Link Building is important and considered to be the backbone of any SEO campaign. If you build more links, there are more chances for you to get better rankings in search engine SERPs from the targeted key phrases. However, when it comes to building links, the real problem and debate revolves around the quality of link and the kinds of link that can be considered as a perfect link for your business or website.
A Perfect Link!
If you are in the link building game, you probably will be having an idea that there are multiple kinds of links that we build from time to time. Some are like lower hanging fruits that are easy to achieve while others are those that are hard to get but contain much more value and power not only in terms of rankings but also in terms of conversions and traffic back to the site.
In this post, I am going to define the characteristics of a perfect link so that you should have an idea about the kinds of wonders that a link can do for you and whether or not you should invest your time and money on it.
Technical Aspects of a Link
On a technical scale, following are a few things that I consider before calling it a perfect link:
- Anchor Text
Anchor text is simply a word being mentioned in the link that looks something like this:
When it comes to SEO and link building, anchor text has a huge importance and having a proper, relevant anchor text is always preferred over using general words like “click here.” Some of you might come up with a debate that the value of anchor text has now vanished with all the Google animal updates but if you follow my school of thought, I still believe that you shouldn’t use naked URLs or “click here” as the anchor text.
I agree with the fact that using exact match anchor text might hurt you but an anchor text containing slightly different keywords that highlights the real essence of the content (what the user will find upon clicking) is always a good choice.
A perfect link is not based upon the exact match anchor text but it is supported by an anchor text that tells people what they will find upon clicking.
- Link Position
As link builders, we tend to get links from multiple areas on the page that could be author bio, footer link, sidebar, within the content and more but the best link is the one that usually comes from within the content of the piece and looks natural.
Here is the attached snapshot from Moz Quiz confirming the fact that the best links are those that come from within the content:
However, I don’t mean that the other kinds of links are not important or you should stop investing your time and money on them. Efforts should be made for securing the perfect link which usually comes from within the content.
Note: When grabbing links from side bar or footer make sure they are not site-wide as they sometime give a red signal to Google.
- The Follow Link
This rule might be considered as obvious to many but still it is important to discuss it here. When we talk about the anatomy of a perfect link, we need to make sure that the link is a followed and not a no-follow link.
If you are not a code savvy person, you can still figure out if the link is followed or a no-follow just by using the Moz browser tool bar.
Different colors indicate if the link is internal or external and same goes for followed or no followed link. Make sure that the links are followed and indexed in Google because in case of no–followed link, you might not get any benefit as far as the rankings are concerned.
This doesn’t mean that the no-follow links are less important or not important at all. They do have their own importance. Will you leave a link that is coming from Wikipedia? (All external links on Wikipedia are no-followed).
Building Links and Relations like a Pro
In the following paragraphs, I am going to discuss the factors that you should consider while building a link with another site (The aspects that are not technical).
- Relevant to the page
A link coming back from an external website is not a perfect link unless it targets the most relevant page of the website. For instance, you have an ecommerce website that sells women clothing online; now, if the link with an anchor text that says, “Maxi” lands on the home page, it wouldn’t be considered as a perfect link unless it lands on the page mentioning the subcategory that contains all the maxis.
Although, securing these types of link that connect one to the main homepage isn’t futile, when it comes to a perfect link anatomy, it is important for a link to connect to a page that is most relevant to the link source.
- Authority of a Link Source
This is another important aspect when it comes to a perfect link. A perfect link should come from a website that bears an authority within the industry. So, if you are running an internet marketing website and you get a link from websites like Moz.com, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, the link might not be a perfect link for you but it can be considered as an authoritative link at least.
Remember that your website cannot just survive on the authority links and they have to have the relevancy factor as well which means if you have an internet marketing website and you get an authority link from a fashion blog, this might not help and you will need to have a relevant website within the internet marketing industry in order to qualify for a perfect link.
The Google Update Checks
Points being given above are the aspects that you should consider while hunting the perfect links but these are not enough and you should also consider the following checks.
- Make sure that the website from where you are getting the links ranks in Google carrying its own brand name.
- Take a look at the link profile of the source website and make sure that its own link profile is not a spam.
- Make sure that the link does not come from any website that violates Google guidelines in any manner. Usually a link from a directory, article website, forum and more are considered as suspicious links (if not a spam).
Why a non-perfect link is important for SEO?
The above-mentioned points outline the different aspects that combine together to form a perfect link; however, finding a perfect link isn’t easy, and therefore, we are required to go for other choices. Remember that the non perfect links are still important for SEO and marketing purposes.
Following are some of the examples of non-perfect links that you should acquire. It might not help you with rankings directly but it will surely help you with conversions and traffic.
- Wikipedia “no-follow” all its external links but it is still important to get a link from there as Wikipedia usually contains tons and tons of quality traffic and having a link from Wikipedia might help your website draw a huge traffic and possibly some conversions too.
- A link from the comment section might be the no followed kind and does not contain any link value but it is still important as it allows you to communicate with the audience on the blog and allows the audience to visit your website in turn.
In short, I would advise not to emphasize too much on the rankings as at the end of the day, all a business wants is conversions that can only be acquired through links drawing a huge amount of targeted traffic. If you are lucky enough in finding such links, you know that you got a perfect link for you!