Not all inbound links are the same. Some links will get indexed more quickly than others, and some will carry more weight towards your Link Reputation and rankings than others.
When it comes to your link building strategy, you want to focus on the quality of your backlinks over
just the quantity or number of links you can get.
The first thing we'll look at is how to define quality and which types of links carry more weight than others (and why), and then we'll look at ways you can easily get those quality inbound links pointing to your pages...
The Quality of a Link
In addition to the quality of each individual backlink, your links are graded as a whole. This is why effective link building requires a variety of link types, and sources for inbound links. You are building a network, a navigation system, and that network of links and connections will be judged- not just on a link by link basis.
Factors that go into scoring the quality of a backlink include:
- Anchor Text
Your anchor text should define the page you're linking to, and should be the same or relevant to the keyword phrases you used to optimize that page. Anchor text is simply the text that is hyperlinked to your URL.
- Relevance of Linked Pages
Two pages that are linked together should be related, or relevant to each other. The goal is to interlink related content across the web, with purpose.
- Link Location
Links within the content area of a page carry more weight than links in static areas such as the navigation, sidebar, footer, etc. A contextual link is the highest quality link placement you can get on a page.
- Number of Outbound Links
The total number of links on the page affect how much weight, or link juice, each outgoing link will receive. A link on a page with fewer outbound links will carry more weight. It will result in a higher click-through rate (CTR) as well, since there are fewer choices for visitors to click.
- Their Inbound Links
If the page link to you has a good number of high quality inbound links, this will give your link on their page more weight. Seek out quality web pages with solid link structure for link placement.
While I subscribe to the rule of thinking that you should obtain any quality link from a relevant source that has the potential to send targeted (human) traffic to your page... for the purpose of obtaining the highest quality inbound links, you'll want to get a good number of links that do not have the NoFollow attribute.
I put this at the bottom of the list intentionally. What most people know as PageRank is really only Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) and is not actual PageRank. That said, it's common practice to use the toolbar to get inbound links from pages with "more green" or higher PageRank. A good rule of thumb is to avoid pages with a greyed out PageRank bar (which means the page has been penalized).
Considering every single one of these factors for every inbound link you are considering can be incredibly time consuming. It can also be very rewarding, in regards to search engine optimization.
You still need a variety of link types and link sources though. A good question to ask yourself, before placing or requesting a link, is: Does this link add value to the page? Real value. People value. If so, add link.
Patience & Aging
Link Building is not a one-day task. Even if you could get all of the inbound links you need in one sitting, they wouldn't all count right away. It takes time for your links to be found and indexed, so a little patience is required in the overall process.
Link Building is a gradual and ongoing task. You want to build your backlinks over time, and the value of those links will grow over time as well. An "aged link", or a link that has been there for awhile, carries more weight than a brand new link.
This appears natural to the search engines versus big shots of inbound links all at once, and then nothing new for months. Or 100 new inbound links this month, that disappear at the end of the month. Google knows the difference between a link that lasts a month or two (a purchased link) and a permanent, quality inbound link. 😉
Regarding how long it can take for your inbound links to be found and indexed, or to show up in Yahoo's backlinks, that depends on how frequently the page (where your link is) gets spidered or crawled by the major search engines.
Tip: You can tell how recently Google has visited and cached a web page by clicking the "Cached" link beside the listing in the Google search results.
How to Get Quality Inbound Links
Given all these details, you can boil your task down to getting inbound links within the content area of a related quality web page. Ideally without the NoFollow attribute, and using your Primary Keyword Phrase as the anchor text.
How's that for simplifying it? 😀
Some of the easiest ways to obtain these types of high quality links include: Guest Blogging, Article Marketing, Testimonials, Interviews and Cross Blog Conversations.
Another idea, a bit more difficult to achieve, is "Link Bait" - or having something so interesting that people share it, blog about it, and link to it around the web.
We'll discuss each of these options in more detail, along with even more link building strategies and creative ideas for getting high quality backlinks, in upcoming posts in this series. Stay tuned!
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