When it comes to backlinks, everybody seems to have a different set of opinions and advice.
It’s a common sight in the very dynamic digital marketing world, but bad advice can ruin your progress and hamper your vision to achieve great organic results.
The topic of backlinks is a complex one. There is no doubt about it. One main reason is that Google itself never really opened up about it. What types of backlinks work? What do we mean by bad backlinks that you should avoid? Does quality really matter over quantity?
There are many questions. Today, we are going to answer most of them.
In this post, we highlight 5 backlink myths you should completely ignore in 2017. The purpose of this post is to clear your head, so you can feel a bit more relaxed and can actually grow your business by achieving great organic results.
There is no doubt that the quality of your backlinks seriously matters. However, there is a common misconception that outright rejects the importance of the total number of backlinks you have.
When it comes to backlinks, quantity also matters.
Just to clarify, however, we are not talking about getting 1000s of low-quality backlinks and calling it a success. It won’t translate into anything productive. In fact, it may lead to a penalty.
What we are talking about, however, is the fact that only 10-15 very high-quality backlinks won’t get you very far either. Instead of just focusing on the very high-quality backlinks, you should also try to round it up with other lower quality backlinks.
For instance, if you have 10 high-quality backlinks from a website with a domain rating of 80, it’s excellent. However, if your competitor has 5,000 backlinks from an average domain rating of 60, they are most probably going to beat you in search engine rankings.
But aren’t low-quality backlinks supposed to hurt your search engine rankings? To answer that, let’s jump to our next point.
Well, here is a controversial statement.
You do need low-quality backlinks. Yes, we have said it.
Because let’s face it. Although Google has a very smart system in place, it still doesn’t know exactly how good your website is and how much value it’s providing to its visitors. Consequently, it doesn’t exactly know why someone would want to link to your website. It’s a robot after all!
Therefore, Google always looks at the end-result, such as:
How many backlinks do you have?
How is your backlink profile looking?
Does it look sketchy?
And believe us, if you do not have any low-quality backlinks, it will look sketchy. If you only have super high-quality backlinks, it may look like you are spamming links with a private blog network, which is a pretty common black hat practice.
The second reason, which we already have discussed in the previous point, is that you also need quantity. By only going after very high-quality backlinks, you will never be able to get to that high number.
Recently, Brian Dean of Backlinko conducted a study to identify the relation between the number of total backlinks and search engine rankings in Google.
See how significant of an impact the number of backlinks can have on your search engine rankings?
We don’t know where this myth stemmed from, but it has no truth.
The design of your website and user experience is important, but it does not matter when you are just seeking a backlink.
A website may look bad and may have a very poor and outdated website design, but it shouldn’t stop you from acquiring backlinks from it. For as long as that website is well-established and have a good reputation in SERPs, the backlink will help you.
And even if that’s not the case, read the previous points again.
It surely does. Do not believe otherwise.
It’s important that the domains you are getting backlinks from are relevant to your own niche and industry.
For example, if you have a website in the gardening niche, it does not make sense if you have too many backlinks coming from a casino-related website. It just does not have any connection, and Google can see it.
Furthermore, there have been many studies that prove the credibility of this connection. The following screenshot shows the correlation between relevance of backlinks and the penalties by Google Penguin.
As you can see in the above image, websites with 100% relevant backlinks didn’t get any penalty from Google Penguin.
Having said that, it is more important to build a natural and rich backlink profile. This has been the gist of this entire blog post until now anyway, right?
Google wants to see natural backlink profiles that contains everything, e.g., low-quality backlinks, high-quality backlinks, relevant backlinks, irrelevant backlinks, backlinks from author-bio posts, contextual backlinks, and everything in between.
So focus on that, and everything else will fall into place.
It is a very common misconception that backlink authority doesn’t flow to the entire website. It is simply not true.
If one of your webpages gets a backlink, it will pass backlink authority — or SEO juice — to the rest of the webpages and the entire website. It should. And this is a very common sight for e-commerce websites.
Again, Brian Dean confirmed this with his research.
Backlinks can be difficult to comprehend. We all know that.
But learning is the only way to get better at it. Now that we have debunked these 5 very common backlink myths, you do not have to believe them anymore in 2017.
Build your backlink strategy today, so that you can gain the upper hand in 2017 and beyond.