For the last 2 years this has been a huge topic in SEO mainly since the Penguin updates but later to take into account Google’s machine learning algorithm.
Note: If you haven’t heard of Machine Learning then a simple description of this is that the Google algorithm is learning as it crawls the web and improving itself without coders doing this for it – not too dissimilar to Artificial Intelligence.
So here are some questions we have been asked together with our answers:
Do Search Engines still use links?
Yes but this is in a different way than they used to. In the past it was all about PageRank and DoFollow links. Nowadays it’s about more than this.
Should PageRank be used as a sole identifier of whether we website is good?
No. Rand Fishkin from Moz has explained PageRank as: “Dead and has been dead for years”
PageRank is a tool of the past and there are better measurements of a websites equity on the web. A much better measurement is Domain Authority – there are different ways to measure this but the Moz Toolbar has a Domain Authority measurement which is very good.
Should I only target Dofollow Links?
Is Anchor text Important?
Not as important as you may think. The Anchor text should be varied as always and even if you can’t get good anchor text for a link you should get the link anyway as it’s better to have a link than not bother because you can’t get the anchor text you want.
Should links only be acquired from relevant websites?
No. Relevance has always been a tricky area. It is obviously fantastic if you can get links and mentions from similar websites to your own but these are not the only places. When thinking of relevance you should also think about the visitors to other websites and whether they would find your website useful. For example:
You wouldn’t think that a website about dogs would be relevant to a website about holidays but the dog owners that visit the website might find it useful to find holidays where they can take their dogs.
Online Magazines, Newspapers, Directories forums and many other areas may not be seen as relevant website but may have an advantageous area where your website can be included.
Should links be bought?
No. However you may buy advertising on other websites – make sure this is nofollow. Also you can pay for someones time to add a link to a website. Sometimes people may charge admin costs for adding your website to theirs.
Is it important where a link is places on a page?
Yes. Where possible links should be placed in the content of the page. If they are in the advertising areas such as the header, footer or sidebars Search Engines may see these as advertising.
Simply ask yourself: “Would I get this link if search engines didn’t exist?” If the answer is yes then this is probably a good place to get a link. Think about referring visits from the website or even if the website is going to improve your branding.
Link building has changed so much over the years and should really be classed as Relationship Building. You are looking to move any offline relationships you have online – together with building more relationships online.
Coming Soon… Where to start with Relationship Building