8 Down & Dirty Facts About Building Backlinks

We have worked as backlink specialists for a number of years now. Within multi-billion dollar corporations, to “one-man-band” startups, we’ve seen a lot of different backlink building SEO strategies for many different company sizes and industries.

After spending a lot of time in the world of SEO, we see a lot, so we wanted to share some of the more common tips and points which have helped us and our clients succeed and see results from these backlink portfolio building efforts.

You might already know some of these, and that’s great, but with Google’s June 2021 core algorithm update, we have seen so much nonsense about backlinks over the past few months on the internet that we thought we would share our experiences to give truth behind building backlinks.

1. You’re not buying a link, you’re building a backlink portfolio

Whether you’re a business owner, or a link builder, this is important to start with. We see many websites with random backlinks from websites all across the web. Many think, “any backlink is good so long as it links to my website!”

Please, don’t snatch random links.

A quality backlink building service is there to build your website a top quality link profile which suits you, and may even mimic the backlinks your competitors have. The proper backlink portfolio is important.

So when you pay for a backlink from a proper SEO vendor like Frasca Digital, you pay to build a backlink profile – not random links.

2. Know and Avoid PBNs

PBN stands for Personal Blog Network and has always been known as a no go area for individual businesses or SEO’s. It’s a cheap option which might help you in the short term, but can prove dangerous in the long term; however, not all PBN’s are the same.

PBN Example #1:

Tommy owns a PBN of 2,000 identical looking editorial sites. He creates one bit of content, then spins it multiple times and posts it on just about all of these different website (imagine each word being put through synonyms or a thesaurus).

This example of a PBN is against best practices and is intended to manipulate Google rankings fast, but will be flagged by Google over the long run as spammy back links.

PBN Example #2:

Abby owns a PBN of only 2 websites. One is a blog covering home decor, the other covers gardens and gardening tips. There’s completely different content on each website, but both might be worth submitting content to. 

Point being, not all PBN’s are the same. We used to think all PBN backlinks were bad, but once we learned more about the different types of personal blog networks, the more accepting we became of these as viable for a backlink strategy.

3. The best link building occurs alongside On-Page website activity

Simply put, you’ll see faster results from backlink building if your website is constantly creating new content!

In isolation, simply buying or building backlinks to a website is not enough to get more traffic or improve keyword rankings. Making new blog posts, adding more product information on an e-commerce website, or even adding new landing pages with unique content is the bet way to complement a backlink-building strategy.

4. Backlink Industry Impacts Rankings

Yes – the website you’re getting a backlink from should somehow relate to your industry. For example, if you’re building backlinks for a toy company, you would like to get links from shopping blogs, mom and dad blogs, or even parenting websites.

Don’t get us wrong, we do believe having backlinks from outside a website’s industry is fine, but staying within the industry sends signals that you are an authority of that topic, and your colleagues think so too.

5. Web 2.0 Links Aren’t Enough

Postings on business directories, social and other Web 2.0 backlinks are powerful ways to help control the conversation of content that’s directed to a website. This often includes a logo, business name, address, and phone number. Keeping this information consistent across the web does benefit your website’s ranking.

These types of backlinks are from highly authoritative domains and, when done correctly, can carry some serious ranking power.

They can work if used as part of an overall linking strategy as part of social proof. Keep in mind these include backlinks from websites like Facebook, Quora, Twitter, blog comments, etc.

But, if a website is just buying or placing 2.0 links and only 2.0 links, you’re going at it the wrong way. Same with directory. The only way 2.0 links work on their own is if you’re doing it for direct referral traffic as a pose to try to increase rank on Google (or other search engines). To do this, you’d write high-quality content with hope of a click through.

If you’re just spamming your site over 2.0, or you’re paying someone for 500 links a month they just won’t work like they used to before Google implemented anti-spam flagging. Don’t waste your money and time with these types of “backlink services.”

6. Diversify anchor text keywords

Anchor text are the words people click on that are linked to your website. These embedded words are pretty important to Google, and you can rank better for the words used. Practitioners who abuse this ranking factor will ultimately be penalized.

Google is more likely to notice a sudden 100 backlinks with exactly the same keyword. This simply does not happen happen in the real world.

Instead, we consider using variations and diversifying these target keywords. These days, using the exact keyword you want to rank for still matters, but less so if used as anchor text all the time.

There might be a single word you have in mind or you might be going long-tail. This is especially important to those with a large budget trying to rank a start up, or those with even bigger budgets trying to smash the #1 position on the SERP.

7. The problem with DA, DR, and other 3rd party metrics

Backlinks are often priced by a website’s Domain Authority (DA). The higher a website’s DA, the higher the price of the backlink. Heck, even we use the term Domain Authority when speaking with clients.

Even after all these years people still do this. Essentially, we all know DA – and variations of these amalgamate ranking metrics- are not entirely accurate in summating a website’s ranking score. However, because Domain Authority is so widely referred to in the SEO industry, we simply cannot ignore it because so many people use it as a barometer of success.

Though we see DA as an important measurement, we do not observe this SEO metric in isolation. We look at website traffic, content and industry relevancy, quality of content , average number of words per page, and about 200+ other SEO variables.

These all don’t need to ring true on every link you place…especially if you’re going for a huge campaign designed to rank you on page one in a hugely competitive word. However, you do need to pay attention to it. Avoid that link with a DA of 70 and 0 traffic and go for the one with a 20DA and good metrics. The key here comes around working with your client to properly show them what will help their site, we want the best for their website and trying to simply *raise a DA* does nothing for them.

8. The “Logic” approach

Many clients, and businesses who are building for themselves, often worry about Google penalties for backlinks. Basically, ask yourself this: does this backlink look like it was acquired naturally or organically? just ask yourself whether in the real world, would the website owner logically link to your website in content?

More than often, the answer is yes.

For example… let’s say you’re building links for a Business Card printing company. You’ve placed the link in content concerning setting up your own consultancy company on a website which covers info around setting up a company. It is perfectly logical to mention getting business cards created in the article. Moreover, it’s perfectly logical to link to a business card creation business. Why? The web owner thinks readers will find it useful.

It’s just that easy folks.

So long as you can make those little connections – and avoid posting on spammy websites – you’ll be fine.

The Facts Behind Building Backlinks

Welp, there it is. We hope this is useful information for those starting out with SEO. And those looking to build links to their websites.

Truly, we feel it’s always good to look at other ways of working and methodology, and always be testing to see what works best. And trust us, we have an endless amount of testing going on at all times. This is what makes us good at what we do.

Contact us today for any advice about building a natural backlink profile.


Digital marketing expert specializing in SEO, MarTech and Website Design services in the Baltimore, MD market.

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