The value of links while performing SEO on your site is extremely important. While keyword stuffing used to work well previously but today it is much harder and more competitive to rank well for a widely searched term. Besides on page factors, the most important factor search engines look at when ranking your site is backlinks. In relation to these backlinks, they must be decent-to-great in terms of quality.
Quality over Quantity
Google favors twenty natural PR 7 links a lot more than two hundred PR 2 links that look spammy. While a large quantity of backlinks can help you to rank quickly at first, as time progresses, if your link value does not have great quality and your link building process isn’t too natural, Google may completely de-index your site. These are dangerous waters that you don’t want to play in. So as far as link building, how do we determine how valuable a link is?
Contextual backlinks are some of the best available to you, but they must look natural and provide content to the reader. You can obtain these backlinks by providing them through web 2.0 properties such as Hubpages, LiveJournal entries, or even Blogger links. Make sure that you vary your content extensively. Use fresh content as much as possible and change up your linking structure with each link. For instance, if you’re trying to rank for the term “ kids food,” in one link you could say “the ten best types of food for kids” and in another link, you could say, “the healthiest food for your kid.”
Quality backlinks are heavily favored by Google, so if you can, try to get links off of pages with high page ranks (Google’s public measure of the authority of the site; it’s true measure is kept secret). You should generally look to get links from sites over a PR 4. While this sounds easy, it really isn’t. Unless you already own a site with a high page rank, you will most likely have to market yourself in a way that makes high-authority site owners want to link to you. Buying links is against the terms of service of the search engines, but many entities do this; gambling that they won’t be caught.
The alternatives are not nearly as straightforward, but essentially amount to the same thing (yet don’t violate terms of service). You add value to the referencing site by doing something outstanding (from parachuting off the Eifel Tower to writing an engaging and meaningful article for the referencing site). A little networking and a little imagination and you’ll likely find a willing partner.
When obtaining backlinks, target sites that are looked at as higher authority to Google such as .edu and .gov. If these sites have a high PR and are filled with relevant content that is informative, you have just hit a home run. Google looks at these type of sites as trustworthy and as authoritative and thus gives them more credibility when looking at your backlinks.
Another important factor to look at when trying to build great quality backlinks is to see how many backlinks that site you are trying to get a backlink from currently has (your target site’s referring domain profile). You should be aiming to get backlinks from authority sites that have already been linked to from various other sites. This will allow you to gain more “link juice” which may help to raise your ranking to the top.
Choose the Right Term
When considering any of these links, make sure that you are going for a keyword that you will be able to compete with. Generic keywords are sometimes impossible to rank for because the sites on top have way too much authority already. Sites like Wikipedia will be almost impossible to outrank because of their page rank and authority. Most of all, always remember the rule of “quality over quantity” and to remember that moving up in the rankings takes time. By following these steps, you’re on your way to obtaining a great rank in the search engines.