We all want a good link profile.
A profile consisting of those great inbound links that bring traffic back to your site. The type of traffic made up of visitors who otherwise may not have found you.
Here’s the thing though. There exists those inbound links that can just as easily be bad for your site. The ones that Google penalizes you for using. Ranking penalties that you really don’t want or need – negatively impacting your strategic SEO plan that was so carefully put together.
So what then do you need to pay attention to when it comes to your link profile?
Well, according to Search Engine Land, the following characteristics are particularly significant, and need careful consideration:
1. The quality of the links
Not every link is made equal. And by quality we mean the legitimacy, relevance and authority of the source of those inbound links. Ask yourself, is the site trusted? Has Google indexed the page? How good a ranking does the page or domain have?
Don’t use a link just because it’s a link. As Search Engine Land says, “a link to your site should make sense within the context of the linking page” and, by getting “links from high-quality, authoritative, relevant sites, you’ll do much better in the long run”.
2. How you attained the links
We know that content creation is centered on a number of vital factors - authenticity, usefulness, appropriateness. The same can be said for inbound links. So begin by growing natural links in the process of creating great content. Then, and only then, consider buying links if absolutely necessary.
This is because suddenly starting to include an untold amount of new links - when you haven’t even attempted to grow them naturally in the first instance - may cause Google to think that you’re going against their quality guidelines which can have a negative impact on your site’s ranking.
3. Anchor text
This is otherwise known as the clickable text of a link and usually contains keywords, brand names or URLs. Anchor text serves a good purpose as it informs search engines what the linked page has to do with. The key though is finding the right balance of words to use. The general rule of thumb is that anchor text with a precise match will generally rank higher. You have to make sure however that the text is not too keyword rich to come off as generic or spam like.
So what’s the take home?
Be vigilant. Plan your link building carefully. And analyze your link profile regularly.