This seems to be the question of the year for most bloggers and website owners. Are backlinks still good for SEO and if so how can you tell the difference between positive backlinks and negative backlinks? The general idea behind backlinks is for them to be as natural and unique as possible.
Natural or Unnatural?
Google looks at many elements in order to decide if a site is offering natural or unnatural backlinks. Matt Cutts puts it like this “A link will be considered natural when it’s naturally placed into an article or website.” This means you cannot purchase, trade or guest blog to plug your links or websites anymore. The links have to be added within a natural way without seeking the value or benefit of an actual backlink.
Is Guest Blogging Bad?
Guest blogging is still an amazing way to generate backlinks to our websites and blogs. We just have to make sure the sites we are posting on are #1 relevant to our sites or blogs and #2 quality and a trusted resource. Have a peak at some of the posts recently on the site and make sure the links going out are not unrelated to the content your reading. Most the time you can tell when a site is offering paid links.
What about all the same social networking sites?
Creating backlinks from social networking sites is great but ensure the community is socially active and is not for SEO backlinking purposes. You can tell easily a proper social networking site will have users engaged in conversation, voting and adding friends.
Stay away from websites that are for submitting links simply for the backlink and seo benefit. You want to look for active communities engaging with one another. The value of these links are little anyways these days, it’s more about the engagement and traffic, not SEO or backlinks. With that said, submitting to social networks still provides some backlinking advantages.
When submitting to social networks it’s always suggested to be unique with your title and description. Try not to copy and paste the exact wording from your blog to the social network site. It’s currently allowed and a normal practice but I’m sure if you take the time to be unique, you will see much more of an advantage over the long run in search engine and referral traffic.
An important factor to pay attention to here is not having a lot of the same links from a ton of the same style websites. This means not using a lot of same social networks to submit your articles to. Select the network you enjoy the most and use it, having your posts on 10 networks using the same software, title, tags and descriptions is hurting your SEO. If you use my community Blog Engage avoid using others like it or similar.
As Google grows, creates new rules and algorithms we will always be changing our ways in which we work on SEO. One thing for sure, it seems to be moving towards the behaviors of us the website owners. Factors such as link types, quality and consistency of targeted keywords will determine the value and strength of the links.
In others words do it, but don’t over do it!
I also like to point attention to another fact Matt Cutts mentions and that’s protecting the users. Google wants to ensure quality content is being seen by their users, our search traffic. We have to provide quality content and design for these users. Also in addition we have to have the proper information, the answers the users are searching for. The user experience is obviously a very important factor for Google and they are setting a lot pride on search results.
It seems ranking is not only about building backlinks and credibility it’s about deserving to be there. DO you meet the needs of the end consumer for that search? Is your content quality and worth reading regarding the specific subject? Over all from backlink to content we have to ensure we are setting the standards for quality.