The best type of backlinks occur organically: another site’s webmaster thinks that your content is valuable for their audience and links to your site—all without you lifting a finger. Sounds nice, right? In the real world, however, you’ll most likely need to take the initiative when it comes to creating a network of authoritative links to your website. This may sound daunting, but don’t worry—we’ll lay it all out for you.
1. Make a List of Good Target Websites
First things first: start searching for reputable sites that may be interested in linking to you. Defining a “reputable” site can be a bit complex. When Google crawls and indexes a website, it uses over 200 ranking factors to determine the site’s authority and decide when it is relevant to display in search results. You can get a better understanding of a site’s credibility by taking a look at certain metrics. Here are some indicators to take note of: Valuable Content: Look for sites with fresh, valuable content that is clearly useful and/or interesting to the website’s audience and relevant to your own field. If it’s gibberish or poorly written—move on.
Current Links: Examine the site’s outbound links to understand what type of websites it links to. As a general rule, only collaborate with sites that act within Google’s guidelines and link to legitimate sites.
Traffic Rank: Check a site’s traffic rank to see how popular it is. This is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months. The lower the score, the more popular the site.
Domain Authority: The higher a domain authority, the more reputable a site. Keep in mind that getting links from sites with very high domain authorities can be extremely difficult. When choosing target websites, strike a balance between sites that rank high but aren’t as widely known.
Site Age: Check a site’s age to find out how long it’s been online and try to target sites that have been around for awhile. Older sites are often considered stronger and more reputable. On the other hand, similar to sites with a higher domain authority, they may be harder to get links from.
Regularly Updated Content: Google values sites that are updated regularly. If the last new post was 6 months ago, look elsewhere.
Cache Status: Check the cache status to learn when Google last visited a site’s page. Ideally, it should be within the last few days.