Are you embarking on the natural referencing of your website? Quality backlinks allow you to improve your organic visibility on Google.
But first of all, we would like to clarify in this article terms that still need clarification: net linking and backlinking. In reality, it’s relatively simple to understand: we do net linking thanks to backlinks!
We will then talk about the parameters of a good backlink and the best way to get quality backlinks for your website.
Definitions of backlink and netlinking
If you are a beginner, technical jargon (English speaking most of the time) may complicate SEO for you. However, if you are looking for an exhaustive list, we suggest you consult our Lexijuice, the lexicon of SEO terms from learnb2bmarketing.
What is a backlink?
A backlink or return link is a link from an external website that points to your website. Search engines consider backlinks a vote of confidence or approval: they “validate” the quality of the content they link to (see the definition of Page Rank ).
Example: site A links to site B: site B is “validated” by site A. Google, therefore, counts a “vote” of confidence for site B. Its perception of the quality of site B increases accordingly.
Each backlink, therefore, sends “link juice” (LinkJuice, SEO juice) to the target page, which will receive notoriety. The “authority” score of the target page increases.
In a shortened way, the definition of a backlink in SEO could be “a link sent by another website, which improves your visibility on Google.”
Backlinking, how does it work?
The concept of backlinking is simple: create exciting and relevant content to encourage other webmasters to make an incoming link to this content (therefore, to your site). Easier said than done!
To speed things up in SEO, you can buy backlinks from webmasters. It’s a faster way to generate inbound links to your site.
Backlinks or incoming links are the nerve of the war in SEO but are also the tip of the iceberg.
Focusing on getting backlinks without worrying about content or site performance is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.
What is not linking?
The net linking or backlinking strategy consists of working on incoming links pointing to your site, aiming to increase their number and quality.
Netlinking is a significant success factor for SEO: according to studies by Ahrefs and Sistrix, it represents more than 50% of Google’s (secret) ranking criteria.
For good net linking, you will need to implement an effective strategy, which we will detail below.
But be aware that the main objective is to obtain links on quality sites to improve your link profile and, therefore, the authority of your website.
How to use backlinks?
Backlinks are one of the main levers for improving your natural referencing and visibility in Google search results. They are part of the three pillars of SEO and search engine optimization.
However, getting quality links takes work, especially if you want links that will impact your rankings without getting penalized by spam filters.
Since Google’s algorithm remains secret, people have yet to learn exactly what the criteria for an ideal link are. Nevertheless, the search engine has given some instructions to prevent you from receiving algorithmic penalties. The most important: do not buy links!
Yes, you ask yourself, “how can you do net linking quickly without buying backlinks ?”
In theory, the search engine states that net linking is “prohibited” because it is unnatural links designed to manipulate the Google algorithm.
Netlinking is one of the most used and successful SEO strategies. So it’s the snowball effect: my competitor buys backlinks and manages to pass me, so I’ll get more, then he will do even more…
Here’s Google, we have a scoop for you: everyone is making artificial links! But we do it quietly.
What is a good backlink?
Let’s go back to the concept of backlinks. As we said before, Google can analyze the quality of the backlinks received thanks to a filter of its algorithm, Penguin.
This means that the number of backlinks is one of many parameters considered.
But what is a quality backlink?
Authority of the website
If the site that links to yours is well-referenced by Google, it will send you more powerful link juice. Conversely, a site with little authority will have less impact on your SEO.
The relevance of the site
A link from a site in the same industry as yours is more valuable than a link from an unrelated site.
The relevance of the page where the backlink is located
If the link is placed on a page with the same subject as your site, its impact will be more significant.
A site’s trust score is an indicator that reflects the trust Google places in it. It is partly related to its seniority, authority, and backlink profile.
The age of the domain
The older a site is, the more valuable it is to Google. A domain with several years of seniority is perceived as severe and reliable.
The number of referring domains
The number of referring domains is the number of unique sites that point to you. This means that the more backlinks you have from different domains, the better it is for your ranking!
The quality of the referring domains
The quality of a link also varies according to its source: a link from a viral website is more valuable than a link from a lesser-known site.
Organic website traffic
Search engines will perceive a website that receives many organic visits as more reliable.
Trust Flow and Quote Flow
The Trust Flow (trust score) of a website is an indicator that reflects the quality of inbound links. So the higher the score, the better!
The Citation Flow (popularity index) measures the number of inbound links, regardless of their quality.
A good TF/CF ratio in your theme, combined with good natural traffic, has every chance of being a good link. So, to simplify things for our customers and avoid too easily manipulated metrics, we created learnb2bmarketingFlow, a metric that combines all the indicators of a good link.
The contextualization of the backlink for search engines
Link contextualization is a technique used by SEO specialists to improve the quality of a link. It consists of placing a backlink in an informative article so that it appears natural and consistent with the content of the page and the site.
For example, if you have a website about cats, it will be more relevant for you to receive a backlink from an article about cats on a site specializing in cats (or animals) than from an article about dogs.
Afterward, “generic” websites can also provide good backlinks, provided they have a category dedicated to animals. Your article will, of course, have to be placed in this category.
The semantic field of the web page
The semantic field of a web page is the set of associated keywords and themes. This means that if a page has a vast semantic field (it talks about several different subjects), it will be less relevant than if its semantic field is more restricted (it talks about a single subject).
Of course, for a site in French, we will aim for backlinks on French sites…
Admittedly, long articles (~2000 words and more) are perceived as richer in content and, therefore, more relevant by search engines.
However, the content can take a short time to get a quality backlink. The main thing is that it is well written, relevant and informative. Therefore, it is essential to study the competition present in the SERP and to align the length of your content with the type of results expected by Google.
The location of the link
The position of the link on the page is also essential. Indeed, if the backlink is located in the upper part of the content, it will be more visible to Internet users and, therefore, more clicked.
Generally, a link placed in the first third of an article is considered more valuable.
The link anchor
The anchor of the link (or “anchor text”) is the clickable text that redirects users to the destination page.
For example, the word “backlink” is an anchor in this article.
For search engines, the backlink anchor is critical because it helps determine a page’s topic.
The different types of anchors for a backlink
There are different types of anchors for a backlink, and each of them influences SEO:
- Exact anchors: these are the main keywords you want to rank for. For example, if you have a website about “cats,” an exact anchor would be “cats.”
- Broad anchors: these are keywords, often long tails, which designate the subject of your page. A broad anchor to use the website on “cats” would be “this article dedicated to Persian cats.”
- Branded anchors: these are words that designate your brand or your company. For example, if your business is called “Cats & Co,” a branded anchor would be “Cats & Co.”
- Call to action anchors: these are words that invite Internet users to act, such as “click here,” “discover our selection,” etc.
- URL anchors are simply the address of the target page or, more often, the home page.
A good mix of these link anchors in your backlinks profile will help you have a natural profile.
Relationship between targeted page and link anchor
It is essential to ensure that the link anchor (the clickable word) is consistent with the targeted page.
In other words, if you want to reference a page on the keyword “cats,” it is essential that the anchor of the backlink pointing to this page is also the word “cats” or one of its derivatives (“kittens,” “adopt a cat,” etc.).
It is important not to “over-optimize” your anchors too much, i.e., “use only exact keywords” for all your backlinks.
This can indeed be perceived as an unnatural optimization technique by search engines. If Google suspects you are buying links, it can penalize your site. So you have to be subtle.
What are the most natural link anchors for a backlink?
The most natural anchors are:
- brandished anchors;
- URL anchors;
- wide anchors.
It is advisable to put diversity and logic in its links profile, i.e., to aim for good pages. For example, a URL anchor on a homepage is very natural; if it is an internal page, it will be better quoted in “source.”
Which link has the most negligible value in the eyes of Google?
“Nofollow” links have very little value because they send no juice. However, search engines consider them for link profile diversity.
Links placed in hard-to-click areas (at the bottom of the page, for example) are also of little value.
If there are many links on the same page as yours, you will receive less juice than if your link was on its own.
Waves of links from low-quality sites are, therefore, to be avoided, as they can harm your SEO. In addition, you will spend much time deoptimizing what has been done before you can work on your keywords…
How to get backlinks?
There are several ways to get backlinks without getting caught by Google’s algorithm.
This means that you don’t have to ask for anything, the backlinks come by themselves because your content is so interesting that it is shared and cited spontaneously.
It is a technique of natural referencing that consists of contacting websites one by one to propose an exchange of good practices or ask for a backlink. Be careful, and you will have to negotiate …
A backlink buying platform
This is the simplest and most effective way to cover your tracks. Google will see nothing but fire if your links are placed naturally.
At learn b2b marketing, for example, link prices are already negotiated with publishers. We take care of the relationships with them, write the ideal (quality!) article to place your backlink, and publish it for you.
You can buy a link to your site by the piece or a link campaign. We also offer a free link strategy support service: you only pay for the backlinks! A dedicated account manager answers your questions and builds with you or for you a 100% personalized net linking strategy.
This is ideal for making the most of the power of inbound links without taking any SEO risk.
Beware of scams
We have seen what a quality backlink is: you should be able to avoid the pitfalls before concluding a deal with a publisher for your SEO.
The cost of a backlink varies wildly from site to site, but you need to check the metrics before buying an inbound link to avoid paying too much for low-quality link juice. And beware of the Penguin penalty!
Another reason to use a backlink buying platform, which already has a catalog of verified and controlled publishers!
Through the definition of a backlink, we have seen that they directly impact the natural referencing of your site because the search engines consider them as votes of confidence.
To be well placed on the SERPs and surpass your competitors in popularity, you have every interest in actively working on the quality of your site and your net linking strategy.
Remember: a link is a vote! Search engines consider the quality of the site that sends you an incoming link, its popularity, its visibility, the theme of a backlink, its anchoring and its position on the page.
Link baiting (linked to content strategy) and net linking strategy are effective techniques for getting backlinks without taking any SEO risk with Google.