Why The Right Quality Backlinks Are Important
With more than 88 percent of the search market share worldwide, Google is undoubtedly the reigning search champion. The famous search engine processes over 3 Billion searches per day and 63,000 searches every second. Although Google has become a worldwide household name, the business has developed from humble beginnings. It was actually developed by 2 Stanford Ph.D. students; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in a rented garage, in 1998. Google succeeded in becoming the world’s biggest search engine in just two years (1998-2000) defeating much older rivals such as Lycos, Yahoo, and Alta Vista. So how exactly did they do it?
Focusing on Links
Since its inception, Google relied on links as the main quality signal to grade websites. Google’s co-founders; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, distinguished Google from other search engines by concentrating on website-to-website interactions (links). The main idea was that the more important the site, the more links and citations it would attract from 3rd party sites.
Larry Page created an algorithm (PageRank) that calculated the number of quality links on a website and how many times the web pages have been referred to over the internet. This drastically enhanced the accuracy of
Google’s search results on the internet, improving user experience and ultimately attracting users from all over the world.
Focusing on links is one of the major factors that made Google so popular and successful, among other factors such as; speed, simple interface and improved user experience. Links helped Google find the most relevant, accurate and high-quality results which meant it affected search rankings more than anything else.
According to John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, high-quality link building strategy is still one of Goggle’s most significant ranking factors. Now more than ever, Goggle uses inbound, outbound and internal links to determine the authority, relevance, and usefulness of your content. A strong link building strategy supercharges your SEO to generate leads that you can convert into sales.
Links from high-domain authority websites demonstrates to Google that your website is credible, which in turn improves your organic (non-paid) search rankings.
Improving With Age
Google’s continued success is solely a result of hard work and innovation. One of the main reasons the giant search engine keeps beating its competitors is because they spend a great deal of time and effort in determining the need of their users and innovating their service to be always one step ahead.
In 2006, Google replaced page rank with a newer version known as updated PageRank. The algorithm that provides the same link metric results but is faster to compute.
Over the years, Google has improved their link metrics to check; link structure quality, linking domain age, quality of the content, keywords used in the content, domain authority of the linking page, links referring to home pages, image links, self-made links, acquired links, and organic links, all of which contribute to the overall SEO impact of the links.
For instance, in 2012, Goggle introduced The Penguin update designed to bring negative impacts and penalize sites with low-quality links, paid links, spam links, unnatural links, and other rank manipulators.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and growing. In fact, the search engine updates its algorithm about 500-600 times a year.
But what does the future of link building look like and how can one keep up with Google’s ever-shifting algorithm to build with an effective link building strategy?
Links Will Increase in Value
Link building is the most misunderstood component of SEO. You will often hear advice that link development is dead, that Google no longer utilizes links or that websites no longer need links to rank higher in search engines.
The truth is, Google cannot do away with links at their core algorithm because links and content are intertwined. Naturally, great content will attract more links and poor content will attract fewer links. Search engines just have to find a way to measure this organic process at the core of their algorithm.
Links are essential for connecting pages, crucial navigation, and user experience. Of all the other SEO factors, none are as stable, widespread and give access to relevant, accurate content with a wide set of user intention as much as links.
According to Matt Cutts, software engineer and former head of search quality at Google, backlink relevance will remain one of the most significant considerations used by Google to return the best, most accurate and most relevant set of search results. Furthermore, links are also less likely to be manipulated than other off-page factors.
Links will remain the core authority signal for Goggle’s algorithm; in order for the search engines to provide the most authoritative and trustworthy search results for their users.
Google Will Get Better at Identifying Low-Quality Links
In 2018, Bill Slawski reported on an interesting patent development known as PageRank Updated to reduce the number of manipulations on its link metrics. The new algorithm update looks at hundreds of factors and utilized sites and web pages’ to calculate a rust score’ on different sites. As Google is getting older and wiser, its engineers strive to make it as relevant as possible for users and show the most accurate, useful content at the top of their search results.
This means they will continue to work on more ways to stop people from cheating the algorithm, rank high-quality sites and demote sites with low-quality links. Sites with link attraction tactics, sneaky redirects and cloaking will most likely be penalized heavily.
Focus Will Be on Quality Not Quantity
Don’t think of links as a volume-based commodity as recent research shows that the real value lies in relevance and quality. The authority and quality of the sites linking to your website will be more important than the actual number of sites linking to you.
Google rewards authoritative sites that serve as a relevant user resource in their field. Only strive for quality backlinks from a high-domain authority, well-trusted, and niche-influential sites. You would rather have one mention in high-domain authority site than have more than 20 mentions on average sites.
Make sure that most of your links are to and from authoritative websites to prove to Google that your site is an appropriate user resource.
Content Will Still Be King
It’s no secret that great content is the No. 1 key for unlocking incredible backlinks. As mentioned above, links and contents are intertwined; you want to create content that top-industry influencers will naturally want to tell others about it, link to and reference.
High-quality content for link-building should be authoritative, in-depth, unique, compelling and entertaining.
Link-building and superlative content present the 2 most important factors for Google’s SEO. A link-building strategy will not do you much good if you if the content of those backlinks is not worthy. Google will analyze how long a user stays on your page to rate to determine if your content is good enough.
User experience (UX) Will Matter the Most
As Google algorithm develop, they will pay more attention to user experience and have a better understanding of natural language and intent. If you only chase links, you may become part of the risk environment and end up being penalized and demoted.
In fact, one of the main reasons Google constantly updates its algorithm is to enhance user experience and improve their search results to give their customers what they want. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to focus your content around what users will love and interact with.
To further enhance user experience on your site, improve your site-viewing experience. Generally, you want people to stick around and explore your website more.
Make sure that your website responds well to both the desktop and mobile. The emphasis on mobile-friendliness is not something new, though Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was not confirmed as a Google ranking factor until 2019.
Recent developments now show that Google’s algorithm defaults to the mobile version rather than the desktop version. This is mainly because mobile devices have become our dominant devices with mobile use at 51% and desktop use at 45% as of July 2019.
Links will remain at the core of Google’s algorithm because of its intrinsically interlinked with content. As Google’s algorithm grows it will get better at identifying and neutralizing low-quality links. To future proof your link building strategy, use high-quality content, link to and from authoritative websites, and focus on user experience.