Backlink monitoring should be a routine exercise for any website owner. Monitoring and purging rogue links is crucial in an age rife with unscrupulous SEO practices like link schemes and linking from spammy websites.
Backlink monitoring should be a routine exercise for any website owner. Monitoring and purging rogue links is crucial in an age rife with unscrupulous SEO practices like link schemes and linking from spammy websites. The nightmare of any SEO professional or marketer is for their website to be hit by a Google Penguin penalty. While Google says it has toned down on penalties, the experience of many webmasters differs
A Penguin influence can kick in and drop the ranking of a site’s pages due to poor quality links. The number and quality of inbound links to a page or website are key factors in Google’s PageRank algorithm. Increasing the number of links to a site using anchor text optimised for keyword relevance signals increased relevance for the website. The quality of a link is determined by several factors that include the relevance of the link and the authority level of the linking page. It does not matter if both pages are about the same thing. The relevance of the
To improve search rankings for a website, increasing the number of inbound links to a domain boosts rankings. However, artificially inflating inbound link numbers is a manipulation of PageRank that Google does not treat lightly. At the very least, Google neutralises sites [appearing to] display such intent.
Significant drops in traffic, conversions, and revenue – non-trivial effects – can follow on sites that continue to retain low quality backlinks. These effects are difficult to turn around, but the starting point of any effective backlink strategy is the quality of your backlinks. How can a website build high quality backlinks that keep it in Google’s good books?
To whet your appetite, these are the seven little-known secrets to high quality backlinks in 2017:
- Churn out skyscraper content
- Be the go-to source for influencers and reporters
- Use outdated sources to build links
- Vary content formats for links and social shares
- Use ultimate guides for high quality backlinks
- Employ branded strategies and techniques
- Scour authority resource pages
#1 Churn out skyscraper content
The “Skyscraper” content technique can build premium quality links from authority sites like Forbes.com. Moz, GoDaddy, and Hubspot. You simply need to get them to link to the same piece of content. Such sites enjoy huge traffic and as such the content will generate plenty of backlinks.
The sites you link from should be authority sites which can be an uphill task, but here are simple steps to achieve the same thing:
- Find a piece of content in your niche that has performed excellently with respect to links. The easiest way is to do a Google search for a keyword. The first page of results often has content with lots of backlinks, because backlinks are a ranking signal.
- Now up the ante by creating content superior to your finding. This is typically a hard step, but the hard work pays big.
- Then, promote your piece of content. Remember that skyscraper content separates you from the competition [because it’s good] but it makes no sense if nobody reads it. Actively promote your content. There are many ways to do so but how about promoting to people that you mention in the post. You don’t have to be pushy or spam them
#2 Be the go-to source for influencers and reporters
To rank high on Google, you need vital links. Links to keep your content (and traffic) alive. Spammy links will not get you far, before the hammer falls, but white hat backlinks from blogs and authority news sites. The words may sound big, but this process is quite simple.
All that is required is Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is a free public relations service that links anyone needing sources (bloggers or journalists) to people that want exposure and links. It is not the easiest of strategies but it’s always worth it. If a website owner wants to build links at scale, it is one of the most viable of options.
So, register on HARO as a source (there’s a free plan). Then, watch out for requests you can contribute to, sending the journalist a brief pitch that brims with value. Backlinks you score through HARO are really veritable and will do much for your traffic.
#3 Use outdated sources to build links
In this step, you need to find sites in your niche that meet the following criteria:
- have moved to a fresh URL
- changed their name
- no longer offer a service
- no longer update a resource
- have shut down
An example is the Moz website; they became Moz after changing their name from SEOMoz. Quite naturally, their site went to Moz.com from SEOMoz.org. Many people are not going to be proactive in updating the SEOMoz.org URLs, which is the perfect opportunity to lead us to the next step… finding sites linking to the outdated URL.
The importance of this step needs to be emphasised. You have uncovered a site that is recently rebranded or a now-unavailable feature. You have to find every link pointing to the page and monitor it. Simply grab the URL of the outdated resource and run it through your backlink checking tool.
After checking all sites that link to the page, you will have a small collection of link opportunities to exploit. Focus on sites with soaring Domain Authority. Reach out to those still linking to the outdated resource. You’re giving them vital information; suggest they add your link to their site too.
#4 Vary content formats for links and social shares
Avoid guesswork. There are content formats that work for link generation and social shares. On a recent BuzzSumo study of one million articles and blog posts, they found that most content is 100% ignored. In fact, 75% of all online content gets zero links.
The content types they found performing great and generate plenty of backlinks include:
- how-to posts
- why posts
- list posts
Lists posts outperform all other content formats, whether in terms of social shares or links. Amazing content is important. Mix up your content though so people enjoy the richness of its variety.
#5 Use ultimate guides for high quality backlinks
Moving a site to the top requires lots of high quality backlinks. To get other sites to link to you, use Ultimate Guides. These link magnets drive your niche credibility more than it gets credit for. One good ultimate guide can serve you well for years.
The reason ultimate guides work so well is that as comprehensive guides covering an entire topic on a single page, they contain lots of content on one page, often spanning thousands of words. As an additional upside, long-form content is better favoured by the search engines than short articles.
Because your guide is authoritative, people will link to it as a credible resource when they write about that topic. The following steps will help you write any ultimate guide:
- Pick a topic to write on. Not a popular topic that has been rehashed too many times. A topic with many helpful posts but no ultimate guide might just be the topic your ultimate guide should focus on.
- Outline your guide. List the subtopics that make up the larger topic. For SEO link building, this could be:
- What is link building?
- White hat SEO
- Black hat SEO
- Anchor text
- Email outreach
- Bonus tips
These will form the subtopics the guide will explore.
- Write your guide by fleshing out the subtopics. This is what will make your guide the definitive resource on the topic.
#6 Employ branded strategies and techniques
We outlined a strategy in strategy #3. We could go a step further and give it a name – say the Nomad Method – in a blog post. This is something people can link to when they want to link. Some will even make whole posts about it, earning you even greater authority on the topic. So, what’s in a name? Now you know.
Ramit Sethi used this when he wrote about The Briefcase Technique – a way to be the rockstar at meetings. He got loads of links just by naming his strategy. So, develop a unique tip, tactic, or strategy, and name it using one of these words – method, technique, approach, system, and blueprint – after which you publish the strategy as part of a blog post.
#7 Scour authority resource content
Every link building strategy has resource pages as its objective. The reason is that they exist only to link out to other sites. To find resource pages (which is often a tricky affair), helpful terms are “helpful resources”, “useful resources”, “additional resources”, “further reading”. These terms plus a keyword are really all you need to find resource pages.
Then, you need to reach out for a link. Ensure that you evaluate the outdated or broken links before asking for a link. This will improve your conversion rate by at least 200%.
One final bonus strategy you can use to build quality backlinks in your backlink monitoring include: turning brand mentions into quality backlinks. Backlink monitoring is overlooked by many website owners, but for those who choose to do it, the best strategy will be to start on excellent foundations. In this case, this implies getting high quality links even with assistance from Domains4Less | Cheap Domain Name Registration | Domains4Less.