1. What does Off-Page SEO actually mean?
Off-Page SEO, also called off-site, is the less technical part of the process of optimizing a website for search engines.
The activities, as the name suggests, do not take place on the site for which this optimization is done, but outside it, on other sites and in various online payment companies.
This part of SEO is not only represented by external links found on other sites that link to your own site (backlinks).
The process is much more complex. For example, simply mentioning your brand or site without a link is part of Off-Page SEO.
The hidden side: Ultimately, the most important part of Off-Page SEO is link building. For example, if there are several authoritative sites that link to your pages, then Google assumes that you have interesting, important, valuable content.
Those are exactly the things that the average user needs.
Otherwise, why would anyone waste their time on your site? People love, share and mention only content that they find interesting, important, or useful, regardless of the content area.
When we write about Off-Page SEO, we are referring to all the SEO activities that you and anyone else do outside of your site to grow in search engine results page positions.
For example, an article written on another site that links to yours is a known method of Off-Page SEO. Even a comment left on another site that contains the brand name is an Off-Page SEO activity.
However, going through a series of Off-Page guides, many of them real pillars in the SEO world, and comparing with what Google brings new or does better with each major update of the algorithm, we can say that we are looking for interesting times.
When it comes to Off-Page SEO, the border between White Hat and Black Hat is very thin, mobile, and hard to see.
A successful Off-Page campaign, a successful one in the medium and long term, is already more of an art than a science. And much of this art remains, however, as it always has been, the inspiration to risk exactly as much as it should.
What are Backlinks?
Nearly 100 billion searches are done on Google every month about products, services and content. More than half of them are performed on mobile devices, and voice search begins to it also takes shape.
A well-made network of external links can look like a spider web.
Imagine a complex web of well-placed external links through countless Internet sites that link to your site, which is the spider.
For most specialists, external links are the best important tools in the Off-Page SEO arsenal, that’s because of the natural links to your own site have a positive influence in the eyes of Google giving a note of confidence, and being one of the most important components in building the authority of a website.
When GoogleBot checks a site, it tries to determine for each page to which search could answer correctly, then to position each page in the results ranking for each such a search.
In this operation continuous and complex, if the Google spider find quality external links to one or more pages, then their positioning will be superior.
The most important off-page factors, somewhat in order influence, are:
- The number of domains that link to your site;
- The number of links to your site on a foreigner domain;
- PageRank of pages that link to your site – PageRank is the rating given by Google to a web page. The higher the grade, the more the page can influence the top positioning of the site to which has links;
- Relevance of links – whether domain or page that contains links to your site is in the same area expertise then they are much more relevant;
- The authority of the domains that link to your site;
- The number of links on the first page (Home) to your site;
- The number of do-follow links compared to those no-follow – no-follow ones are counted less or otherwise by Google;
- Diversity of links – links of the same type can be considered spam and therefore must be diversified as well do not use the same words and the same link in the way exaggerated. Diversity refers to:
- • the type, niche and authority of the sites it generates backlinks
- • an anchor text type used (naked url, branded, exact match keyword, related keyword etc).
Long list, and seemingly hard to digest. But patiently, we take them one by one and put each one in its place.
In the past, the more external links you had, the better your site was better positioned in Google searches, and if your competition had fewer external links, then you were better positioned than them.
Logically, right? At that time, it was more the quantity than the quality of the links that mattered. Now things have changed.
Here are some questions Google asks when analyzing links that point to your site:
• Where does the link to your site come from?
• What caused the owner of that site to put a link to your site?
• What is the quality / authority / PageRank of the site that links to you?
• How new is that link?
• How natural does that link look?
As in real life (offline) or in life on the internet (online), you can not become known unless you share your services, passion, information, thoughts, and ideas.
If in real life these things can be done directly: face to face, by phone or internet, in writing through letters, advertisements, recommendations and so on.
On the Internet, any recommendation is made through links, regardless of whether they are made in a simple form composed of one or more keywords, whether through a video clip, an image, a game, a site, a blog, a forum, a social media channel.
Many believe that all they have to do is turn to a website creation service. It would be good to be just that. It matters, but no, it’s not enough.
Certainly, we need to optimize this process by studying both the competition and our own business and the keywords that define us so as not to waste time and budget on channels and methods to promote our site and business that are irrelevant due to their very low popularity. or even non-existent for our audience.
We need to understand that Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and the google bot in the future may see things differently from how it sees them now. Therefore, white hat SEO methods should always be used and not black hat.
And let’s not forget that SEO, whether it’s Off-Page or On-Page, is a continuous process, which requires time and whose results can not be seen instantly, except in months or even years, depending on the knowledge used in the whole process.
2. Elements of an SEO campaign
The settings of an SEO campaign are essential. A campaign cannot have better results than the elements on which it is based. The difference between SEO and an SEO campaign depends on the volume and structure.
Any activity that aims to increase the search position is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. By SEO Campaigns, however, we mean a series of actions and measures related to both SEO and promotion in general.
These are carried out according to a predetermined plan, involve a greater or lesser diversity of tools and activities, and most often, an allocated budget.
The elements of an SEO campaign are logically divided into three main categories. A campaign can be carried out without addressing all three, but the best results will be obtained through the complete combination.
The setup cannot be done blindly, so any such activity must have the foundations laid after a professional SEO Audit.
But we will return to this aspect later in this material, at least in part, because the On-Page SEO part is about another guide.
Classically, an SEO campaign is divided into two distinct activities:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
On-Page SEO in turn can be thought of separately in two components:
- Technical SEO
- Content optimization
Likewise, the Off-Page SEO part can be thought of in three distinct lines. Although in general, this component is more common under the name “link building”, we keep the term Off-Page.
The breadth of this section goes far beyond simple link building. And since “simple” is not simple at all, it is better to keep things in place, with the right labels:
- link building (direct PageRank increase, linking content to certain desired searches, etc.);
- mentions & citations (a shit of “backlinks” but without the hyperlink, brand recognition, social engagement, etc.) – especially useful in Local SEO strategies;
- increased E-A-T (effect unknown in SEO, but certainly a plus in the eyes of readers).
The stages of an Off-Page optimization campaign
An unanswered question, but one that deserves an answer: can an Off-Page SEO campaign run without an On-Page one? Answer: Of course, but it would be a shame, because:
1. A large part of the preparatory and analysis activity is common, and the On-Page responds best
2. It is possible to succeed in generating a better search position and a higher number of impressions in the SERP, but without increasing the traffic.
A brief checklist of the preparatory, direct, and indirect activities of an Off-Page SEO campaign would include the following steps:
- analysis of objectives and potential traffic;
- selecting the right keywords;
- study of the competition;
- off-site optimization: link building, citations, social signals
- analysis and tracking of results;
- supporting growing pages.
Keyword analysis and selection
Whether we are talking about On-Page SEO or Off-Page SEO, we have to do our homework.
Always the first step is to research, think, document, brainstorm, to participate in discussions with other people regarding the site, business, passion, content, competition, and especially the keywords that define our idea. Which we want to display on the Internet.
Keywords are fundamental in building an SEO campaign. They define searches on search engines. How else could people get to your site and find out what it’s about there?
What should you consider when selecting keywords? Well, if we do Off-Site SEO, it means that we already have a site, that site already has some traffic, and for all this, we have access to data (Google Analytics,Google Search Console).
So the first step is to see which pages can bring more traffic, and on which keywords the search position should be increased.
What were we looking at? We extract the keywords that we have reached on the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), i.e we have an average position between 1 and 10.
For safety, especially given the high volume of mobile searches and the “volatility” of the number of organic results that Google serves in these devices, you can even select positions 1-8.
Then check the average search volume of those keywords (using the simplest Google Keyword Planner), then compare with the number of impressions you had during the reference period to make sure that the position displayed in the Search Console is not random from a very small number of impressions).
3. Methods of attracting backlinks
It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard of this: the SEO world is as divided as it can be when it comes to link building. Google’s rules are quite vague in some places, and in many of them, reference is made to intent.
From here, for the same type of action, opinions always go from pure and honest White Hat to the dark side of the Black Hat.
We will limit ourselves to one opinion in this context: the job of an SEO specialist is to know the risks and to inform their clients about them as completely and correctly as possible.
What is the risk when it comes to link building? Simple, Google penalty risk. The penalty can be algorithmic, when certain practices and their results lead to the downgrading of the sites involved, or directly a manual action.
That being said, even if we risk shaking the waters with our division, something must be done. So, sources and ways to attract backlinks:
- By itself, naturally organic, with absolutely no involvement on our part;
- Outreaching – knowledge, relationships, link exchanges, content exchanges, any forms of determining someone to insert a backlink in its content, without any payment;
- Guest blogging;
- Subscribing to directories and placing comments with links on various sites and blogs;
- Creating your own sources of backlinks, but without being done en masse and without the exclusive purpose of generating backlinks. Here we can also include the purchase of sites and blogs that could be useful in this regard;
- Created or used specialized sources in mass backlinks, generally called PBNs – Private Virtual Networks;
- Acquisition of backlinks (for money).
The organic attraction of backlinks
It should be mentioned that only the first item in the list above is clearly and surely White Hat SEO, the rest being, more or less, either Black Hat or at risk of being treated as such.
Another mention regarding the first point in the list is its belonging to the species of rare mountain unicorns. Not that it doesn’t exist, not that it can’t, only that, as in a possible Rockefeller saying, “I can justify every penny of my fortune, minus the first million.”
Once you have accumulated authority, notoriety, and appropriate traffic, organic links will come to you.
Otherwise, theoretically, the more useful, quality, and original content you create, which best fits the tastes and needs of readers, the more chances you have to be named, quoted, scored as a source.
Maintain a serious content policy, communicate well, get involved in Social Media, and these changes will increase even more.
Equally true, the better the content, the greater the chances that someone will steal it from you. It is also in this trouble a method to attract backlinks, but to find out the details, it is preferable to have a discussion with an SEO specialist.
One last detail about this Off-Site SEO method: it is most clearly dependent on the On-Site side.
How can you suggest inserting a backlink?
For example, suggest to your partner to publish certain articles, which you can write yourself (which is more recommended to maximize your chances of acceptance).
I.e, you can write an article about hot news or shocking/funny information that you highlight.
In any case, the more original and interesting the content you will propose to your partner, the better the connection you will be able to introduce inside.
You will be able to insert in the article between 1 and 3 links, which you will place inside the content and/or at the end of the article. Ideally, avoid optimizing all anchors.
Mutual exchange: the reciprocal exchange of links is “I make a link to a partner, this partner makes a link to my site”.
Make a link to this partner site and this site offers you a return link.
Result: You are most likely to be penalized by both sites. Google’s recommendation in case of a “natural” reciprocal exchange of links is that they have rel = “no follow”.
Triangular exchange: the exchange of triangular links is “I send link to site B, site B sends the link to site C, site C sends to me”. Here the result admits a possibility that Google will not detect the scheme very quickly, but the latest updates have proved that it already has the necessary tools to detect the triangular exchange.
The non-triangular three-way exchange: a site of mine sends a link to the partner site, and the partner site sends a link to another site of mine, which I want to promote. This method can only work if there is no connection between my two sites, thus avoiding the triangle.
If you have only one site, you can call another partner on the same topic with which you intend to establish joint backlinking operations. In this case, you will contact the sites where you want a backlink and you will post links to these sites from a partner page.
Obviously, instead, you will agree to do the same for your partner.
Of course, you can do something like this if you have several sites, as long as they are not linked in any identifiable way.
Notes: There are sites that exchange links automatically. These sites offer to make a link exchange difficult for free with automatic validation.
Fill out a form and you will immediately receive dozens or even hundreds of links to your site. There are even automatic link exchange scripts. Such practices are clearly considered Black-hat and severely penalized.
But more dangerous is something else: the almost total lack of any form of control over what is done. You will see in the last chapter of this guide how many elements need to be carefully calculated and kept within safe limits.
What does Google say about link exchanges?
Google does not agree to any link arranged, planned, paid, or otherwise, other than natural, anonymous. Of course, it is not forbidden to present partners on the site, even if they already present theirs, but not for the purposes of “manipulating the Google ranking algorithm”.
Or in short, in the old language, for marketing it’s ok, but not to convey SEO juice.
So how can you make a normal presentation of your partners, with normal reciprocity, without getting penalized by Google? Simple, I said above: with rel = “no follow”.
If such a backlink does not bring direct SEO benefits, why would we want such a link exchange?
Simple, apart from the chances of getting qualified, well-targeted traffic, it matters a lot and simple mention, in terms of branding and authority.
The year 2019 brought us a series of very interesting news exactly in this direction: Google has completed the “no follow” universe with two new variants:
● Rel = ”UGC” – User Generated Content, valid especially for the links inserted in the comments, forum, reviews areas, etc.
● Rel = ”sponsored” – for paid links, wherever they appear, from P-marked articles or press releases to affiliate or direct advertising links.
How do we outreach for backlinks while avoiding penalties?
In an ideal world, we would say to look for only unilateral connections. But it is not easy to put into practice, few sites are receptive to the idea of talking about you without any “attention”. But it is still possible and this type of link is a privileged one.
Encourage yourself to propose a partnership interesting enough to win the interest: write quality content, offer value, attract interest.
If we go further and start running an SEO campaign (intensive backlinking). In this case, do not forget to follow their validity in time. Make sure your partners have maintained the links and that the pages are still accessible.
Good news inlaid with slightly dark iridescence: there is a gray to the white area of building a backlinks profile: guest blogging.
A significant number of blog admins allow selected publishers to publish articles in their own domain. True, some allow anyone. Equally true, some are not even administrators.
The blog owner receives free and diverse content, and the publisher receives, also free of charge, the opportunity to insert 1-3 external links in these articles.
As long as the administrators of these blogs are not greedy, allow the publication of a small and qualitatively verified number of articles, and decently balance these articles with others – more, which link to sites with clearly superior authority, everything can come out good.
Equally true, however, it is not at all easy to find such truly quality blogs, in which the publication is really free. Too many times, “guest blogging” actually masks either the placement for a fee of unmarked advertorials as advertising, or we actually find blogs with an artificially inflated authority and in which almost all content is either open advertorial or worse, news and copied articles.
Therefore, when choosing this technique, the blog must be checked very carefully.
Submitting to directories and placing comments with links to various sites and blogs
We will not spend too much time on this mini-chapter: subscribing to directories and backlinking through comments are elements of the field of history.
Google has made so much progress in finding these methods, which it does not consider organic, but spammy, or at best, just ignore them.
Although we have reached the situation where many of such low-quality backlinks can not even hurt us, being ignored from the start, the risks remain. However, we mention that there are also quality web directories.
Likewise, a proper comment, placed where it should and how it should be, can bring more relevant traffic than ten guest blogs. For a good diversity of backlinks profiles, it doesn’t hurt to have them all. But everything is in proportion and relevance.
The truly spammy nature of any Off-Site SEO method is given more by the volume of operations, not necessarily by their nature.
You will find below, especially in the last chapter of this guide, the recommendation to use the links in the comments. However, you will see that the measure is recommended, and what you should really look for is to place a small number of comments, which simultaneously respect two essential conditions:
- Address an article that has a clear domain/niche link to the one to which the backlink is sent.
- To add value to that article, to insert quality, and to provide additional really useful information.
Backlinking through own blogs and PBNs
We have reached a very common chapter in SEO practices and discussions: the management of other owned domains, for placing backlinks to the “money site”.
One note: between “a few of my blogs” and a PBN. The difference is more related to volume. As I said, any backlink placed in order to influence the ranking of the landing page or domain is, in principle, Black Hat.
But if it is “partner” sites or blogs, owned and operated to reach different or related topics, and the backlinks are placed to provide additional information, or even to channel additional traffic to the destination site, then everything is OK.
Or so it should be, as long as there are no excesses.
So after all, what are the differences – in this matter, between White Hat and Black Hat?
Let’s try a small list:
- Volume – a large number of domains and links generally means Black Hat.
- Interconnection – if a larger number of blogs interlink in order to artificially increase their authority, then directing it massively to a particular site, it generally means Black Hat.
- Quality – blogs that say nothing, texts that do not bring traffic, published only in quantity, generally means Black Hat.
- Content – if the topics covered are either identical or completely different from those of the site to which backlinks are inserted in large numbers, it usually means Black Hat.
The most well-known and widespread Black Hat technique in this category is the one called PBN – Private Blogs Network. A PBN means a large number of domains, as unrelated as possible through no support and no common information, generally populated with high volume content and low quality, intended exclusively for generating backlinks.
But what authority would transmit a blog that does not have such a thing, nor the quality necessary to obtain it? Well, there are techniques by which this problem can be avoided.
Note: we describe these Black Hat techniques exclusively for the correct information, and for a site or SEO administrator to know as well as possible what they should not do. So, methods to use a PBN with some more success could be:
● Acquisition of domains with seniority and authority (generally expired).
● Purchased very low-quality backlinking packages, which pump some juice to the PBN blogs (the technique that works only for a limited time).
● Interposition between PBN and the site to support sites that “wash” quality issues (generally Google Sites or Google Docs).
Acquisition of backlinks
We make the necessary note again: buying backlinks – with any form of payment, direct or indirect, means Black Hat SEO.
We often come across more special forms of interpreting Google’s SEO rules in particular, which try to paint this technique in an acceptable form of Gray Hat.
That is, it seems to violate, or does not seem to violate, but as long as you are not caught, you are an honest merchant with a snow-white hat.
We do not subscribe to this current, although we understand it. Next, as I said before – just for the sake of correct information, let’s see how and where you can buy backlinks:
– Direct purchase of backlinks in blogs
You can always find relationships and acquaintances who sell something like that. But the safest place to find something like this is the SEO groups on Facebook. Not all, there are correct groups where any attempt to promote Black Hat methods quickly leads to elimination or at least posts that contain such a thing are not accepted.
We will detail later, but it is better to say it several times: beware of blogs “specialized” in selling advertorials. Almost inevitably you will have to deal with a non-optimized system, very weak in terms of traffic.
It is practiced to promote the surface of these blogs by massively injecting low-quality backlinks to them, with the aim of quickly obtaining a high Moz DA score, which makes them look quality.
– Press releases on news sites
A large part of the big press sites, have marketing sections where you can purchase editorial space for your own content.
But given the progress in finding these methods that Google has made with algorithm updates in the last year, many of these services have begun to apply rel = “no follow” to these links, which makes them almost useless from an SEO perspective.
Normally, this method of promotion is correct from a marketing perspective, but not from an SEO one.
Google has no problem with such backlinks, as long as they are used to generate traffic, not PageRank. However, in order to meet publishers in a way, Google has introduced a new type of no follow: rel = “sponsored”.
– Turning to intermediaries backlinks
Either by a few simple searches or by attending specialized social media groups, you can easily get in touch with people or agencies who work with lists of news sites and blogs where advertorials can be published.
The technique is no different from the two above unless you are offered packages or campaigns.
– Google News on purchased links
Google has never banned the purchase of editorial or advertising space. All it says is not to use these methods to try to influence the position in the rankings or to manipulate PageRank. How could this be done? Simple, by placing the rel = “no follow” tag.
What does someone gain by buying space for an article on a major news site, if the backlink was no followed? First of all, the visibility of the brand. Second, traffic.
Last but not least (but we’ll see about that later), the diversity of a backlinks profile also includes the need for a “natural” mix between no-follow and do-follow.
But I said something new. Yes, Google broke No-follow in three. It remains rel = “no follow”, which will mean about the same thing as before, only it will have more of a suggestive value, not a directive.
That is, Google will soon choose whether to follow a no-follow (including with the transmission of Pagerank), or not. Then, two new labels appeared:
● rel = ”UGC” – User Generated Content, which will be the form of no follow apply to the links in the content inserted by visitors (comments, forum entries, etc).
● rel = ”sponsored” – which will be applied to links in press releases and advertising messages, but also to external links inserted for commercial purposes (such as affiliate links).
It is important to say that it is not yet known how each of these forms of rel associated with a backlink will be treated from an SEO perspective. As long as the waters are cloudy, the specialist’s advice is to follow the rules as well as possible.
4. Evaluating the prospective quality of an environment for placing backlinks
The simplest and most used method is the analysis of free data provided by Moz: YES (Domain Authority).
The Moz system tries to understand and replicate as close as possible to reality the system of ranking factors of Google, and based on them, gives “grades” to each domain analyzed.
For the more “advanced” ones, i.e with paid access and potentially superior Moz tools, other similar notes are used (eg DR – Domain Rating from Ahrefs).
Despite the limitations of these methods, it is still an acceptable basis for starting a more detailed analysis.
So in short, in the list, what should be the quality factors to look for in a blog or news site where we have the opportunity to insert a backlink?
What should we check on a blog?
- Domain authority (estimated by Moz DA or otherwise).
- Spam Score (if we use Moz toolbar), or other similar indicators (like Penalty Risk from Seobility).
- The profile of backlinks and its speed (many advertorial sites massively pump backlinks, which easily fool tools like Moz, although, in fact, they are a small step away from a Google Penalty).
- Average traffic (if you are limited to free tools, you can use Alexa Traffic Rank data).
- The domain/niche relationship between that site and ours.
- The technical and UX quality of that site.
Attention, when we make this listing, we were not saying that the respective site should be clearly superior to us from all points of view.
On the contrary, a well-diversified profile must have everything, except the clearly harmful ones.
Why exactly should we beware?
It is difficult to establish with acceptable accuracy which blogs could do us more harm than good, but what we can do is pick up a list of question marks. Or, rather, alarms.
For this exercise, we will suggest only free tools, the ones set out above Moz Toolbar and Alexa Traffic Rank.
Blog with high DA but very low traffic
How can you make this estimate? We can either compare the same data with those of our site, or even better, with those of known sites and with a well-known and old authority in the field.
With a simple rule of 3, you can track potential sites with too much YES for estimated traffic. There is a high probability that unorthodox methods of an artificial boost of DA were used – methods that do not work for Google, or only work until the next major algorithm update.
Worse, such a site may soon be hit by a Google action manual, and such signals are also transmitted to sites to which it has external links.
Blog with an exaggerated number of backlinks
When you see a site with an average DA, a number of thousands or tens of thousands of backlinks, there is a very high chance that they come from poor quality links, such as site-wide links, web-directory links, links in comments or other such methods.
In terms of backlinks, their number should be somewhat close to that of the domains that originate the backlinks. Of course, there are exceptions, which do not bring anything bad. For example, a simple comment with a link can take a short time in the “Most recent comments” widget, which appears on each of the pages of a site.
If this happens on an old news site, you can wake up overnight with 14,000 backlinks.
The very new blog with great DA
A natural profile of backlinks builds over time, slowly. Not that a blog can’t be successful quickly and massively, it’s just that it happens very rarely. In general, it is a rarity that a normal blog can pass DA 10-12 in the first year of existence.
Note: how do we know how old a site is? First, a simple whois will show you the age of the domain. If this is very recent, then without question, we are dealing with a new site.
But when is the domain old? You can check in WayBack Machine (web.archive.org), where you are looking for the oldest record.
Predominantly “commercial SEO” blog
No tools are needed here, go in and take a look at the latest 10-20 articles. Easily recognize an advertorial, it sounds like a hidden advertisement, it almost always has more than one link to the same domain, in which usually one anchor is on the keyword – with a link to an internal page, and the other on the brand – with a link to the root.
Blog with a disproportionate amount of ads and affiliate links
If in the pages where you intend to insert a text with backlinks to your site, but there you see that there will be large and many ads and/or insertion of affiliate links, your link will probably transmit a very high value, diluted with “juice”.
Maybe from an SEO point of view, there is no direct problem with the link coming from such a site. However, at least two points of view, these sites are “badly seen”:
● Loading speed
● UX quality
Other issues related to such sites are beginning to intervene: browsers are beginning to mark them as problem sites.
Chrome is even starting to hide some of the excessive ads, so it may not take long to see effects in the SERP. And these effects can be easily transmitted to our site, once that backlinks are transmitted.
Affiliate disclaimer:“This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission, no extra cost for you.Thanks.”
Blog with serious technical problems
We are thinking here about some typical problems of a site that no one takes care of very seriously or those that do not have the necessary level of knowledge to implement a quality site.
Why should we avoid them? Because, from time to time, changes to Google’s algorithm target them, downgrading them.
If today you have a quality backlink, because the source site is well positioned, once it falls and the backlink becomes one downgraded.
- blogs without SSL (ie they still have the address http: //);
- blogs with mixed content problems (they have SSl – that is the address https: //, but the pages still show images with the address http: //);
- blogs with very long page load time;
- non-responsive blogs or with big appearance issues and functionality on mobile devices;
- blogs loaded with keyword stuffing blocks, or in which in general, the amount of useful content on a page is less than that of the other elements;
- blogs that load each page, in addition to the text of the article in itself, with other N articles with a very long excerpt or even with articles in extenso.
The list could be much longer but these would be the most important points, so let’s stop for now.
Tools for checking the authority of a domain
Moz Link Explorer – https://moz.com/link-explorer/
Website Authority Checker – https://www.seoreviewtools.com/website-authority-checker/
Domain-authority Checker – https://sitechecker.pro/domain-authority/
5. Rules for the success of a backlink campaign
After many warnings, in which I told you and reminded you that violation of Google’s rules can lead to serious problems ranking for the site you are trying to increase, we reach apogee:
Everything we will say from now on is an exercise in imagination!
Any backlink campaign violates the rules in one way or another Google or carries the risk of being considered as such by a search engine. Whatever we do in this area is at risk own.
So, do you want an SEO campaign for backlinks? No backlinks to a site it can only grow to a certain point, not further.
But getting backlinks artificially can lead to penalties algorithmic or even manual actions – that is, the collapse of searches or even removal from the index.
Then why are we still writing this chapter? I said it as a warning, and then as an exercise in imagination. How could it be built and do you run a trouble-free backlinks campaign?
Where not to enter
Beware of PBNs, advertorial sites, and web directories
Any of these three categories can bring SEO benefits, put at risk, and it is not known for how long. Even if you don’t get it on their penalties, you will not gain much. In addition, earlier or later you will find yourself in an unpleasant situation of having about the same backlinks profile as your competitors.
The above statement is probably the most controversial of all that I have written in this guide. Yes, there are sites that have built their authority and climbed the SERP rankings using these methods. Not only do they exist, but they are not few. Then why do we say it’s better not?
Simple: the winning combination is rare and unknown. For every site that has tried this and succeeded, there are hundreds that have suffered. The risk issue, that’s all.
Build slowly and safely
An important aspect of “organic growth”, which Google also refers to when it comes to a healthy backlink profile, it’s time the speed with which it was built. A site that is less than 2 months old gets to have 30k + links in total, has very low chances of success in the medium and long term.
An example of a “safe” approach to the backlinks building process would be it contains in principle four distinct periods. In the hypothetical case of a site that produces quality content daily, and in which part of On-Page is well maintained, these periods can mean a month calendar.
The stages of bringing backlinks
Step 1: After a site has started to see some organic traffic, which comes through content and On-Page techniques, it’s time the first mentions appear:
● social shares
● some backlinks from comments (even no-follow)
● one or two appearances through quality web directories
Stage 2: continue with stage 1 and you can move on to acquisitions:
● backlinks from blogs
● mentions in sites with low and medium authority
● a few appearances in small news sites
Stage 3: continue with the elements from the previous stages, at which add:
● Wikipedia entries and sites of this type
● mentions in sites of average authority in the niche sight
● links to news sites with higher traffic volume
● extension of the source of backlinks to sites lockout
Step 4: In the same way, continue with what I have stated above and move on to high authority sites and to the “heavy” influencers who touch the target audience of the site. Also, you can get a little out of it now the niche area targeted by the site’s topics, to related domains.
The transition to a new stage is not about the calendar, but about the results of that one previous.
What does “secure” backlink mean?
First of all, every backlink must go through the checks suggested in the chapter “Assessing the prospective quality of an environment for backlinks placement – possibly use a set of services SEO.
Other possible verifications are difficult to suggest, but – again – we repeat: here we do more art than science. Inspiration matters a lot.
For example, sometimes it is enough to check the top results of a search that we try to grow, to identify sites that have reached the top very quickly, based on the amount and speed of backlinks, and to avoid exposing ourselves in the same environments in which they were promoted.
Backlinks profile distribution
A “natural” backlinks profile, “organic”, must be diverse and as far as possible from the establishment of identifiable directions, of obvious patterns. The diversity and the note of amalgam start from several aspects. One is the one above – where they come from backlinks. As I have already shown, it must come from everywhere.
But there is something else: the pages – the destination and the anchors.
Landing pages for backlinks
A healthy profile will have a significant amount of referrals to root. Logically, there are two ways to mention the source: either the exact page, in the case of a quote, or the root in the situation where only ideas or lines were taken.
There is no precise rule like 50% to the index, 50% to pages, all that needs to be avoided is to tip the scales in too much direction or other.
Of course, it also matters how traffic evolves. Maybe the biggest part of it is to the root anyway, in which case it is normal for most backlinks to go there.
Or maybe one of the pages went viral, bringing in one overwhelming proportion of traffic and mentions – then it will have the king’s share of destinations. You understand, point the page with organic traffic, but leave enough for the root.
A mention here: backlinks to category pages? They don’t do much in a blog. But if you have an online store, it’s completely different, category pages being even more important than product pages.
Anchor text for backlinks
Some SEO experts talk about a rule: 33-33-33, meaning 33% naked URL anchor (direct and complete URL), 33% brand anchor (name site), and 33% exact match keyword anchor. When you work with hundreds of clients and hundreds or even thousands of sites, it is normal to look for task automation and simplification of procedures, especially in the analysis and design part.
But if you run your own blog, I recommend you diversify beyond this dry rule 33-33-33. Not that the rule is wrong, not at all.
Naked URL anchor backlinks
And we think that about 25-30% of links would be good to appear naked anchor URL, especially when assigning the source to an image, or the “bibliography” mentioned at the end of an article. Interesting maybe these naked URL anchors tend to be used more for deep links (those that target pages, not the site index).
Brand-name anchor backlinks
Anchor on the brand – of course, it is normal to appear. But it matters a lot and what kind of brand we are dealing with. As a site gets matures and acquires its authority in the work niche, the mentions on brand names are increasing in frequency. A beginning site, however, less often see.
In principle, most backlinks with an anchor on the site name/brand will go to the root.
Exact match keyword anchor backlinks
This is where most mistakes are made: they are exaggerated on creating backlinks with anchors on the search key we want to grow. It is normal to have such links, but not all, and nor most. Sure, it would help us a lot, and of course, it’s hard to digest the seemingly “stuffing” investments, but they all make sense there.
First of all, when we analyze the exact match, we are talking about links to the depth pages of the site, the ones that already have some traffic and we want to bring them in a better position in the SERP. So from the start, we didn’t talk here for more than half of the total backlinks.
Of these, you can go for 50% or even a little over backlinks with exact-match, but not exaggerated, not over 70-80%.
Analyze the search results of that page, and identify your secondary searches. Unscrew the main key at the root, and use it as well. Use synonyms and similar terms.
The more specific the search key is – we are referring here to long-tail keywords, the higher the percentage of exact-match keyword anchors would be good to be smaller.
But don’t worry, keep the method for backlinks from high authority sites, high weight ones.
We make a parenthesis here: in terms of internal linking freedom of movement is much greater, but the rules are not different.
Follow vs. Nofollow
Any backlink profile must have diversity in the follow/no-follow report as well. In other words, it is good to have no-follow links. Google will see them, and take some account of them to some extent.
It is not known to what extent the treatment of no-follow links is in the midst of significant changes, but even if it did not bring some SEO juice, you still need them.
Where is it normal and logical for no-follow to appear associated with a backlink? Or rather, where it would be even better and safer for you to be is this happening?
Simple, where the risk of low quality is highest:
● backlinks from comments
● appearances in web directories
● links in footer or sidebar
● sitewide links
● links from press releases or announcements
A good idea is to not have no-follow on the backlinks placed inside the articles, no matter what kind of sites they appear in. It is also good that you do not have a private domain follow and no-follow combination
Total backlinks relative to total linking domains
The level of control over this aspect is not high, but there are things which are good to do. First of all, beware of do-follow sitewide links. In Google recommendations, it is normal to appear with no-follow. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person do-follow in articles from a site where you also have sitewide entry (file no-follow).
A healthy backlinks profile will have a small number of backlinks per linking domain. But where will you have “surprises”? In general at the links in comments – often appearing on all pages of huge sites for a few days, through the sections “the latest comments ”.
No worries, Google understands that. However, the risk is higher when you insert in a site a few dozen articles with backlinks to your site.
Be very careful, when counting how many domains bring backlinks, to check the IPs of these domains.
Multiple domains that come from the same IP, or even from the same class C of IPs (eg 192.168.0.1 – 192.168.0.255) may be considered as part of a PBN. We don’t do that, we just say that there is a risk that Google will do it, in which case the losses can be very high big.
We hope you found this Off-Page SEO guide helpful. There is much information, we know, but you can start with small steps to implement notions and the results will not taking long in coming.