Link building is still a relatively young ‘science’ in the world of search engine optimisation. Consequently, SEO professionals express widely dissenting views on the subject. Is it even possible to do any link building as far as Google is concerned? How to handle a link baiting strategy and make the number of your referring domains soar? Many questions to which it is difficult to offer a clear response.
To solve these enigmas, Eskimoz’s team turned to a panel of SEO consultants and web writers in order to know their practices in terms of link building and SEO backlinks. The testimonies gathered and the results of this study now allow us to analyse the criteria upon which website backlinks may be considered 100% natural. Read on to discover the secrets of a good link building strategy!
A study that reveals everything about link building!
The aim of our study is clear: to take stock of all the best practices to implement when creating a natural and long-lasting link building strategy. We asked 100 randomly selected web professionals to share with us the characteristics of the latest SEO backlinks they included in their content.
To avoid any influence on our part or any cognitive bias our reaching out to the participants could have caused, we didn’t reveal the nature of our study to those who participated in the survey. We simply wanted to gather information on their own practices and on the nature of the latest website backlinks they had created.
The results of this study give us some insight into the linkbaiting phenomenon and underline some key elements regarding the natural characteristics of SEO backlinks. Let’s go!
This data reveals a lot about link building
Link building is one of the main optimisation levers within an SEO strategy, and it’s important to master all the data which governs these strategies in order to maintain continuous performance.
Choosing anchors, text length, source content… There are many criteria to a valid strategy for SEO backlinks. The problem derives from the fact that there exist as many link building strategies as there are SEO consultants or content writers. This study is therefore interesting from one perspective in particular: that of offering precious information about link baiting.
This study confirms many essential rules:
- Natural anchor ratio: we counted 83% of natural anchors in this study against 11% of optimized anchors and 6% of semi-optimized anchors for SEO backlinks
- Internal pages VS homepage ratio: 68% of links point to internal pages against 32% of links pointing to the home page
- Do follow VS no follow SEO backlinks ratio: only 6% of links are nofollow
- Presence of brand names within anchors: 56% of anchors used rely on branding
- Selection of topical and influential sources: 91% of sources are media type content sites
- Minimal length of a good quality text to optimize its relay: 79% of source texts are over 400 words long.
Link building: How to use this information?
If your goal is to not attract Google’s attention, it may be relevant to try and stick to the link building practices this infographic shows. Pointing SEO backlinks to quality sites as much as possible is particularly important, and so is using as many natural anchors as practical.
By working on the websites you wish to optimize on a regular basis and by making SEO backlinks discrete and truly relevant to the reader, you get the desired results. Slowly but surely: this is now the watchword in SEO! Working with discretion will lead to visibility so long as you remain patient!
The same goes for link baiting: if all your texts are at least 400 words long (or even 600), your chances of getting referring domains naturally are higher. If your articles contain relevant images and videos, even better! Astounding link baiting impact!
What is a good link building strategy?
Gone are the days when SEO metrics could be trusted without giving it second thought… PageRank hasn’t been reliable for quite some time, and while Trust Flow and Citation Flow are still reasonable indicators, they offer no guarantee as to the quality of a website. Only a human being can completely validate it!
In our link building strategy, we therefore choose to focus on quality websites, as simple as that. And to assess the quality of a website, here are the criteria we rely on:
- Textual content quality: well written, rich and relevant
- Modern and aesthetic design, contributing to a pleasant user experience
- Website content regularly updated
- Clean link building practices for our SEO backlinks: no directories or doorway websites in the referring domains and natural anchor profiles.
The objective is to make sure the site can’t be subjected to any penalties: if the external SEO strategy isn’t clean, the site could relay a penalty in the future.
In the end, it doesn’t matter much if the referring domains are few and if the website in question is very young: a ‘small’ site is still very valuable. After all, a website can’t have only hugely important referring domains and it’s necessary to have a diversity in domain quality to preserve a natural link profile.
Moreover, if it’s very clean, a young website could drive more traffic in the months and years to come! In the meantime, an SEO backlink on a website with few visitors is worth more if it receives a click than a link placed on an influential site that’s ignored by the many visitors.
This study reminds us that discretion is the essence of nowadays SEO. By measuring out your link building rate, by obtaining exclusive links that the competition doesn’t have, by having various thematic sources and by respecting the codes revealed in this SEO study, you’re very likely to receive excellent rankings!
You now have all the cards between your hands, so the rest is up to you! Ready, set, go!