Are Links Dead?
Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Websites have become the most important real estate for businesses during the pandemic. For the majority of people across the United States, surfing the web has become a daily routine the same as brushing their teeth. The most deciding factor in what people see on the internet are links. While the application of links remains mostly unknown to the general population, a study by SEMrush reported that 4 of the top 8 ranking factors are based on signal links. Total referring domains, backlinks, referring IPs, and follow-backlinks dominant the list and display the relevance of links. When it comes to search engine optimization, there is no more productive task than link building.
Link building has become essential to success on the internet. There are certain mistakes to avoid when creating a link profile. Google has established a set of strict quality guidelines to assure users only receive helpful content. Some link factors that may affect quality include clickability and anchor text. When deciding where to put links it is always more favorable to place them in the body of the text rather than the footer. Users are more likely to click on links while reading then at the end. Anchor text is crucial, but excessive keyword use or similarity between links may lead to penalization. Instead, keep the anchor text unique and fresh to optimize the links.
Some page elements affect the link quality as well. The best outbound links are links to other high authority pages that can offer value at or higher than their own. This creates a sense of trust among users that links will always be professional, expert. In regards to incoming links, high authority links take time to accumulate. Instead of seeking lower value links, it is better to wait and add high authority links slowly. The harder the link is to attain usually means it will be worth any number of low value links. To see a full list of factors that affect link quality, check out the visual deep dive below:
The best link profile is built on a basis of trust, diversity, and relevance. Links are useful to increase a web page’s ranking, but if it does not help the user in any way the link will be rendered futile. Links are certainly not dead, in fact they may be more relevant today than they have ever been. Without links, the quick, efficient results the internet produces would be ineffective and time consuming.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked