Contextual Homepage Backlinks: Are They the Holy Grail of SEO in 2017?
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
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.
Remember, valuable sites = valuable homepages = powerful links.
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.