In simple words, you won’t find a successful SEO strategy that doesn’t include link building. We can theorize if that’s even possible, but in reality, it’s simply a necessity. But the true problem is not whether you should or should not have them. It’s what to do to keep your backlink profile as natural as possible. At least, to make it match Google’s definition of a natural backlink profile as close as you can. It’s not an easy errand. Especially because keeping a track of all your links collected over years is tough. And partially, because you have to wait for a while before you see any real results for new links.
What are the traits of a natural backlink profile?
The study of SEO strategies is not in its infancy, on the contrary. But Google occasionally changes the portions of rules, forcing everyone to adjust. What was once considered a perfect backlink profile, doesn’t have to be anymore. And in most cases, it isn’t.
The sole reason for it is the constant focus on optimization, where users are usually left behind. Google wants to change that and shift focus on user experience mostly. The relevant and informative content, an excellent user experience, and credibility are becoming the more important aspects of SEO. But, links still remain one of the most important factors for ranking, as long as they are natural.
Your backlink profile – what is it?
All the links that point to your website from all around the web are making your backlink profile. Whether you own a small company’s website with just dozens of backlinks, or you are a large company with thousands of links, the principle is the same. In general, it’s the sum of all those links.
To be able to stay on tracks and build a strong natural backlink profile, you will need proper tools. There are many tools you can use to monitor and analyze your backlinks:
- and many more
And they are just some examples of tools that can help you with building a strong backlink profile. If you are not willing to dive into optimization yourself, you can always count on SEO professionals to assist you.
Traits that make it everything natural
With a little research, you can find the most traits that Google considers good for making a natural backlink profile. This is a valuable piece of information when planning new links. But also valuable if you want to make some changes to your existing backlink profile. After all, there is always more room for improvement if you compare with your competitors. Long story short, here is what currently stands as the “golden standard” for backlink profiles:
Naturally acquired links
These are some of the most valuable links for your profile. Google simply adores them. The point is to create quality content on your website, rich with useful and relevant information. The more people find the value, the greater is the chance that someone will link to your content. Simply put, these are naturally acquired links you definitely need.
The number of links
Usually, a great number of links are good for your link profile, but there is a catch. Google checks when they are built. If you acquire too many links in a short time, it might look suspicious. That’s why you need to build your links steadily over time.
The social value of your links
Even if your links are not top-notch, they can still bring you “natural value” to your backlink profile. However, it will depend on what usefulness your content brings to social channels. If you have quality content often shared among people on social media, Google will take that in the count. In the end, if people see it valuable enough to share it, that is exactly in line with Google’s focus on user experience.
Anchor text relevance
Natural links have natural anchor text. Stuffing your anchor text with dry keywords is not something you want to do. In fact, it needs to be semantically relevant to both sides. To the source of the links, and to the page it’s pointing to. Also, you need to make sure your anchor text is diverse as well. Avoid focusing on a small number of keywords and use synonyms and long-tail keywords instead.
The domain authority of your backlinks
Simply put, the more domain authority the source of your backlink has, the more value the link brings. Given these points, it’s better to have one strong and natural backlink from an authoritative source than dozens of low-quality links. Furthermore, having low-quality links from suspicious sources is not something Google takes lightly.
The domain that is linking to your website has to be relevant to your website. Sometimes, it can be hard to determine but Google usually has enough information to make a decision. For example, if your website, or a particular page, is about pet food, the expectation is that the backlinks are coming from the source related to pets. Or, at least with food.
Diversity of domains
Your backlink profile will have more quality if links are coming from different domains. Having the majority of backlinks from just one source is a definitive red flag for Google. Also, after a certain number of links, you will stop getting much-needed authority. At least not the same amount as before. Even worse, you might earn a penalty from Google.
Fresh links are also important
To provide a better user experience in searches, Google favors websites that update backlinks. As time passes, your old links lose integrity, especially if nothing new is added. That’s why you need to make sure not only to add new content but to update your backlink profile as well. Make sure you have a steady influx of new links if you want your profile to benefit in quality.
It takes a lot of time to build a great backlink profile for your website. If you are planning to have a strong and natural backlink profile, you need to focus on these traits. Remember, even when you have built a quality profile, the effort doesn’t stop there. Google constantly implements changes, so you need to analyze and audit your links to ensure your profile doesn’t lose its value.