Don’t let the craving for links from other websites sabotage your SEO campaign.
Make no mistake that backlinks (links from other sites) are great for producing rankings, but if you inflate them disproportionately with an unnatural link velocity, all of your SEO work could be in vein if the website gets penalized or deindexed from search engines.
Links are Like Currency
For those unfamiliar with the context of SEO, links are like currency or rather a type of validation, similar to a method called peer review.
With a finite base of trusted websites that search engines deem worthy, a link from any of those trusted sites is capable of providing a tremendous amount of link flow to aid your ranking objectives.
If you want to rank for Keyword A, then you need a sufficient amount of topical content (considered on page SEO) and a sufficient amount of other sites linking to your page or website with synonyms, singular or plural keywords related to “Keyword A”.
As a result, your page takes on a quality through transference whereby it is infused with a vital ranking factor squared by relevance and supporting modifiers. In other words, if people type in a variation of your keyword (and some form of it is on the page, in the title or meta description) then your page is returned as a relevant hit.
Google and other search engines measure a vast array of metrics that pertain to your website and collective web page repository and tally (1) the natural link velocity (2) the appearance of internal and external links (3) additional supporting pages to reinforce the topic and (4) various other crucial metrics to provide the final degree of trust.
That trust translates to that page or pages in your website exceeding a tipping point for related semantic or stemmed keyword rankings.
If you are link hungry, this means you are more apt to look at your site strictly from the brute force perspective of using a sledge hammer when you needed a rubber mallet. The point being, internal links count just as much as external links, and if augmented properly can pass exponential ranking factor to your pages over time.
By always trying to one up your competitors and acquire more links from shady places that have abusive patterns of (a) linking out disproportionately (b) spewing 100 word blurbs chalked with off-topic rubbish (c) lack actual traffic and / or (d) contain duplicate shingles from automating some process; search engine algorithms can typically flag this type of behavior and penalize a website by association.
It is a risk many take, walking on the fine line of promotion and violating search engine guidelines. The fact is, for many, search engine ranking penalties could easily be avoided by (a) focusing on more unique quality content for each page (b) getting more links to other supporting links rather than the site (to foster the perpetual aspect of link transference) or simply building a natural link profile from developing link worthy content.
Most keywords start to fall in line after 15-25 deep links to a specific page from trusted and diverse sources. Then another keyword comes online and your site starts ranking for it with 10 more links to support another landing page, etc.
This process continues until you have a solid base of (1) a high number of relevant landing pages (2) a high number of landing pages with deep links and (3) an authority site buzzing with ranking velocity by design.
You just have to map out each keyword or group of keywords you are targeting and not go overboard and try to build and or / promote new links to pages in an unnatural or automated fashion.
You know the saying; everything leaves a trail, right? The same applies online as the path of chronology and various other parallels determine the extent of how high each page climbs as a result of impeccable on page SEO and a few links to the right place.
It’s not always obvious that short-term gain is not worth long-term penalties (unless you are an individual using the churn and burn domain level automation to provide temporal gain).
It’s better to cultivate a natural link profile (acquire links from a variety of sources) such as niche, video, software or specialty directories, RSS feeds, press releases, blogs, aged websites or EDU’s or .Govs if applicable.
Quality should not be sacrificed for quantity when it comes to creating prime web estate. Each website is an investment, like anything else and what you put into it, you get out of it one way or another.
So, the next time you think about building links like a madman, take the time to go back, refine your on page SEO and make sure you have stopped up all the leaks, created the best internal link structure possible, have increased accessibility and crawl frequency by posting content frequently and have high caliber content to pass the litmus test.
Algorithms are swift to judge and getting them to forgive an offense is not easily accomplished. If you value your website, make it a contribution to the web at large, give search engines and people something worth engaging and stop chasing links to make up for discrepancies in other areas.
I have create websites with less than 200 back links that outrank brands for competitive keywords in 4-6 months time, so, I can tell you, it is not only about the links.
Rankings are produced through building a trusted website with authority, “the real juice for SEO”. By developing a quality authority site over time, you can spend that ranking currency through creating new landing pages and consolidating ranking factors.
Don’t gorge yourself on an unhealthy diet of links from low quality sites, it’s not about the question of a tit for tat bean counter dynamic of who’s got the biggest links.
It’s more about who has the stronger on-page SEO, trust, vision and patience to develop a website properly, which implies, “ranking with minature keyword victories, over time“…