How we Explain the Value of Backlinks

At Netvantage, one of the services we offer is link building. While those in the search engine marketing industry know the importance of quality backlinks for a website to rank well in the search results, those outside our industry tend not to. This usually leads to a discussion of how valuable backlinks are for ranking higher in the search results. Here is how each of us describes the value of backlinks to our clients.

There are so many ways to explain the importance of links. What I always try to remind people is that it is the value of the link that is really important. There are billions of links on the web, but not every link is going to help your website. In fact, some links could harm your site. Without going into too much detail, this is then where I would describe how to investigate whether a site is credible to gain a link to. For example, I would look at the site’s trust and citation flow metrics. These numbers are based on a 100-point scale. If the site’s numbers are really low, it might not be worth getting a link on that site because that means Google doesn’t necessarily trust that website. If a domain’s numbers are high, getting a link on that website could potentially really help your site. Overall, I tell people to not think about the number of links they could have, but the quality of links and where they are at. Getting a link on 5 really good websites with a high trust flow and citation flow, will most likely out beat a competitor’s website that has 20 links on websites with low metrics. Abbey Hadar
Abbey Hadar
Twitter
I’ve done this so many times that I’d like to think that I have a good program in place. I tend to stick with the approach of explaining links as “votes” or “references” – these are things people universally understand. I usually ask people how often they find Wikipedia in the results when they do a search, and they tend to agree Wikipedia seems to be everywhere. I then ask how often when they’re clicking around the web they see links from other sites to Wikipedia to find more information. Again, they tend to agree that they see a lot of those. I then explain that links kind of work like votes in the eyes of Google and the other engines. If lots of other websites “vote” or provide a reference that the information on your site is of high quality, then search engines gain more trust in both the page and the overall site that’s being linked to which gives them reason to rank the site being liked to higher. Adam HenigeAdam Henige
Twitter
What do you personally do when you find something in the real world that helps you greatly? No…I’m really asking… When you find a really great house painter that does a fantastic job at a reasonable price…or a good auto mechanic that treats you fairly…or, hell, an easy-to-make dinner recipe that tastes great, comes together quickly, and that the kids love…what do you do? Do you keep it to yourself? Do you hide and protect that knowledge, or do you tell your family and friends about it so that they can benefit as well? That’s what links to a website are…they are a person telling all 5 billion of their closest internet friends that XYZ website has something valuable on it and all 5 billion internet friends should go check it out. If you hear this from one person, you might listen or you might not. Two people…same thing. TEN people…twenty people….fifty people… Well, now you’re definitely going to listen, right? Google does the exact same thing with links. When fifty people online “say” that some website is good by linking back to it, Google listens and rewards that site accordingly. (Please note that my usage of “fifty people” is just an illustration and is not intended to mean that you only need 50 links and everything will be hunky-dory.) Jerod KaramJerod Karam
Twitter
From the start of this company 10 years ago, this has been the second toughest concept to explain to clients and prospective clients; the first being how organic and PPC results in Google are unrelated (to this day it confuses people). The logic I use is that if we have two sites competing for the same keyword and each site has equal grades of SEO attributes such as site speed and keyword saturation, Google is still going to rank out one site over. There are no ties in the SERP, there has to be a vertical winner. Thus, generally, the next level of criteria that the algorithm evaluates is the quality and quantity of links coming into that domain and specific pages within the domain. And this is why link building is so critical in SEO. Joe FordJoe Ford
Twitter
Links essentially are a form of online word of mouth with Google being the “person” who pays the most attention. Links are online praise and the more praise a site receives, the more Google will notice, but there is a flip side to this. While praise is great, there are ways links can negatively impact a site, which is where things get tricky. The quality of a link is important to consider when trying to link build. Websites have value just like money does. Would you rather have a quarter or a penny? Obviously, a quarter is more valuable, thus making it more appealing. Getting a link from a website with more appealing metrics is going to grab Google’s attention more. Lexie KimballLexie Kimball
Twitter
This is very similar to how Adam explains links, but I like to tell people that a link to a website is an endorsement. The more endorsements a website receives, the more seriously it should be taken. Of course, it’s not all about how many endorsements you get but who they come from. If you have a cheese company and it gets endorsements from 100 different poker businesses, I would say that poker companies are not the most qualified organization to give an endorsement to a cheese company. I would also wonder why so many unrelated organizations endorsed your cheese company in the first place, I might lose trust in your business entirely, and I may decide that I don’t want to refer any of my friends to your cheese company until you clean up your act (I’m basically explaining how a Google penalty happens). However, if you get an endorsement from the American Dairy Association, I’d say that is one heck of an endorsement that demands attention, especially if your cheese competitors are not endorsed by the same or similar organizations. In summary – links are the way in which search engines decide how to rank websites with similar content. Michael HallMichael Hall
Twitter

 

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