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Backlinks—How to Do It Right

effective world    17/07/14



What exactly are backlinks? Backlinks are any links that lead from other websites to your own website. They are an indicator for search engines that the content on your website is useful and trustworthy. This makes the topic of link building one of the most prominent in search engine optimization (SEO). Link building itself belongs under off-site SEO measure that can be done to improve search engine rankings and thus increase organic traffic. This compares differently with on-site SEO, which refers to techniques such as metadata, internal linking, content optimization, etc. which are completed within one’s own website.

Why Are Backlinks Important?


As already mentioned above, backlinks signal that the content of a webpage is interesting and relevant to search engines like Google. The underlying algorithm (PageRank) was developed by Larry Page, one of the founders of Google, to measure the impact (popularity) of a page on the Internet. Sites are thus ranked on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most popular page. The original idea behind this was that if a website was linked to by many others, it had valuable content. This principle, however, was quickly abused by so-called link spammers using “link farms” to catapult less valuable pages to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). To counteract these activities, the quality of backlinks (PageRank of the linking page) was declared the decisive criteria—aka quality was more important than quantity when it comes to website rankings. Intuitively, this means that a link from a page with a high PageRank is more important and valuable than several links from pages with low PageRank scores.

How [Not] to Use Backlinks


The most important thing to keep in mind is that Google (and all other search engines) want to provide quality content to its users. Websites that try to use tricks to reach the top of search results are punished, making this an absolute SEO no-no. Other things that should be avoided are as follows.

  • Purchasing backlinks in so-called link farms. If a search engine such as Google discovers your site listed on one of these farms, it’s possible it will remove your page entirely from its search index as a penalty, decimating any organic traffic headed to your site.
  • Accumulating backlinks too quickly. Link building should be a gradual process—if a search engine sees a rapid increase, especially for a normally static B2B website—this raises signals of fraud.
  • Irrelevant backlinks. The quality of the backlinks is also judged, so that it fits with the content of the page it is linking to. For example, an article from an industry blog that links to a website of a machine builder is more relevant and valuable than that of a fashion blog.

Backlinks for B2B Websites


A backlinking strategy for a blog differs somewhat from that of a B2B website. An often-spelled strategy of blog post commenting, for example, is usually of little relevance to B2B websites. Some basic strategies, however, still apply:

1. Create Content Worth Linking To
Creating interesting content is the most important guiding principle. Search engines follow people, meaning that if search engines notice interest in your content (by detecting backlinks), they will rank your content higher in their search results. For B2B companies, this means that in addition to purely descriptive pages with product and company information, they should provide content with a more direct application value, such as how-to’s, manuals, videos, and whitepapers that users will be motivated to share and link to.


2. Use Online Directories
An essential link building strategy for a B2B company is being placed in online company directories. However, for inexperienced users this strategy often proves to be a double edged sword, as many seemingly reputable directories turn out to be anything but. A user can unknowingly end up submitting their website to a link farm, which will most likely have a negative impact on the site’s search engine ranking. Specialized know-how, such as that of professional online marketing agencies, is often required for a successful online directory link building strategy.


3. Utilize the Offline World
As well as being good for business, developing relationships with suppliers, partners, and customers can have the added advantage of providing opportunities for content and link building. You can ask for testimonials, cooperate on whitepapers and more, but at the very least you should make sure your website is included in their list of partners, providing you with easy backlinks. Additionally, competitors’ backlink profiles can be researched for further backlinking resources and opportunities.

In the world of backlinking, there are no quick fixes. It requires a lot of time and patience.

However, with a clearly defined backlinking strategy, a website’s ranking can reach its full potential, adding valuable web traffic from organic search rankings.

Are you interested to learn more about offsite SEO and backlinking? effective world has a wealth of experience in catalog management and maintains excellent relationships with world-class industrial catalog providers. We are happy to support you in reaching the full potential of your website. Please contact us by phone at +49 621 17893 0 or email at mannheim@effective-world.com for more information.