How to Find High-Authority Inbound Links for Your Website
Inbound links are one of the most powerful methods available for improving a website’s position in the search engine rankings, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Links provide valuable third-party proof of a site’s ability to provide relevant and useful content, and are as important to successful digital marketing today as they were in the pioneer days of search engine optimization.
Not all links are created equal and, thanks to Google’s relentless spam-fighting efforts, the highest quality links that can actually help your site rank better are getting difficult if not impossible to acquire.
How to Identify a Quality Link
A quality inbound link is one which comes from a trusted and relevant authority site. Google expects links to be freely given and editorially earned based on the quality and relevance of the content that receives the link.
In short, you need to
- Stop buying links and remove any paid links that you already have. Paying for links violates Google’s revised guidelines and will eventually land you a ranking penalty.
- Limit your guest blogging activities to those sites that are relevant to your particular niche or industry and have a high Page and Domain Authority score. This will probably reduce the number of guest blogging opportunities available to you but that’s really a good thing. Look at it this way: the harder it is to get one of your articles published, the greater the odds that you’ve found a quality site that will pass valuable link juice through to your site.
- Focus on writing and marketing truly great content that gets noticed and linked to. Great content requires more time and effort, but the payoff in improved ranking from a handful of quality backlinks is well worth it.
How to Find Those Elusive High-Authority Link Prospects
Companies and organizations within your own industry or niche are a logical place to start looking for relevant links. Search for local, regional and national trade associations that cater to your particular field.
Search for guest commenting possibilities by conducting a Google search for the term relevant to your desired link topic. Include “allowed html tags a” to filter out those sites that do not allow links. Focus on those sites that have at least some degree of editorial control: captcha, guest login, guest commenting guidelines. Remember that your comments need to be both relevant to the blog topic and substantial in content in order to be accepted for publication.
Take a close look at your existing and potential customers. List as many different types of customer niches as you can think of who might represent an opportunity for getting a link. For example, a local pizza joint with arcade games and a Wi-Fi connection for customers might be able to acquire a valuable .edu link from nearby colleges or universities.
Local link opportunities outside of your niche are still relevant and valuable as long as you have a local business presence. The Chamber of Commerce, local merchant’s associations and local media outlets could all be potential link prospects.