High quality backlink is a search engine ranking factor
Google and other search engines use the quantity and high quality backlinks to your website to determine its legitimacy and perception of trust for internet users, this means that without high quality backlinks it is very difficult, if not impossible to rank highly on Google search without high quality backlinks.
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- 250 SEO High Quality Backlinks English Domains
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Please note, not all of these high quality backlinks are manually created.
See the article below for Growthworx’s 10 most important Google ranking factors
Many Google ranking factors are based purely on internet speculation; the 10 ranking factors we discuss in this article are all proven ranking factors, and are the ranking factors we consider most important to ranking you website.
- High quality backlinks
- Topical authority
- Search intent
- Content depth
- Page speed
- User experience
- Content accuracy
High quality backlinks are arguably the most important ranking factor.
How do we know? Backlinks form the basis of Pagerank, which is the foundation of Google’s ranking algorithm. And before you make the point that PageRank is old news, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that PageRank is still used today.
Independent research also confirms the relationship between high quality backlinks and organic traffic, including our study of over a billion web pages:
Not all backlinks are created equal. We must focus on high quality backlinks.
Lots of factors contribute to a backlink’s ability to move the needle, and the two most important are relevance and authority.
Imagine that you’re looking for the best Italian restaurant in your city. You ask two friends for a recommendation. One is a chef, and the other is a vet. Whose advice do you trust?
Probably the chef, as they have experience with Italian cuisine.
If you were looking for dog food recommendations, the opposite would be true.
This same idea plays out on the web. Links from relevant websites and pages hold the most value.
High quality backlinks from strong pages on strong websites tend to move the needle most.
You can judge the relative strength of a linking domain and web page by looking at its Domain Rating and URL Rating in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer:
Build more high quality backlinks to rank higher.
Freshness is a query-dependent ranking factor, meaning it’s more important for some queries than others. This happens because Google knows people want to see recent news.
For other queries, freshness still plays a role—but a less important one.
Take the query “best office chair,” for example.
Because companies only release new office chairs from time to time, a good recommendation from last month is still a good recommendation today.
Google knows this, so they’re quite happy to show results that are a few months old.
For a query like “how to tie a tie,” freshness hardly matters because the process of tying a tie never changes. A ten-year-old guide can easily be as good as one published yesterday.
That explains why Google ranks both old and new pages in the top five:
How to maintain freshness on your website
- Look at the search results to assess the importance of freshness for your target keyword(s).
- If freshness is a big deal, either update the page frequently or consistently publish new articles about the topic to keep up with demand.
- If freshness is important but not critical, update your page regularly and refresh when rankings start to drop.
- If freshness is of little importance, focus all efforts on creating the best guide on the topic.
- Topical authority.
Google wants to rank pages from authoritative sources—and this goes way beyond backlinks.
But is there any evidence for “topical authority” as a ranking factor besides the anecdotal? Absolutely.
First, Google’s search quality rater guidelines mention something called E‑A-T. This stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty confident that no site can demonstrate these three things for every topic.
That’s probably why Google’s SEO starter guide says to:
Cultivate a reputation for expertise and trustworthiness in a specific area.
SIDENOTE. E‑A-T is not a direct ranking factor, but Google’s algorithms are designed to rank pages from websites that demonstrate E‑A-T.
Second, pages on websites tightly focused on one particular topic will have more internal links from pages about similar things. Internal links to pages not only increase their authority but also help Google understand what they’re about.
Third, there’s evidence to suggest that the perceived authoritativeness of a site is query-dependant in this Google patent
How to create topical authority on your website
Don’t publish content about anything and everything. Keep things tightly focused and build a reputation in one area (e.g., laptops, not just technology). You can always branch out at a later date.
Google doesn’t rank the same type of content for every query.
For example, someone searching for “buy dresses online” is in buying mode. They want to see the products they can buy. That’s why Google shows ecommerce category pages.
On the other hand, a person searching for “how to tie a tie” is in learning mode. They want to know how to tie one, not buy one. That’s why Google shows blog posts.
Analyzing the current top-ranking results for the “four C’s of search intent” is an excellent way to understand the basics of how to optimize for a query.
The four C’s are:
- Content style
Content style is the dominant style of content in the search results. It’s almost always web pages, but it’s sometimes videos.
For example, take the query, “iPhone X unboxing”:
Screenshot 2020 02 15 at 06.41.38
It would be almost impossible to rank a web page on the first page for this query. If you want to rank, you’ll need to create and optimize a video.
- Content type
Content types almost always fall into one of four buckets: blog posts, product, category, and landing pages.
For instance, the top-ranking pages for “buy smartphone” are all ecommerce category pages:
- Content format
Content format applies mostly to informational content. How-tos, listicles, tutorials, news articles, and opinion pieces are all examples of common formats.
For instance, the results for “money saving tips” are all lists:
The results for “future of bitcoin” are all opinion pieces:
- Content angle
Content angle is the main selling point of the content, and there’s usually a dominant angle in the search results.
For example, the top results for “how to play golf” are aimed at beginners:
How to align your website with user search intent
Make an effort to align your content with search intent by considering this before writing your content.
Google wants to rank the most useful result for the query, so covering everything searchers want to know is key.
However, this isn’t about content length. Longer content isn’t always better.
It’s about covering what’s important to the searcher and what they expect to see.
How to create content depth: Use Ahrefs Content Gap tool
- Beyond this, you can use Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to see what queries the top-ranking pages also rank for. Just paste in a few of the top URLs and hit “Show keywords.”
- Take clues from the top-ranking pages to create useful content. Research other questions searchers want answers to and include them where it makes sense.
Page speed has been a ranking factor since 2010 when it affected 1% of desktop search queries.
That changed in 2018 when Google extended the ranking factor to mobile searches.
However, even now, the factor only affects “a small percentage of queries” and is mostly a problem for pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users.”
That’s an important point. Beating competitors by a few milliseconds isn’t the game here. It’s more about making sure that your site is fast enough not to impact users negatively.
How fast is that?
Google said in 2018 that mobile pages should display content to users in under three seconds and that the TTFB (Time to First Byte) should be under 1.3 seconds.
They also say that the total size of a mobile web page should be less than 500kb.
However, Google’s John Mueller said just a few months prior that TTFB isn’t used for search ranking purposes, so take these guidelines with a pinch of salt.
If you’re concerned about page speed, check the Speed report in Google Search Console. This shows which of your pages load slowly on desktop and mobile.
If you need to speed up your website Growthworx offers a number of packages that can ensure your website is not being penalised for slow speed.
HTTPS improves security for visitors by encrypting data between browser and server.
In 2014, Google announced HTTPS as a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than 1% of global queries. Since then, Google has upped its commitment to HTTPS, and now shows a “Not secure” warning in Chrome when you visit an unencrypted page.
24 not secure.
If you have non-secure pages with input fields, you may also have received a warning email from Google Search Console.
Despite all this, HTTPS remains a lightweight ranking factor, as confirmed by John Mueller in early 2019.
The reason we’re mentioning it is that it’s a quick and easy win.
What to do to ensure you are not penalised for lacking HTTPS
Install an SSL certificate to make your site more secure. Get a free SSL from Growthworx. You have to buy hosting from us to get the free SSL. We have a super-fast top hosting service.
To discuss more how we can help you for high quality backlinks call us (03) 9751 7904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org