What is the state of link building in 2023? What does the world of online search hold for professionals, businesses, and SEOs who constantly study search engine algorithms to maintain an edge over the rest?
Any digital marketing or search engine optimization professional with any level of experience should know that the off-page components have far more weight than you can imagine in lifting a website’s online presence.
In their most straightforward configuration, backlinks are votes of confidence from other websites. They’re like referrals—digital salutations and pats on the back that confirm for people (and search engines) that specific websites have something of value to offer.
However, like anything else, SEO evolves as search engines grow and get smarter.
Has link building retained its strategic importance in SEO? Or has it been relegated to the digital dustbin, where many other technologies and tactics lay dead and grey?
Three Important Trends in Link Building
- Cold Outreach Provides Lowest Returns
SEO providers and other SEO professionals primarily use cold outreach to generate backlinks and expand this network.
Unfortunately, this approach has proven to be less and less effective over the years, with editors’ inboxes exploding with pitches from countless SEOs who all want the same thing.
Statistics show less than 10% of all cold outreach emails produce desirable results. There are many other approaches, including working with link-building services, but if you want to continue using cold outreach, consider the following:
– Remember to send follow-up emails to the editors or website owners.
– Try sending your most important cold outreach emails on Wednesdays, which appears to be the best time to request backlinks or pitch guest posts.
– Always send personalized emails to your prospects. Editors will likely ignore generic emails.
- Original Research is Incredibly Effective in Generating Backlinks
Original research is probably the most complex type of content and takes the most time compared to other content types.
These factors are probably why people rely on them, and when they see that the quality of the original research is plausible, they’re always willing to send a backlink your way.
Original research refers to unique studies that may use theoretical methods to obtain results. Create ground-breaking, never-before-seen studies in your field. Focus on competitive keywords by adopting a novel approach to a well-covered topic.
- Link Building Continues to Be Competitive
Most web articles have no incoming links at all. Every day, more and more digital marketers, SEOs, and businesses put marketing resources into link building. As a result, the competition to acquire links that matter for your organization is heating up. As we’ve previously discussed, cold outreach is failing.
Repairing broken links is time-consuming and rarely pays off. Large, authoritative websites are flooding search engine results pages.
The link-building market is more competitive than ever, necessitating more creative approaches, original material, and interpersonal connections.
Several companies are now beginning to use various link-tracking software to gauge and enhance the efficacy of link-building.
Marketers and SEOs have used online press releases to create links swiftly and extensively for years.
In addition to giving a relevant backlink, they also address critical issues in your industry (almost always nofollow). Initially, this appears to be a win-win scenario; however, links included in press releases are typically lesser quality and virtually always have nofollow.
Hundreds of nofollow links from low-quality domains aren’t significant to getting good results, even though nofollow tagged links are growing increasingly crucial according to the search engines.
Your website’s DA can be increased by investing marketing dollars in high-authority Link mentions than just curated press releases.
12 Important Changes in Link Building and SEO This Year
- Link Building and PR Still Matter
Google acknowledges that link building is beneficial—but there’s a difference between excellent and spammy link building.
Google’s John Mueller asserts that ‘digital PR,’ a common practice of getting the word out about news about a brand, can have the same value as technical SEO.
- Quality and Quantity
Nearly 70% of marketers believe that the quantity and quality of backlinks matter in the grand scheme of SEO. Brand building and brand authority are both impacted by backlink-building strategies.
- Nofollow Links
Google is gradually evolving its policy on Nofollow links as a game-changer. As a result, websites previously collecting Nofollow links from diverse sources may see positive changes in their SERP rankings over the year.
This attribute should be used when a link to another website is desired, but no endorsement of that page should be inferred. When nofollow was first implemented, Google’s search algorithms disregarded links with that attribute. All of that is different now. In Search, search engines use all the link properties as clues. These clues and other indications help search engines examine how they can employ internal connections effectively.
Instead of automatically penalizing nofollow links for their lack of follow attribute, Google will now decide whether to pass along ranking credit. As a result, nofollows have more potential worth than ever before when you consider things like the content offered, the relevance, and even the direct anchor text of that Link.
- Non-Exact vs. Exact Match Keywords
There appears to be no significant difference between the SEO value/impact of exact match keywords and non-exact match terms in anchor text.
- Popular SEO Tools Are on The Right Track
SEO tools like SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs appear to be headed in the right direction in computing pages’ average relevance and authoritativeness. Furthermore, there is a high correlation between high grades on these SEO tools and better rankings in actual world searches.
The most popular SEO tools of the year are Moz, SEMRush, Mailshake, Screaming Frog, Pitchbox, Majestic, Ahrefs, Buzzstream, and the Google Search Console. Digital marketers are most concerned with creating and publishing content that encourages natural and editorial backlinks that help improve their bottom line.
- Four Important Strategies
If you want to make the most of your link-building and SEO efforts, digital marketers recommend the following tactics: link exchanges, guest posting, content marketing, and digital PR. Businesses spend an average of $1,000 to over $10,000 monthly on link-building campaigns.
- Link Building Factors
The most prominent factors for examining the value of links and link-building efforts include a website’s spam score, site traffic, relevance, content quality of the linking page, the number of links present on the linking page, and the DA (domain rating) of the backlink. The most popular SEO tools listed previously will help you determine these factors so that you can find the best sources of backlinks in your campaigns.
- Being Number One Has a Huge SEO Benefit
Getting the first position on the first page of Google can help you generate as much as 3.8X more organic backlinks than positions two through ten. This is because links and content are two of the most significant factors that influence the keyword relevance of pages.
- Unique Root Domains
Unique root domains enhance the overall impact of backlinks for any domain. Note, however, that these unique root domains must be relevant to the content and the website.
- Listicles Rule
Publishers and authors cite listicles most often compared to other forms of online content. The rise in editorial citations of listicles means the listicle is the most valuable content format from an SEO perspective. A publisher can invest in listicles to naturally attract organic, editorial links.
- 3000 Words
The “magic number,” seemingly, for content and pages that receive more editorial backlinks, is 3000. So, if you can devote time and resources to developing comprehensive and meaningful content of at least 3000 words, you should be in an excellent spot to get editorial backlinks.
- Lead with the Link
SEOs now use a variety of strategies to encourage citations and backlinks. For example, SEOs might want to try social buttons/social sharing, shortened URLs, and QR codes for leading people to websites and specific landing pages for better results.
Starting with Link Building
Digital marketers and strategists advocate for link-building if you’re serious about your SEO efforts. Even if there is more to search engine optimization than just link development, backlinks are always crucial.
Nevertheless, in practice, obtaining high-quality connections to your site can be more challenging than it sounds. Gaining backlinks can improve your site’s authority and rank in search engines. SEO benefits from link development include increased referral traffic and authority signals.
The most popular methods of link building are:
– Fixing broken links
– Starting PR campaigns
– Creating resource pages
– Creating apps, tools, and how-to guides
– Guest blogging efforts
– Content marketing
– Email outreach
These are the standard link-building recommendations presented in the majority of manuals. These link-building strategies are straightforward, but your success will mostly depend on how competitive your market, content, and sector are.
How does creating inbound links aid search engine optimization for a web page?
By increasing a website’s authority and delivering relevance signals to search engines, link building is an SEO tactic that helps website owners rise in the organic search results. In addition, Google gives more weight to websites that have plenty of high-quality backlinks pointing to them.
Why is link development so crucial for search engine optimization?
- The presence of high authority links from other credible websites enhances the credibility of your website.
- Increased keyword ranks and site traffic arise from a large quantity of high-quality inbound connections to your site.
- Inbound links from other websites can drive more visitors to yours. Referral traffic from backlinks could lead to higher sales and revenue for your business.
- Link-building efforts can result in improved metrics for things like Domain Authority, keyword rankings, organic pageviews, and more.
- Connecting with other business owners and bloggers in your field is a great way to expand your network and potentially collaborate on projects.
- Building your site’s authority in terms of both user perception and DA can be accomplished through the strategic production of high-quality content.
- Email marketing, social media sharing, and blogging are all examples of content marketing strategies that can be used for link building. These can all work together to bolster your overarching approach to content promotion.
BONUS: SEO Link Management Demystified
In SEO link management, not all links are considered “backlinks.” Understanding the different kinds of links and how they relate to your website is essential before launching a link-building campaign.
As we discussed earlier, connecting links from other websites that lead “back” to your own is a “backlink.”
Earned editorial links are a backlink in which another website naturally links to yours (i.e., unpaid). Publishing high-quality content and promoting your work on other platforms, including social media, are common ways to acquire editorial links.
Most search engine optimization tools refer to the number of unique domains that link to a website as the “referring domains.” The number of individual URLs isn’t specified, but the domains that link to you are. You may evaluate the trustworthiness and importance of each domain from this page.
High Authority Links
What you want for SEO are high-authority links from relevant and authoritative websites with the best content. Search engines prefer popular, high-authority sites linked to you over many low-quality connections any day.
The phrase “relevant links” frequently appears in link-building manuals. Although hard to quantify, the aim is to attract inbound links from sources closely related to your business’s offerings. By linking to your site, other related sites tell Google that your content is valuable and relevant to their audience’s needs.
When visitors click on a link on one of your pages or blog posts, they will be taken to another page or post. Therefore, one SEO strategy is to include internal links within your blog entries that point to other pieces that cover similar ground.
When a link no longer leads to its intended destination, it is said to be “broken,” whether it is an outbound or internal connection. This will usually lead to a “404 Not Found” error message.
You can instruct search engines to “follow” the authority of a link by marking it as “dofollow,” either on your site or on the site that links to you. A coded description that instructs search engines to follow the Link and provide credit for the source.
Nofollow links indicate that search engines should not follow the link or consider it an endorsement of the target page. To avoid “losing” authority, sites can make their outbound links nofollow.
“External links” refers to any links that lead away from your website. An external link is a link that takes users away from your site and to another website or domain. Both “dofollow” and “nofollow” options are available for external links.