If you have ever tried your hand in the SEO game, chances are very high you've come across the phrase “quality backlinks”. Backlinks matter to search engines in 2021, all SEOs know this.
In fact, you may have come across the term so much that you don’t really know what it really means. You just assume that whatever backlinks you get are going to have high enough quality.
High quality backlinks are becoming harder and harder to come by.
Sadly, because of the over-repetition and extreme hype around the concept of quality backlinks, more and more businesses end up with links that are anything but quality. Most SEO services online offer extremely low quality links.
You have to have a clear goal going into link building. Otherwise, it’s going to be very easy to get caught up in all the hype. This is a sure recipe for SEO disaster!
No, I’m not exaggerating, nor am I being overly dramatic.
As you probably already know, if you are in a competitive niche, every little detail counts. You can't slip when it comes to backlink quality because it will come back to bite you.
In fact, your whole SEO strategy must be airtight. Otherwise, you're going to have to get comfortable with mediocre results.
The key to breaking out of the second page of Google search results is to be as clear as possible in defining what quality backlinks are and what they're not.
What is Google and other search engines really looking for when it comes to links to your site?
Read on to find out....
First, Focus on the Right Type of High Quality Backlinks
When defining quality backlinks, you must start with the most basic question: what type of links are you getting?
Please understand that just because you come across an SEO “consultant” or “specialist” doesn’t mean that the links that they give you will necessarily be the ones you need.
Every site is different, and every link profile is unique.
If you really want to focus on increasing the traffic to your site, and the quality of backlinks to it, you need to identify what you already have. I recommend using a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush.
Like it or not, there are many different types of backlinks available on the internet.
Web 2.0 Links
These might not classify as "high quality backlinks" in 2021. These links come from free subdomain properties that anyone can create. Many result in no-follow links, but it can be a good way to mix up your backlink profile.
But nonetheless, they are a pretty common part of many site's backlink profiles and definitely can't hurt. If anything, they are good for search engine's eyes when it comes to anchor text diversity.
Setting up social media profiles properly is important for any site. You can get links to your site from your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. While they aren't extremely powerful, it's still a quality backlink and is really important to a big search engine like Google.
You can also get links from articles published on third-party websites.
You may even get links from scholarship pages at universities or a wide range of profiles on domains that have .edu or .gov!
These are the cream of the crop when it comes to high quality backlinks because the domains they are coming from are so authoritative.
Finally, there are forum links and internal page links of varying difficulty.
These diverse links are in no way equal. Even .gov and .edu backlinks in and of themselves are not magic bullets, as far as a search engine ranking improvement goes.
You have to dig deeper.
The Basic Rule Of Thumb in Defining a High Quality Backlink
Given the fact that there are just so many different forms of backlinks out there (that come from many different places), it’s very easy to get confused.
The worst form of confusion, sadly, is to think that these links are basically interchangeable, and no set of links is as good as another set. Absolutely wrong!
The bottom line is if you build the wrong kind of links, not only will your website fail to rank, but you may be permanently stuck at the bottom of Google search rankings. That's how crucial link quality is!
But, unfortunately, since you focus on volume instead of quality, you won’t be able to break out of Google’s ranking cellar.
Quality Begins with Type
The basic rule of thumb when it comes to backlink type is simple: the harder it is to get the link, the better off you will be.
This means that you have to go through many different editorial hurdles or processes and stages for you to get a link. Unfortunately, a lot of the cheap and quick link packages you come across on the internet are anything but!
In many cases, these links are created by somebody just filling out an online form, and—after a few seconds—you get a link from a site that has a high domain authority. Well, the main domain or the homepage has a high domain authority, but the page your link is on is absolutely worthless.
Why? It's likely a guest posting farm that pumps out content JUST to provide backlinks to customers like you.
Besides that, the content is often low quality and lacking relevance to your site. And might even be an orphaned page, meaning it won't really help your rankings.
You have to focus on getting the right type of link, and this means content-based links.
High quality links start with high quality content.
You Should Focus on Contextual Links
Why are content-based links so important when it comes to building quality backlinks to your site?
Well, first of all, the link from that third-party page (going to your target pages) is surrounded by text. This has a major role to play in Google’s determination of the quality of the link you're getting.
The content, if anything, establishes context.
So if you are getting a link from a page that talks about shoes, but your page is all about raising baby ducks, there's going to be a problem. Chances are that link is going to be viewed by Google as some type of spam.
High-quality, content-based, targeted link-building is crucial to building a healthy profile consisting of quality backlinks.
The content has to be on point. The link and the anchor text it uses must be relevant to the page that it is linking to.
Another key feature of quality backlinks involves the “naturalness” of their production.
You know that you are dealing with low-quality links if you just send money, and your website is just hit by hundreds of links from many different sites that supposedly have high domain authority.
Well, the high DA is not going to do you much good in this context because the timing of your links is highly unusual. You also have to factor in just how natural the appearance of your links is.
Quality Backlinks, Ultimately, Are Context-Based
At the end of the day, when you look at the total set of variables involved in your backlink footprint, everything has to come from niche-specific pages that have organic traffic. This includes strategies like white hat guest posts on other relevant websites
This way, you know that these websites are real, and they have a certain level of authority by themselves.
Also, you have to pay attention to how many links you get at any one time. This footprint’s timing must look somewhat similar to how links are organically produced tp search engines.
Once you're able to create or attract such quality backlinks, you would have laid the foundation for better search rankings.