In the past they were the measure of all things and even today they play an important role in SEO: backlinks from other websites. Particularly in the case of competitive keywords, a focus on link building must be placed alongside clean on-page SEO , if you want to get to the top of Google.
Offpage SEO is seen as a bundle of all SEO measures that – unlike on- page optimization – are performed outside of one’s own website. Of course, the focus here is of course the link building. Because Google considers each backlink from another page as a kind of recommendation and therefore upgrades the linked page in the search results. Amongst other things, linkbuilding should pay attention to the following aspects:
- Natural link growth
- link diversity
- Natural anchor texts
- Focus on quality instead of quantity
Links should always be set manually, for example via a guest post. Therefore, the construction of high-quality links is associated with a lot of time, whereby the effort is worthwhile in the long term. However, do not come up with the idea to buy eBay for 99 euros 100 inferior links, which are usually generated by SEO software and can adversely affect the Google ranking.
In addition to link building, offpage SEO also plays an important role in the link- down via the Disavow tool . Removing inferior links can lift Google penalties and restore positive traffic.
Link building as the most important measure of offpage SEO
To clarify the relevance of link building, it helps to take a look at the three main areas of search engine optimization:
If Onpage-SEO counts the complete technical basis of a website and its content as the relevant ranking factors, Offpage-SEO consists in particular of measures for the generation of backlinks .
Although the construction of high-quality links on other sites is by far the most important tool in off-page SEO, there are also other tools for perfect offpage optimization:
- Dismantling of negative backlinks
- Generation of social signals
- Mention of the brand on other websites
This article covers all of the mentioned offpage measures, but the focus is clearly on link building.
Basically, link building is about channeling as many backlinks as possible to your website. Multiple links from a single domain are much less effective than links from multiple different sites.
However, not only quantitative aspects play a role in link building: The importance of the quality of a link has increased immensely in recent years and will continue to gain importance in the future. For example, a single high-quality backlink can do more SEO booting than ten links from inferior or completely unknown pages.
What does SEO actually cost?
Frequently, it is also discussed how quickly links in the context of Offpage SEO unfold their effect. Experiments have shown that initial ranking improvements can occur after a few weeks and months after the newly-added link is crawled by the Google bot. The older a backlink , the stronger it affects the Google rankings.
The strength of the ranking changes depends on various factors:
- How much power does a backlink have?
- How well does the thematic environment of the backlink fit in with my page?
- What trust does the linking site enjoy on Google?
- How many backlinks are already pointing to my page?
If a website is already in the top 10 search results, the effect of a backlink may be lower than if a website so far ranks on page 4 or 5 for a specific keyword.
The reason for this is probably the increasing relevance of user signals – such as the bounce rate or the return-to-SERP rate – the further you move forward in the Google search results. If the content of a website offers no added value to the user and leads to negative user signals, then the number of backlinks probably no longer plays a decisive role.
Recognize good backlinks
If you are now looking for potential link sources, you should, of course, be clear about what exactly makes good backlinks. Because with link building, more and more quality is more important than quantity in order to achieve the greatest possible effect for its off-page optimization.
In principle, it is therefore advisable to analyze the following key criteria when analyzing websites:
- Domain and page
strength Each backlink passes a certain link power, also known as linkjuice, from its own page to the landing page. Links from websites that own a large number of high-quality backlinks have a more positive effect on their own ranking than a backlink that comes from a completely unknown and barely linked page. The goal should therefore be to build links as possible links from such strong domains. It is also important to differentiate between the general domain strength and the strength of a single sub-page.
- Trustworthiness of the domain
Google relies on the evaluation of websites not only on the link power received through backlinks, but also attempts to establish the trustworthiness of a domain through various mechanisms. For example, websites from the pornographic field receive a lot of link juice, but the trustworthiness of such sites is rather low. On the other hand, backlinks from highly trusted websites, such as universities or public authorities , have a positive effect on the SEO trust level and should necessarily be part of offpage SEO.
You are running a blog on “hair extension” and get a backlink from a website that discusses politics in South Sudan? This might make Google suspicious should regularly link such links to your website. The topic proximity of the linked website is therefore an important factor for the evaluation of a backlink. It is not so much the theme of the entire domain that is decisive, but the environment of the respective pages on which the link is placed. By the way, especially critical: Backlinks of websites with a language other than their own website.
- Link Position If
you use Offpage SEO, you should also pay attention to where in a page a backlink is set. In general, backlinks within the main content are most effective in the body text. Page-wide links in the footer or header of a website may lead to Google’s punishment if used frequently.
If you want to summarize these rules, you can basically orientate on the following statement: Backlinks that bring many visitors , are mostly high quality links and therefore particularly valuable in the offpage optimization.
Finally, a note on the use of relevant SEO key figures and tools, which are helpful for assessing the value of backlinks:
- Domain and Page Authority
The two figures come from the software house MOZ and can be found on their website for any domain or subpage.
- Domain popularity
One particularly important measure is domain popularity, DomainPop for short. It tells you how many different domains link backlinks to a particular page. The code number is provided by various SEO tools.
- LRT Power * Trust
A combination of link power and trust is reflected in the index of the provider LinkResearchTools. The value can be retrieved via the free browser add-on .
So remember for your off-page SEO: A detailed analysis of potential backlink sources is definitely useful. Because when it comes to link building quality goes before quantity .
Generate Backlinks for Offpage SEO: 11 Ways
But now to practice: What do you actually have to do to get backlinks from other websites? After all, these trees do not grow on trees, they have to be worked hard in the context of offpage SEO.
Below we present eleven different ways to generate backlinks for your own page.
The entry in business directories is especially useful for regional companies. Some of these entries are free of charge, others need to be paid for expensive money. Since a backlink is usually associated with an entry (but sometimes also by Nofollow attribute), such a placement is relevant for Local SEO .
Web catalogs A placement in web catalogs used to be very popular with Offpage-SEO, as registering was generally easy and free. However, as such links are increasingly recognized as spam, you should not focus too much on the backlink structure via the web catalog. Instead of a lot of substandard web directories you should rather put on a few reputable catalogs.
- Guest Articles
Very high quality backlinks can be generated by placing guest articles on other websites. Be sure to write a high-quality article that addresses the target audience of the website in question and fits thematically to your own website. A backlink in the body text is to be preferred to the link in the author box.
- Blog Comments In the
past, blog comments were part of every offpage SEO strategy, but now you have to be careful about it, as abuse can quickly lead to punishment. Use blog comments sparingly and never use the Money keyword instead of your name as anchor text.
- Forenlinks For
a long time also forum links were similarly popular, which are to be enjoyed however also today with caution. These should be used with great care and provide actual added value for the readers of the respective forum thread in the respective context.
- Private blog networks (PBN)
So-called private blog networks are usually operated by a person or an SEO agency and serve primarily to generate backlinks for customer projects. Although short-term ranking successes can be achieved with PBNs, this form of black-hat SEO is strongly discouraged in the context of a long-term strategy. Too big is the risk of punishment by Google.
- Link exchange
Many website owners link to each other in order to achieve better Google rankings via the received backlinks. This method of offpage SEO is only recommended to a limited extent and should be used sparingly. Because Google recognizes such types of linking, of course, even if they go over three or more “corners” (so-called triangle-link exchange). However, if a link exchange can make sense in terms of topic, this is usually unproblematic, even if the backlink effect is probably less pronounced.
- Ebay links
In particular on the eBay marketplace often inferior links are sold at extremely low prices (eg 100 backlinks for 99 euros). It is important to refrain from such offers, as these links are usually automated on spam pages and cause the opposite of a ranking boost.
- Shopping for high-quality links
In various Facebook groups or article marketplaces, high-quality backlinks can also be purchased from reputable sites which, depending on the trust level, represent only a small threat to a Google penalty. Buying such backlinks can make sense if you are in a highly competitive niche.
- Press Release
The distribution of our own press articles on various press portals is basically not reprehensible, but should not serve the direct purpose of Backlinkaufbaus. Because Google is aware of the function of these portals, of course. However, news releases with a high novelty value are regularly recorded by other news portals and possibly provided with a backlink, which in turn indirectly benefits the offpage SEO.
- Creating Great Content
However, the supreme discipline in backlink building is still content creation , even though it is probably the most elaborate one. After all, anyone who publishes valuable content on their website not only gains visitors via Google in the medium term, but may also receive links to one or the other from another website. For this purpose, it is also imperative to actively scatter created content and to inform the World Wide Web of the new valuable content.
Now go back to those measures that best fit your offpage SEO and slowly but surely build your backlinks further.
Eight more link building measures can be heard in the podcast:
Avoid punishments through natural link building
White text on a white background – that’s how the beginnings of Google manipulation looked. These trickery are nowadays hardly possible anymore, instead Black Hat SEOlers are mainly trying to build up backlinks, which Google just as reluctantly sees. Finally, it falsifies the search results.
For this reason, the search engine giant has developed several review mechanisms that examine all backlinks on any website for unnatural link structures . Therefore, the following points probably play an important role in natural link building and should be taken into account in Offpage SEO:
- Natural link growth
Basically, it can be assumed that the number of new backlinks increases with the amount of traffic. Then you should align yourself with the link building. Too many backlinks shortly after the website launch seem suspicious. The same applies to an increasing number of links within a very short time and a subsequent period without a corresponding increase in referrals.
- Natural link profile Backlinks
that come exclusively from web directories are as critical as backlinks that are almost exclusively placed in blog articles. A natural link profile contains backlinks from different types of websites and can be structured differently depending on the industry.
- Natural anchor texts
The so-called anchor or link texts of the received back links should give Google a “natural” appearance. For example, frequent use of Money keywords is often the reason for a Google penalty. Anchor texts that consist of the domain or terms like “here” are among the most widely used.
- Different Link Strengths
If the link profile consists almost exclusively of backlinks that provide high link power, and at the same time lacks weak links from less-visited websites, this is often also a signal for artificial link building for Google.
- Relationship between nofollow and dofollow links
Not every backlink contains a dofollow attribute. In Offpage-SEO is to make sure that not only backlinks are set, the Linkjuice passed on to the linked page, but also a certain number of less “valuable” Nofollow link is available.
- Relationship of home page
links and deeplinks Most references to a website usually go to the start page, individual subpages are linked much less frequently. In link building, it is therefore important to create a healthy mix of homepage links and so-called deep links, so that Google does not suspect. Relatively many backlinks on a special bottom can therefore be dangerous.
In the context of off-page SEO, be sure to look for a natural link building. Google punishment may turn your entire business model upside down – so do not risk it!
Detect inferior domains
Often one stands with Offpage SEO before the decision to place a link on a certain side – for example with the link purchase. However, often only a look at the link power is thrown, which is transferred to the own domain. Neglected, however, is regularly checking the website for certain quality features .
However, this can have painful consequences: backlinks from inferior domains quickly penalizes Google once poorer rankings, as far as such links in a certain amount refer to your website.
So before you set a new backlink to your page, you should check it for the following properties:
- Inferior content
Websites that contain inferior texts or a large number of copied content should be avoided in backlink construction.
- Unnatural backlink patterns or keyword stuffing
backlinks from websites that have an unnatural backlink pattern themselves are not suitable for link building – even if the corresponding domain has not yet been punished. This also applies to Internet sites in which so-called keyword stuffing was operated, so the corresponding keyword is often housed in the text exaggerated.
- Links from Tortured Sites
If websites have already been punished in the past due to Google’s aforementioned – or other – practices, these are usually not recommended as backlink sources. Penalties can be detected with most SEO tools by looking at the historical visibility index. Strong, abrupt drops in visibility suggest a Google penalty .
So before you set a new backlink, check the respective domain exactly for the above-mentioned abnormalities. SEO tools such as XOVI not only allow a view on the visibility development in the search engines, but even allow automated backlink checks, which check all references of a website on their quality. Thus, backlinks of critical domains can be identified in advance.
Break down links via the Disavow tool
Google is changing its algorithm every day. What worked yesterday with Offpage SEO can already be recognized and punished tomorrow by the search engine. Therefore, it is recommended – even if you have not received any punishment – to break down such backlinks that do not meet the above Google quality criteria.
Link mining can be useful for several reasons:
- You have received a Google penalty
- Although you have not yet received any punishment, in the past, however, you or your SEO agency operated inferior link building
- Your competition intentionally set up poor quality backlinks for your domain to harm you (so-called negative SEO)
It’s best to go back to the Google Search Console to review all listed backlinks.
However, manual link removal is often not possible because the links are set by the competition or the site administrator does not respond to your request to remove the link. In such a case, Google provides search engine optimizers the so-called Disavow tool.
With the Google Disavow tool , you can invalidate individual URLs, or even entire domains, from which links point to your page. After uploading the appropriate URLs, Google usually crawls these websites within the next few weeks, after which your inferior backlinks are devalued.
Mentioned even without backlink a trust signal
With Offpage SEO, the focus is often exclusively on link building. Often ignoring textual mention of a brand, domain or company name, without a link to the respective website is set.
In particular, large, reputable newspapers or news magazines do not always link to the website of a company mentioned in the report. Can such a mention without a backlink still have a positive effect on the Google ranking?
Some hints, for example in the Google Quality Rater Guidelines , suggest that even naming a business can trigger a ranking boost. Therefore, try to generally increase your presence on the Internet, for example with press releases . Even if you do not receive a backlink when reporting, this can have a positive effect on your offpage SEO.
Social media and social signals as a ranking factor
Link building is regularly referred to as the only true offpage optimization measure. But for a long time, social media around Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have proven to be extremely important traffic suppliers. However, the links placed there all contain the Nofollow attribute . So do social networks play a role in search engine optimization?
This question can not be answered flawlessly, because neither Google has commented specifically, nor the SEO experts agree. One thing is for sure: Due to the high relevance of social networks for the number of visitors to a website, you should be represented there as a website operator anyway.
Depending on the industry and business environment, these social media are among the most important platforms:
- Google Plus
If search engines actually use social networks as a ranking factor for their algorithm, the following social signals probably play a decisive role:
- Followers numbers
- Likes, shares, retweets
- Mention of the brand
- Traffic through the social networks
Therefore, consider social platforms like Facebook & Co. not necessarily as an important ranking factor for your offpage SEO, but rather as a relevant traffic channel that has become almost indispensable to most businesses today.
Conclusion: Offpage SEO is important, but great content all the more
If one wants to conclude from the written here a conclusion, one can summarize the topic Offpage SEO in the following points:
- Link building is the most important feature of offpage SEO
- Particularly in the case of highly competitive search queries, the link building can not be avoided
- With offpage SEO, quality is more important than quantity
- Natural link building is the A & O
- High-quality link building costs time and money
Keep in mind that clean on-page SEO and good content are still the basis for successful search engine optimization. Especially with a view to the future, the topic of backlinks will probably lose relevance and high-quality content will become more and more important.