Chapter 2 – Offsite SEO – Backlinks
When implementing SEO (search engine optimization), there are two types to consider: on-site and off-site. Off site SEO is any action or strategy used that does not take place on the main website, however does seek to enhance or strengthen its overall page position or visibility on the web.
A great example of off-site SEO, is link building. By visiting other sites and leaving a link back to our site we are seeking to enhance our sites authority on the internet. By making connections with other sites we gain authority. Think of it like an endorsement. If website A links to website B then website A is essentially saying “we endorse website B.” The most powerful links then are one way. For that reason they are also the hardest to obtain, but not impossible.
One important thing to note is that the strength of the endorsement or ranking power passed between links, depends on the amount of authority or the quality level each site has. By assigning a page rank, Google has given an authority rating – also known as “page rank” to websites on the internet. Page rank is Google’s system for measuring how important a site is based upon how many people link to them. Assignment of a number 1-9 with 9 being the most important, will affect how much influence is passed through a particular link. However, a site with a high page rank of 8 may have a high number of outgoing links which makes each of the outgoing links less powerful.
Without spending too much time on link building, it is important to understand the weight this particular strategy has in your overall success. The reality is, in a competitive market, back links are the difference between ranking and not ranking. In these cases, backlinks are weighted more than 50% of your total optimization score. In other words, without a solid backlink campaign, you don’t exist.
The purchase of back links has become a common practice despite it being “unethical” in the eyes of Google.
Acquiring links naturally, or ethically, isn’t an easy process. Ironically the enforcers of unethical link buying (Google) are the same ones who have perpetuated the problem by giving back links such a huge piece of the ranking pie.
Tip: Buying links at a rapid rate is a red flag indicator. Links must appear natural and be inherited over time, not all at once. Links from low quality sites are not only worthless, they can actually hurt you.
For now this ranking indicator maintains it’s weight in the overall ranking pie however Yandex, a popular search engine in Russia with 60% of the market share has taken backlinks out of the equation. Does this mean Google may at some point do the same?