your site has hundreds of backlinks from other pages, it could still rank low in Google search.
Domain Authority and Page Authority measure the trustworthiness of websites. This is how it works. If your backlinks come from spam or low-quality addresses, then you will have a low DA and PA level. That’s because Google will categorize your site as similar to those spam pages. This isn’t something you want if you’re aiming for a high search ranking.
The chart above shows the concept of DA and PA. The first pie chart shows a website that has no backlinks from spam sites. This makes it a high-trust and high-quality site. The other charts, however, show how a site veers further away from trustworthiness. The percentage of backlinks from spam pages decreases the DA and PA levels of the websites.
The ideal DA and PA level for a high-trust site is 40. If yours is lower than that, it means you’re getting backlinks from low-quality sites. A DA and PA level lower than 14, on the other hand, is alarming. It could mean that Google has already considered your site as low quality.
You’ll rank higher even if you have only a few backlinks, as long as they’re from quality and trustworthy pages. A multitude of backlinks from spam sites won’t do you any good. So be cautious about which link neighborhood your site belongs to. Is it the high-trust neighborhood or spam neighborhood?
- Diversity of pages linking to your site
We discussed the importance of the quantity and quality of backlinks. Keeping in mind those two factors, there is one other thing you must consider.
There is a possibility that backlinks won’t help you rank. That is no matter how many you have, or how credible your sources are.
This could be the tendency if you do not have a wide array of pages linking to your site. If you have a dozen backlinks from a single quality page, Google will only count that as one link. So having ten to twenty backlinks on one page is not the best way to go.
Instead, you want to increase the weight of each backlink. Therefore, you should acquire backlinks from a diverse set of trustworthy websites.
Get your site a diversified set of backlink sources such as:
- News outlets
- Blog comments
- Social Media
- User profiles
- Relevancy of the linking page to your domain
Because of the determination to achieve an adequate quantity and quality of backlinks, this factor is often neglected. Most websites acquire links from pages that are far different from their own.
This is not a good practice. Google also takes into consideration the relevancy of the site to its linking source.
Make sure you acquire backlinks from pages that are similar to yours. This could be in terms of content or primary subject matter being discussed.
Take a look at this example. If you have a website for your footwear brand, you want backlinks from pages that produce related content. These can be sites that have shoe reviews or footwear related articles.
A backlink from a flower shop’s website would be highly irrelevant. What could your site possibly have to contribute to a flower shop’s content? This might send Google the wrong signals, causing your site to be marked as spam.
Getting backlinks from websites that are related to yours add weight to your links. This also puts you in a “topic-specific community”. Being in this community makes your website more popular in your location. Which, in turn, helps you rank higher in local search results.
Let Google Do The Rest!
There are plenty of factors to consider when using backlinks. Especially when your goal is to get your website among the top ranks in search results. Taking these 5 factors into consideration will be of great help to you.
Keep in mind that the quantity and quality of backlinks are not enough. Make sure they are also diverse and relevant.
Follow these tips to earn Google’s trust. Once you do, you just have to sit back and let Google do the rest! Your site will be appearing in the first page of search results in no time!