How Important Are Links In Ranking A Page
For many years Google has endeavoured to make sure that SEO cannot be used to manipulate the search engine results. To some extent they have won with respect to being able to push 1 button and achieve a 1st page ranking. The reason for this is that they have built algorithms that update so frequently what might work today probably won’t work in a few months.
The fact that Google always maintains the part line of “backlink’s don’t make rankings” but as well all know this is simply not true. It may be true that they take many other factors into account but backlinks are (and will be for the foreseeable future) possibly the most important part of the puzzle of pushing a website up through the rankings.
There is actually a study that has been conducted by Moz which shows the correlation between rankings and all the different factors. It is well worth a read and can be found by following this link.
The study does indeed show that links are not the only ranking factors, while they may not be quite as important as they once were (it is extremely hard to rank a site with just links) there is actually proof that sites which rank well for even moderately difficult search terms all have a link profile of some sort. This is basically proof that yes you will still need to build links in order to achieve a worthwhile ranking.
There are however some circumstances in which building links may not be necessary. If for instance you have built up at site level some of the factors which Google respects such as domain authority, page rank etc etc then it is possible that if well optimised page is added to the site, the page is referenced through other pages on the site and the rest of the website has a backlink profile then it is possible that the page could rank well without a single external link to that exact page. This is unlikely for competitive search terms unless your website is very high PR and holds a high trust rank etc.
There is still such a think as golden links, however these are generally from pages that have a high PR, high page authority and a good trust rank rather than just from a page within a site that has a high PR. This is most certainly not to say that that linkbuilding in this way does not work, far from it, it is more to say that the PR links would be considered a power link. Success in link building is all about diversity of links. If for instance you were to have 10 high PR external links all pointing to a page it would look just as unnatural as several thousand PR 0 links.
As linkbuilders our aim needs to be to create a link profile that would mimic as much as possible what would happen in the real world. For instance, imagine I had a “make money online” website / blog and I wrote a new post. I would follow the following procedure to get traffic to the page and drive rankings.
1. Write the post ensuring it passes most of the competences to be considered “good” for SEO. I prefer to use wordpress for my websites and then the easiest way to make sure that you have covered most of the points for SEO is to use the Yoast SEO Plugin which analyses the page as you go and gives you a score.
2. I would share the post on as many social media outlets as I possibly can. Obviously it is important to build up a good social following as well otherwise you are simply sharing with nobody. Remember the aim of the game is conversions not just rankings. Google takes social signals seriously these days and good social media accounts, ie those that are frequently, have a lot of followers / likes will be considered better than those which are rarely used and have no followers.
3. I would promote the post of social media to the exact target market that would be interested in the post. I normally allocate just a small amount of money to get it blasted out to the wider audience. Make sure your original post has buttons on the site which make it easy for people to start following you.
4. I mention the post in a few different places like the better quality bookmarking sites as well as places like reddit and even inbound.org if relevant.
5. I try and drop it into conversation in a relevant forum from an account which is used frequently so it doesn’t look spammy. Yes many of these links will actually be no-follow but as this has been frequently talked about the diversity is far more important than the do-follow tag. If you are in a particular niche then you should have profiles on the most used forums in your market anyway. If you are new to a niche, set the forum accounts up and start using them a bit before you even consider recommending a link to anyone on one.
6. I would now start to write a minimum 500 word article (preferably 600-700 words) on a subject that is relevant but not the same as my original page / post. I would then super spin this article at paragraph, sentence and now at phrase level (its worth the effort trust me). It takes time but the quality of article is an absolute must for the links to have any wort at all. I would then submit it to SEnuke, getting links from websites with a PR2 or above at Tier 1 level and PR 1+ at Tier 2 and below. Yes you wont get many links but the ones you do have will hold some semblance of quality.
7. I would spend a bit of time working out how I can get a high PR link back to my page / site. This is not easy at all, the most obvious route although very costly is to have your own private blog network. For the best impact this would be market specific. For instance make money online market would be a group of high PR sites that are focused around internet marketing and the selling of products and services online. It is recommended that you dont have too many links from one domain to a website so use them wisely and you could always sell a few links to recover some of the money but this would need to be done carefully as to avoid getting caught by Google.
Other ways to get high PR links is to write to webmasters of websites that are in your niches and ask them to link to you from XYZ page and explain why they should by explaining it would be of benefit to their readers. You could ask to do a guest post although even on a high PR site the actual guest post which will hold the link back to your website will not hold a PR link in itself although it would be seen as a good link by Google.
Remember that good interlinking throughout your own website is essential to make the most of any links that are coming into your website. For instance if I was to get a high PR link to a blog post but within that blog post I don’t link to any other pages within the website then that link juice will not create value throughout the whole website.
Once I have got to this point if I really want to push the page for a solid long term ranking then I would start to build hand made (i’m lazy so I would outsource this) social network sites on wordpress.com, weebly etc etc. I would then nuke those sites steadily to help them increase in authority.
All of these methods will help to tell Google that the links are natural and your site is getting “mentioned” naturally rather than forced link building. So far this has worked very well and has done for some time.