Published on 21 November 2013 (Updated 21 November 2013)
The link strategy implemented on a site can make all the difference between competitors. Netlinking complements the content writing you’ve already done on your site’s pages.
In the previous article, we talked about one of the most important factors influencing a site’s search engine ranking: content.
Netlinking is a second factor in the family of SEO optimizations. Each stage of netlinking has a greater or lesser degree of importance. Here are a few essential ones:
- The quantity of quality inbound links.
- The variety of inbound links.
- The reliability of inbound links.
- The relevance of inbound links.
Inbound links, or “backlinks,” are essential for a website. An inbound link is a link on another site that points to a reference page. In other words, it’s a link to your site. Inbound links are a source of direct visits and are very important for natural referencing. These links improve your site’s visibility in search engines and invite search engine spiders to crawl your site. For example, a site without an inbound link is less likely to be crawled by Google’s robots.
Definition of netlinking
Netlinking or “link building,” is the implementation of actions designed to increase the number of links to your site. Netlinking aims to improve your ranking in search engines. This method can have both positive and negative impacts on your natural referencing if the strategy implemented is not the right one. Netlinking is a long-term and regular process. Indeed, the rate at which links are acquired is scrupulously observed by Google to avoid cheating (one-off purchase of large numbers of backlinks, for example). If the site is just starting up, it’s normal for backlinks to be more numerous in the first few weeks. On the other hand, if the site is quite old, it’s better to have an applied strategy. In other words, you’re better off looking for backlinks than taking the easy way out by adding your site to directories or press releases. Buying backlinks must always be avoided!
Quality inbound links
It’s better to have a few very good links than many links that aren’t necessarily qualitative from Google’s point of view. But how do you determine one quality link from another?
- The link must be placed in the body of a page, in the middle of the content.
- The link must come from a popular page with a high “PageRank.” Pagerank (or PR) is a numerical value ranging from 0 to 10, used to quantify the popularity of a web page.
- The link must come from a trusted site, which excludes sites with dubious practices.
- The link’s wording, known as “anchor text”, must be relevant to the landing page.
- The link must be natural, which means added spontaneously.
- It goes without saying that the link must be clicked to be considered of quality.
- The page on which the link is to be found must have a minimum amount of traffic.
Netlinking must be “neat”. You mustn’t overdo it, as this practice has been monitored by Google since 2012. Therefore, it’s best to prefer quality over quantity.
Diversifying the number of sites and domain names will bring you the quality you want. For example, you should prefer 40 links on 25 different domains rather than 40 links on 3 domains with the same theme. Just like reference or authority sites (trusted by Google), lesser-known sites can also bring you added quality.
1 – Directories
Registering your site in directories can be an effective way of generating links. There is a wide range of directories: generalist, thematic, free, paid, poor quality… You should, above all, avoid the latter and prefer directories with reliable registration techniques, which their webmasters have not abandoned. To do so, you need to look at the date of publication of their latest articles.
2 – Link baiting – “Fishing for links”
Linkbaiting has become one of the best netlinking techniques, and is highly regarded by the Google search engine. Link baiting consists of attracting links naturally and spontaneously by generating content that will arouse the interest of Internet users. In concrete terms, this involves making your readers want to distribute or link to your site/blog because the news, article, report or content you’re offering is worth sharing. These links are difficult to obtain because they require in-depth work and reflection on the content to be written: relevance, entertainment, and trustworthy authors.
This technique also requires a certain mastery of social media. It’s not enough to write a perfect article. The subject must be mastered, which requires investigative work and even a marketing strategy. What’s more, you also need to know how to share the link to your content on the right networks so that it has the expected impact.
3 – Customer or partner sites
You can ask your partners or customers to create a link on their site redirecting to yours. However, there are a few rules to follow. It’s best to link to your site from specific content, not a page entitled “Partners” or “Links.”
For example, you’re renting unusual cabins, and your partner is the builder of these cabins. Your partner can then write an article about your services, including a link to your site in the content. It’s best to write the article yourself, as only you know your business best.
This type of partnership can work both ways, bringing targeted traffic to both sites.
4 – Guest-blogging
Letting a blogger write on your own blog and vice versa is known as guest blogging. It’s not necessarily an exchange of content; it can be one-way. This practice does not pose a problem for the Google search engine if done naturally. The article must be related to the blog content to generate a quality backlink.
Anchor texts should not be optimized, and artificial links should be avoided. The guest article should resemble an expert opinion or share relevant information on a topic covered by the blog. Quality must prevail over quantity, and all in moderation!
5 – The blog
Owning a blog has become almost indispensable. Its creation is an integral part of any SEO strategy. A blog generates traffic and optimizes your online reputation. It’s also a lever for communication and community management. Of course, having a blog isn’t enough to improve your SEO strategy. You must update it regularly and feed it with quality content by publishing posts related to your theme. Blog comments will feed your e-notoriety. With this “blog” tool, you can generate links to your website. These links are of the utmost importance if they are located in a content area and if the page on which the link is located has the same theme as the page on your site.
6 – Social media
Over the years, links and shares on social networks have become increasingly important. For the indexing and positioning of your content on the one hand, but also your e-notoriety on the other.
Sharing content on social networks (and thus, more specifically, links to your site’s content) is an effective netlinking practice. The more viral a piece of content is, the more likely it appears on search engine results pages.
There are rumors that Google is giving greater weight to the content shared on its Google+ platform. Much has already been written on this subject, and opinions are divided. What has been verified is that content with many likes/+1s /tweets/pins/etc. is more likely to be visible in the results than its competitors. The Google search engine uses social signals in its website ranking criteria.
Things to remember about netlinking
The techniques described in this article are the most relevant to integrate into your SEO strategy. Of course, there exist other techniques that are more or less effective. The most important thing to remember from this article is that netlinking is a real SEO strategy and one that you should think about before jumping in headfirst. Link exchanges must be of high quality and relevant. The goal is to give visitors information on a particular topic so that they can share it naturally on their own networks.