Backlinks shmacklinks. What the heck is linking all about? We’re gonna talk about that today. Let’s talk backlinks – doesn’t that sound exciting? They’re so important as part of the findability mix. There’s a lot of misunderstanding around backlinks or just links, so let’s talk a little bit about what a link is, what are the different kinds of links, and how can I check to see who’s currently linking to me. There are three different kinds of links there are gold, silver, and bronze. So let’s talk about the difference between all three of these links. The first one is the bronze standard the bronze standard is when someone’s looking to you and you link to them.
So it’s it called a “reciprocal link”. I link to you, you link to me, and we kind of scratch-scratch each other’s backs. That’s fine, but Google’s like, “you’re in cahoots, we see you”. So those are fine but they’re not really the best – they’re the bronze standard. The silver standard is going to be inside of your content on your website. You’re linking from your source out to another reference. So that could be a word, or a study, or a stat. And you link to where that stat resides on another website. That’s a silver standard. If you are a professor and expert in your space, of course you’re gonna cite your sources.
That’s what links are all about. Links are meant to validate the content that you’re talking about on that page. So make sure that when you’re writing content that you’re linking inside of your body copy. That’s considered a silver standard or when you’re linking from your website to another site. Now let’s talk about the good stuff. Let’s talk about the gold standard of linking. The gold standard of linking is going to be Harvard. A .edu links their paper or some content from their domain to you. Now those are going to be pretty hard to get but .edu’s are the bomb. So you want to make sure you can get them. If you like maybe you present to a class, maybe you write an article for a newspaper, maybe you made someone a blog – .edu’s have a tremendous amount of credibility for Google. Because clearly, if you’re if you’ve got an amazing educational institution and they’re linking to you then you are an expert in your field.
Also any news site – so CNN, Forbes, any of the big sites that pick up a quote from you, pick up a stat. There’s a wonderful website called Haro. H-A-R-O.com. It’s help a reporter out. I watch reporters who go in there and they’ll say i need to speak to someone on SEO; or i need an SEO expert; or i need to know how businesses can grow online. I will go into Haro and I will write a quick note to that reporter and saying here’s like how I can help you. Now this is why this is so cool is because if that reporter takes my quote I sent him, I get a backlink from wherever he’s creating content back to my website.
Remember that’s the gold standard – one-directional from a news, educational site back to your website. I’ll take any link that comes from a third-party site back to you. But don’t reciprocate. Remember I don’t want Google to think I’m in cahoots. I have a lot of people that are go in like the last their cousin and all their uncles and all their clients to link to them and then they’ll link back. It’s fine, but it’s not good enough really for Google to say, “mmm that’s good, I could trust that they’re clearly an authority”. So be very careful about how you select your links. Let me show you one of my favorite tools. I talk about it a lot kind of like a broken record here but I love SEMRush. Now I’ve logged into my account – if you don’t have an SEMRush account, there’s a lot of other backlinks. I’m gonna show you a free backlink audit tool here in a minute, but I want to show you SEMRush first.
SEMRush has a tool called Backlinks. Now the problem is, is when you get all these links and they’re all being generated, sometimes those links are toxic. Kind of a dramatic word for saying, “I didn’t ask for that link,” or maybe “that website is is participating in deceptive practice,” meaning they’re just linking to everything, hoping that hoping they’ll create this book is called a backlink profile to Google that makes a lot of traffic alert their website. You may have a lot of links that create overtime that you had no business in creating and we want to make sure that we watch this. So we want to do what’s called a backlink audit and make sure that we tell Google that if these are all toxic links, I don’t want to be associated with that. I didn’t endure that, endorse that or approve that, you need to then tell Google that you don’t want, you don’t have nothing to do with these links. Because those could be affecting your ranking and you’d never know it. So when you come in here you’re gonna run a backlink audit.
And you’ll see right here that I have 1,700 links from other sources back to my website. I have a hundred and ninety-six referring domains meaning of those 1,700 backlinks they’re coming from 196 different domains. And of course then I have recurring IP addresses. Don’t worry about that that’s just geek talk. Okay, so then we want to come down in here. We’re gonna take a careful look at which ones are considered toxic and which ones are good. Now what I want you to see here is as you go down you’ll see this a little button right here that says disavow.
This creates a beautiful little Excel spreadsheet. So as you’re looking through here and you’re looking at where these are coming from, if I see anything in here that I’m like “what?” Let’s see, let’s see here. Oh no no no no no. I’m going through here I see speaking places I’ve spoken at let’s see where else I can see here. Lots of printer hub, thank you. So now I see Napa-net.org. Now you have a couple things you can click on that link see where it resides.
If you don’t want it then you’re gonna hit the plus sign now what this does is it adds that URL for that one link to an Excel spreadsheet then it will submit it to Google on your behalf. So what happens is you’re saying look I am great at what I do but all these links have shown up over time that I had no business in creating I don’t want to be associated with those, and Google’s like okay great. And you submit this document to Google and that will help to clean up your backlink profile make sure those gold, silver, and bronze links are really giving you the benefit of lifting your website.
So when you do create a piece of content Google’s like, “they got it going on.” All these are the people are linking directly to that content and they think it’s amazing. So another quick tool to look at, it’s not as fancy as SEMRush, but it’s free. Free is nice. This is a website tool like I found called Ahrefs – ahrefs.com/backlink-checker and I’ll make sure to put it in the notes below in the in the description of this video.
You’re going to come in, you’re gonna put your domain name, you’re gonna hit check backlinks. Alright so what it’s doing is it’s going in there and taking a look now at what are all the pages that I’m ranking for, what are the backlinks I’m getting from those pages, and then of course referring domains. this is a wonderful way just start looking through these links. If you see any links in here you’re like, what the heck how did that ever, like here’s one called Beauty Store Business. I don’t know what that is I don’t know why anyone would link me, but maybe if I go and check it out so I’m gonna click on that, let’s see where this goes.
Yeah so this is clearly a link bait site. A link bait site is where they put a bunch of links on here and then of course they’re hoping that Google will see those links and give them credit for it I don’t want to be on this website, you’ll see it’s clearly a spam site. So I’m going to go back and then I’m gonna go into my SEMRush and say, uh-uh I don’t want to be associated, I’m gonna disavow that link. So I know this is a little geeky post your questions in the comments below or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org and we can take a little bit of a geek deep dive into backlinking. It’s so important when you’re trying to establish trust in a robotic setting in search. So remember, gold, silver, bronze. Stay true to creating content. Link out to experts and make sure you give them credit and your backlink profile would become a beautiful example of why people love you and ultimately link to you.
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