One of the many benefits of publishing content is search engine rankings through improved SEO.
First and foremost, content gives the search engines something to rank. And if you have the right on-page optimization, and the right keywords, sometimes that can be enough for great rankings.
But on-page optimization is just part of the story when it comes to SEO. Off-page elements often factor in just as much, and sometimes more.
The main off-page factor is links. Traditionally backlinks from other sites hold a lot of weight. And while social media links play an increasingly important role in search rankings, today we are going to focus on the more traditional links: from other sites.
If you are big on SEO, then you have to care about backlinks. They are a major factor that won’t be going away any time soon.
And the focus of today’s post is the quality of a link.
For many years, the biggest factor in search engine rankings was simply the number of links pointing to your page or post.
SEOs figured this out fairly quickly and started bombarding pages with vast amounts of low-quality links.
Since search engines are only as good (and as profitable) as the quality of their search results, they quickly caught on to these practices and fought back.
What has resulted is a back-and-forth between search engines trying to rank quality, relevant content and SEOs trying to rank whatever content they are getting paid to rank.
Link quality standards for search rankings are going up, and will continue to do so – making it harder to game the system (although people will undoubtedly still try).
The reasoning for using links as a ranking factor is because if your content is good enough to be linked to, then it must be good enough to rank.
This goes to show that the best and most stable way to attain rankings is to publish great content.
…and of course to promote it (don’t forget the “marketing” in content marketing).
Of course, while you are promoting your content you have the opportunity to collect links. But not all links are created equal…
Where should you try to get links from?
What constitutes a quality link?
Below is an infographic from Orange Line which shows the results of a survey they organized. Over 500 SEO professionals participated in the survey to discuss what makes a quality link.
The results are compiled in the infographic below: