Recent developments from Google which include the Penguin updates and the promotion of Google+, there has been speculation in the industry that the impact of links are being reduced and are being replaced with social signals.
In the meantime, there is no doubt that if you get high-quality links to your site, it will make you rank higher and give you more traffic.
Google has been focusing on quality as they continuously evolve to being masters at filtering out low-quality links. This makes an impact on SEO’s because they need to apply link building strategies that focus on quality.
We now look at the “nofollow” attribute that you can apply to links. When you add this attribute, you won’t notice any difference if you are the user. However, when you look at the code of the link, you will notice the addition of rel=”nofollow.”
The purpose of nofollow is to tell Google not to pass any PageRank on the link to the target URL. It’s like informing Google not to trust this link and ignore it from any consideration. In effect, it should not help the target URL to rank better.
The main reason why sites may use nofollow is the scenario that the site lacks control over links that are added to its pages.
These companies don’t want to show Google a vote of confidence because they don’t know if they can be confident.
- Forum posts
- Blog comments
- Guestbook comments
- Yahoo Answers
- Guest post signatures
- Editable Wiki pages
Another use for nofollow links is for advertisers who acquire paid links. If you buy an advertising banner on a website that links to you, Google requires you to add a “nofollow” attribute to your link so that they would know not to pass any PageRank across that link.
This is because Google believes that you should not benefit in organic results when you buy ad slots that include links on other sites.
Google has expanded this concept to cover optimized links in article directories, press releases, and advertorials. You are expected to use nofollow in these situations.
As a user, you should know that links that have nofollow attribute will most likely not help your organic search rankings. This does not mean that you won’t benefit from your links indirectly.
Typical users don’t notice whether a link is nofollowed or not. They may still click on it even if it is. This is the reason for buying ads online, you want users to click the link and be led to your site.
Tips for Link Building
There are many ways to get links. The best tactics will depend on the resources you have and the industry that you are in.
If you are part of an industry that is more established, you can expect more competition, so you need to be more aggressive with your link building tactics. It is also more difficult to earn those organic links compared to newer industries.
Content-based link building is a proven and tested strategy that you can apply. The goal is to create content that you can use to try and get links. These are in the form of:
- How to guides
- Video tutorials
- Data visuals
- Image galleries
You create these materials for the purpose of earning links from them. Try to make them relevant, informative and entertaining. You can reach out to people who click on your links and start building relationships with them.
Being consistent in pushing high-quality content can get you to a level where you don’t need to ask for every link that you get. You can have a few influencers in your industry who can spread the word on your behalf.
This takes a long time and much effort to build. Your content has to be exceptional so that your authority and credibility in your niche can be established. It is difficult but success in this regard is not impossible to accomplish.