Backlinking 101 for 2018

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Backlinking 101

If you have landed on this page hoping to learn how to create 1,000’s of backlinks then I am afraid your going to be disappointed. As a moderator on SEOChat for quite a while now it never ceases to amaze me the amount of posts the site gets regarding backlinking. Many new people to SEO believe the answer to their ranking issues lie in getting more and more backlinks, so I decided I would put finger to keyword to give a more in-depth reply of why doing a offsite campaign that includes building backlinks is a bad idea.

History lesson

The issue dates back to at least before 2005 as the amount of blogs and web 2.0 sites that were being created was growing at an alarming rate, many people found that by adding a comment to these blogs they could pass pagerank to their target site with valuable link juice which in turn improved their rankings on google. This of course attracted a lot of spam and also bots were designed that would seek out blogs and auto post 1000’s of meaningless comments which included a link. It worked, many sites could be catapulted to page 1 within a few weeks and it became a numbers game, the more links the better and quicker you ranked high.

Something had to be done as this drastically affected Googles algotherm for ranking great sites, A new specification was proposed by Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen for a tag that could be added links and called nofollow back in 2005.

example: <a href =”http://mydomain.com” rel=”nofollow”>link text</a>

In 2009 Google took on this new attribute and was soon followed by Yahoo and Bing and dropped any value the link may have passed to its target. Also from version 1.5 wordpress also adopted the nofollow attribute for blog posts in an attempt to make blog spam a thing of the past.

So why is this important

You simply go for links without the nofollow attribute surely ?
Well no, more and more platforms including social media, directories, forums, article sites, press releases, advertising platforms followed suit so finding sites that you could get a follow link from become far harder, but this also gave search engines a workable model that they could measure sites against, if as an example out of all the external links on the web 60% of them are nofollow and 40% are follow links then it would be reasonable to expect any websites backlink profile to be within a simular range. If a site has for example 90% follow links then immediately the backlink profile looks unnatural and worth while investigating.

In the early days google manually inspected sites that fell wildy outside the expected norm, however in 2012 they released an update to their algorithm that shook the SEO world to its roots, the update was penguin and upon release it automatically devalued a lot of sites that once enjoyed great rankings, this rippled through the entire internet because any sites caught buying links or using spam techniques also became worthless so any external links they had on their site also got devalued as well affecting many other sites in the process.

Google continues to update penguin and it has evolved since its first release and has got a lot more sophisticated in spotting spam links.There are many websites out there explaining in far more detail what penguin is and the dates it has been updated if you wish to study further.

What is link juice and page rank

Link juice is a very simple equation of the page rank of a page divided equally across all the links on a page. Each link will receive the same amount of link juice except nofollow links which receive nothing. Page rank is the sum of all link juice coming to a page. These can be internal links or external links.

What is the perfect ratio of follow v nofollow.

This is a really difficult one to answer and only google really can answer, the problem is as time progress’s from the introduction of nofollow more and more sites are taking on this attribute, So if the true figure was 40% follow links in 2010 it sure is way less now. It could be possibly less than 10%  now and dropping but putting a figure on what google considers ok would be pure speculation and difficult to test for as it will be a moving beast. Its true to say though the vast majority of your links should now be nofollow which will not help in the slightest in your ranking. It is important going forward that if at some point in the past you have gained links that you have built its time to remove them before the cut of level matches your profile

Why build backlinks

Its is still really important for you to build backlinks but you need to change your thinking on why your doing it. There is still a need for you to market your website in order to let people know you’re out there, All links you build should be nofollow and built for 1 reason only and that is for traffic only. After all the reason in the past for building links was to gain higher ranks which in turn produced you more traffic so the end goal has not changed except users will be coming directly to your site instead.

 

4 thoughts on - Backlinking 101 for 2018

  • Hi Chadders,

    I totally agree what you stated above but still, i must say it is really, very difficult to get ranked well on your targeted keywords without manipulating Google it doesn’t mean I am promoting spam but getting traffic and conversion is different than getting ranked on specific keywords

    • Don’t forget you are free to use keyword anchor text internally on the site to boost the keywords you wish to rank for. This can be very effective for long tail keywords.

  • Thanks for this post. Picked in from the forum. What are your thoughts around local links? i.e. is there any more value in getting links from local companies/websites in order to rank locally?

    • It is believed local citation really help for local SEO. However the above still applies, build for traffic and not for google so dont be concerned in gaining only follow links.

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