I was recently asked by a prospective client “How to improve Search Engine ranking on Google, what exactly are backlinks are and how do they help you to rank on Google?”
Backlinks are the links from one website to another. They occur when site A, let’s say the bbc.co.uk, links to the Guardian.com.
With that link, and it can be a hypertext link or a simple HTTP link, Google interprets that link as saying that one page on the BBC website is saying that the content on a specific page on the Guardian website is something of value in the BBC websites opinion.
How to Improve Search Engine Ranking on Google without spamming them
Think of that in a far broader context of the entire web and all the billions upon billions of links. Google is looking at any given website and looking to see where those backlinks are coming from.
For example, the sources of those, the types of websites, how many backlinks from each website and so on. Over the years spammers have tried to manipulate Google by creating false links from any number of websites and in great numbers.
Google in their wisdom caught on to that manipulation and have massively penalized any sites that do try to manipulate their rankings.
Backlinks from top tier domains are important
So what you effectively want for your website are backlinks from as many trusted websites as possible. It’s almost a top-tier pyramid down from news organizations, government bodies, educational bodies, etc.
Any link that is coming from top tier domains like those, and then on down to trusted blogs, trusted websites etc, etc, add value. Ideally you want them in great numbers and from as broad a number of different websites as possible. But you must not go out and seek them for the sake of getting them.
We don’t want to force links upon sites. We don’t want to buy links from other sites. The best way for your site to rank is for other blogs and other news organizations, to pick up on your content and to point their readers to it naturally.
There is nothing better, from a pure white hat marketing perspective, than to be getting and earning links that way because there is no way that Google would ever be want to punish you. This is exactly what they have and always will reward, namely indexing and ranking the best most relevant content to their users.
Google was founded on the fact that if they see that site A is receiving lots of links from lots of trusted sites then that site is golden! That is a site also of great trust.
If they see that there’s a couple of high-ranking trusted sites linking to site A but there are also thousands upon thousands of links from very untrustworthy and in great numbers, and those links have built up very quickly, then that is a red flag to Google.
If they investigate no doubt they will notice that actually a lot of those links are spam.
Don’t try and game Google or you’ll end up paying the ultimate price
So you have to really play this very straight down the line. There really is no point trying to mess with Google.
You can spend as much time trying to out think the MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford educated geniuses, who work at Google, there’s no point trying to outwit them because they have team upon team of engineers thinking of solutions before you’ve even thought them.
So the best rule of thumb is always to create the best content you possibly can. Build relationships with other blogs, with journalists, with any writers out there.
Build a social following through as many platforms as possible. Build an audience and let that audience share your content because that is the most natural way to generate backlinks and good will.
Don’t fixate on Google
Essentially you need to stop fixating on trying to rank high on Google because that will come naturally so long as you put your focus on building the best content possible and building as large a dedicated following as possible.
There’s no point buying inflated social following numbers through sites like the fiverr.com’s of this world, avoid that.
So long as you do build a dedicated following, then you stand a great chance of not just ranking very highly on Google. The added bonus of building a large social media audience and having lots of people talking about you is that you’ll never be over reliant on Google for your traffic.
This then becomes a safer, futureproof way to build an online business and that is what we always endeavor to do with our clients.
So to paraphrase Bruce Lee “Don’t concentrate on the link or you will miss all that heavenly glory!”