The internet has tremendous growth potential for businesses and the key to harnessing this potential is visibility.
Search engines, being the biggest drivers of online traffic, happen to be among the most popular channels to gain online visibility. But, while search engines rank billions of websites, profitable visibility is acquired only by those that manage to rank higher in the search results.
That’s why businesses and website owners invest heavily in search engine optimization or SEO.
Search engines have certain ranking factors and they are programmed to rank the websites that satisfy these variables. SEO online marketing techniques optimize your website in a way that ensures that it aligns with these variables and ranks higher.
According to Google, the undisputed king of the search engine space, links are one of the three most important ranking factors. And a website that has a good number of links coming in from high authority websites is likely to rank higher.
Links coming in from other sites on the web are called backlinks and the process of acquiring them is called backlinking.
Backlinking is a critical part of every SEO online marketing strategy because of the substantial weight that Google gives it in its ranking factors.
There are various types of backlinks that your website can acquire. Some of them are good, others not so much.
Among these types, handcrafted backlinks, or those that are acquired through organic link-building strategies, are the most valuable. But building a backlink profile organically and handcrafting backlinks is a tedious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process.
This is why certain inexpensive SEO internet marketing services cut corners and turn to automated link-building strategies.
Automated link-building strategies involve link-building robots or software programs. These bots promise to get your website hundreds of links within minutes.
Initially, this may seem like a great idea. Because isn’t the purpose of backlinking to get your website more links?
No. The goal of an effective link-building campaign is to get your website high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. And bots don’t get you that.
Automated link-building strategies get your website backlinks from low-quality websites. These websites may either be link farms or part of a private blog network.
Link farms and private blog networks (PBNs) rose to popularity with the introduction of Google’s PageRank algorithm. This algorithm increased the value of backlinks in the search engine ranking factors and led to SEOs racing to get more and more backlinks.
Black hat SEOs found a golden opportunity to exploit this algorithm and started creating link farms and PBNs.
A link farm is a website or a network of websites with no content or purpose other than giving links to other websites to “boost” their SEO.
Many people sell link farms. And all the shady SEOs that promise to get you hundreds of links within seconds are more than likely to get your website links posted on these link farms.
Private Blog Networks or PBNs work the same way as link farms. They also exist to boost the backlink profile of a particular website to try and influence its search engine ranking. Certain “affordable” SEO services have access to PBNs. They publish your content here and get you low-quality backlinks, coming in from irrelevant sites.
There was a time when Google was an innocent bot and Black Hat SEO strategists could easily fool it by gaining links from these sites. But Google has grown into a smart robot now and can easily identify such low authority links that come from link farms or PBNs.
Acquiring links from such websites classify as manipulation of Google’s PageRank and is against its webmaster guidelines.
Links acquired from such websites may initially boost your rankings. But this rank is maintained until Google catches you. And given the level of sophistication Google’s algorithms have achieved, it can do that easily.
Google prefers to rank websites it knows are informative and valuable. And it judges a website’s reliability through its backlinks, which is why, if your website gains links from low-authority, shady websites like link farms and PBNs, Google is more than likely to derail its ranking efforts.
Moreover, Google, despite being a bot itself, prioritizes humans and prefers everything “human.” Therefore, when a website acquires an excessive number of backlinks in a short time, Google knows a bot must be involved and penalizes the website, citing link scheming and violation of webmaster guidelines.
Getting your website bot-created links may classify as a “black hat” SEO practice, which may lead to severe consequences for your online presence.
This means that cutting corners and opting for a short and quick way to the top can, in reality, get you penalized. And once a website is penalized, it loses its rank. But if things take a turn for the worse, you may find your website kicked out of Google’s search index. And once your website is out of Google’s search index, it may never be able to rank again.
You do not only lose your website’s rank with a search engine penalty. Gone with it is your website’s traffic.
And for a business that relies on online interactions for sales and revenue, this can be catastrophic.
Therefore, it is better to adopt a strategic link-building approach rather than cutting corners and losing all your SEO investments to bot-created links.
Strategic and organic link-building is a white hat SEO practice and the antidote to its black hat counterpart. It involves backlinking practices that are not frowned upon in the search engine community and are within Google’s guidelines.
Organic link-building involves careful selection of websites and the development of high-quality content. This ensures that your website acquires links naturally and only from authoritative websites that can “talk you up” in front of Google and are relevant to your niche.
The success of your link-building campaign also relies on where the link is placed on a webpage or link placement. Moreover, the words used as clickable text in the hyperlink, called anchor text, also influence the value of your backlink.
So, an organic link build approach involves the selection of anchor text based on SEO best practices and strategic link placement to ensure that you get the most out of each link your website gets.
A strategic link-building approach gradually builds your reputation in the search engine’s eyes. Eventually, Google starts seeing you as a trusted source of information. And given all other ranking factors are met, it is likely to rank your website higher.
And once your website starts appearing among the top search engine results, it can start contributing positively to your business’s growth.
A website ranking higher experiences an increase in web traffic, not to mention the referral traffic from sites linking back to your website. With increased traffic comes more interaction opportunities. Your website gets to serve more customers than ever before, which increases lead acquisition and automatically results in enhanced sales and conversions.
So, investing in a strategic link-building campaign can ultimately improve your bottom line and quickly generate a return on all your investments.
The organic link-building approach may take more time and effort than its black hat counterpart but the results it generates are long-lasting and continue to benefit your website in the long run.
A website that gains its rank through black hat SEO practices, such as automatic link-building, is only one penalty away from losing it. In contrast, a website that takes the longer path and gains links through an organic strategy can get a rank that continues to improve with time.
This is why handcrafted links are far more superior to bot-created links.
But being a business owner, you already have too many responsibilities. Will you be able to find the time it needs to reach out to websites, create high-quality content, and get external links from high authority websites? Not without neglecting your business.
When everyone plays to their strength, success is a given. Your strength is running your business, while one of an SEO expert’s strengths is building a healthy backlink profile.
Why don’t you let professional SEOs take care of your link-building campaign and improve your bottom line with strategic link-building?
Landau Consulting, an NJ SEO Consulting Company, has years of experience helping websites improve their search engine rank and is just the team to offer all the services you need for a successful and healthy link-building process.
The experts at Landau Consulting help your website acquire authoritative backlinks so your website can rank higher in the search results. Not only that, but they also have a team of professional content creators who create informative and valuable content that goes out to the web and brings back external links and referral traffic.
If you are looking for more fun and informative resources on link-building and SEO, you can visit our blog and get all your questions answered!