Are buying inbound links to your website in your best interests? We cut through the noise to bring you the inside scoop.
It’s no secret that search engines like Google use inbound links as their number one criteria in organically ranking websites on search engine results pages. Your website’s natural ranking on a search engine results page is directly tied to the inbound links coming to your site.
Due to the importance of inbound links, link building companies are coming out of the woodwork, driving business owners across the country nuts with their claims of getting them top rankings on Google. Businesses need to examine these claims carefully because the wrong moves may get your site banned by Google.
How do you know if the link building company you are considering is any good? Unfortunately there is no central spot allowing you to research a firm’s professional qualifications or results history. This leaves you with subjective and qualitative analysis to arrive at your conclusion. Here are some key considerations:
Where will your inbound links come from?
Most link building companies today build inbound links to your website by leaving comments on forums or directories that they either own, manage or control. The error with this approach is search engines consider these link sources to be “spammy” and often won’t even factor the link into the ranking of your website.
The reason they are devalued by search engines is because they generate thousands of outbound links each month. It’s not natural behavior for most forums or websites to generate thousands of outbound links each month. Because the behavior is not natural, Google looks at this as an attempt to adversely manipulate the system and may devalue or even ban the behavior.
It’s also important to note that Google and other search engines look at the source of your website’s inbound links. If all of them are coming via forums and directories, Google will view your site as one dimensional and thus devalue the links.
The key thing to look for are inbound link building programs generating inbound links through a variety of sources: blog postings, social media, article distribution, social networks, deep content linking and other multi-source approaches.
Page rank can be meaningless
Many link building companies brag about their links coming from sources with high page rankings on Google. Although this sounds impressive, stop and think about this for a minute. Will an inbound link to your website from a pet supply store with a page rank of 6 really help you sell? Will it really help Google establish where your website should be organically ranked for search terms relating to selling your products or services?
Of course it won’t. It’s not relevant to what you do.
That’s why the most important thing Google considers when evaluating inbound links is the relevancy of the link source to your site. In any industry, the most relevant inbound links come from industry related websites. The best inbound link sources for car dealers are other car dealers!
Focus more on the relevancy of the inbound link to your business. The page rank the link came from is not nearly as important. If you are considering hiring a link company, the relevancy of where the links come from is your prime consideration.
Use the “Big 3” For Inbound Linking
We’re not talking about the Detroit automakers here. We are talking about the three types of inbound links your site should have for high organic rankings. These “big 3” are local authority links, general authority links and industry related links.
Inbound local authority links help search engines know where you are located. They help you receive high organic rankings for geo-related search terms. A great example of a local authority link is from the Chamber of Commerce.
General authority links are from news sites and directories. These links help establish your “position” in your industry and your community.
Industry related links are the highly valued inbound links from your peers and are the links given the most value by Google.
A great inbound link building program (and company) will get you all three types of links.
Will you get higher search engine rankings?
The purpose behind hiring a link building company is not to get more inbound links to your website.
Your purpose is to get higher organic search engine rankings for the search terms important to your business success. You can tell if a link building company understands that concept by the type of performance reporting they offer you.
A great link building company will report monthly on trended search engine rankings for the search terms that are part of the link building program. They’ll be focused on getting you higher organic search rankings, not just more links.
If the link building company does not feature trended search engine rankings as the results measurement criteria, turn around and run the other way!
Are you getting the right advice for your situation?
The internet’s full of scam artists and “get-rich-now” con men. In today’s world you dial what appears to be a local number only to find out its some company in Asia.
Look for advice specific to your situation. Has the link building company even attempted to understand your business objectives and processes? What’s their understanding of your other marketing initiatives, both traditional and online?
Don’t ask for testimonials. No one will give you a bad one. Instead, ask to see performance results (they can black out the client name) of 5 actual clients. Have them give them to you within 2 working days. This prevents falsifying records and you can see for yourself the actual progress made by the firm for its clients. You’ll also learn quite a bit about the link building company by the type results information they send you.
Your link building company should be involved in trade organizations promoting ethical standards, best practices and on-going education. Their commitment to their profession is often a reflection of their commitment to you.
By applying these considerations to any inbound link building company, you’ll keep your website from being banned by Google and boost it to the top of the search engine rankings.