In the age of COVID-19 and online shopping, a business’s website has become a treasured asset. But before customers can shop at a business online, they need to find it first. Search engines like Google search rankings play a huge role in choosing which websites users see, and one of the most important things these companies look for are links.
Top Ranking Factors In Search Rankings
A study by SEMRush lists different link signals as 4 of the top 8 ranking factors in search results. Backlinks found that the average #1 Google Search has 3.8x more backlinks and 3.2x more referring domains than #2-#10. Despite the importance of links, 94% of websites do not have external backlinks. They are like islands; isolated from the rest of the web. Businesses need to take action to be sure they aren’t part of that archipelago.
How should businesses increase their link signals? As any SEO expert could tell them, not every link signal is a good one. Google penalizes websites they consider cheating to improve standing with doorway pages meant to funnel users to a different page than they clicked, hidden links in places users won’t see, or high volumes of exact matches due to spam. Some ranking decisions are also based on reputation; spam links itself to spam. Poor-quality links together create a “bad neighborhood” in the virtual sphere, tanking any website’s reputation if it’s caught in the chain.
So what is the right way to increase link signals? There are several options. Domain age works in a website’s favor; it shows that the website has stood the test of time. Content that answers questions is valuable: posts discussing the “what” or “why” of things get 26% more links than videos and how-tos. The trust, diversity, and relevance of sites linking to yours mean a lot. Ultimately what’s important is to maintain a quality website and only provide external backlinks to websites of equal/better quality. So long as a site and the external backlinks it attracts have good expertise, authority, and trust, they will be able to rise in the search rankings.
Take it from Google themselves: “Creating good content pays off . . . the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.” Click here for more information about the quality of backlinks.