Prioritize Quality Backlinks Over Quantity

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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When it comes to building your website, chances are pretty good your priority is on making a good experience for your users. Well, the search engines agree and tend to reward sites in the search results that they deem to be useful. One of the ways the search engines assess “usefulness” is by the number of backlinks that go to your site. However, it isn’t just sheer numbers that are important. High volumes of backlinks that are of a low quality will do more harm than good. You need to have quality over quantity.

Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Link Spam

In the early days of SEO, talk of backlinks was all the rage. Back then, people would try to get backlinks in various ways, and not only did these efforts work, but their activities weren’t illegal yet.

Then, all that changed when Google cracked own. Now, according to their webmaster guidelines you, backlinks have the potential of falling under the category of their “Spam Policy“, where poor quality links can hurt your site. This is referred to as “Link Spam”. Here’s what that the Google Developer Tools Page says about this:

Google uses links as a factor in determining the relevancy of web pages. Any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search results may be considered link spam. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site. 

The list of what they classify as link spam is extensive. You’ll have to read it in order to see some examples. But in general, most of us know what a poor-quality link looks like.

Create Links Without Trying to Create Links

These days, trying to create links pretty much signals spammy behavior. If we try to create these links, then automatically we look like spammers and Google in particular will figure it out and dock the website. When this happens, it means Google won’t return your website in search results and your results will drop off.

The only way to do it is to take a high-quality, long-term approach. All along, this has been the directive – but years ago the standard practices that used to work to create links are now considered SPAM because people abused them. The goal now is to focus on creating a great website with excellent content. This content has to be so good that people start sharing it with one another. This is how backlinks are developed. Great content gets shared, plain and simple.

The frustrating thing about this approach is that it takes a long time to build up a link portfolio. However, that is exactly why we need to focus on quality of the links. If your content is great, people will be happy to link to your site. On the flip side, if your content isn’t great, you really won’t gain traction. Focus on quality content and you will build quality backlinks the right way. It may be slow, but the backlink portfolio will be much higher quality.

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