Getting good backlinks is not easy, You can do some tasks yourself, and some practices are not advisable. The safest way to get good referrals is through a specialized agency.
What are backlinks and why are they so important
Explanation: Literally translated, a backlink is a link to a website that points back with a link. Today the term is mostly used for the inbound links to a page.
Link building is part of the off-page optimization of a website and is an important part of the marketing strategy. The principle is actually very simple: A page contains relevant content and is therefore mentioned on other, thematically related pages. The whole Internet is basically based on the mutual linking of relevant pages, which is also reflected in its representation as a web, spider webis illustrated. A few years ago, backlinks were still considered a decisive ranking factor. The more links led to a page, the better it was ranked in the search results. This led to a brisk trade in Opens external link in new windowpurchased links, which Google was able to manipulate for a while, but which did not allow any reliable statements to be made about the quality of the linked pages. Today the qualitative value of a link is assessed by Google on the basis of various criteria. Purchased links are usually recognized quickly and lead to a devaluation. So buying links is not an adequate solution. There are also links that can damage a page, because the quality of a page “rubs off” on the linked pages.
Often attempts are made to exploit this effect to damage other site operators through negative SEO . This happened Opens external link in new windowon a large scale at the end of 2017 , when hundreds of specially set up domains with pornographic content with millions of links referred to well-known pages and their subdomains.
Every webmaster should regularly check the links that lead to their page. The various free tools that can be found online do this quite well. They sometimes show different results, so it makes sense to use several of these tools, for example:
- Backlink Checker from Ahrefs
- Checker from Small SEO Tools
- Open Site Explorer from MOZ
- Site Explorer by Majestic
- Backlink Checker by semrush
If you discover that someone is trying to harm you with negative SEO, you will find useful tips on this page, for example, on how to defend yourself against it. It makes sense to check your own backlink structure regularly. This not only protects against unjustified devaluation, but it also helps to have the successes in building backlinks under control.
How does the rating of links work?
In the beginning there was the PageRank algorithm, which assessed the value of a page based on the incoming links and was used by Google as the basis for its search. It was developed at Stanford University by namesake Larry Page and Sergei Brin, who published it in 1998. The idea comes from sociometry and was introduced in 1953. At that time, however, it was a matter of calculating a person’s status based on their social relationships; for Google it was used as a rating calculation for pages. The more references, the better. This method of evaluation resulted in huge link farms emerging and referrals becoming good business for many. Google countered this with its Penguin Update in 2012, which punished websites with purchased links by losing their relevance and thus their visibility.
Since 2013, Google has also been using the Hummingbird algorithm, in which PageRank is only one aspect of many. Since Hummingbird, the search engine has also taken into account the relationship between individual search words, which means that users’ search intentions can be recorded more precisely.
Today, links are also rated based on their nature. What kind of links are there and what is their value?
These types of links exist
The search engine Google today distinguishes very precisely which function a link has. If, for example, an offer to buy is hidden behind a link, it is of a transactional nature . The visitor should make a purchase on the linked page. However, the reference does not offer any other added value for him, the link says nothing about the quality of the linked page. Hard transactional links should be excluded from the calculation as far as possible. They are therefore of no use for onpage optimization, in contrast to editorial recommendation links. These neither prepare a transaction nor are they only used for navigation, but there is a contextual relationship between the linked page and the content that the visitor is currently reading. The link can, for example, refer to a source, or to an addition to the content or further topics. This is important: the content has added value for the user. The link further enriches this added value. These types of links are particularly useful for your own link profile. They correspond to the basic idea of Larry Page, who was based on scientific work when developing the PageRank: The more often a scientific work is cited in other papers, the more important and better it is.
This is how links are rated
The quantitative evaluation of links has been replaced by qualitative criteria against which a link must be measured. For example, Google looks at the popularity of the linked page. The better known this is, the more valuable the link is. However, this does not mean that you should only have inbound links from A ++ sites, because that looks unnatural. Nevertheless, one should absolutely avoid being seen in a “bad neighborhood”. Pages with spam, purchased links, or copyright infringement are considered “bad neighborhoods”. Links from such sites have a harmful effect on the linked site .
How many links in total emanate from a linking page is just as relevant as the position of a link on the linking page. It counts in the evaluation whether the link is set in an image or as text, as well as the anchor text used, the thematic environment and the PageRank of the page giving the link. That sounds pretty complicated, but it’s actually not. A good link profile should simply be as natural as possible. That means that there are not only optimal links, because something like that just doesn’t happen in life.
Why backlinks are a difficult topic for shops
What we have already learned about transactional links is that they are not exactly useful for your own link profile. That’s because they represent commercial interests, just like advertisements do. However, many links that refer to a product say nothing about the quality of the product, only about the financial resources of the shop owner. In most cases, links to shops or product pages for the ranking calculation are therefore not suitable for building backlinks.
So you can still upgrade your shop with links
However, that does not have to mean that you as a shop operator have to do without backlinks. However, you have to take an intermediate step to do this. Run a blog and rely on content marketing. Deal with related topics relating to your products and create concrete added value for your customers with this content. Show use cases and tips, and have other pages point to your blog from which you can link your shop and its products. This not only has a positive effect on your link profile, but also binds your customers to your company because you have more to offer than just products.
This is what a good link profile looks like
A good link profile is as natural as possible, contains as few hard keyword links as possible, but mainly generic link texts and also some references with the term “here” or similar. It not only refer to very good, but also to some less known or less well-ranked pages on your presence. Bad neighborhoods are to be avoided in any case. If you find that you have bad links, have them removed or marked as invalid. An organic link profile contains both Opens external link in new windowdo-follow and no-follow links . The latter are not necessarily bad, especially when they come from big sites like Facebook or other social networks.
This is how you get good links for your website
You can outsource the establishment of the backlink to a specialized agency and play it safe. However, there are numerous links that you can set yourself. Here is a small selection.
Social media profiles
You set the links in social media profiles yourself, in the area of company information. Pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ only provide a no-follow link, but their strong authority ensures that your page is more relevant. In addition, your customers will find you more easily.
There are innumerable web directories, some are paid, many are free and some cause unpleasant surprises with suddenly appearing dirty content after a few months. Rely on large web directories and analyze the backlink profile of your competitors in order to identify suitable directories.
A common method of generating links is link exchange. Get in touch with other webmasters who manage thematically related pages and offer them an exchange. Make sure, however, not to link directly from one page to the other, instead, if possible, switch another of your pages in between.
Youtube is about to replace Google as the most important search engine. How about the idea of creating and uploading a simple informational video that not only draws potential customers’ attention to your products, but also lets you create a backlink to your page?
Guest articles on thematically related pages are a very good opportunity to make your own page better known and to position yourself as an expert. This works best when you can backlink your blog instead of directly linking to products. You don’t necessarily have to create good content yourself; you can also buy it. Find a professional content marketing service provider who is familiar with your topics. There are many ideas for articles:
– As a shoe retailer, you could discuss the latest trends: Which shoes were in vogue on the catwalks of the last fashion shows?
– As an online pharmacist, you could provide tips on all aspects of strengthening the immune system and the best natural remedies for flu infections. Have an app programmed that sends your subscribers a pollen calendar on their mobile phones and send the recommendations for effective remedies immediately afterwards. We are happy to answer any technical questions you may have!
You are sure to think of exciting topics related to your products – if not, let us advise you.
What to avoid when it comes to backlinks
Don’t buy backlinks! No matter what you are promised and how serious such an offer appears to be, do not take advantage of it. This so-called black hat SEO is risky because if it is uncovered by Google after months or years, you could quickly lose your reputation again. If you prefer to invest the money in a service provider and you need links yourself, then you will automatically increase in the ranking over time.
Conclusion: The backlink structure is just like theOpens external link in new window topicality of a shop an important topic thatis still neglectedby many webmasters. Even if you shouldn’t link directly to a shop, there are also ways for shop operators to strengthen their brand through backlinks.