SEO – Backlinks To Make Your Website Immune To Google Updates

SEO search engine optimizationWith Google regularly updating their secret ranking algorithms, it’s a constant and ongoing battle to keep any website ranking well. Many websites are seeing huge fluctuations in search engine rankings, and some even seem to have been delisted. But if you read between the lines, it becomes clear that all of these changes have a single goal in mind: placing quality content above all else.

Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible for Google to evaluate the quality of a website just by looking at it, so they rely heavily on backlinks to help them out. As a result, the best strategy to update-proof your website is to make your backlink profile look as natural as possible.


If you can convince the search engines that all your backlinks are generated entirely by strangers, your website will rank highly – after all, its quality appears to have been confirmed by a large number of people independently. With this in mind, here are a few tips and tricks that should keep your website immune to the next wave of Google algorithm updates.


First of all, make sure your backlink profile is as diverse as it can be. This is limited only by your creativity and imagination, and it makes sense to explore as many different avenues as possible. If all your backlinks come from article directories or forum comments or any other single source, you’re inviting the search engines to take a closer look at your site. It just doesn’t look natural. Used correctly, forums and article directories can be very useful for backlinks, but you need to be using web 2.0 properties, social bookmarking, guest posting, blog comments and more besides.


Another area worth diversifying is the anchor text you use for your backlinks. If you’re trying to sell furniture through your website, don’t use the phrase ‘buy chairs’ for all your links, and don’t just use the URL over and over again. If these links were created by strangers who simply thought your site was worth sharing, the links certainly wouldn’t all use your keywords or precise URL.


The rel attribute of your links also needs to be diversified. The Internet is littered with lists of article directories and forums that allow dofollow links, because a lot of people think these are the only backlinks worth having. But having at least a sprinkle of nofollow links to your site makes everything look a lot more natural.


When you link to someone else’s site, you don’t care whether the link is dofollow or nofollow, so a mixture of the two is what you would expect to see. So if you want to rank well in Google, it’s probably worth adding in a few nofollow backlinks here and there.


Link exchanges are a common trick, but you need to be careful. There’s nothing wrong with these in principle, but it has to look natural. A yoga website and a chess club have nothing in common and would never exchange links if not for SEO purposes. This sort of thing is done regularly by people desperate to build their backlink profile, but it’s a clear red flag to the search engines. If they aren’t already penalizing this, it certainly won’t be long before they do.


Finally we come to links that can only be categorized as spam. These links absolutely will not help your backlinking campaign for any length of time. Even if they give you an initial boost, it’s only a matter of time before the search engines realize they’re spam and, if you’re lucky, your ranking will return to its previous baseline level. If you’re unlucky, it could drop further, or in extreme cases your site may even be delisted.


The many tools and services that promise huge numbers of backlinks are therefore often a false economy. They’re not necessarily lying when they promise a few thousand backlinks, but many of them will be spam blog comments or similar and will do nothing good for you. Sometimes they may even do the exact opposite.


This is especially true for small sites that suddenly get thousands of backlinks within a short space of time. The dramatic spike will set alarm bells ringing and you’re unlikely to escape closer scrutiny. Even tools that gradually add backlinks over a longer period of time aren’t going to be much use if all the links are worthless spam.


It’s also vital that you don’t manually build backlinks that look like they may well have been generated by one of these tools. An example is forum or blog comments containing optimized links, especially if your site isn’t relevant to the topic at hand. Doing this manually has the same drawbacks associated with the automated tools, but this way you waste more of your valuable time as well.


The closest you can get to complete protection from algorithm updates is a steady stream of quality content. This is what Google and the other big players want to promote, and they’re getting better at it every day. If you’re already doing this, use the tips above to make sure your backlink profile doesn’t jeopardize your efforts, and then you should be in the clear.


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Jurgita Glodenyte


Jurgita Glodenyte

Jurgita Glodenyte is an online/digital & social media marketer, manager, strategist, consultant, trainer and public speaker. Her goal is to give companies she works with the tools to make them successful in a technology based economy. Jurgita has written a few books on digital marketing & social media.
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