15 Most Asked Link Building Questions Answered [Interview]
Anyone working online can't avoid working with links. Links are one of the most important ranking factors. This way, link building becomes an inseparable strategy for any site owner.
We are not going to lie - that's not the easiest tactic. In fact, 41% of companies share that link building is the most difficult SEO technique. Yet, you can't skip it.
But don't get scared. There's always a way out.
Today we chatted with our Head of SEO to answer the most popular questions about link building. We've gathered some great queries from various Q&A platforms.
These in-depth and true answers will help you solve lots of problems or hardships you might experience. You'll learn some peculiarities and tips only an SEO professional can offer.
So, enhance your knowledge, get new ideas, and grow your ranks with these pieces of advice!
1. Hi, I hope you're doing fine. Today I've prepared the most asked questions about link building for you. Let's start from the basics. Are SEO and link building identical notions?
Hi! I am so ready to answer your questions!
Understanding the basics is vital. So, the answer to this question is no, they are not. We can break down SEO into on-page (yet, it's more correct to say there are on-site and on-page SEO) and off-page parts.
Both parts have different roles:
- on-site SEO – refers to technical optimization
- off-site SEO – refers to link building.
Often, professionals explain everything making an analogy with automobiles. I'll go the same road:
- On-site SEO is the united work of engine, gearbox, clutch, and wheels. The point is to have a high-efficiency coefficient, optimal gear ratios, and a minimum grip. And only after everything is fine-tuned, you can add fuel.
- Off-site SEO is an automobile's fuel. It makes no sense to pour fuel and drive when you only have first and second gears or when the engine is not tuned, and the consumption is five mpg.
Of course, there are some exceptions. Sometimes sites without on-page optimization receive top rankings. Or vice versa, sites without links get top positions. Yet, we all understand that a car can with a broken engine or without fuel can roll down the hill.
SEO consists of on-page, or more correct on-site & on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
Nevertheless, there might be lots of reasons why such sites get top positions (without evident on or off-page optimization):
- you just don't see all the links the site has acquired because they are hidden,
- the site's niche is low-competitive,
- the site has lots of links so that it doesn't require any on-site SEO,
- that's a doorway (where the on-page SEO is overdone), and that's why no need for links.
But the list goes on as there are more complicated reasons.
2. That's a great comparison. Yet, what's link building from your point of view?
Well, I'll be fair - that's the everyday work of the SEO professional. It's important to find fitting sites for a fair price. It's essential to monitor your backlinks to make sure they are doing just fine.
There are lots of things to keep in mind. For example, your guest post can receive top positions, a site owner can delete your link or make it nofollow. Besides, a donor site can get under the filter.
So, it's constant work.
3. And we should definitely value that work. But how essential is link building for SEO?
There are almost no chances to get top positions without backlinks.
Your site might be seamless technical-wise, have fancy fonts, etc. Yet, you won't rank high or get traffic without links. Of course, that applies if you work in middle- or high-competitive niches with a competition level of around 90%.
That's why link building is the most vital part of SEO.
4. Now, as we understand link building is so essential, we can't go wrong with it. So, here comes my next question. What link building techniques will be actual in 2022?
Everything depends on the niche in which you'd like to reach top positions and your site. If we skip grey and black niches and link building approaches, your destination is guest posting.
It has long been highly effective and will stay the same until Google exists.
My advice is to stay tuned for Google updates. The algorithms are changing, and if earlier (until 2007) it was possible to instruct many anchors and be at the top, now you need to dilute the anchor list and build a natural link profile.
5. And now, let's move to the next sub-topic. What's special about local link building? What companies should use this tactic?
That's quite easy. Local link building is a perfect fit for companies that offer their services offline in a certain region.
Local SEO is not only link building but also on-site optimization.
On-site for local SEO should include:
- NAP (name, address, phone, and zip code) that you place on your site in the text format that you incorporate as a link.
- Semantics - pick and add local queries in the text format of your site (country, state, city, street).
- Interlinking - by using local words.
Off-site for local SEO should include:
- Make sure to add and fill information qualitatively in the listing-ах (Google Maps, Yelp, Yahoo). Don't forget to update the information you've entered.
- Place links in local mass medium, bloggers, and sites.
- Get links from your regional zone sites.
6. And now, let's imagine someone launches a site. What link building is required for a new website?
To fully answer this question, you need to understand the niche and budget. But my general recommendations are as follows:
- Try not to use keys in anchor text. Instead, use the brand name, URL, look/here/link.
- Make your link profile look natural. Do not use one type of link (PBN, comments, guest posting, web 2.0) and observe the dynamics. You shouldn't build 100 links on the first day/week/month and wait for the site to reach the top positions. Build links throughout the month, observe the dynamics. Then in the next months (but do not make sharp leaps), you can first create profiles on web 2.0 sites, then move to guest posting.
- Avoid low-quality links (with a high spam score, with a lot of ads, or low-quality content).
7. So, throughout the interview, you've mentioned guest posting multiply. Why is guest posting the most beneficial type of link building?
Well, I'd say it's the only one available!
You won't get a lot of link juice from web 2.0 sites as most links are nofollow, and anchor text is URL only. Links in comments are almost always nofollow, and if they are dofollow, then, as a rule, very spam. Finding quality free dofollow links in the right amount is difficult.
Guest posting gives you the best of link building. And guest posting services allow you access to many high-quality sites. Moreover, you'll have the opportunity to choose the one you need by industry, GEO, with the desired text, the link will be dofollow and with the anchor you need.
So, one link built with guest posting will be:
- from the relevant site,
- from a page with relevant content (as you choose the topic of the article yourself),
- from a site with good performance (DR, domain authority, traffic, spam score).
As a result, such a link will give a lot more link juice and will be more secure. Instead of building 50 links in comments, build one link with guest posting, and it that will look less suspicious to Google. Moreover, it'll be cheaper and safer for you.
8. Let's save site owners from failures. What are the most widespread link building mistakes?
In my personal experience, there are two main mistakes.
1. Site owners start doing everything on their own even though they don't know the right techniques.
2. Site owners delegate link building to specialists from India, Pakistan, and some other locations, even though their expertise is quite questionable.*
9. Here is another interesting question that makes me curious as well. What's the difference between link building and link baiting?
You need to understand what link baiting is. In short, you create content that users want to share (link to your content). That said, in the case of link baiting, you do not control this process (you cannot choose where the link will be placed, with what text, in what material, on which site).
10. Cool, now I know a bit more about link baiting. Yet, I feel like it's better to be in control of where your backlinks appear. And now, let's discuss link building size-wise. Will link building strategies for small and big companies differ?
In fact, no. The strategy depends more on the niche, the promoted site, and the budget. A small company can have a large budget for link building and vice versa.
Niche. Perhaps all of your competitors have a guest posting link profile, then you're in luck, and you can just repeat their experience. You can use better quality donors and better quality texts. Yet, rivals in your niche can use PBNs, satellites, 301 redirects, so it will be more difficult to get to the top using only guest posting.
Site. If your site is old enough, with a lot of history and possibly several powerful links, it will be much easier for you to break into the top than with a site that was created a month ago (especially if there are old sites in the niche).
Budget. If you have a small budget, you will have to search for sites by yourself and also negotiate and prepare texts. And, of course, with such a budget, it will not be possible to buy links from cool sites with high metrics or to buy links in sufficient volume.
11. Well, so many factors influence your success on Google. That's why I have another question. Can you still define link building as one of the most competitive strategies for positions growth on Google?
Yes, I'd say so. Moreover, I gave a quite broad answer in question number four. I just want to add that link building is not one of the most important ranking factors; it is the most important factor. Link building is at the heart of Google's algorithm.
Link building is at the heart of Google's algorithm.
12. So, we agree on the exceptional link building role. But backlinks from what sites are the most effective?
Backlinks from high-quality thematic sites are your one and onlies. The website should have good metrics, and in addition to those metrics, it should not have traffic drawdowns (or hits under the filter). Moreover, the site should be visually adequate, without a terrible design, a lot of advertising, and inappropriate and low-quality content.
But it's not only about donor sites; lots of things also depend on the acceptor site (your site). For Amazon (with its high trust), even a link from a low-quality site can be effective, and Amazon will raise from 11th place to the top 10. But if you have a young site that cannot even enter the top 100, such a link pessimizes, and your site will never be at the top for a request.
Link placement also plays a huge role. If you add a link to a comment on the 10-year old page with one picture and a sentence, you won't get any benefits from this activity. Yet, if you place your link on the exact same site but on the main page, you will see an impressive difference.
13. I see that link building can be quite tricky. But I know for sure that someone can help with this. So, what are link building companies? What are they doing?
These are companies that help their clients (SEO specialists, business owners) purchase links from other sites.
This way, clients of such companies don't have to search for sites where they can place guest posts on their own and negotiate for placement.
14. There are lots of link building companies. Why is it worth using white hat link building services? What are the consequences of partnering with low-quality services?
This is a safe method of getting links. For a gray hat, there is a risk of pessimization, and with a black hat, it is a guarantee of pessimization, albeit not immediately. Moreover, it is quite likely that you will also receive a criminal article with imprisonment and a large fine.
15. Wow, I haven't thought the consequences could be so harsh! Yet, the whole interview has been showing that link building is an amazing topic and has so many particularities. And as we are at the very end of our conversation, I have the last thing to ask. Share your final words about link building.
Link building is undoubtedly the most important thing in SEO, but it is also worth remembering that it is only a tool. It's not enough to be able to use it; you also need to understand when, what links, and in what quantity you need to build.
Without links, there is almost no chance of reaching the top positions (unless it's a doorway or a super low-competitive niche). But if you handle them incorrectly, it's possible not to get the desired results or even get under a filter.
If we continue the automobile analogy, there is no point in pouring fuel into a non-working car or pouring diesel into a gasoline car (if you don't understand the issue). Yet, of course, it's still a little more complicated with links.
Our team hopes you find this interview about link building extra helpful. There were a lot of useful answers from a real SEO expert.
We also hope you remember a couple of essential things. Firstly, link build is a must if you want your site to rank high on search engines. Secondly, trust link building only to reliable guest posting services.
* Opinion about link building mistakes is personal and based on experience in SEO. We understand there are also true professionals from the mentioned regions.