Link building is an important aspect of search engine optimization (SEO), both for on-page and off-page SEO. By including inbound and outbound links in your content, you can make it more valuable and reliable.
Search engines like Google and Bing rely on links to determine a website’s rank and authority. This is why several companies and SEO experts offer link-building services that are oriented towards creating a link-building strategy with the right knowledge, tools, and experience.
The quality and quantity of links are two factors that people wonder the most about. What is the ideal approach towards link building? Should we focus more on increasing the number of backlinks or including good-quality links for the content?
Before we discuss whether quality matters more or quantity, let us understand how to go about building links and what benefits it provides.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of creating links manually to a specific web page, website, or content. There are several ways to build links. You can add links from another website or page in your content or ask other website owners to add your links to their content.
A similar concept is link earning or link procuring, which is done without any outreach. You simply create valuable content that will naturally be linked by other websites. For link earning, you do not have to contact anyone for links; instead, they will link to your site organically.
Google depends on links to assess how reliable and powerful a website is. Then, it assigns the website or web page a rank on its SERPs. So basically, a site needs links to improve rankings, no matter how they are achieved.
Types of Links
Your link-building strategy must include the three major types of links: inbound, outbound, and internal links.
Inbound links or backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from other websites to yours. They are very important for Google rankings, so SEO experts try to get as many backlinks as possible. However, the quality of those backlinks is also very important.
Outbound links are links that lead from your website to other sites. These can also improve search rankings if they have value and relevance to your content. Linking research sources, in-depth articles, and other high-domain web pages can provide value to your visitors.
Internal links go from one web page to another within the same website. They help users find related information, increase time spent on your website, and also inform Google that you have related content about the same topic.
Link Building Quantity
When link-building strategies were at their inception, everyone focused on quantity. Websites built links by adding as many as they could, through ways like footer links, commenting, link registries, blog remarking, etc. It is obviously good to have a high quantity of links.
However, search engines can now understand if your links are unnatural or promotional. The rate at which you gain links is also significant. If your link quantity increases gradually with perhaps a few booms, there should not be any issues. But if you suddenly gain a huge number of links and then lose a large number, that will send red signals.
Why High Quantity Links Are Great
There are certain reasons why you should never rule out building a bank of links without considering their quality. It leads to higher engagement and quickly accomplishes link building without doing a ton of hard work.
High quantity links will help your rankings by improving them quickly. It is also possible to rank for different search phrases and keywords if you do quantity link building. Thus, it boosts both ranking and engagement.
Why High Quantity Links Are Bad
While having a large number of links can be useful for your SEO, it does have its disadvantages. If you inadvertently get links from shady sites, it will backfire against you. It also increases the possibility of having broken or old links that are no longer followable.
It is also risky to acquire links in unnatural ways. Google gives more value to organic links that have been built naturally and with relevance. Hence comes the requirement of focusing on high-quality links, rather than quantity.
Link Building Quality
With changes in Google’s algorithm, website owners have come to realize the importance of link quality. This has led to changes in link-building strategies. Instead of getting as many links as possible from random sources, businesses are now looking at links from trusted websites.
Sources with a high authority domain and PageRank provide high-quality links. Acquiring such backlinks adds reliability to your content. For instance, if a big business website links to your statistics page, it tells readers that your facts are to be trusted.
Search engines are also able to recognize relevance, linking patterns, and intent from high authority sites. Hence, both readers and bots will come to trust your website. The higher the domain authority is for the linking site, the more valuable it will be for your website.
A good quality link generally has a score between 60 and 100, but anything above 40 is acceptable. Below 40, links are not considered high quality enough to be useful or trusted. There are ways to increase this score by building links gradually from reliable websites.
Why High-Quality Links Are Great
It is advisable to add more high-quality links because:
- Google values high authority sides
- Your page ranks increase with better quality links
- It impacts on-page and off-page SEO
- It lends credibility to your content
Why High-Quality Links Are Bad
While adding quality links is great for your website, they can be difficult to get. It takes long-term efforts to build and there is no surety of organic links. When they come, they have great significance. However, admittedly, they are tedious to acquire and cannot be considered a quick way to improve ranking.
Getting only high-quality links will bring limited traffic but with high responsibility. They might bring in fewer visitors but those would probably be more significant and targeted.
How to Get High-Quality Links
There are a few ways to bring high-quality links.
- Find suitable websites that can link to yours.
- Look for high authority domains.
- Include diverse links from a variety of sites.
- Remove old, broken, or bad links.
- Reach out to multiple sources with emails and comments.
Quality vs. Quantity: Why Link Building Quality is More Important
Google has said that link-building success “works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”
So as you can see, both quality and quantity of link building are important. While you must have an ample number of links in your content, their quality should never be discounted. The quality of links offers your benefits like high and domain authority, better search rankings, and more engagement.
It also speaks for your content’s relevance and compels Google to take note of your website value. Hence, quality can be considered more important than quantity, when it comes to link building.
Yet, you must note that link-building efforts are subjective to the business. Some benefit from limited, high-quality links, while some get traffic from adding numerous links on their website. To build an effective backlinking strategy, you can avail link building services from SEO experts to get better results.