The World Wide Web is a complex network of information that connects people, places and ideas from all corners of the globe. Some of these connections come in the form of links. These links are a staple in SEO strategy across various industries. In 2013, after the implementation of Google Penguin and Panda, all links are no longer good links. It’s quality over quantity, and it’s regulated. Modern links need to be organic, or you will drop in the SERPs. Google enforces this, and internet users deserve it. Legitimate links make the internet an easier platform to explore.
The population’s people and their desires tend to start and end with popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Due to the voluminous results and business potential in search databases like these, professionals from all industries depend on SEO to gain visibility in a competitive global economy. Updates like Panda and Penguin have made it so people have to earn their links and avoid sketchy SEO strategy. This makes the internet more natural, organic and helpful.
Below I list the main qualities of a good link, and why it matters in modern cyberspace. This information can be broadly applied to your business and your specific link building strategy.
A link with relevancy helps people. If you run a startup computer software company and you have incoming links from a dog collar website, that doesn’t help anyone. In the olden days, even having mass loads of irrelevant links could potentially spike your position in SERPs, but Google’s Panda and Penguin are squashing the strategy. Google robots index these sites and are able to tell if the meta data matches with the domain surface content.
Even pushing SERPs aside for the moment, relevant links serve people better. For your hypothetical software company, regardless of affiliate motivation, you want a relevant audience that might click through to your landing page. Whether for purchase or simply interest and conversation, you want people truly curious in your niche to see your link. The point of the internet is to connect people, not confuse them. Relevant links get you a higher rank while simultaneously helping the naïve young man in Oklahoma find a new pair of leather shoes.
To help your business, you want the sites hosting your incoming links to have a high Domain Authority (DA). The reason is that these links carry more juice in the eyes of Google. DA is evaluated based on the size, age and popularity of a URL. DA is ranked 1-100, with a domain involving government agencies or universities an example of a high value site. For your computer software company, a picture perfect host for your link would be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) website. This site has a DA of 97 and would carry a substantial amount of link juice.
An incoming or outgoing link should be regionally accurate to your business scope. For instance, if you are a website that represents a local farmers market in Santa Monica, you don’t want links from Australian (.au) domains. Your client base is not in Australia. Your backlink portfolio will be littered with domains that don’t make sense geographically with regards to your business operations. The context of your link needs to make sense. Google’s goal is to make the internet easier for the user to navigate. Your intentions should be the same.
Links are part of the giant web that is the internet. Due to SPAM and black hat SEO strategies, Google has taken control behind anti-spam mastermind Matt Cutts. His goal is to make the internet an honest place that makes the game easier for the end user. To fall in line and avoid the ramifications of Google’s penalties, it’s important to have good links. The characteristics I’ve described are just some of the ways to make sure your incoming and outgoing links are quality.