Having some good Backlinks is good – but having lots of good Backlinks is even better! But… High Value back-links count more than your total back-link number. However, the best value of all comes from having lots of High Quality back links. This is not so easily done!
As a generalization, it is better to have a few High Value backlinks, than lots of Low Value back links. And…it is better to have some Low Value backlinks than no back-links at all.
So what is a ‘Good’ Backlink?
A ‘good’ back-link for bloggers is one that impresses Google’s web crawlers. Quality is what Google is impressed by. Google translates Quality into something it calls Authority. We get awarded Authority status by Google, if we have High Value Content AND..if we know what we are talking about.
Or, more to the point, if Google knows that we know what we are talking about. Then Google ‘knows’ that our website is worth a visit by Google searchers (Google’s customers). Then, Google will prioritize our articles onto Page1 Google SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). Bingo! High Page Rank! So….how do we ‘tell’ Google how marvelous we are?
How Can We ‘Tell’ Google That We Know What We Are Talking About – That We Have Authority?
One way that Google can ‘know’ that we know what we are talking about (that we have Authority in our Niche), is when the Google web crawlers detect ‘Votes of Approval’ (Backlinks) linking back TO us FROM websites that already have high Authority (High Page Rank websites).
Google can rely on the ‘opinion’ of its High Page Rank websites (Google chose them) to be gate-keepers on their own sites. And if you ‘win’ a backlink from one of Google’s chosen few (High Page Rank sites), Google assumes that you have at least some Authority too.
That is why a backlink is counted by Google as a ‘Vote of Approval’. And the higher the Page Rank of the websites that give us our Vote of Approval (backlink), the better.
Backlinks from High Page Rank websites are Top Quality Links – these are the best ones to chase. The article Backlinks, Authority & Page Rank discusses how this works in detail.
No.1 Rule of Blogging: Your Reader’s Interests Must
Always Come First.
Important: it takes skill and experience in the art of good SEO, to impress the Google web crawlers, and yet still put your reader’s needs first. We write for people, not Google-bots, and we must never forget that.
If we don’t put our reader’s interests first, and think we can trick Google with clever SEO manipulations – Google will ‘notice’ and downgrade you. Google knows everything, especially if you try to outwit its web crawlers. You have been warned.
I’ll repeat it again: Google rewards Quality – quality in your Content, the Value you offer your readers and Customers, and in the Quality and Value of your Links. It’s not rocket science!
Always put your readers best interests first. Work hard to achieve quality in everything related to your website. Then, spread the word about how marvelous you, (and your site ) are, by building good relationships with your readers, and with other reputable website owners.
The good guys (and gals) all hang out together. They don’t want to be infiltrated (and associated) with rubbish. You should aim at being noticed, and being accepted by, the best people in your niche. That is the way to ‘win’ the best backlinks – from Friends in High Places.
So! We need to know how Google values the Quality of all the Different Types of Backlinks. Then we will know which types of back links we should concentrate on winning, which backlinks are good, but not the best…and which are the backlinks to avoid.
Different Types of Backlinks Carry Different Values
To assess the relative value of backlinks, they can be divided up into broad categories.
These can also be either dofollow links or nofollow links. Both internal and external links carry value in the eyes of Google.
3. There is another type of backlink called a Pingback (also known as a Trackback). I will explain how to use pingbacks in away that can increase your traffic, and Authority, and still not trigger a potential downgrade from Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, in a future article.
DoFollow vs Nofollow Backlinks
Dofollow links are links that allow Google’s webcrawlers to follow the link to see where it goes. Obviously, if we are trying to impress Google with the quality of our back links, it is best if Google can follow those links to see where they come from – from either High Rank websites and Low Rank web sites. And also obviously, it is best that these dofollow backlinks link us with High Rank websites rather than Low.
However, being linked to Low Rank websites is also ‘good’ – so long as those sites are in our Niche, and not full of spam or rubbish information. It’s just that those backlinks are not ‘as good’ as from High Page Rank sites – but never-the-less, they are still ‘good’ to have.
Nofollow Backlinks can also be useful A nofollow link is one which blocks the Google web crawlers from actually following the link to see where it goes. According to Matt Cutts of Google, Nofollow links are not included in Google’s link mapping software, so they won’t contribute directly into Google benefits.
BUT, they can have a different beneficial effect. If you contribute to other websites with interesting and useful information, and contribute in some way to some else’s blog with Brilliant Comments, or by answering questions, people might read your wise words, and PEOPLE might follow the nofollow backlink to your site to check you out.
So you can use nofollow links to develop your online profile – to get noticed, and appreciated, by other website owners and readers. This can boost your standing in the online world, bring you traffic and increase your chances of winning dofollow links from websites in your niche.
Here is a link to a Matt Cutts’ video (Big Cheese at Google) where he discusses Backlinks.
List of Value Ratings for Backlinks
Important: Backlinks must always be from other websites in a closely related niche to yours. Otherwise they might count against you, instead of counting for you.
1. Lots of High Page Rank dofollow backlinks. This is the very best goal you should aim for.
2. A few High Page Rank dofollow backlinks. This is the next most valuable goal.
3. Next would be Lower Page Rank Dofollow links.
4. Next would be Nofollow links
5. Next lowest would be no backlinks of any sort.
6. Worse than having no backlinks, is having links from spammy, low quality websites in a completely different topic niche to your own website. Why? Because, allowing spammy un-related backlinks on your site, can mislead your readers.
Off topic/off-niche links can potentially send your readers off to sites where they have zero interest, and where they do not want to go. Your readers don’t like this, and Google doesn’t like it either. These types of links carry negative value and should be avoided.
Since Google implemented its Panda and Penguin updates in 2012, Google has been trying to weed out spammy and irrelevant links from the internet.
If you Use Paid Links, Swapped Links, Scraped Links or Farmed Links, you risk getting pinged (a technical term) by Google’s Panda and Penguin updates of 2012. Or worse, penalized. See the article Backlinks=Authority+Page Rank=Traffic.
No website owners who know anything about anything, would still be using these types of backlink manipulations. Why? Because they don’t want to be downgraded by Google for having un-natural (possibly fraudulent) links on their site. The use of so-called Related Links software is also very risky nowadays, and will possibly also get you pinged.
If you can impress some same-niche High Ranking websites (and their Big Cheese owners), with the Quality of your writing and Content, they will want to link their website to yours – to provide value for their own readers.
And then – Voila! You have a high quality back link from a High Page Rank site! And with a bit of research and homework, it could be a dofollow backlink as well – Ching! Gold Medal for you!
Pingbacks from other sites can also win you backlinks, if it is done in the right way. More about that in a future article.
So, focus most of your efforts on High Ranking websites in your niche, especially if they offer dofollow backlinks (as I do). And you will still pick up some handy Nofollow links along the way.
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