Relevant Links: How They Impact Your Search Rankings
Did you hear the big news in December 2022? Google changed the rules! They said, “No more spammy or poor-quality links.” This means we can’t just throw links around anymore. We need to make sure they’re good and make sense with our content. So now, making relevant links isn’t just a nice thing to do – it’s a must-do! Are you on board with this change?
To understand the importance of link relevancy, think of The New York Times. Its high standing in search results isn’t a coincidence. Relevant links act as the backbone of its digital fame, making connections with high-quality content and boosting credibility.
Yet, not all links are created equal. Among the array of connections, “Relevant Links” command the top position, much like The New York Times does in journalism.
Join us as we explore this critical aspect of SEO strategy, revealing how you can match the success of top-tier websites and improve your own digital footprint.
What are Relevant Links?
Relevant links are connections between websites that have something to do with each other. They are links that make sense to have because the two sites share a common theme or topic.
For example, if you’re on a website about dogs, a relevant link might take you to another page about dog breeds or dog care. This link is relevant because it relates to the overall topic: dogs.
Benefits of Building Relevant Links
Let’s take a moment to dive into the benefits of building relevant links. You’ll soon see why they’re an important part of creating and maintaining a successful website.
- Targeted Audience Engagement: Relevant links lead your visitors to content that they’re truly interested in. When people are directed to relevant content, they tend to engage more with the website, boosting the website’s success.
- Improved Interactions: When a person visits a website, they’re usually looking for specific information. By providing relevant links, you’re essentially guiding them where they want to go. This leads to better interactions on your website, as visitors find what they need quickly and efficiently.
- Maximized Visibility: By using relevant links, you’re giving your website more chances to be discovered by search engines like Google. The more relevant links you give, the easier it is for search engines to find your website. When search engines find your website more easily, your website’s visibility is maximized.
- Improved Authority and Trust: If your website is linked to by other credible websites, it shows search engines and visitors that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. Building relevant links with high-quality, respected sites can significantly boost your website’s authority and trust.
How to Check for Link Relevance
Step 1: Understand Your Own Content
The first step in checking link relevance is to thoroughly understand your own content. Just like you need to know your starting point on a map, you need to understand what your website or webpage is about. Ask yourself, what is the main theme or subject of my content?
Step 2: Review the Linking Page’s Content
The next step is to review the content of the page that’s linking to you or the page you want to link to. What is the main theme or subject of that content? It’s like looking at your destination on a map.
Step 3: Compare the Two
Once you have a clear understanding of both your content and the linking page’s content, it’s time to compare the two. Are they related in some way? Do they share a similar theme or subject? If the answer is yes, then the link is likely to be relevant.
Step 4: Consider the Context
Link relevance isn’t just about the overall theme or subject of the content. It’s also about the context in which the link is placed. Is the link naturally integrated into the content? Does it add value to the reader? If the answer is yes, then this is another sign of a relevant link.
Step 5: Use SEO Tools
Lastly, there are various SEO tools available online that can help you check link relevance. These tools can analyze the content and context of both your page and the linking page, providing an assessment of link relevance. They can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with a large number of links.
Checking Backlink Relevance in Ahrefs
Before we start, let’s briefly explain what Ahrefs is. Ahrefs is an SEO toolset that provides data and tracking for things like keywords, backlinks, and rankings.
Using Ahrefs is like having a magnifying glass for your website – it lets you see things that would otherwise be difficult to notice. Below explained are the steps to check the link relevancy in Ahrefs:
Step 1: Accessing Your Ahrefs Dashboard
To check backlink relevance in Ahrefs, you first need to log in to your Ahrefs account and access your dashboard. Your dashboard is the main screen – it’s where you can see all the different options and information available to you.
Step 2: Using the Site Explorer Tool
Once you’re on your dashboard, you’ll want to use the Site Explorer tool. This tool is a bit like a telescope – it allows you to examine specific websites (including your own) in detail. You can input the website you want to check and the tool will generate a report.
Step 3: Checking Backlinks
In the generated report, you’ll want to look for the “Backlinks” section. Here, you’ll see a list of all the backlinks to the website you’re examining.
Step 4: Analyzing Link Relevance
Now comes the crucial part: analyzing link relevance. For each backlink, you can click on it to see the context in which your link is placed on the linking website. You should ask: Is the linking page’s content related to your own? Is the link naturally integrated into the content? Does it add value to the reader? Answering these questions will help you determine the relevance of each backlink.
Easy Strategies for Building Relevant Links for Your Website
1. Niche Identification
In terms of websites, your niche is the specific topic or area that your website focuses on. It’s what your website is all about. For example, if your website is all about baking, then your niche would be “baking” or even “dessert recipes”. It’s important to have links that are related to your niche, otherwise search engines like Google might struggle to understand what your website is really about.
So how do you identify your niche when building links?
You need to think about the core theme or topic of your website. In our baking website example, you would look for other websites, blogs, or forums that also focus on baking or related topics like cooking or food recipes. These would be your “niche” sites for building relevant links.
2. Adjust Link Expectations
Link expectations refer to the kind of results you hope to get from your links. For instance, you might want your links to bring more visitors to your site, help improve your search engine rankings, or increase your website’s authority.
Why do we need to adjust these expectations?
In the digital world, algorithms of search engines like Google are constantly changing. Therefore, what worked before may not work as well now. Also, not all links will perform the same way. Some links might bring lots of visitors, while others may not bring as many but might improve your site’s credibility.
3. Understand Link Velocity
So why should we care about link velocity?
If a website gains a large number of links too quickly, search engines like Google might find this suspicious. This could lead to your website being flagged or penalized. If you’re gaining links too quickly, you might decide to slow down a bit. If you’re not gaining links fast enough, it might be time to step up your link building efforts.
4. Relevant Anchor Text
In the world of web pages and search engine optimization, anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s usually highlighted or underlined.
So, why does relevant anchor text matter when building links?
If the anchor text is relevant, it tells the reader and the search engines what to expect when they follow the link. If it’s not, it can lead to confusion and even affect your website’s search engine rankings.
Red Flags to Avoid While Building Relevant Links
It’s just as important to understand what not to do when building relevant links. Let’s delve into some red flags you should avoid.
- Participating in Link Schemes: Link schemes are essentially shortcuts or tricks that some people use to try to quickly gain lots of links to their website. Search engines like Google can often detect these schemes and may penalize your website for using them. So, it’s always better to gain links through genuine methods.
- Over-Optimization of Anchor Text: We’ve already learned about the importance of relevant anchor text. However, just like having too much of a good thing can be bad, over-optimizing your anchor text can also be harmful. This happens when the same anchor text is used over and over again. Search engines might see this as spammy behavior and potentially lower your website’s ranking.
- Ignoring the Quality and Relevance of Linking Domains: This means forgetting to check if the websites you’re linking to are good quality and relevant to your website’s content. Linking to low-quality or irrelevant websites can hurt your website’s credibility and search engine ranking.
Link Relevancy Vs. Authority
Relevancy in links refers to how closely related the content of the linked website is to the content of your own website.
On the other hand, link authority refers to the reputation or credibility of the website that’s linking to you.
A balance of both is ideal for a robust link building strategy.
- Relevant links help ensure that your website is reaching the right audience and providing a consistent user experience.
- Links from authoritative sites, meanwhile, can boost your website’s credibility and ranking in search engine results.
In fact, the best-case scenario is when you can achieve a link that is both highly relevant and from an authoritative site.
Google’s Take on Relevant Backlinks
Google, the world’s most popular search engine, values backlinks greatly. It views backlinks as votes of confidence from one website to another.
Relevance Matters to Google
However, not all backlinks are treated equally in Google’s eyes. Google values relevant backlinks, meaning those that come from websites that are closely related to yours. Google believes these relevant backlinks provide a better user experience, as they connect users with more content that’s likely to be of interest to them.
Avoiding Irrelevant Backlinks
Google doesn’t take kindly to irrelevant backlinks. For example, if you own a gardening blog, a link from a website about computer programming won’t make sense to Google, and it might consider it as a suspicious or unnatural link.
In this blog of “Relevant Links,” we’ve learned they’re not just random paths, but well-planned bridges connecting similar interests.
They guide us, improving visibility, trust, and user experience. But remember, avoid those red flags and balance relevancy with authority. We’ve also explored how to check link relevance, and Google’s view on it.
Finally, we must remember that all these efforts align with Google’s perspective, ensuring that we’re on the right track according to the world’s leading search engine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a relevant link?
A relevant link is a hyperlink from a page that shares a similar theme or topic to your content. It enhances user experience and boosts SEO ranking.
What are the three main factors you consider for a relevant link?
The main factors for a relevant link are contextual alignment, authority of the linking page, and the natural integration of the link within the content.
What are the 3 different types of links? Explain.
The three types are: inbound links (other sites linking to yours), outbound links (links from your site to others), and internal links (links between pages on your site).
How do I find relevant backlinks?
Find relevant backlinks by using SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush, researching competitor backlinks, and seeking partnerships with websites that share a similar niche.
What are related links?
Related links are hyperlinks that lead to webpages sharing similar content or topics, aiding user navigation and reinforcing the topic's contextual relevance.
What is the most common type of link?
The most common type of link is the hyperlink (a word or phrase that you can click on), which navigates users to a different webpage or website.
Which types of links are the most valuable?
Inbound links, particularly from high-authority and relevant websites, are often the most valuable as they significantly influence search engine rankings and enhance credibility.