Are All Links The Same?

Links to and from your site can help your brand be seen as one that can be trusted by both search engines and your target audience. But, is a backlink from one site worth the same as a backlink from another? As Organic Lead Amy Leach explains, the short answer is no. Not all links are the same.

As search engines look to provide users with the best results for their queries, they use backlinks as one of many factors in determining which result to show first.

Increasingly, greater weight is being placed on the quality of a link to a site, rather than the quantity of links. As Amy explains, links from establishment sites such as universities, publications, and media outlets have a far greater weight to them than spammy websites that offer backlinks out as a service.

Why? Well, the reason is all down to the motivation behind the link and the value to the user.

One link to your site from, for example, the biggest publication in your industry (for example for farmers and people in agriculture it would be Farmer’s Weekly) is a more helpful link to a user than five links from a spammy, multi-category that has no expertise in your sector.

If it exists merely to get you a link, the chances are it won’t be viewed with much esteem by search engines.

For years, black hat techniques such as link spamming were used widely but as algorithms have gotten savvier and updates more comprehensive, search engines have cracked down on this sort of thing.

5 Traits Of A High-Quality Link

  1. The link comes from an established source: One link from the BBC is worth 1,000 links from spammy websites with no value.
  2. Anchor text (the visible text part of a link) includes a variation of the target keyword: Links that include the keyword you want to rank for provide further context for search engines and positive signals your links have been intentionally placed there to provide value.
  3. The site that is linking to yours is relevant: Getting a link from a related site holds far more weight than a link that has no relation to what you’re offering.
  4. Link is classed as a ‘dofollow’ link: This is a bit technical but a ‘dofollow’ link is one that tells search engines to count that link in their backlink profile
  5. You’ve not previously earned a link from that site: 10 links from the same looks lazy, focus on getting one link a piece from multiple sites.

As well as some links having greater weight than others, links that have different contexts are also valued differently.

As mentioned by Amy, if you’re a local business wanting to rank for keywords related to your local area such as ‘plumber near me’ or ‘kitchen fitters Manchester’ then a link-building strategy that focuses on acquiring backlinks from respected websites in your local area would be hugely beneficial.

Beneficial because it provides context about your business location. Endorsements from local websites show search engines and humans that your business operates in that area and is ready to offer that service.

Want Better Backlinks? Get In Touch

As Amy breaks down, link building can be complex but, at its heart, it’s a very simple practice, it’s just that it requires commitment and hard work. Bad links result from people cutting corners.

Create content that has inherent value to users and the links will come.

For more on how we build backlinks, contact Embryo today.

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