Most websites you read about types of links and their effect on search engine optimization are wrong. Since the Google Hummingbird update, Google uses big data and machine learning to rank up websites. It goes by suitability and popularity.
The old days of having one type of link being better than another are over, at least in search engine ranking terms.
Climbing the search engine results is not about getting a certain number of backlinks or achieving a certain percentage of keywords. It’s about making your website more popular for a certain target audience. Here is a guide to all type of links you will need for link building and search engine optimization.
The Famous Followed Link
Followed links are still popular because they used to be a big part of Google’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). People wanted followed links from popular websites because it told Google that their website was also popular, which helped rank websites up.
Followed links are no longer part of Google’s ranking algorithm, but they are still very useful. The biggest reason they are useful is that other search engines, apps, and online tools still use them to rank websites.
Another reason why followed links are popular is that they draw traffic to your website. A popular website has more visitors, which means there’s a higher chance they will generate clickers who will travel over to your website.
Followed links are also easier to track, which means the linking websites are usually informed about the link via their analytic programs. This generates goodwill and may even result in reciprocal links.
There are plenty of good reasons why you should have unfollowed links, such as helping to keep certain links off search engines and when you are advertising or linking to something that has nothing to do with your website.
Unfollowed links are harder to track, which means the whole reciprocal link notion is less likely. However, unfollowed links can still generate traffic and traffic makes your website more popular and ergo helps rank up your website.
Are Inbound Links and Backlinks The Same?
A link to a web page on your website can be called a backlink and an inbound link. The word “Backlink” covers any sort of link coming from another web page, even if that web page is on the same website.
An inbound link has to come from another website. A link from another website is still called a backlink, but is also called an inbound link.
• Inbound Link – A link coming from another website
• Backlink – Any link coming from another website or another web page
• Internal Link – Any link coming from another web page on your website
• On-page link – A link from one page to the same page (also known as “Jump To” links)
As you can see, it’s not about inbound links vs backlinks. It’s just a good idea to have an intuitively-linked up website internally and to have a healthy number of inbound links coming from other websites.
A Rundown of Different Types of Links
Generating a good link building strategy with plenty of inbound links is not only about getting links from websites and social media. There are actually many types of backlinks you can work to generate.
Blog Comment Sections – They used to be a ranking factor with Google, but not anymore. However, the clever use of blog comment links can be amazing for generating highly targeted traffic.
Optimized Anchor Text from Press Releases – As part of a viral campaign, they may have some effect. In most cases, however, they’re lost in the background noise that is press releases.
Article Directories – Getting links from article directories on popular websites has a very good long-term effect on your SEO and your link building campaign as a whole. This is especially true in an age where writers simply rewrite the things they read on Google to produce more content, and article directories are common hunting grounds for lazy writers.
Guest Posts – Assuming you’re posting top-quality content on popular websites and assuming your links are useful for the reader, then guest posts can generate popularity and traffic for years.
Guest Post Signatures – They don’t have any SEO impact directly, but very popular writers may find people following their guest post bios to different linked websites.
Embeddable Widgets – For some websites, these are very long-term and very valuable backlinks. If your website has a purpose that is easily embeddable (such as currency exchange rates, price checkers, etc.), then backlinks from widgets offer a great ROI.
Infographic Embeds – As part of a branding strategy, an Infographic embed is great. It means people come across more of your branded content when they search for you on search engines.
User Profile Pages – Not so hot for Google’s SEO, but other online tools, apps, and search engines seem to pay attention to links from user profile pages.
Forums and Forum Signatures – Similar rules apply as with blog comments and blog signatures. However, where a blog comment link may generate traffic for years, a forum may only generate traffic for as long as the topic is open or available for public viewing.
What About Social Media?
The types of links you get from social media are temporary. Nobody goes over somebody’s Tweets for the last five years unless they’re looking for dirt on that person.
If you’ve incorporated social media links into your link building strategy, then you need to keep your social media account active by posting at least once per month, and you need to post links on a semi-frequent basis because older links will be forgotten in time.
Linking It All Up
Your link building campaign should contain a good variety of the different types of links. Analytics will help you to understand which have the greatest impact.
Want to know more secrets about backlinking, SEO, and website management? You should try the other posts on the BackLinks.com blog.