If you are familiar with the net and with websites, you will certainly know what a link is. The web is made of links, connections, connections between the various resources. That allows users to actually navigate between one site and another. Through more or less direct and conscious paths.
The addition of a link is an intentional action: the webmaster, editor or blogger inserts, in the article or text on the website, a link to a potentially useful resource for the user, for further information or to refer to a certain entity.
What is a link building?
A practical example? In an article dealing with castor oil, the blogger may decide to insert a link to the Wikipedia page that talks about Ricinus communis, or the plant from which castor oil is extracted.
The copywriter will probably want to avoid writing in the article a long excursus on the plant in question and will leave the user the decision to deepen the topic if necessary. Here is one of the primary goals of a link.
What resources should I link to?
How do you decide which resources to link? Leaving aside the internal links for a moment (which point to a page or an article on the site itself). When linking to an external site one must pay close attention to what is actually linked. In the previous example, our blogger decided to insert a link to a Wikipedia page. A certainly authoritative and high profile site. What would have happened if, instead, he had decided to link a low-quality resource, a poorly written text, containing errors, copied from other sites or a URL that, a short time later, would have generated a 404 error for removing the page?
In this case, the user who had decided to investigate the topic. Click on the link provided by the author of the article. That would have obtained partial, incorrect information and, ultimately, would have judged the resource irrelevant or useless. That’s why it’s important to choose carefully what kind of resources to link.
Outgoing links, pay attention to consistency!
A link is, in fact, important for the search engine (we will see why in a moment), but it is equally important for the user who, through simple and linear navigation paths, has the opportunity to deepen what interests him avoiding waste of time, non-existent pages or content of dubious utility.
A link is, as we said before, carefully evaluated by the search engine. If a blog that deals with wellness and cosmetics links a broker’s site, probably, Google will judge it negatively, since the theme of the linked site is very little relevance to the topics and themes addressed in the blog. Little attention is paid, unfortunately, when you decide to insert a link to a resource and this is really a shame, because, in the long run, this could cause a penalty to our site.
Up to now, we have mentioned the outgoing links, that is the links that point to external sites starting from our site. Remember the example of the castor oil article? This is an excellent example of an outbound link.
The outgoing links, we reiterate, are important to provide the user with useful resources for the deepening of a theme and must be added with great attention, always remembering to be consistent with the topics addressed in our blog or website.
Backlink: Inbound links
Now let’s talk about backlinks or inbound links. Intuitively, this time, it is links that, from the outside, point to our blog or website. Unlike outbound links, we obviously have less control over inbound links (we can’t change them), but they are equally important and need to be monitored periodically.
Remember the example of the broker site? If our wellness blog were linked by a broker site, this could be a problem, a bit like the case of the outgoing link.
Backlinks and SEO
The backlinks, so important for the SEO strategy as we will see, are however less controllable than the outgoing links. That can be eliminated directly by the site’s webmaster. In the case of incoming links, however, if there were numerous links attributable to spam, or coming from sites that are not relevant or still from malicious sites. There is the possibility of asking Google to remove them, through a tool called Refuse Link.
In SEO, backlinks are a valuable resource. For what reason? It is easy to say, according to Google, if a site is linked by many themed resources. It is a valuable site that offers useful content to users and that, for this reason, should be rewarded. In other words, being able to build a high-value link network that points to the site. We intend to promote is an added value for our site that we want to position on google. It’s what SEOs call link building, one of the most powerful SEO techniques.
Link building, how to avoid penalties?
Be careful though, there is link building and link building. We have already highlighted the importance of adopting SEO strategies. That allows us to obtain themed links, from sites that deal with related topics, but there is much more. In Italy, link building is often done through the network of sites, without checking the quality.
Why is quality so important?
According to a general rule, if the linking domains, in turn, are linked by high-quality sites. This also has a benefit for our site. How to do link building, therefore, avoiding penalties?
There are many parameters to keep in mind, among the most important are the user’s engagement rate, the number, and type of keywords – or keywords – positioned, the organic incoming traffic, the number and type of incoming links.
As you can imagine, this is not an activity that can be improvised, because – if you rely on chance – you run the risk of penalties that are very difficult to remove. Google, in fact, constantly monitors the quality of the contents – thanks to Panda – and the quality of the backlinks or incoming links – thanks to Penguin. And it’s not worth the risk, right?