You may have heard that Google really likes hyperlinks, those colored, often-underlined words that take you to a webpage. And if you haven’t, here’s a quick explanation of why links matter. Think of links as a recommendation or endorsement that your site is worth ranking for certain topics.
Let’s say that someone writes on a blog, “Sector45 really nails it when it comes to search engine marketing.” That link is a signal to Google that the page being linked to is about search engine marketing. If enough other people link to this page using words and phrases like this, Google’s going to feel pretty good that the page really is about that topic, and does a good job of discussing it.
Google’s algorithm looks at thousands and thousands of variables. But a core philosophy of the company’s search formula, and what brought it to the forefront of the search landscape, is the idea that links to a site can be studied to judge what that site is really about.
Sector45 engages in responsible link building as part of a complete set of search engine marketing tactics. Please contact us for a free link audit report on your site. We can also provide more information on link building and the specific steps we use to carry out link building, as they are always changing in response to Google’s best practices.
With the background above in mind, it shouldn’t take much of a leap to figure out that in theory, getting more links to your site is a good thing. If you run a bike shop and have 100 people linking to you with links like “best bike shop” and “where I buy all my bikes,” while your nearest competitor only has 5 links like this, you’re in a pretty good position. Some of those links will come naturally, while other links will have to be earned and still other link opportunities will need to be sought out.
We have one word for you to remember when you are talking with other web marketing firms about their link building tactics. You ready for it? Relevance. Relevant link building is the name of the game and if your web vendor is just trolling the web searching for any old links, chances are very good that sooner or later, you will get burned.
Here’s why. First of all, there are thousands of just plain spammy sites out there that are more than happy to link to your site. Some of the really down and dirty sites even charge for links, which is a huge no-no for many reasons. Having a bunch of links from spammy sites like this is a signal to Google that your site might be trying to game their algorithm, and they’re not big fans of that. They could take what’s called a “manual action” and completely delist your site from all search results.
Even if you are getting a lot of links from only marginally relevant sources, you could be exposing yourself to risk. Google constantly adjusts its algorithm, and you may have heard of larger-scale updates like Penguin and Panda, which were launched in 2012 and 2011, respectively. The algorithm changes but the core philosophy doesn’t: get links from relevant, reputable sites and you are in the best position to weather any change that Google has in store.
We encourage you to contact us if we can answer any questions about link building.