Confusion is Commonplace
There’s a lot confusion and misinformation about which SEO factors matter the most. Even (or maybe especially) within the SEO community there are debates about what ranking signals are most important and which are not.
It’s not surprising because Google is continually evolving and updating their algorithm. What worked for SEO before, might not any longer. Strategies and tactics are always changing. There are some ranking signals that have remained fairly constant though. Tactics like using keywords in the Title tag and links back to your websites have evolved as ranking signals, but they are still being used by Google.
Some Tactics Stand the Test of Time
Links back to your website still remains one of the foundational elements of SEO and can directly impact the ranking of your website. Think of a back link as a vote of confidence for your website. It’s not just about the sheer volume links though. Google heavily considers the authority of the website linking back to your domain and has gone to length to penalize website using tactics like buying links from link farms.
Building inbound links and managing the ones you have must be part of your ongoing SEO strategy. When it comes to finding and managing your back links, there are tools available like MOZ Open Site Explorer and Google Search Console.
MOZ Open Site Explorer has it’s own ‘Spam Score’ which is great because you can use it to identify domains that could be causing problems. They use 17 unique signals for the scoring, so for example, if your inbound link has a score of 3/17 their research has shown “...that 4% of sites with this many flags are being penalized/banned by Google.” The downside is this is still a bit speculative because Google hasn’t (and likely will not ever) share the actual signals they use for determining spam inbound links.
Google Search Console will show you what inbound links your website has but they do not share which ones they’ve flagged as spam. This is also the place you will go to manage your inbound links if you need to disavow any bad links.
Curated For You
Here are a some excellent resources that we’ve found to help you get started with your inbound linking initiative.
This is a comprehensive resource that will teach you how to build inbound links and covers topics like: power links, free inbound links, what are quality inbound links and what links you must avoid at all costs.
This post is a fantastic round up of 18 types of inbound links you must stay clear of - according to Google! It includes many quick videos from the former ‘Googler’, Matt Cutts.
Inbound links are very important to your overall SEO strategy. If you don’t already you should be mapping out a plan to start building more inbound links. Undertaking this activity is going to be challenging, but there is no discord among SEO and digital marketing professionals about the incredible value of building up your inbound link profile.