Why Your Link Profile Is the Most Important Ranking Factor in Google
October 18, 2017
Google’s algorithm is complex, and it changes all the time. But we know one thing for sure: your link profile is the single most important factor that influences your ranking. Everything else – your web copy, your metadata, your blog – comes second to your backlinks.
Why are links such an important factor in SEO? It comes down to a couple of core ideas: authority and trust. In a nutshell, Google assumes that sites with lots of high-quality links pointing to them are both authoritative and trustworthy.
Why Backlinks Build Your Authority
Links essentially let people “vote” on sites they like. Each backlink is a vote of trust and confidence. When someone links to you, they’re telling other people (as well as search engines) that your site has useful or valuable content on it.
In general, the more links you collect, the better. A strong backlink profile means that many different people around the internet are vouching for the quality of your site. As a result, Google boosts your ranking, making your site more visible.
How Backlinks Signal Trustworthiness
Numbers are important, but they aren’t everything. Google doesn’t just look at how many links around the internet are pointing to your site. It also checks out the quality of the sites linking to you. High-quality backlinks will give your site a major rankings boost. Low-quality backlinks, however, could actually hurt your rankings.
Why is this? In the past, some webmasters tried to game Google’s algorithm by collecting lots of backlinks from spammy, low-quality websites. Obviously, Google doesn’t want people skewing search engine results this way, so they started paying closer attention to the quality of backlinks, as well as the quantity. That’s why “link farming” – artificially inflating a website’s link profile with low-quality backlinks – is no longer considered a good practice for SEO.
How Can You Get More Backlinks?
If you want to improve your site’s organic ranking, link building is one of the best places to start. But getting more backlinks can be challenging, especially if your site is new. These tips can help you get started.
First, work on producing good content. You can do this by starting a blog, updating it regularly, and sharing your posts on social media. Content marketing is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways to get natural, high-quality backlinks today.
Second, ask other people if you can write guest posts for their blogs. This is a win-win – the other person gets more blog content, and you get a link back to your site.
If you need more help, consider bringing in the big guns. Agencies like 445 Media specialize in improving SEO and building healthy backlink profiles for growing businesses.