Link building used to be all about just getting a backlink and that was it. It didn’t really matter how or from where, so long as you were getting them, you were golden. That was a long time ago, and as with everything on the internet, things quickly evolved. Some time ago, link farms were all the rage, obviously they were not called link farms back then. They worked fine, until webmasters found a way to abuse the system and get 1000s of links from them overnight. After that came the web link directories, which unlike link farms were a little more sophisticated and organized.
Link directories are an easy way to get your homepage spidered quickly, maybe even grab visitors or two when the Directory is of top quality along with your link is extremely attractive. The effectiveness of link directories has dwindled dramatically as a result of many automated software systems and sites that’ll submit your link to 1000s of them overnight. It’s just not what SE’s would call a top quality link…
Just recently, link exchanges or reciprocal backlink building sites and programs were all the rage. Give me a link and I’ll give you one right back. If the SE’s caught on to them, they become 3 way link exchanges, I’ll offer you a link, you give them a link and they’ll deliver a hyperlink. Seemed like the perfect solution, and also to this day still works quite well to get links for your Homepage…
All of these systems have three inherent problems within the eyes of search engines like google:
1. They create links to your homepage only
2. They may be systems easily manipulated through the webmasters
3. They provide very little value, if any, to the consumer, in this case visitors
It had been inevitable that, eventually, the Search Engine’s would need to do something relating to this, they will have to find a better method to qualify, justify and rank backlinks. After all, links are definitely the backbone of the internet. The result of this, changed the way the Major Search Engines look at the links on your own pages and even more importantly, the backlinks pointing to your pages.
They took a 180 degree turn altogether!
As opposed to exploring the way the webmaster had optimized their website or what links were coming and going, the Search Engine’s turned their focus from what the final users’ behavior was when simply clicking or following those links!
The primary indicator of quality, relevancy and validity in the links now lies in the long run users behavior. When checked out from the Search Engines’ point of view, as a result perfect sense.
Here’s the logic behind the madness and why the SE’s trust these details a lot more:)
To start with, the webmaster has little to no control over the end users actions, so this is very unbiased and raw feedback. Let’s walk through a typical scenario.
Visitors is on your site, maybe the homepage or maybe an inner page, they are curious about the content on your site and they spy a hyperlink which catches their eye they click on the link and it takes these to another page…
The following is where it get’s interesting!
There’s only a couple of things they can do:
1. Remain on that site
2. Leave that site
Based on this behavior, the SE’s can tell instantly if the link was good or bad.
When the visitor immediately closes the newest page or backspaces away, search engines like google can make certain assumptions. For example they might assume the web link was irrelevant towards the page it pointed to, they might believe that the key phrases utilized in the link was deceitful. One of many ways or perhaps the other, that specific visitor had not been pleased with that link, therefore the SE may not give that link any weight.
However, in the event the visitor made a decision to stay on the page after pursuing the link, the picture is entirely different. Now the SE actually starts to analyze why they may have stayed on the page. They will look first on the page the hyperlink was on and compare it for the anchor text from the link for relevancy. Then they will consider the page the web link was pointing to – the page the consumer is currently on – and compare that to both the link key phrases and also the previous page.
Next they will likely consider the users behavior while on the new page, how long they stay on the page, when they go back to the previous page, or if perhaps they stick to a link in the current page, and in case so, is it an inside link or perhaps an external link…
When all is said and done, the result using this extensive research will ultimately determining whether or not this link applies and what weight it ought to be given. The better weight the hyperlink is given, the higher overall ranking the page will receive in the search engine for that terms researched. You may ask, “How can the SE’s possibly get all this data?”
Easy, there’s several tools that Google and other SE’s use to follow along with you round the web, like Toolbars, certain Browsers and naturally, Google Analytics. Since this writing, it is estimated that almost 60% of all webmasters are using Google Analytics to gather user specific data on the sites.
Performs this mean you should not use Google Analytics?
Absolutely not! In fact, we strongly suggest that you DO use it. It’s a wonderful way to see what your visitors are doing on the site:) The particular valuable data! But simultaneously, you ought to know the way you use this data and tool in your favor.
The take away lesson using this article should be:
When link building, always think like your visitor and not like a webmaster trying to get pagerank. Build good quality, relevant backlinks that point to content on pages that might be useful to your visitor and can make you look like an authority for providing it. These are generally called “Deep Links” and they change from an inner page on your site to the inner page of the completely yhdlrh but very relevant site. Don’t be worried about the tiny portion of visitors that you may lose to these links, if done right, link-building increases your general traffic by tenfold or maybe more!
In another article, we are going to discuss why it is required to have links on your pages, instead of the popular belief that by doing so you may leak pagerank, it’s not true…