Why are links still so important?
To understand that, you’ll need to hop in your Delorean and go back to the pre-Google days of the internet.
Back in the day, search engines like Yahoo! and Alta Vista (remember them?) were the dominant players. And they ranked their search results 100% based on the content on a webpage.
Their now-famous PageRank Algorithm changed the game. Instead of simply analyzing the content of a page, Google looked at how many people linked to that page.
And they were right. Nearly 20 years later, links are STILL the best way to determine the quality of a webpage. That’s why backlinks remain Google’s go-to ranking signal.
That said, thanks to updates like Google Penguin, Google now focuses on link quality (not just link quantity).
You might be wondering:
What is a high-quality link, exactly? And how do I build them? That’s what I’m going to cover in the rest of this guide.
Is the page linking to you a PageRank powerhouse? If so, that link is going to have a BIG impact on your rankings.
In fact, from years of testing, I’ve found that the authority of the page linking to you matters more than any other factor.
That’s because links from authoritative pages pass more authority (also known as PageRank) to your site.
(Note: Although Google doesn’t share PageRank information publicly, they still use it as the foundation of their algorithm).
You can easily check a proxy indicator of PageRank (“PageRating”) using Ahrefs.
Just pop a URL into Ahrefs and check out its “URLRating”:
A link’s quality is also determined by a domain’s sitewide authority.
In general, a link from a site like NYTimes.com will have a MUCH bigger impact than a link from a no-name blogger.
While these links are tough to get, they’re well worth the effort.
Again, Ahrefs comes in handy here. Enter any URL from the site into the tool and check.
It turns out that your link’s position on a page is important.
Bottom line? You want your links to appear within the main body of a webpage.
Google sees that anchor text and says: “Hmmm. That site used the anchor text: “paleo desserts”. The page they’re linking to must be about “paleo desserts.”
Of course, like anything in SEO, keyword-rich anchor text has been abused. Today, building lots of exact-match anchor text links is considered spammy.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
In short, I don’t recommend building links with keyword-rich anchor text. But if you DO get a link with your keyword in the anchor text, it’s time to celebrate.
Sure, lots of these links would have come in even if I had described the same concepts with text.
But a good chunk of these links (I’d estimate 75%) were created because I presented key info as visual tutorial.
In fact, lots of my links came from people posting the infographic on their site (and linking back to me):
And the funny thing is, even though it’s 2019, people STILL link to my infographic a few times every month. That’s the power of creating visual assets.
Yes, it’s generated a ton of shares…
But most importantly, that post is a link magnet. It has over 5,000 links.
And because the page has so many links pointing to it, it ranks #1 in Google for the keyword “SEO Techniques”.
Because this multi-chapter guide covers keyword research like no other resource online, it’s been linked to over a thousand times.
…and it’ll show you all of the email addresses associated with that domain:
But what if you want to reach out to a massive site? Combing through this list is going to be a pain.
That’s why, in those cases, I recommend VoilaNorbert.
Instead of popping in a URL, with VoilaNorbert.com you enter a person’s name and the domain they work at.
Because these pages exist for the sole purpose of linking out, they make PERFECT link building targets.
With that, here’s the step-by-step process:
#1: Find Resource Pages
Use these search strings in Google. They’re designed specifically to unearth resource pages:
“Keyword” + inurl:links
“Keyword” + “helpful resources”
“Keyword” + “useful resources”
“Keyword” + “useful links”
#2: Size Up The Page
Here’s where you (quickly) answer the question:
“Is a link from this page worth the effort?”.
(Hint: Use the tips from Chapter 2 to make this step a breeze)
For example, this resource page has a decent URLRating of 12. Not bad.
It’s also on an authoritative domain.
And my link will end up somewhere on the body of the page. Looks like a winner!
#3: Find “Best Fit” Content
Your content can be the best in the world…
…but if it’s not a good fit for that resource page? You’re not gonna get a link.
So for this step, find content on your site that’ll fit that resource page like a glove.
Once you’ve ID’d that content, move onto step #4.
#4: Send This Tested Script
Here’s the script I recommend:
#2: Find Pages With Lots of Outbound Links
The more links a page has, the more likely one of them will be broken.
Resource pages work great here. So feel free to use the search strings above to bring up resource pages.
#3: Check For Broken Links
Here’s where you run the extension you installed in the first step. They’ll reveal broken links on that page:
#4: Email The Site Owner About Their Broken Link
Finally, let the person that runs that page about their broken link (or links),... and pitch content from your site as a replacement.
Here’s the script I recommend:
And instead of publishing this content and hoping for the best, Julie used email outreach to build backlinks.
And this landed her a handful of links from authority sites in the science space:
These white hat backlinks boosted her organic traffic by a legit 194.1%:
(Note how uber-personalized that email is)
When they replied, I sent them the URL of the broken link…and a piece of content from Backlinko that would be a 1:1 replacement:
And most folks were more than happy to add my link:
Most people would just sit back and HOPE that people linked to their infographic.
But Rich knew that Guestographics can help turn high-quality infographics into high-quality backlinks.
So Rich reached out to tech sites that would be interested in checking it out.
It took work to reach out to all of these bloggers and journalists. But the hard work paid off.
Rich landed 21 backlinks from this campaign.
After all, who wants to link to a site made up of 100% product pages? That’s when Matt realized that he could use content to generate links to his ecommerce site.
Specifically, Matt published an amazing piece of Skyscraper content on his site: “Australian Gin: The Ultimate Guide”.
History of Gin
Of course, Matt didn’t sit back and wait for the links to roll in. He promoted his content via email outreach:
Because Matt reached out to the right people (and sent them personalized emails), many people OFFERED to link to his guide.
And all of these links boosted Matt’s rankings for a keyword that directly results in sales for his ecommerce site: Australian Gin.
In fact, he ranks #2 in Google Australia for that keyword (and has the “#0” Answer Box result):
__source Backlinko LLC__