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How Backlinks from Different Page Locations are Worth More (Or Less)

A backlink is a link that goes from an external URL to your website. If another website links to a page on your website, you receive a backlink.

What if I told you that backlinks can hurt you just as much as they can help you?

Would you cringe a little bit?

I think we all would.

We all trust backlinks to help our SEO. So we work at generating them from every website we can possibly get our hands on.

The problem, though, is that backlinks can hurt you just as much as they can help you.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link that goes from an external URL to your website. If another website links to a page on your website, you receive a backlink.

 

And traditionally, these little beauties are excellent for your SEO.

In fact, for a long time, the top-ranking websites simply had to generate a massive amount of backlinks from other websites, regardless of the quality of those backlinks.

Eventually, though, businesses started link building through spammy websites with black hat SEO strategies.

This naturally led Google to update its algorithm to treat each backlink with the attention it deserves, whether that be positive, negative, or neutral.

pasted image 0 339

Link building, on the other hand, is basically the holistic process of using backlinks to improve your SEO rankings.

As I already mentioned, that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

With Google’s system, one that they constantly update, it can be difficult to know which links are helping you and which ones are hurting you.

So let me tell you about how link building affects your website’s rankings.

Everything you need to know about how link building affects your website’s SEO

Yes, there are good links and bad links.

But here’s what we know for sure: You can use link building to increase your website’s rankings. You can also use it to decrease your rankings and hurt your domain authority.

My goal is to show you how you can do the former and avoid the latter.

The first thing to note is this study done by Moz, where they found that 99.2% of all top 50 results have at least one backlink to their page. And most had more than one.

They also mention that the leftover .8% is well within their margin of error and could be completely negligible.

pasted image 0 314

Now, before you go and start building links from every which way, keep this in mind:

This result means that websites ranking high on Google have backlinks, but it doesn’t mean that websites ranking low on Google don’t.

In other words, while this result probably means that backlinks are important for ranking well, it doesn’t tell us anything about how backlinking can negatively affect your domain authority.

Here’s the rub.

When Google sees a backlink, there are three things they can choose to do:

  • Benefit your rankings.
  • Do absolutely nothing.
  • Penalize your rankings.

 

pasted image 0 346

That should give you an idea of just how long it takes to reap the benefits of your SEO strategy.

Also keep in mind that the lower your domain authority, the better your initial results. And the higher your starting point, the slower the climb.

pasted image 0 331

SEO is a little bit like going to the gym and building muscle.

At first, you’ll build muscle quickly because you had so little to begin with. But as time goes on, you have to lift more and more weight to keep building muscle.

With SEO, the higher your ranking climbs, the more strategic and intentional you need to be with your approach.

Remember that as your SERP surges, you start competing with SEO website experts. You’ll need to improve your strategy as the competition gets more fierce.

Nofollow and dofollow links

The first thing you need to be familiar with when it comes to backlinks is the difference between nofollow and dofollow links.

Dofollow links are your basic backlinks. When the website owners don’t fiddle with the HTML surrounding the link, the link will always be a dofollow.

And that’s good for your website.

Dofollow links tell Google that the linking website trusts your domain, which can help your rankings. And that’s usually the case as long as the linking website is reliable.

But we’ll discuss that in a little bit.

Nofollow links, on the other hand,look like this in HTML.

Why Not All Links Are Created Equal Prime Focus Lab

The problem with nofollow links is that they intentionally tell Google not to trust your website even though they’re linking to it.

In other words, nofollow links will still take someone from website A to website B, but they won’t help website B’s rankings. They also won’t let you pass “Go” or collect $200.

Why would a website use nofollow links?

Because linking to low-quality or low domain authority websites can hurt the link-hosting website’s rankings.

So websites will often use these links to avoid destroying their own rankings with a low-quality external link.

But don’t think that nofollow links are a complete waste of time. They’re not.

In fact, they can work wonders for generating traffic to your website and increasing the visibility of your business despite their unhelpful SEO influence.

High DA and low DA links

DA, or domain authority, is your overall SEO website’s authority.

But why is domain authority important for your link-building strategy?

Because if a lot of your links are spammy, low-quality, or have extraordinarily low domain authorities, that’s not a good sign to Google.

So even if you have a lot of backlinks leading to your website, Google still might penalize you.

Now, they probably won’t penalize you if a few trashy websites are linking to yours. It’s when a lot of these websites are linking to yours that this happens.pasted image 0 308

 

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link that goes from an external URL to your website. If another website links to a page on your website, you receive a backlink.

And traditionally, these little beauties are excellent for your SEO.

In fact, for a long time, the top-ranking websites simply had to generate a massive amount of backlinks from other websites, regardless of the quality of those backlinks.

Eventually, though, businesses started link building through spammy websites with black hat SEO strategies.

This naturally led Google to update its algorithm to treat each backlink with the attention it deserves, whether that be positive, negative, or neutral.

Here’s an illustration showing how a backlink works.

pasted image 0 339

Link building, on the other hand, is basically the holistic process of using backlinks to improve your SEO rankings.

As I already mentioned, that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

With Google’s system, one that they constantly update, it can be difficult to know which links are helping you and which ones are hurting you.

So let me tell you about how link building affects your website’s rankings.

Everything you need to know about how link building affects your website’s SEO

Yes, there are good links and bad links.

But here’s what we know for sure: You can use link building to increase your website’s rankings. You can also use it to decrease your rankings and hurt your domain authority.

My goal is to show you how you can do the former and avoid the latter.

The first thing to note is this study done by Moz, where they found that 99.2% of all top 50 results have at least one backlink to their page. And most had more than one.

They also mention that the leftover .8% is well within their margin of error and could be completely negligible.

pasted image 0 314

Now, before you go and start building links from every which way, keep this in mind:

This result means that websites ranking high on Google have backlinks, but it doesn’t mean that websites ranking low on Google don’t.

In other words, while this result probably means that backlinks are important for ranking well, it doesn’t tell us anything about how backlinking can negatively affect your domain authority.

Here’s the rub.

When Google sees a backlink, there are three things they can choose to do:

  • Benefit your rankings.
  • Do absolutely nothing.
  • Penalize your rankings.

When link building works, and Google decides to benefit your rankings, it can take an average of 10 weeks per link to go up one position.

pasted image 0 346

That should give you an idea of just how long it takes to reap the benefits of your SEO strategy.

Also keep in mind that the lower your domain authority, the better your initial results. And the higher your starting point, the slower the climb.

pasted image 0 331

SEO is a little bit like going to the gym and building muscle.

At first, you’ll build muscle quickly because you had so little to begin with. But as time goes on, you have to lift more and more weight to keep building muscle.

With SEO, the higher your ranking climbs, the more strategic and intentional you need to be with your approach.

Remember that as your SERP surges, you start competing with SEO website experts. You’ll need to improve your strategy as the competition gets more fierce.

Now, let me hit you with another fascinating piece of information.

The higher up a link is in the HTML text of a page’s content, the more value that link will provide.

pasted image 0 302

In other words, in this article from Smart Blogger, the “publishing online content” is a more valuable backlink than the “Habits of a happy brain” link is.

How to Write a Paragraph in 2017 Yes the Rules Have Changed Smart Blogger 2

Why?

Because the “publishing online content” link comes first and Google values the first backlinks more than they value the last ones — or even the ones after.

Lastly, in your education about link building’s effect on SEO, you need to understand the difference between internal links and external links.

An external link is the same as a backlink. It’s a link that goes from an external website source to your website.

But an internal link is when you link from one page of your website to another page of your website.

And just in case you were thinking of revolving your link-building strategy around internal links, keep in mind that external links are far more beneficial to your rankings.

pasted image 0 335

I’m not saying that internal links are worthless. In fact, internal links can be incredibly useful for lowering your bounce rate and increasing engagement on your website.

But when it comes to SEO, external links are where the rankings live.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the difference between helpful links and harmful links.

You need to be able to determine which links help you and which ones hurt you.

Nofollow and dofollow links

The first thing you need to be familiar with when it comes to backlinks is the difference between nofollow and dofollow links.

Dofollow links are your basic backlinks. When the website owners don’t fiddle with the HTML surrounding the link, the link will always be a dofollow.

And that’s good for your website.

Dofollow links tell Google that the linking website trusts your domain, which can help your rankings. And that’s usually the case as long as the linking website is reliable.

But we’ll discuss that in a little bit.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, look like this in HTML.

Why Not All Links Are Created Equal Prime Focus Lab

The problem with nofollow links is that they intentionally tell Google not to trust your website even though they’re linking to it.

In other words, nofollow links will still take someone from website A to website B, but they won’t help website B’s rankings. They also won’t let you pass “Go” or collect $200.

Why would a website use nofollow links?

Because linking to low-quality or low domain authority websites can hurt the link-hosting website’s rankings.

So websites will often use these links to avoid destroying their own rankings with a low-quality external link.

But don’t think that nofollow links are a complete waste of time. They’re not.

In fact, they can work wonders for generating traffic to your website and increasing the visibility of your business despite their unhelpful SEO influence.

 

High DA and low DA links

DA, or domain authority, is your overall SEO website’s authority.

But why is domain authority important for your link-building strategy?

Because if a lot of your links are spammy, low-quality, or have extraordinarily low domain authorities, that’s not a good sign to Google.

So even if you have a lot of backlinks leading to your website, Google still might penalize you.

Now, they probably won’t penalize you if a few trashy websites are linking to yours. It’s when a lot of these websites are linking to yours that this happens.

pasted image 0 308

Why does this happen?

Well, when Google sees a lot of low-quality backlinks leading to your website, they assume that you’re using a sketchy strategy to generate those.

You could be paying for them or hiring an agency that tries to cheat the system.

And Google wants to punish anyone who tries to cheat.

Also, linking to these websites from your own website can hurt your rankings. If you can avoid a relationship with these URLs, then do so.

Here’s how you can determine the domain authority of a website.

Start with a tool like this.

Website Authority Checker PR DA PA MOZ Backlinks 4

How to get beneficial backlinks

Now that you know the difference between backlinks that can help you and backlinks that can harm you, let me walk you through a few strategies you can use to get more of the former.

Ultimately, your strategy for generating quality backlinks needs to revolve around producing high-quality content on your website.

When you do, other websites and businesses will be more inclined to link to your content when they borrow it.

The first way to encourage people to link to your content is by using original images.

People love to include images in their blog posts. If they find your image and include it, you just won yourself a backlink.

pasted image 0 304

Another thing that people love to use when writing blog posts is expert quotes.

If you can interview experts and get some original quotes about a certain topic, people writing on that topic will link to you when borrowing the material.

Conclusion

Backlinks can either bandage wounds or create them.

And sometimes, knowing which one you’re accomplishing is a real challenge.

Luckily, now you know the kinds of backlinks to avoid, the kinds that benefit your SEO strategy, and how to get beneficial ones.

In particular, you know that nofollow links are valuable for traffic, but not SEO.

You know that domain authority will help you determine the quality of a backlink.

And you know that the external links a website currently uses will be a sign of things to come for your own backlink.

Also, original images, quotes, data, and guest posting will help you get the backlinks your website craves, and fixing broken links will maintain those helpful attributions.

Since you know all of that, I’ll end with one last reminder.

Not all backlinks are equal, but all backlinks affect your SEO. It’s up to you to decide whether that impact is positive, negative, or neutral.

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