If you know much about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, you know linkbuilding is perhaps its most important element. However, do you know how Google decides which links matter more than others? I’m writing today to tell you about a unique, underused SEO technique that may just be the holy grail of SEO in 2017: building contextual homepage backlinks.
Linkbuilding: The Basics
Before we get into discussing the advanced technique of building contextual homepage backlinks, let’s discuss some of the basics of linkbuilding.
One of the fundamentals of SEO, a basic understanding of linkbuilding can work wonders for your site almost overnight. However, the rules of linkbuilding are complex and ever-changing.
That being said, the ever-changing rules allow for innovations like contextual homepage backlinks to come about. Linkbuilding is all about finding out what really works in the long term through research and effort.
What Linkbuilding Is
Linkbuilding is the practice of getting other sites to link to yours through various methods. We’ll talk about some of these methods in detail below.
However, first let’s talk about why links from other sites to yours matter. According to the widely respected Moz blog, link building is “almost always the most challenging part of an SEO’s job, but also the one most critical to success.”
Why Linkbuilding Matters
Since sometime in the 1990s, Google and all other major search engines have seen each link from another site as a sort of vote of confidence to your site.
If other sites are linking to yours, the search engines assume your site has something of value that their users might want to see. This is one of the reasons quality content is so important. It attracts links like nothing else.
Furthermore, links between and within sites are the roads that Google’s “spiders” travel on. A “spider” from a search engine is part of the search engine’s program that “crawls” (essentially reads) sites and indexes them in the search database.
If there are no links to your site, Google won’t even be able to find it, in all likelihood. If there are only a few links to your site, Google will be able to find it, but it won’t see your site as something with a lot of value.
In order to succeed in SEO, you need to make your site visible and valuable. That’s what SEO is all about, after all.
Linkbuilding’s Role in SEO Plans
To be fair, linkbuilding is not the only important SEO technique. That being said, linkbuilding is often considered to be the foremost search engine ranking factor for all engines.
There are a lot of reasons for this. The first is the idea I mentioned earlier of each link to your site serving as a vote of confidence from another site. The second is a bit more complicated, and related to the history of SEO.
Some other factors that search engines like Google consider are things like how often search keywords appear in the text of your site. However, many black hat SEOs as early as the ’90s found various ways to exploit the importance of keywords to SEO, along with other search engine factors.
That has led links to become more and more important over time.
To be fair, black hats have found ways to exploit the importance of links to SEO as well. However, because linkbuilding was so important to begin with, and because it is so complex, Google and the other search engines have found ways of limiting this.
How Linkbuilding Works
Just like the rest of SEO, the rules and best practices of linkbuilding are always changing.
New techniques in linkbuilding are constantly being developed by professional SEOs and intrepid webmasters. However, once a technique has been overused, it loses effectiveness.
This can happen for one of two reasons, or because of a combination of two.
The first is that the method simply becomes too popular. If everyone is using it, it becomes less effective.
The second is that Google or the other engines deem it spam or against best practices. When Google or another engine decides something is spam, it usually stops working pretty quickly.
Whenever you hear of an exciting new linkbuilding method, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how ethical it is. Also, ask yourself if you truly think it will be effective in the long term.
We believe contextual homepage backlinks are a safe and effective way to boost SEO in the short and long term. However, there are plenty of methods out there that aren’t so attractive.
Google, Yahoo, and Bing Shut Down Black Hat Linkbuilding Methods
Black hat linkbuilding methods, or methods that are unethical or against search engine rules, may be tempting to many webmasters. They often offer great short-term results.
However, these results rarely last. Let’s look at a couple examples of failed black hat linkbuilding methods.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, links from pretty much anywhere counted for something. This included links from comments on blogs or web forums.
The idea behind this was that individual commenters could provide legitimate links that would help people. However, a few webmasters and SEOs ruined this for everyone by writing programs, or bots, that automatically spammed forums and blogs with comments featuring links.
A lot of people, believe it or not, are still trying this in 2017. It hasn’t worked in at least ten years, probably fifteen. Even worse, it can attract major penalties from Google and other engines.
Having poor SEO is bad. Getting penalized by the major search engines is much, much worse. It’s therefore important to remember that these old black hat methods are not only useless – they’re dangerous.
Similarly, PBN (Private Blog Network) linkbuilding became popular by the early 2010s. However, between 2012 and 2014, Google and the other search engines shut this method down entirely.
Although this started as a legitimate method, it doesn’t work anymore because of overuse and unethical use. However, there are plenty of shady SEOs out there still trying to push this method on customers.
This method isn’t as likely to draw penalties from the search engines as bot spamming. However, it simply isn’t effective anymore.
The Best Types of Links
There’s one more thing you need to know about linkbuilding. It’s very important to remember, as it’s a big part of what makes contextual homepage backlinks so effective.
NOT ALL LINKS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
There are several reasons for this. Partially it is due to the number of types of links that Google and the other search engines write off due to overuse or unethical use.
Is is also due to the huge range of quality and popularity on the internet. Huge, well-made, ubiquitous sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and major news organizations’ sites offer a lot more of an SEO boost per link than a blog no one reads.
Look at the picture above. Read it. “Increase traffic with high quality backlinks.” To Google and the other search engines, quality matters a lot more than quantity when it comes to links.
Google and the other search engines have various measurements, as part of their algorithms, of the quality of all the sites in their indexes. The higher the quality of the site, and even the individual page on the site, that links to yours, the better it is for you and your site.
Other sites’ and pages’ quality are determined in large part by the number and quality of links pointing at them, as well as by other factors such as Alexa rank.
That means that if you get a boost from a popular site, particularly a popular page on a popular site, your site moves up the ranks of search engine results pages.
It does so because it appears more relevant to Google’s algorithms. Google therefore wants it at the top of search results, so users will continue searching with Google.
Contextual Homepage Backlinks
That last point brings us at last to contextual homepage backlinks. These are the links our team is positing will be the holy grail of SEO in 2017. If you want your site’s popularity and authority to grow, these are the links you need.
What Are Contextual Homepage Backlinks?
Let’s break this down word by word.
Backlink is simply SEO-speak for an external link (a link from another site) that points at your site. The Homepage is the first, main page of a website. Context in linkbuilding means that the links occur naturally within content, instead of in spammy lists of links or on small sidebars.
Here’s why contextual homepage backlinks are the best links to boost your SEO quickly and effectively, and keep it boosted for the long term:
Because of their context, they look natural and above board to Google.
The fact that they originate from the homepage of a site makes them more effective.
Why a Link Originating from a Site’s Homepage is Automatically More Effective
Domain authority matters!
Remember, the quality of backlinks is measured not only by the popularity of the sites from which they originate. The popularity of the individual page they come from is important as well.
A homepage, because it is visited by almost every site visitor, will almost always be the most popular page on a given site.
For example, if a site gets 2 million visitors a month, 1.8 million of those visitors probably visit the homepage. Individual articles or blog posts on the site may only get .5 to 1 million visitors each. This is for a couple important reasons:
There are many blog posts and articles, but only one homepage.
Most users will visit the homepage as a way of accessing other content.
However, keep in mind that this method only works (or at least works much, much better) when the backlinks come from high authority domains.
The fact that the link originates from the homepage of a site does make it more valuable, but not if that site itself is not valuable.
Contextual Homepage Backlinks vs. Traditional Linkbuilding Methods
Traditional linkbuilding methods, such as guest blogging and creating quality content for others to link to naturally, are still an important part of SEO strategy.
However, these strategies are almost exclusively long-term. They take a lot of time and work to do anything for your site.
Contextual homepage backlinks are a great way to give your site a quick boost that won’t wear off like the boosts from spamming or unethical link exchanges.
These highly effective, specialized backlinks can also serve as a way to diversify your link portfolio later. This helps protect you against link breakage, link devaluing, and other problems while also boosting your SEO effectiveness.
How to Get Contextual Homepage Backlinks
I’m sure by now you’re convinced of the importance of these valuable links. However, what’s the best method for getting them?
The first method is directly requesting them. This can either be very difficult (if you’re relying on the strength of your content alone) or very expensive (if you’re involving yourself with sponsored backlinks).
However, if you have very strong content, this may be effective. It can also sometimes happen naturally, though generally not from high authority domains, unless your site is hugely popular already.
Usually, the best method of building contextual homepage backlinks when you’re first trying to improve your site’s SEO is hiring a professional.
The expense and difficulty involved with carrying out this method as a webmaster alone is one reason it hasn’t been overused. This is a very difficult method that only some of the best and most well-connected SEOs can use effectively.
Hiring a professional who specializes in this type of linkbuilding can benefit you in a number of ways:
Professional contextual homepage backlink builders know the ins and outs of this type of backlink.
Professionals often have contacts with or independently own sites with very high authority domains.
How Does Our Team Build Contextual Homepage Backlinks?
The team here at Homepage Linkbuilding has been doing this kind of SEO work since 2014. Our founder, Yasir Khan, is an experienced blogger and SEO marketer.
Because of his extensive contacts on the web and his large client list, he and the rest of our team can often create homepage backlinks at a greatly reduced cost.
Our team also owns several stand alone sites on different C class IPs with high authority. Because of the combination of authority and variety, we’re sure to find a site that suits your individual needs for links (such as a site in a niche similar to yours).
In addition to our homepage backlink building services, we offer a full suite of SEO services at competitive prices. This is to emphasize our belief that homepage backlink building is one part of the SEO puzzle. It’s significant, but no one method can form a complete SEO package on its own.
Why Contextual Homepage Backlinks Are the Best Backlinks in 2017
To review, let’s go over a few reasons that contextual homepage backlinks are poised to become the most important SEO development of 2017.
The Importance of Linkbuilding in General is Already Recognized
Every SEO worth his or her salt knows that linkbuilding is a hugely important part of complete SEO packages. Many claim it is the most important part, and there’s a good amount of evidence to support this.
All of the central tenets of linkbuilding in general apply to homepage backlink building. Furthermore, everything that makes links important is reflected by contextual homepage backlinks.
Popularity and authority of sites and pages matters in this business. Homepage link building gets you the most popular, highest authority links from the most popular, highest authority sites. No other SEO method right now offers that.
This Method of Linkbuilding is Underutilized
Because of its expense and difficulty relative to many other linbuilding methods, homepage backlink building is not used as much as these other methods.
In my opinion (and the opinion of a lot of other SEO professionals), there’s no better method than one that’s:
Tried and true
Yet not overly popular.
This isn’t to say you want to go experimenting with crazy or unethical link building methods. However, there is something to be said for novelty when it comes to SEO.
If everyone else is using the same method as you, that method is going to cease being as effective. It’s been shown time and time again throughout the history of SEO.
Another tip: although I think contextual homepage backlinks are going to be huge in 2017, I also think they’ll be underutilized for years to come. That makes this a safe long term strategy as well as a way to get a quick boost to your SEO performance.
How You Can Utilize Contextual Homepage Backlinks in 2017
Whether you decide to try to build contextual homepage backlinks yourself or find professional help, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when building these special links in 2017:
As with all links, make sure these look natural.
Don’t overdo it. These links are powerful, and you don’t want to arouse Google’s suspicions.
Balance these with other links and other SEO techniques such as keyword usage, mobile platform friendliness, and general relevance to users.
Focus on your content foremost and create a positive user experience.
If you’d like Homepage Linkbuilding to help you build contextual homepage backlinks, please give us a call or contact us via the form below. We’d love to talk with you! Also, we still have plenty of room on our client list as of this posting.
Even if you don’t want to hire us just yet, feel free to approach us with any questions you may have. We offer free fifteen minute consultations to all interested parties. We can even talk about some of the specifics of our methods for linkbuilding.
When most of our clients first hear about our method, either from other clients introducing them to our service or from our site, they can see why it works so well but not how we do it. Since we’ve received a lot of questions about this in the past, I’m here to shed some light on things.
What Our Method Is
Our method involves link building. This is a common SEO practice that involves getting other sites to link back to the main site. These links help a site rank higher in Google’s SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. Links are also an important factor to the other two search engine giants, Yahoo and Bing, and to many of the smaller search engines as well.
Each link counts as a sort of vote for your main site. However, all votes are not created equally. Votes from high-traffic, reputable sites such as the ones we deal with count for more than links from your mom’s blog. Unfortunately, it’s 100% true, and this is what keeps a lot of small web businesses from getting off the ground.
Also, links from the main content of another website are more valuable than links from rarely visited pages that are mostly hidden from the general public. That means that links from the home pages of reputable, high-traffic sites are the most valuable links out there.
Our method simply consists of doing our best to get those types of links, and those types of links only. We offer plenty of help with other aspects of SEO, but getting home page backlinks is the crux of our company.
How We Do It
A lot of SEO firms don’t know about this method yet, and many of those that do don’t have the resources to carry it out.
Being first in this particular branch of SEO has helped us a lot. It especially helped us in the beginning. A lot of link building practices have gotten a bad name from black hat SEOs, but every company we contacted knew that we were using a new, white hat approach.
Having a lot of contacts in the SEO world and at multiple important web sites helped us build our network up quickly as well.
Unfortunately, this method is also quite expensive. That’s the main reason we cost a bit more than the average SEO firm – but we also guarantee results, or we’ll work for you for free.
For more information about our unique home page linkbuilding method, check out the rest of our site. We also offer a free informative email newsletter about this method, which you can find on our own home page.
If you run this simple test and see you don’t have a high number of extremely high-quality links to your main site or to other web properties important to you, you might just be in need of our home page linkbuilding services.
Often, innovation in SEO comes from slightly improving on a practice that’s already widely accepted. That’s exactly how we discovered our unique home page link building method. It’s just a slight, simple variation on the basics of SEO link building.
So what are the basics of link building?
Your site needs backlinks from other sites to rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Each link from another site to yours is like a vote on behalf of your site.
Obviously, the more backlinks you have, the better. However, it’s not just the quantity of backlinks that determines where you rank with Google and the other major search engines. The quality of each link also plays a huge role.
That means that you need to concentrate your link building efforts on high quality sites, also known as “authority domains.”
What determines a site’s quality?
Reach, influence, and legitimacy all go into determining a site’s quality. The more popular a site is, and the more honest and well-produced its content, the more a backlink from that site will help your own site climb the SERPs.
A lot of this is determined by traffic, and some of it is also determined by links. That means that if a site has a lot of backlinks pointing towards it, its links pointing out to other sites (like yours) will be considered inherently more valuable.
There’s a lot of information out there about expanding your own site’s reach and influence. This will help you get links by making your site more attractive for others to link to, and will also allow you to boost other sites’ popularity by linking to them.
How do I build links?
Once you’ve determined a few sites that you would like to have backlinks from, it’s time to get down to the real work of building links. There are a few ways you can do this:
Organic link building – This occurs when another site links to your content because it discovered your site naturally. For example, if another blog references some of your content in one of its post, it will link to your content either in a citation or as a recommendation for further reading for its users.
Paid link building – You can often “sponsor” content on other sites in exchange for a link back to your site. However, be careful that you don’t get scammed or engage in any black hat practices when you’re doing this. Before you try it, make sure to read up on search engine rules and ethics.
Guest posting – You can often write guest posts for other sites, especially blogs, and include a link back to your own site in an author bio or from within the content itself. It’s a win-win situation: the other site gets a guest post from a knowledgeable contributor, and you get a vote of confidence from that site.
We’ve always stood by our home page link building method as the cornerstone of our business and our SEO marketing tactics, but what makes it better than regular link building methods? There are a few factors we considered before deciding to make this one technique the cornerstone of our business.
Home Page Backlinks are Incredibly Valuable
Because links from within actual page content matter the most, home page links are already great. However, being on the home page itself actually makes them even more powerful and reputable than links within other content like “Our Partners” pages and blog posts.
Home page backlinks also probably get you more organic traffic – traffic that actually arrives at your site via the link(s) in question – than other types of links. It makes perfect sense, of course: every person that comes to a site we work with will see a link to your site right on the home page. That’s the ultimate endorsement one company can get from another.
This Method is Largely Unknown or Unused
Although this is a very powerful method, it isn’t over used like many SEO methods – and that means a lot in our business. When a particular method becomes over used, Google or one of the other search engine giants often does something to tweak how useful it is – almost always for the worst. If you know your SEO history even just a little bit, you’ll notice this is an ongoing trend.
Having a largely unused SEO method in our back pocket also gives us a bit of an advantage over SEO firms – who essentially become your competitors when you choose one SEO company over all the others out there. Having an advantage over them means we can get you results faster – and that the results themselves will be much more incredible.
However, the downside to having a method as effective as this one is that is often highly expensive. That being said, we always work with our clients to offer a fair price that’s competitive with all the other SEO firms out there.
We Only Use Highly Reputable Sites
The advantages of this are twofold:
Because the sites we target for home page back link creation are very legitimate and popular, their links are more powerful than those from many less well trafficked sites.
Because we choose long lasting sites with a great deal of appeal to a wide audience, we don’t have to worry about the sites hosting our links going under – which in many cases effectively renders those links useless.
Using only the most highly reputable sites out there on the web also increases our expenses quite a bit, but it’s a fair trade off for knowing we can always get our customers very quick but also long lasting results.
It’s a tough question, and one not many SEO marketers agree on. However, I believe we’ve found a highly effective method – maybe even the best method – here at Home Page Link Building. It isn’t used by a lot of other companies yet, but we think it may be the next big thing in SEO. We’ve flown under the radar with it for a while, but sooner or later other people will start trying it.
Our method involves building backlinks not just from the content of other sites, but from the main content of those sites – their home pages. Because content links are prioritized over anything else, and home page content is prioritized over other content, these links are simply the most valuable in the SEO game.
We also only use authority domains – sites that are respected by Google and have enough popularity to really matter for you in the SERPs. Why?
Because this method is expensive and time-consuming, and because we want the absolute best for each and every one of our clients. There’s no point wasting time on low-authority, unpopular domains when you’re in the SEO business. If you’re an SEO marketer, you know that you have to focus your work and resources on the best backlinks in the world – because two or three of these might be worth as much as five hundred or more from lower-authority domains.
Whenever I describe this method over the phone or at a conference, clients and other SEOs alike wonder why more marketing firms don’t use this same method. I believe there are two possible answers:
Other SEOs don’t know how effective this method is yet.
Other SEOs don’t have the money, time, and/or other resources to put into this very difficult link building method.
Either way, I don’t think it will be long before this method is picked up by some other SEO firms. In fact, there already may be a few trying it – I just don’t think they’re having any success yet.
Our method could very well be the next big thing in SEO – but the best time to get in on a technique (both for us as an SEO firm and you as a webmaster) is before it gets too popular.
SEOs often say that the best methods for link building and other facets of SEO are the ones Google doesn’t know about yet. Home page link building is even better than that, in that Google has actually opened the door for SEOs to do this, and enough of us just haven’t taken that opportunity yet.
Anyone who knows anything knows there are good links and bad links – and if you look just a little deeper, it’s easier to tell one type from the other.
Good links are legitimate, authoritative, and based on the latest SEO science. Bad links, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite – spammy, not related to your content, and very outdated. While bad link building techniques worked in the past, Google and the other top search engines are wise to almost all the tricks now – even if you can get away with shoddy DIY or black hat link building for a little while, it’s not likely you’ll do it for long.
But how can you as a representative of your company know 100% whether or not an SEO marketing firm you’re considering hiring is a good one or a bad one? We’ll share tips on how we consistently get good, white hat links for our clients – look out for these if you’re trying to do your own link building or considering hiring another firm, because there are a lot of shoddy techniques for link building out there – but we use only the best.
1. We get links from legitimate sources, with a focus on content links.
We work hard to get you links from inside the written content of articles and blog posts, not in spam comments on forums or entries in directories already over full of bad links. While these kinds of shady link repositories might have worked in the early 2000s, they don’t do a thing for legitimate business SEO now.
2. We use techniques like press releases and article directories the right way.
A lot of SEO companies that are either inexperienced or out to game Google’s system will use techniques like press release writing and the use of article directories to spam Google (and/or one of its competitors in the search engine world) – and they’re almost always caught.
This can result in huge penalties for your company! However, there are legitimate, not spammy or unethical ways to use these services and techniques as well, and we’ve made a point of perfecting them here at Home Page Link Building, where we’re dedicated to getting our clients fast and legitimate SERP ranking boosts.
3. We share some of our advice and methods for free.
This is always the mark of a good company. If an SEO you’re considering hiring is extremely secretive about their methods, they’re probably doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
Obviously, a company can’t share all of its trade secrets, or its competitors would have an unfair advantage. However, an SEO firm that doesn’t maintain an advice blog like ours, offer consultations for free or a very low price, or talk openly about its methods is probably one you want to avoid like the plague.
Remember, when it comes to hiring an SEO marketer, it’s not just the money you’re risking – it’s your standing in the SERPs, which you must improve if you truly want your business to thrive in the 21st century internet marketing world.
One of the major factors you’ll have to consider are keywords – and despite what you’ve heard either way, they’re not totally uselessorthe most important SEO factor – the truth is, they’re somewhere in between.
Keywords were much more important when SEO was first developing, but have lost a little bit of their clout as Google and its competitors have perfected (well… worked towards perfecting) semantic search and increasing the artificial intelligence of their algorithms. (And if you don’t know anything about semantic search, don’t worry – that may just be what our next post in this series covers!)
However, they are not “dead,” as many SEOs have claimed off and on since, I don’t know, 2005 or earlier. In fact, leading SEO marketing gurus Moz have just released a keyword research tool this year that takes some of the hard work out of keyword research – and believe me, it is hard work.
What exactly does keyword research involve? It sounds simple, but it’s very difficult in practice. Keyword research is the process of trying to guess – educated guesses only, of course – which search terms potential users or customers of your site will use when searching with Google and/or their competitors – terms you want to direct them to your site.
And to make those words more likely to direct those Google users to your site, you use those words on your site. They’re particularly valuable in headers, titles, and urls (and the closer to the beginning of each of these, the better), but can even contribute to your SEO a bit from within the main body paragraphs of a page or post on your site.
This is where the use of keywords gets a little tricky, and why Google and its competitors have sought to devalue them over the past few years.
It used to be easy to “trick” search engine algorithms into thinking a site was much more valuable than it actually was by “keyword stuffing” – using the chosen search terms much more than one would in natural writing, and sometimes even filling entire pages with nothing but keywords. This was a common practice among many black hat SEOs until recently.
However, if you or your SEO marketing professional can first do the massive research involved with finding valuable keywords (and tools like the one Moz put out make it a lot easier, though it’s easier still to hire a professional), using them occasionally and very naturally throughout your site can boost your SEO. You’ll need good links, site organization, etc. – but good keyword usage never hurts, and sometimes can be the factor that tips you over onto Page One!
Yes, we are primarily a link building company and have always stood by the fact that external links are the single most important factor in SEO. However, Google will tell you itself that there are more than 200 ranking factors – and many SEO marketers (some of them very smart indeed) have tried to figure them all out to varying degrees of success.
Even though you’ll probably never know all of the factors – and, frankly, some of them won’t matter one way or the other if you get the most important ones down pat – it will do you some good to consider what else goes into getting your site onto SERPs besides external links. And trust me, we as a company think about it a great deal too – we couldn’t guarantee the results we do based on link building alone.
Here is a brief exploration of some of the factors that may or may not be big in Google’s decisions; I’m sure we’ll explore each of these in depth as we get closer to the new year.
Keywords are the search terms that users of search engines type in, which are then compared with words in the text of the billions of sites in the engines’ indexes.
Keywords used to be the major focus of SEO, and they’re still important today. With the arrival of semantic search and the increasing “intelligence” of Google’s algorithm – its being able to detect synonyms and phrasing – keywords are less important, though using certain keywords you think your best potential customers will type in within your site text is still a good bet that will likely have at least some ROI.
Internal Links and Site Structure
Google can’t index what it can’t see – so make sure your site is well designed and that you have plenty of internal links as well as external.
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it’s not going to do well in SERPs. That seems to become more true every single day, so the sooner you can make your site mobile friendly, the better.
Google itself has some tips on how best to do this. It’s rare for Google to hand out free SEO advice, so it’s best to take it when you get it.
Legitimacy & Popularity
It seems a little unfair and paradoxical, but it is 100% true that you will find it easier to get more and more exposure after your site has already become popular.
However, there is a way to ride the coattails of other popular sites while you make ready to stand on your own – and that’s getting links (yes, it often all comes back to links) from very popular, legitimate sources – the quality of links always matters more than the quantity!
You also need to make sure that your own site is 100% legitimate, and that you’re not trying to scam Google and the other big search engines – because you likely won’t get away with it, and the punishments will be harsh when you’re caught.
All the SEO gurus writing for the internet since possibly as early as 2006 or so have known about the importance of making your site mobile friendly if you want to rank on SERPs – and even Google has addressed the importance of mobile SEO directly. So you probably know by now that your site needs to be mobile friendly – if it’s not, take care of that right away before you do anything else.
But there’s another aspect of making your SEO plan mobile friendly that many webmasters and internet marketers overlook – making sure the sites that you share backlinks with have mobile friendly designs.
It’s obviously not imperative that every single site that links to yours – or every site that you link to – has a mobile friendly design, but every mobile friendly site that links back to yours will boost your SEO more than a site linking back to yours that isn’t mobile friendly.
Why is that? Whether or not a site is mobile friendly affects its SERP ranking, which also affects its perceived popularity and legitimacy (as perceived by both Google’s spiders and the general public). Sites with higher perceived popularity and legitimacy are more valuable to get backlinks from – as they will more drastically boost your own site’s ranking in the SERPs.
This doesn’t mean that links from older, “mobile unfriendly” sites aren’t worth having – but you shouldn’t put a large amount of time, effort, or money into them if you want to succeed, just like it’s better to have one or two really legitimate links than a hundred spam links (although the difference here is not that drastic).
This also means that you should look at social media linkbuilding and be sure your external properties (sites that aren’t owned by you but are related to your site, such as Yelp and Google MyBusiness pages) are updated and linked back to your main site. Because these sites are both hugely popular and at the forefront of mobile friendly design, they’re sure to give you a big boost in the SERPs.
This also increases the efficacy of links from sites like Wikipedia, which is hugely popular and very mobile friendly, and news outlets, which tend to be mobile friendly and are often naturally prioritized by Google and its competitors in the SERPs.
Mobile friendliness isn’t the end all be all, but it is a significant part of both your link portfolio and your overall SEO package – if you truly want to succeed, your site and all the sites it is associated with will be mobile friendly. And as we head into 2017, mobile friendliness promises to become even more important – it has every other year since mobile sites became mainstream, and there’s no reason for it to stop now, with mobile devices growing in popularity and wearables putting some freshness into the market segment.
Let’s face it: anchor text is something a lot of web content writers, small business owners, webmasters, and even SEO marketers don’t think about. This could have a serious effect on their SEO, though!
When Google’s spiders crawl through your site and the sites that link back to yours, they don’t just look at and follow the links themselves; they also do their best to determine whether the anchor text – the words set off from the overall text (usually in blue underlined font) that site users can click on to travel to another page – is relevant to the destination (the page to which the customer travels).
If the link’s anchor text doesn’t seem relevant to the content that the link actually connects to, there’s a chance Google and/or the other search engines won’t count the link toward your site’s ranking in the SERPs. To prevent this and further optimize your page for good SEO, there are a few steps you can take.
First and easiest is to make sure all your internal links are using good anchor text. For example, you wouldn’t want a link to your blog to say “home page” – and however popular it was back in the day, “click here” is simply not acceptable – it doesn’t say anything about the content you’re linking to and can also make your site look shoddy or old-fashioned to users.
Then you’re going to want to take a look at external links to and from your site. This can get a bit trickier…
As you did with your internal links, make sure any external links that you have to other sites’ content use appropriate anchor text. Then look at some of the pages you know currently have external links connected to your site. Is their anchor text good?
If it is, just celebrate! If not, you do have some options:
If it’s a guest post you or a marketer working for you created, simply ask the site if you can make an edit, and change the anchor text.
If it’s the site owner’s or employee’s post, it may be more difficult to get the anchor text changed – but you could always ask, and perhaps even direct them to this article!
You can also do your best to ensure that all future external links to your site have good, relevant anchor text.
While anchor text certainly isn’t the end all be all of SEO, it is yet another one of many factors that Google and the other major search engine companies consider when they’re deciding what sites deserve to show up where on their SERPs – and, like many of those factors, it is ultimately under your control. There’s no excuse not to do your best.