HOW TO CREATE A WINNING NETLINKING STRATEGY?

 


When we talk about SEO, we too often talk about the technical optimization of a web page, the writing of quality content, internal networking forgetting the power of inbound links or backlinks. Indeed, for all search engines like Google, the popularity of a website is measured by the links it receives from other web pages. To position oneself on the long term without a thoughtful netlinking strategy proves to be very complicated or even impossible especially on competitive requests. Obtaining backlinks of quality and in sufficient quantity is necessary to improve your natural referencing and to squat the first pages of results of the search engines (SERP). This is what our SEO agency offers you.

On April 24, 2012, Google modified its PageRank algorithm related to the calculation of the power of incoming links by assigning penalties or filtering websites using aggressive netlinking techniques. Google Penguin did very badly on some SERPs and penalized large sites, which pushed SEOs to modify their netlinking techniques. So how to create a winning and most of all sustainable netlinking strategy? You'll also discover the definition of a good link and how you can incorporate your netlinking into your digital marketing strategy.

What is a good link for the seo?

When you set up a strategy to acquire natural links, or rather organic links, you have to think about the long term. However, in SEO, be aware that the perfect link doesn't really exist and that to avoid a Google Penguin filter, each link must be editable quickly. Here are the criteria of a good link for your netlinking strategy.

Indexing of the page making the link

For a backlink to be counted in the calculation of your PageRank, the web page making the link must be indexed, i.e. it must exist in the eyes of the search engine. In fact, it sometimes happens that the sites proposing to link to you have very few pages indexed in relation to their total number of pages, and that potentially your link is not taken into account.

To find out if a page is indexed in Google, simply use the command "site:yourdomain.com/lapage" in the search bar.


If the page is not indexed, your backlink will not be taken into account by the engine. This sometimes happens on news sites or thematic blogs where it is possible to buy sponsored articles. The problem is that the pages are sometimes orphaned and Google does not follow them. If you pay 2000 € for a non-indexed article, then the SEO benefits are zero because the backlink does not bring you anything.

Another tip, if you launch a netlinking campaign, also make sure that your backlink is placed on a page indexed in Google's primary index.

Google stores web pages in two separate indexes, the primary index that lists good quality pages and the secondary index that lists pages deemed to be of lower quality or sites that are too young.

To find out if a page of a site is in Google's primary index, simply use the same command "site:yourdomain.com/lapage", but this time in the Orange search engine which only uses Google's primary index. Before obtaining a link on a website, you must make sure that the latest contents are indexed.

If you have old links on non-indexed pages, you can also force the indexing a bit by using pings services, or by sending some backlinks to the page to index. If you use this strategy, it is better that the page has been modified beforehand to send a legitimate and positive signal to Google.

Dofollow links

Not all backlinks have the same weight with search engines, for my part, I only consider dofollow links, i.e. links followed by search engines, with one exception, nofollow links coming from "trusty" or authoritative sources like Wikipedia, even if it is possible to get dofollow links from this online encyclopedia with small technical hacks. Slightly black hat, but terribly efficient.

To know if a link is followed by Google, you have to make some checks :

the link has no rel="nofollow" attribute in its html code.

the page does not use a meta name robots with the nofollow instruction.

the page does not have a nofollow attribute in its HTTP header. Some websites use the X-Robot-Tags technique to avoid penalties for selling items.

the link is cloaked (google doesn't see it, but you do), a bit harder to detect for neophytes. I've already exchanged links, the unscrupulous partner had cloaked his link thinking he was dealing with a SEO noob ;-) bad luck.

the link is coded in javascript or uses an obfuscation technique that Google cannot interpret. It is rarer but it can happen especially with the <button> or the <span> tag instead of the <a> tag.

In 15 years of netlinking, I have never found the benefit of working nofollow links except to bring some qualified traffic on a page. It is only the dofollow links that will impact positively or negatively your SEO.

Metrics of the page and the site making the link

Whether it is Majestic's Citation Flow, Ahrefs' URL Rating or Moz's Page Autority, each of these metrics try to reproduce Google's PageRank formula with more or less precision. I remind you that we should not stop at these indicators of popularity of a page because they are manipulable and not always accurate.


To evaluate the power that a link can bring to my clients, I look at :
the organic traffic of the site the number of referring domains the number of IP Subnets metrics on Majestic and Ahrefs

Whatever tool you use, you must know if the website on which you are going to put your link is visited by Internet users. For that, I use the metrics of Semrush and also those of Ahrefs, if the site does not generate any visit, I ask myself the question twice before publishing a link, in 80% of the cases, I will not ask it, even if the page has a TF (Trust Flow) of 35 and 450 RD (Referring Domain).

I also check the Topical Trust Flow and the Trust Flow / Citation Flow ratio using SEObserver, which allows me in a few moments to see if the site is potentially spammy.
Page positioned on a keyword

Better than all metrics, if you want to position yourself on a keyword, I simply advise you to make an extraction of the first 100 results and try to place the maximum number of backlinks on the pages already positioned on your keyword. If the page in question is positioned on several dozen, or even hundreds of keywords in your theme, it is that it pleases Google and it is authoritative. Your link will therefore have a lot of power and your ranking will increase significantly. This is for me the best indicator to place a backlink.
Of course, you should avoid asking for a link on a black hat site using spamdexing (automatic mass content generation) or an unscrupulous Amazon affiliate site, except in some cases ;-).

Link anchor
Doing a netlinking campaign is good, but you still need to control the link anchors to avoid a filter or a Google Penguin penalty. Indeed, the overprotimization of anchors and google bombing is over. Search engines don't appreciate exact anchors and can penalize a site very quickly.

Nevertheless, without a minimum of extended anchors containing your keywords, it is impossible to position quickly on the big competitive queries. When netlinking, there is no such thing as zero risk, which is why you should vary the anchors as much as possible and not exceed 7% of exact anchors.

For my part, I keep a very close eye on my clients' link profiles. By performing several tests on isolated sites, I can now affirm that generic anchors (click here, learn more, etc.) will never make you rank on competitive keywords, even if you have to use them from time to time to get a more natural link profile and dilute over-optimized anchors.

Theme of the page making the link

When we talk about a thematic link, we are talking about a page with a theme related to yours making a link to you. There are many ways to thematize a page, even a page from a forum or blog can be linked to your theme, as long as you add content related to your topic.

If you have a "garden furniture" site, it is recommended to get links only to sites related to outdoor furniture or even only to garden furniture. The results obtained with this netlinking technique will be better. That's why PBN (network of sites) are always used in aggressive SEO strategies, we will come back to this...

Still with our example of "garden salon", note that it is possible to contextualize a link on a page talking about ski boots (yes, it is possible).
Majestic SEO has also developed a thematic indicator called Topical Trust Flow. This metric used by this tool allows to know the main theme of a website. The problem with this metric is that it is easily manipulated and not very accurate, especially for small sites. Google was also using the dmoz.org website to know the theme of a website. In fact, it used this directory to develop its Topical PageRank algorithm (Thematic PageRank). This directory created by AOL was very qualitative but sadly closed its doors after 19 years of good and loyal service.

Of course, it is possible that your link profile includes some big press links and that your Topical Trust Flow from Majestic is "News". On sites with very few backlinks, a single strong link will be able to vary the color of the Topical Trust Flow.

Links from Google News

This transition with Google News is perfect... after telling you about Topical PageRank, Dmoz.org, indexing, here's the turn of Google news. In order to be accepted in this Google index, site editors must show their white paw and scrupulously respect Google's guidelines. So, if you get a backlink from one of these news sites, you will get in 90% of the cases a quality link.

Quality of the content making the backlink

Ordering an article to an offshore editor for the netlinking of your site is good, but the article must be correctly written and especially that it integrates the right keywords, or if you prefer, the right lexies, the right co-occurrences, the repetitions and especially the n-grams. I think as you read these lines you wonder how semantics and algebra can merge to help write good content, and yet Google uses several models to succeed in understanding what a page is about.

For this, he uses several algorithms such as Thematic PageRank, Salton cosine, TF-IDF and N-grams, which are for me the most important with Thematic PageRank. On this subject, you can even read Anna Patterson's Google patent on sentence based indexing. This will explain how the search engine giant proceeds to rank the good and bad sentences in your texts. Ok, I'm getting a little bit lost, but know that a good article will have more chance to be positioned on Google and therefore to be read. The backlink placed inside this text will therefore be much more powerful and your netlinking will really give you results. Of course, there are a lot of tools available today (YourTextGuru, 1.fr, SeoQuantum, Visiblis) allowing you to write an article that is a candidate for the ranking.

The position of the link in the

For many search engines, it is the first links in the page that bring the most power. If we disregard the links in the navigation, the sidebars and the footer, there remains then the link inside the content of the page, I mean the one present in a paragraph. Google browses the source code of your page from top to bottom, so if your backlink is placed at the bottom of the page, it will have less power. On this subject, a clickable link placed in a visible place and returning traffic on your page will certainly hit the mark. This is why it is very important to choose the right location for the backlink in a page. Moreover, if your backlink is located in a paragraph very rich in keywords, it will be even more powerful because it will be contextualized.

The number of links on the page

Just because the PageRank Toolbar is no longer displayed in your browser does not mean that Google no longer uses the PageRank formula to determine the power of a page. On the contrary, PageRank is at the heart of Google's algorithm and is systematically reworked and recalculated because the overall number of URLs is growing every day. The idea is simple, the more outgoing links a page has, the less juice (linkjuice) your backlink will transmit to your page. That's also why spammed comment sites will give you very little or no juice at all. At best Google will ignore your backlink, at worst it will apply a filter to your page.

How to acquire backlinks?

Depending on the competition on your activity, your budget, your monetization strategy and especially your marketing objectives, there are several ways to acquire backlinks. If your website is intended to last, we recommend that you work on your netlinking in a sustainable way to avoid a penalty or Google filter. If your site is rather ephemeral, you can bombard the backlinks... but sooner or later, your site will disappear from the SERPS.

In any case, the Kpi to isolate to measure your ROI are numerous, but it is possible to retain some of them :

the gain of positions on your keywords the gain in overall organic traffic the bounce rate and time spent on the page receiving the link

Based on all these criteria, it will be possible to create a winning netlinking strategy. Here are some tracks, White Hat, Black Hat and Grey Hat to acquire backlinks.

The PBN

A Private Blogs Network (PBN) or network of sites is a technique used today massively to truster the results pages of a search engine (SERP). On paper, the technique is simple, just buy several expired domain names that already have quality backlinks and a few indexed pages. Then, you go back up a site or a blog, you send them some links from directories or other articles. You wait a few weeks and then you create backlinks that point to your pages.

Of course, this practice is considered a black hat technique and Google does not appreciate it at all. As such, John Muller, Matt Cutts' replacement at Google, announced in a Hangout that the search giant was able to detect PBNs without any problem. I don't believe it at all, especially if the network of sites is well done. If you want to implement this kind of netlinking strategy, it's better to hide your backlinks from your competitors and block major crawlers like Mj12, AhrefsBot, rogerbot, SemrushBot, and the list is quite long.

The advantage of a PBN is to be able to remove links at any time in case of Google filtering or penalty. Nevertheless, don't be afraid to spend several thousands of euros in the purchase of a powerful expired domain. You can also buy "exact match domains", put content on them, popularize them a little bit and then place your backlinks to your moneysite. Until 2019, you could also make 301s to your main domain, but this technique has lost a lot of power.

Directories

I loved them so much until 2012, before Pengouin, we used to register in all the directories with {unique|spinned} descriptions and exact mass anchors... Today, I will say that you can register on about ten of them, that's all. On the other hand, some directories such as the CCI or other company directories are still to be worked on. Same for local directories, even if the link is in nofollow, I recommend you to work on them, you will understand very quickly why they are very important ;-)

The Forums

In 2020, I think it's useful to work correctly the forums, in White Hat mode, already you will be able to find topics that are positioned in the top 100 on interesting requests and above all that can bring you qualified traffic. There is a large number of niche sites and comparators of all kinds that build their netlinking strategy with more than 60% of forum links, and it's running and it's holding! Is the link in a topic legitimate in the eyes of Google, if it refers to a hot news or additional information, then yes. On the other hand, if you use Xrumer, Gsa, Zennoposter or netlinking services on Fiverr, in addition to polluting the forum with false discussions, you may also waste time creating rotten links. Frankly, I prefer the surgical method, I have some compassion for the poor moderators who are tearing their hair out removing advertising links and banning members.

Blog Comments

As for directories, there were too many links created before 2012 to manipulate Google and create link profiles completely spammy... That's why most blogs like Wordpress have nofollowed external links. However, if you write a relevant comment on a page that ranks on your keyword and on a CMS allowing dofollow links, then it is possible to post some comments in a surgical way. Nevertheless, it is possible to use comments to boost a webprofile.

Webprofiles

Still used in many netlinking strategies, webprofiles allow you to contextualize or thematize your link because it is possible to inject content and index the page. Some powerful webprofile spots are still little spammed and interesting for your overall netlinking strategy, but like chocolate, they should be used sparingly.

The technique is quite simple, create an account on the site, write a description or a unique content rich in keywords and then get a maximum of internal links (via comments for example) on the site in question to give power to your webprofile.

Some SEO push webprofiles only with backlinks. This technique works but is less natural. Nevertheless, some webprofiles are legitimate for your industry and the backlink obtained can really bring power to your website.

Wikki and Guestbooks

Similar to blog comments, these strategies make it very easy to acquire a link. The problem is that these spots are often very spammed or even hacked and they don't bring much in terms of SEO. Nevertheless, it is possible to use them in some cases, sparingly of course...

Guest articles

Better known as guest-blogging, the guest article is a simple, efficient and cheap netlinking technique, especially if you are a human being! The idea is to write an article in your field of expertise on a fairly powerful blog. Very clearly, there are several ways to do guest-blogging and also to write unique and relevant content, by making a computer graphics, a video or a podcast for example. Your article can also be linked on the blogger's social networks and can also be part of a social media strategy. The idea, as always, is to select the sources and to be original and persuasive with the blogger by showing him the common interest he has in letting you write an article on his blog.

Buying links

Yes, if you read Matt Cutts, John Muller or any other Google communicator, they will tell you that buying links is wrong. Of course, if Google flags you or if you are denounced by a competitor via the spam report, it is possible that your website may be subject to a penalty or filter. Nevertheless, the purchase of links exists and has even multiplied in the last 5 years, there are a large number of platforms for buying links, some even offer a service of press and media relations.

In other words, link buying on major media... but it remains pure link buying, which is therefore theoretically punishable by Google. Be very careful if you want to buy links, some sites are flagged by search engines and the link you buy will bring you absolutely nothing at all in terms of positioning, or even penalize you. It is possible to rent a link on a homepage of a site or on a category, to buy a link on a blog article, or to buy a link directly on a positioned article.

It is not for me, SEO for 15 years to tell you that all sites that rank buy links or almost all of them. You can see it for yourself. Linkbaiting doesn't work on all themes.

Linkbaiting

If you had searched on Google "how to netlinking" 7 years ago, you would have come across articles showing you by A + B that the linkbaiting strategy was the only viable way to get links. But how to acquire a natural link by writing qualitative content when you are a small craftsman in a theme flooded with blog posts? It's hard to catch a shark with a box of maggots and a 12/100 thread.

Certainly you will be told that you have to write content, content and more qualitative and original content? Ok. Maybe you'll manage to get a link from a blog 2.0 (overblog, canalblog, blogger, wordpress.com, tumblr, etc) but it's a lot of effort for not much, isn't it? Passivity is a decision of failure. So don't wait for a link to be made... but go ahead and start creating quality links if you want to try linkbaiting afterwards.

Where do you start to create quality links?

If I had to choose only a perennial, efficient and low-risk netlinking technique to start getting quality links, it would probably be with your own network. It is easy for you to contact a partner or provider in your theme.

Why not offer him a link exchange? The webmaster or the manager in front of you is also a human, he probably likes wine, go to a restaurant (you can have a salad if you plan to negotiate a lot of links)? A nice link is easy to get if you show yourself a little human. Those links are very powerful and usually don't cost anything or a little bit of diabetes.

Similarly, if you sell products online, find bloggers who are well positioned on your topic and offer them to write an article in exchange for a product test. In short, be active and don't wait for links to fall naturally.

Also note that a backlink can take several months to be taken into account by search engines and impact your positions, which is why it is essential to create a long-term netlinking strategy. Even if your site is positioned in the TOP 3 on a wide range of keywords, it is necessary to continue to build your links to avoid seeing your competitors pass in front of you.

As Matt Cutts used to say, netlinking is still the best way to position yourself on Google! Netlinking is a pillar of the seo. For that, our SEO agency can help you in your Netlinking strategy.

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