Are Back-links Losing Their Importance To Google Search Rankings
Many people including some of our clients have asked recently “are back-links still important for your search rankings” or is ranking all about content now?
In the early days of Search Engine Optimization, backlinks played an overly critical role in the way Google was ranking certain sites. Today, with the multiple Google updates such as Panda, Hummingbird, & Penguin, Google is targeting specific parts of SEO with each update they are rolling out. Before, it was overly focused on back-links whereas now it’s all about a mixture of your content, link profile, and social signals. Gone are the days where you can focus only on back-linking to try and increasing rankings.
Google Panda is all about content, the relevancy of that content, keyword density and so on. On the other hand, Google Penguin is completely related to the back-linking of a website such as the quality of backlinks, themes related to those backlinks, and the quantity of backlinks. SEO has become a multi-prong strategy which needs to take into account many things and one of those aspects is back-links
Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts published a video on May 5, 2014, in which he is answering a question related to Back-linking. He said “Backlinks in the Google ranking algorithm still have many years left in them”. He said that Google is now focusing more on if a web-page is meeting user’s expectations or what they are looking for through the content and back-link profile of that specific website.
Our View On Back-linking
Back-links are still very important for you to rank higher in the search results and for SEO purposes. When creating back-links, it’s now all about the quality, themes of the linking websites and relevancy of those back-links to your website rather than the quantity. You would rather have fewer high quality links from relevant sites versus more links from not so relevant sites. This is are the practices that we follow and what we recommend to all of our clients.
What To Keep In Mind When Creating Links
✔ Relevancy – Ensure that the website or web-page you are receiving a backlink from should have a theme related to your website.
✔ Do-follow Backlinks – Check if the links you are getting, are do-follow as if you are not using this, it will not pass any SEO benefit or link juice to your website.
✔ Link Farming – Links should not be created on any link farm website or any site that promises millions of links to your site. Links take time and patience to acquire, so don’t take shortcuts otherwise it will seriously hurt your rankings. Google has also recently taken serious action against multiple link farms and will continue to do so as they find more link farms or paid linking practices.
✔ Blacklist Website: Ensure that your link is not from any blacklisted or black-hat website otherwise you can get penalized and it can pollute your back-link profile.
✔ Low Quality Web Directories: Google won’t give weight-age to links from any low quality directory website and it thinks of this as spam practices.
✔ Cache of Website: Website indexing or caching is very important. If a website is not getting cached by Google then there is no benefit of creating backlinks from that website or webpage.
Linking will continue to be a very important factor for your rankings within the search engines. As Matt said, backlinks have their own role in search engine rankings, however you should be very careful when creating these links to your website. It should ultimately be natural, relevant and of high quality. We hope this simple list of what to keep in mind when creating links has been helpful for some readers. Any questions you may have or anything else you need, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital Group for your linking or SEO needs.
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