07/10/21 Becky Stead

Link Quality vs Quantity: What is more important in your link strategy?

Link building is one of the best ways to gain publicity for your business and rank higher in search engines. As a result, digital PR’s are often tasked with building valuable backlinks for SEO.

But when it comes to backlinks for SEO, what are the rules? Are more links better or is it more important to focus on quality?

What is link building?

The goal is to acquire links from other websites that in turn drive traffic and visibility to your own website. The more high quality backlinks you earn, the more Google will recognise your brand as trustworthy and credible, and should rank your website accordingly.

Why quality backlinks are important

Earning high quality backlinks to your website is one of the best ways to grow your business. A high quality backlink from an authoritative/reputable website will provide exceptional value to your business.

Google’s algorithm is more sophisticated than ever before and can quickly identify the quality of backlinks. It achieves this in the following ways:

Topical Relevance: although it can be difficult (depending on your industry), gaining backlinks that are topically relevant is an essential ranking factor. Does the context of this link make sense? Does it provide further information to both users and search engines? The more relevant your links, the better chance you have of attracting relevant traffic and earning trust in the eyes of search engines to improve the rankings of your key terms.

Link Placement: link building sounds easy, but there are so many factors you must consider. One of these is link placement. Wherever possible, links must be placed in a “natural” location on the page and within the context of the content. Your links should offer value to readers – and would therefore need to be situated naturally within the content.

Branded or Natural Anchor Text: Ideally, the anchor text should appear naturally on the page, using a mix of branded anchor text and long tail keywords. These describe to readers what the page being linked is, and fit naturally into the content.

Trusted Link Source: don’t just link to any old website. You need to ensure that every site you link to is providing additional value to your users. Would users or search engines trust the information on the linked website as credible?

Link Diversity: A natural backlink profile would contain diversity – that is, different types of links from different websites. Products and brands often cover many industries and niches, so this should be visible within a backlink profile. Link diversity expands your website reach, provides further valuable information to users, and boosts your brand reputation.

Organic high quality links

You should build links to your website naturally over time. The process is an ongoing one and requires commitment and hard work to stay competitive. Search engines love to see that your website is growing steadily over time and a sudden influx of backlinks without context can raise red flags. Do everything you can to avoid unnatural spikes in referring domains and instead gradually add to your backlink profile over an extended period of time.

How to achieve high quality backlinks 

The easiest way to gain high quality backlinks is to create content people want to link to, such as:

Infographics: infographics are a fantastic source of content that other websites love to link to. They are informative, to the point, engaging, and they provide real value for the user. If you want to gain some high-quality backlinks, infographics are a great option.

Tools/ Templates: another way to get high quality backlinks is to create usable templates or easy to use tools. These are a great way to provide linkable value for the user that they can benefit from time and time again.

Independent Research: often, reporters won’t scour the internet for hours trying to find the original source of a statistic, but will instead link to your website where the stat is mentioned. So, carrying out your own research can be a great way to encourage more industry-relevant backlinks. Carry out surveys, interview your customers, do research into your products, analyse your data and write a unique report. 

Blog Posts: the most common way to get links is by writing engaging content. These blog posts can include topical content, industry updates, expert comments etc. Just make sure you produce something fresh, instead of recycling content that already exists online so that people will want to publish and link back to your work.

How to avoid unwanted low quality links

You could win 100 backlinks in a week, but if they’re all from low quality and non-relevant websites, you’re not doing your backlink profile  any favours.

If you want to know how best to avoid potentially harmful links, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the website contextually relevant to your industry and the work that you do?
  • Has the website acquired good social engagement after publishing content?
  • Has the website got a well-maintained  level of traffic?
  • Is the website relevant to your target audience?
  • Does the website have a good domain authority? 

Is backlink quantity important? 

The more quality links your website has, the more Google will see you as an authority in your industry and rank your website accordingly. However, quantity means nothing if all the links pointing to your website aren’t relevant or worth anybody’s time. 

The best strategy for building a good quantity of valuable backlinks is to piece together a relevant strategy and get to work. Link building takes time and the only way to create an impressive backlink portfolio is to grow your profile over time. If you want great results in the long-term, don’t rush. 

If your website has earned backlinks from credible and trusted domains, Google will reward you with increased rankings, traffic, and conversions.  By narrowing down your efforts and focusing on building backlinks from reputable sources, you will avoid Google penalties and increase your website success for the long-term.

Becky Stead

Digital PR Specialist, dedicated to producing newsworthy PR campaigns and creating unique tactics to build links worldwide.