*A previous version of this blog originally appeared on inseev.com. It has been altered and updated by 3Q/DEPT.*
SEOs understand the importance of backlinks in improving a brand’s organic visibility. However, not all backlinks are equal in value. To increase your site’s authority and rank higher than your competitors, it is crucial to understand what makes a good link. Here are some factors to consider:
1. Relevance: The context of the page or website linking back to you is an important consideration for backlink quality. The backlink should make sense and add value to the page. Google’s algorithm prioritizes brands that are experts in their field, so relevant backlinks signal your expertise in a particular subject.
2. Trustworthiness and Authority: The websites linking to your website should be trustworthy and authoritative. When trusted websites link to your content, it shows that your site can be trusted and has authority in the eyes of Google.
3. Number of Incoming Links: The quantity of backlinks pointing to your website also influences its trustworthiness and authority. However, it is important to prioritize quality over quantity. Low-quality backlinks can harm your rankings.
4. Natural Placement and Inclusion: Google considers the placement of backlinks when assessing their quality. Unnatural or forced link placements may be ignored by Google’s crawlers. Engaging in unethical SEO practices can result in penalties and negatively impact your organic profile.
5. Earned or Secured Naturally: Backlinks should be earned organically or secured through ethical outreach practices. Buying backlinks is frowned upon by Google and can lead to penalties.
6. Variety: Having a diverse backlink profile is important for quality. Links should come from a variety of domains to show search engines that your site is trusted and authoritative.
7. Link Attributes: Google introduced link attributes (nofollow, UGC, and sponsored) to help webmasters indicate the nature of a link. Links that use these attributes may not be viewed as valuable by Google’s algorithm.
8. Number of Outgoing Links: The number of outgoing links on the page linking to your website is important. Pages with thousands of outgoing links may diminish the value of your backlink.
9. Quality of Other Outbound Links: The quality of the websites the linking site is linking to also matters. If they link to low-quality or spammy sites, it can affect the value of your backlink.
10. Reciprocality: Reciprocal linking, where you link to a website in exchange for them linking back to you, is not considered valuable by Google. The most valuable links come from websites that you have not already linked to.
11. Previous Page or Site-Wide Penalties: If a website has been penalized by Google for engaging in unsafe SEO practices, receiving a backlink from that site can be risky.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that your backlinks are of high quality and contribute to your site’s authority and visibility.