Link building has become a hazardous area for website owners over the past few months and with Google stepping up their low-quality link detectors, you have to ensure that your link building strategy is strong enough to pass through those checks.
Here are 10 tips inspired by my recent presentation at a4uexpo London on Performance Marketing Ranking Factors. So if you didn’t manage to make my session at the London Hilton Metropole, read on to discover how to make sure you are creating a strong link profile.
Check PageRank Flow throughout Linking Site
Although Google PageRank is not a ranking factor as we know, it does still offer an insight into what the authority scale believes the value of a site is, so make sure that you check throughout the site and make sure that the PageRank flows through the site cleanly. If there is something not quite right, then it is likely that there could be an issue, so move onto your next target.
Check Site Content Is Unique
Google is fighting to eliminate low quality sites from its search rankings and that means that they want to see unique content on sites. If the site is made up of stolen or scraped content, then it is not a placement that you should consider.
Look at the Backlink Profile
Take a look at the backlink profile of the sites that you are approaching. A strong site should have relevant links that are natural-looking and on topic. Avoid sites with a mass of high PageRank links that are designed to impersonate a strong authority site as they will be found out eventually.
Ensure the Site is indexed in Google
Google has recently cleaned up many of the sites that it shows in its search engine and the result of the change is there have been many sites that have been completely removed from the Google index. If the site is not indexed, consider it penalised.
Look at the IP Address of Hosting
When trying to find links, you need to make sure that you are not leaving a trial that will associate you with a link network as these are being heavily targeted by Google in the recent updates. So make sure that the site you are looking to add a link to is hosted away from any similar or linking sites.
Check Search Engine Visibility with SearchMetrics.com
Search Metrics maintain a record of search engine visibility for a wide number of sites and this allows you to see whether a site has been penalised or seen a large drop in their rankings, a site with steep drops is a site that you should look to avoid as Google sees that something is wrong with the site.
Check the Number of Outbound Links
Links are designed to be placed onto sites to give them a vote of confidence from the site that is linking to them. It results in a portion of the equity of that site being passed to the site being linked to. This means that you want to find sites that have a low number of outbound links to ensure that you get the best possible equity share. Aim to find sites with under 20 outbound links.
Check the Whois Data of the Site
There are a number of sites out there that try to make themselves appear to be older than what they are, so make sure that the domain ages match up with the content that is being added where possible. Backdating in WordPress is one of the worst causes of this.
View the Google Cache of the Site
A Google search will allow you to see how the site looked when the search engine last visited. It allows you to see whether there have been any large alterations to the site in between then and the time that you view the site. Make sure that the cache isn’t showing something that differs from the current view of the site such as instances of keyword stuffing or hidden links.
Check the Source Code of the Site
Although text and links can be hidden when you view a site through an internet browser, the source code would still show those instances within the coding. If text or links are being hidden from the user, Google is looking to penalise that action. So avoid placing a link on that site.