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Given the rapid pace of news we’ve been living with since the news started being delivered directly to our smartphones, you probably don’t remember this unless you were actually there. In August of last year, the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy crumbled and killed a total of 39 people. The cause was mostly attributed to the use of “unfortified concrete”, composed mostly of sand and water instead of concrete, which is much cheaper but as we’ve already seen, is prone to structural failures.

It’s not just the Morandi Bridge, apparently a total of 12 bridges across Italy have crumbled since 2004 with the Morandi Bridge being the fifth in the last five years. Making sure that the foundation is up to standards is integral in any construction project and while the ‘building’ part in link building is of the figurative kind, there are several factors that businesses and SEO services have to consider before they start their link building campaign.


The value of a link and other considerations

Due to the sheer cost involved, major construction projects have always been a reliable source of corruption. Let’s just say there’s a reason why Brazil, despite having their own crisis, both political and economical, to deal with was eventually selected to host the 2016 Summer Olympics over cities like Madrid and Tokyo (which eventually won the bid for 2020). Money makes the world go round after all.

The parallels are there when it comes to link building as well. It’s easy to take shortcuts into your link building campaign, taking the easy way out and focusing on sheer numbers instead of thinking things through, but your link building campaign will never be as effective as it could be when doing things the easy way. Link building is an indispensable part of a larger SEO strategy and there’s little chance you could rank high on a search engine without links.

The one thing to remember is that search engines have grown so sophisticated in the past five years that you can no longer take advantage of these hacks and cheap tricks to make your way to the top. At best, search engines would simply consider them meaningless and your rank will stay the same. At worst, you’re going to get penalized and watch as your site come tumbling down the rankings. Either way, the high road is still the preferred path and here are several things you have to know when it comes to genuine link building.


It’s less a question of quantity and more of quality

The right to ask is not how many links should you build over a certain period of time, it’s how good those links are. That’s not to say that the quantity doesn’t matter, it’s just that quantity shouldn’t be your primary focus. I mean I get it, trying to earn high-quality links can be difficult and for that matter, what exactly constitutes a high-quality link anyway? Focusing just on numbers then, seems to bring less headache.

Don’t fear as this piece exists to guide you in the right direction. First, you need to familiarize yourself with the concept of domain authority. Whenever a new website is added to a search engine’s index, that website usually has zero domain authority. It’s like when you see a new film pops up on the theater. Sure, the poster might look interesting but you might want to wait until reviews have begun filtering in until you finally pulled the trigger.

Domain authority works like that; it’s a metric that details just how much a single website is vouched, in this case linked, by other websites. The more a website is linked, the more authority a website has and the more credible the website that links to your website, the more authority that gets passed on to your website. Simply put, a single link from a website like the Sydney Morning Herald will probably more valuable than ten links from an obscure blog you set up for the purpose of linking to your website.


Next on the list is a matter of relevance

Here’s a question for you; which of these two people would you be willing to hear cooking advice from, Peter Gilmore or Scott Morrison? Technically, I probably wouldn’t heed Morrison’s advice on anything but in this particular case, you obviously would prefer Gilmore’s, especially if we’re talking about chocolate cakes. Just as you’d want cooking advice coming from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, you want links coming from websites and/or contents that is relevant to your field of business.

Say a food blog just posted about tea bars popping up all across Australia and then out of nowhere, in the middle of piece there’s a link recommending the readers to the best hotels to stay in for this year’s Australian Open. In comedy, we call this non sequitur and while it can be really funny when used correctly, there’s simply nothing funny about links coming from a totally unrelated website or content. Relevance is an important factor in the quality of links and if a link seems unnatural or otherwise out of place, a search engine’s algorithm is good enough to pick up on that.


Using keywords as anchor texts

The final thing you want to consider is the actual words you’re using for those links, commonly referred to as anchor texts. The idea is actually really simple; you want to use keywords as your anchor texts as often as possible but you want to take extra steps to make sure that you’re not spamming those keywords across a single piece of content. You also want to make sure that the anchor texts fit naturally together with the rest of the content as stated in the point about relevance.