Google may change the rules for ranking websites, but inbound links from other websites remains an essential part of ranking well in the search results. And Google is looking for “natural” inbound links that are a testament to the credibility and trustworthiness of your website.
But to put it simply, getting inbound links is difficult. Getting high quality links is hard work, and that’s why Google values quality links so highly.
I’m often asked about inbound linking. What is a quality inbound link? And how do I get them? And why is it so hard to do?
High quality links are almost always a “gift” from another website. A real person has decided that your site is worthy of a link. And it is often, if not always, a result of having great content on your website.
My advice to you always is to get a fewer perfectly formed links, which are infinitely more valuable than a bunch of rubbish links.
Repeat after me: Focus on quality, not quantity.
Top 10 Tips for identifying good quality inbound links:
- Is the website in your topical community, that is to say, is it related to what you do?
- Is it an authoritative or trusted site on your subject matter?
- What other pages does this site link to? Is it linking to other high quality sites?
- Is it clear that the sites they are linking out to are vetted and evaluated, not just machine generated?
- Are the links mixed in with other “real” text and copy? Or is it just a list of random links?
- Who links into the site? Does it have a zillion spammy links coming into it, which might artificially inflate its Page Rank?
- How old is the site? Older is better, as a general rule.
- Who owns the site? Does this person have lots of other sites, probably all developed for the purpose of playing the links game? Bad news, that.
- Are they requiring reciprocal links? Stay away, unless it is a powerful site.
- Get a wide variety of links, including social media links in your link profile
And of course, do your research, check out your competitors’ links and keep your eyes open for linking opportunities.