How to Identify High Quality Backlinks and Backlinks to Avoid
High quality backlinks are absolutely crucial for your website to get indexed and rank highly within the major search engines. In fact, it’s one of the most important factors involved in website search engine optimization. Even if you are doing everything else right to get your site ranked, a lack of high quality backlinks can prevent you from achieving a high ranking.
Not only is it crucial to obtain high quality backlinks but you must also avoid bad or low quality backlinks. Low quality backlinks offer no value and often can result in your website being penalized, which will hurt your ranking. Of course, this leads to many questions of exactly how to find and obtain valuable backlinks that will move your site up in the search results making it more visible to potential customers.
Before you begin to craft a backlink strategy for your website, you should be clear on exactly what a high quality backlink is and low quality back is. Keep in mind, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and standards have changed dramatically over the last several years. It’s important to ensure the websites that backlink to your site are in compliance with current standards.
What Are High Quality Backlinks?
Quality of Content
It’s important to assess the quality of content on each website that will potentially backlink to your site. High quality content is no longer optional when it comes to ranking well within the search engines and a backlink will only give you link juice or an SEO boost if it has quality content that offers real value. You should take the time to actually look through the pages of each website to ensure they are consistently providing value and using proper SEO techniques.
There can be times when a site has employed bad techniques that allow it to rank high in the SERPs for a limited time before ultimately being penalized or removed altogether. If the site has a backlink to one of your pages then it can have a negative impact on your ranking as well. The key point in determining quality of content is to use your eyeballs first and current rankings second when you are doing research and coming up with a plan for where to get backlinks.
Relevance is a very important term for SEO in today’s world. High quality backlinks for a website about shoes will not be the same for a website about golfing because the content or topics of the sites are completely different. Backlinks from sites that have relevant content to the topic of your website is just as important as having high quality content.
If a website with a very high PageRank or Domain Authority links to your site but is about a completely unrelated topic then the chances are good Google will not assign your site any value for that backlink. Additionally, if you have too many backlinks from websites that are not “relevant” to yours, then it may even result in your site being penalized.
Domain Extensions .Com, .Edu, .Org, .Net and .Gov
Google is vague on how they actually assign value to different domain extensions and in some cases they deny there is a difference. In fact, if you read almost all of their denials that additional value exists with certain domain extensions they almost always leave a little doubt and never give an answer that provides 100% clarity.
However, regardless of what Google about the issue, real world results tell us there can be a difference. When it comes to obtaining high quality backlinks, .edu domain extensions many times offer much greater value than any other type of domain extension. .Edu websites typically have high quality content, are updated regularly, comply with Google’s standards and usually have a large amount of quality content posted on the site.
If you want your backlink strategy to be as effective as possible and have a dramatic influence on getting your website a high rank within the search engines then high quality backlinks from .edu domains should be a focal point.
Quantity vs. Quality
The days of simply measuring your backlinks based on how many you have are long gone. The actual quantity of backlinks to your site is almost an irrelevant issue at this point. The most important point to remember is high quality backlinks are the name of the game now. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a large number of backlinks if they comply with all the current standards of proper SEO. However, your focus should be on quality first and quantity a distant second.