Netlinking, or link building, encompasses all actions consisting in creating or modifying links to a particular site or web page, with the aim of improving the site’s positioning in search engine results.
Netlinking best practices, the White Hat approach
According to Google, the best way to encourage other sites to create quality links to your site is to publish unique and relevant content. The more useful the content of your site, the more likely you are that someone will find it interesting for their readers and create a link.
Linkbaiting literally means “link fishing”. This consists in obtaining natural links thanks to a triggering element: a rich and original content that should make it possible to elicit reactions from external sites and thus generate a large number of external links. Some examples of effective linkbaiting:
- Computer graphics
- Content with a useful value or innovative character
- Calculators or simulators
- Editorial content
- Interviews with personalities
- E-books/white books
The press release
The press release is a short article, ideal for presenting a company, news item, and intended for the media. Your press release must be well written, and the media must be well targeted:
- Local newspapers, which are very interested in local economic news.
The media specialized in your sector of activity.
Directories are sites that list websites by category. Thematic directories should be preferred to generalists.
Guest-blogging consists in proposing guest articles on his site: for the site that receives the content, it is a good way to put fresh content online without having to write it, in return, the blogger makes himself known via a link pointing to his site.
Until very recently, the legitimacy of outgoing links was not proven. According to many specialists, an outgoing link to an authority site, in the same theme, undeniably provides a real boost in terms of visibility.
Why not follow the rules (Black Hat)
We often find that those who succeed in SEO do not take into account these remarks and advice from Google… or even do the opposite on a large scale.
The guidelines indicate the framework for being well referenced; knowing that Google never gives all the keys, and we realize that those who are well referenced have in fact often violated these rules.
For Google, any link that manipulates the PageRank ranking or the ranking of a site in Google search results can be considered part of a link system.
It should be noted that advertising links (pay per click), which do not improve the PageRank ranking of the advertiser’s site obviously comply with Google’s rules.
The ninja link
The ninja link is considered as “strong” linking. It is about making connections:
- Either by making them yourself.
- Either by convincing a webmaster to add them.
The referrer must therefore find a place where he can easily obtain a link:
- A site with the same theme
- A directory
Paid linking consists in buying a link to a site to get a backlink to its site. In practice, it is quite difficult to know whether a link has been paid or not. In reality, Google detects and sanctions mainly linked pages without any consistency of content: low quality, low relevance.
PBNs (Private Blog Network)
PBNs (Private Blog Network) are a technique for creating satellite sites to boost the referencing of a website. Generally speaking, this consists in positioning satellite sites, at the first level, totally clean, which provide the link to the main site. In the second curtain, other sites that flirt much more with the red line bring juice to the first level sites as shown in the diagram below.
It is a complex technique, because the meshing between sites is much more complicated than the above representation, it requires time and knowledge, but it probably allows at the moment to obtain the best results in netlinking.
This is like having control over everything that SEO agencies “White hat” try to do by communicating with blog owners. The “Black hat” referrer, owner of a PBN, can create content and optimize it so that it is in total adequacy with its niche, choose all its link anchors.
This technique is working very well today, but it is likely that Google is working to counter these practices. We can therefore legitimately ask ourselves the question of the durability of links hosted on PBNs.
Tomorrow, towards less weight for backlinks
If we project ourselves a little bit, we can imagine that Google will eventually find a way to identify the content that best matches the requests of Internet users, without having to rely on the popularity of the sites that offer this content, or at least by giving less weight to this factor.
It will therefore be more and more expensive to climb up in search results via the creation of links alone.
When a search engine offers you a page of results, it can measure the relevance of the ranking by observing how you engage with these results. If you click on the first link, immediately press the “back” button to try the second link, it indicates that you were not satisfied with the first result. It is therefore a parameter that is already integrated by Google’s algorithm.
This obviously implies original (non-duplicated) content as it is already taken into account today.
The level of language, the diversity of the vocabulary used, the spelling, the illustrations, all this contributes to quality content.
The architecture of the site is also very important; it allows search engines to understand the structure of the information in order to propose the deep page that will most accurately respond to a request, instead of proposing the home page of the site.
The user experience (UX)
We integrate in the UX, of course the responsive side of websites (with the arrival of the mobile first index).
The absence of advertising that is too aggressive, intrusive, and in dedicated sites and clearly identified as such, in no case in the main content of the page.
The user experience can be summarized as how the Internet user feels when he/she sees a website and when he/she uses it.
A good indicator of UX for websites is the rebound rate; it reflects well if the users who arrive on your site feel good and want to stay there or if they go to see elsewhere.
Netlinking is still at the top of the pyramid but is nevertheless the most dangerous way to position you on the search engine. Indeed, if there is one thing Google does well, it is adaptation. Google is constantly modifying its algorithm to ensure that it provides users with the most relevant content that meets the intent of a search.
In the future, Google will make it more and more difficult to manipulate or influence its results rankings. Finally, Google’s leitmotiv (providing quality content for users) may well become the most important factor in its ranking algorithm.
So since time is not extensible, in SEO as elsewhere, you have to make choices, work on netlinking to get quick results, or adopt a “user first” strategy. The choice can be all the more complicated because the approach that is most cost-effective today will most likely not be so tomorrow.
Working on the editorial content of a site, its architecture, its navigation, and more generally the user experience, no longer thinking Google robots, but thinking Internet users, is a profitable investment for the future, and in this field, the future can happen tomorrow.