By now, almost everyone has discovered or is aware of the importance of effective SEO and its effect on web presence. One of the most useful strategies involved with SEO is practice of link building.
There are definitely right ways and wrong ways to go about link building and if your aim is to link build successfully and appropriately, then your main focus should be relevancy.
White-hat Vs. Black-hat
As with most aspects of SEO, link building also can be done by implementing white-hat or black-hat strategies. Much like with other portions of SEO, white-hat strategies take longer and require more thoughtful, content based, work; whereas black-hat strategies target quick and cheap solutions. In regards to relevancy, white-hat and black-hat strategies can be distinguished easily.
White-hat strategists attempt to build links with relevance on the forefront of their minds. They only engage with quality sites that are relevant to the site that they are attempting to establish the links for.
On the other hand, black-hat practitioners opt for a more spammy approach. They target low-quality sites which are easy to link on, with little to no relevance in regards to the site they are linking it with.
This black-hat approach is certainly easier and takes less time. However, in accordance with most things in life, the quickest and easiest way of doing something is usually the least effective.
Like most black-hat SEO approaches, black-hat link building is a lazy, short-term based strategy which undermines the attempts of white-hat strategists to build strong relevancy-based links that are useful to the web and its users.
Black-hat tactics such as these are ineffective in the long run and the values of links obtained in this manner are greatly diminished. In the end all practices considered black-hat are eventually exposed and swiftly and harshly punished.
The Power of Relevancy
White-hat and black-hat strategies aside, relevancy reigns supreme in all manners of link building. Relevancy is the foundation for any successful link building endeavor.
Relevancy determines the power of any link you establish, or the amount of weight it is given in regards to search engines. The way relevancy applies to link building is simple; the more relevant the link, the more weight it is given.
For instance; a link between a blog about sports and a site that sells sports equipment will be given much more weight and be more useful than a link between a sports blog and a site that sells pet products. This is because the search engines see a legitimate connection between the two sites and therefore more value is given to the link.
The afore-mentioned example is a very simple representation of how relevancy is vastly important to link building. There are actually a number of contributing factors that are all working together to determine the overall relevancy of any given link. Keeping these various relevancy-based factors in mind when trying to establish links will go a long way towards effective link building.
Site Relevancy – This is the most basic criteria to consider when building links and is the basis of the example discussed earlier. Does the site that I’m trying to attain a link with have any relevancy with my site? If the site you’re trying to build a link with has nothing to do with your own site, then you are most likely wasting your time.
Page Relevancy – This goes a little more in depth than simply if the site itself is relevant. If you establish a link on a relevant site, but it is in a section of the site that has no relevancy to yours, it will diminish the value of the link. It is important to take into account the relevancy of the page that your link is on, as well as the relevancy of the site as a whole.
Content Relevancy – This is probably the most important aspect of relevancy link building because it’s the whole reason you creating the content. If you are able to find a relevant site with a relevant page, but do not have relevant content, then the link is devalued greatly. The goal is to link relevant, quality content between two relevant sites.
Panda’s Love Relevancy
Almost as much as they love bamboo, in fact. The simple truth is that without Google’s continuing Panda updates, relevancy wouldn’t be a topic of concern to the majority of link builders.
Before Panda, and Penguin to a degree, building links for the sole purpose of manipulating Google’s search engine consisted of getting as many links as possible from all over the web. Link builders, who were also trying to drive quality traffic, as well as rank better, were not nearly as affected by the Panda updates because they were already focusing on sites that were relevant to their target site.
Panda is all about upping the quality of the sites being featured to searchers which means that the content that you feature on your own site, as well as content you’re associated with on foreign sites, needs to be the best quality you can muster.
Suring up your own site for strong content is a must, but if you have to think about where your links and content (such as guest posts) are being featured as well. If they’re on low quality sites that link to unscrupulous websites then you are going to be guilty by association in Panda’s eyes and you can expect to see your rankings fall as a result.
It’s important to note that Google’s algorithms don’t catch everybody right away, and some sites escape for months or years before they get hit. Just because your site may not have noticed an algorithm change or Panda update yet on your site doesn’t mean it’s not coming; it’s just a matter of time and you should hurry up and start making the necessary changes before you wind up in a hole.
The Importance of Relevancy
The previous portion of this article describes the power that relevancy can provide to your links, but what about the importance of relevancy in the grand scheme of things.
While relevancy is certainly an important part of link building, it is also an important part of how the internet works as a whole. Relevancy provides value to not only links, but also the users that are viewing the content they are contained in. Relevancy ensures that the user can find the content they are actually looking for quickly and easily.
This is why so much weight is given to relevancy when determining the overall significance of a link.
Relevancy is the single most important attribute to consider when link building. Relevancy not only drives link building, but also the way users view content on the web. Relevancy shapes the way the web is connected. With relevancy being so important to the overall functions of the internet and how it is used, it is surely something to consider when attempting any sort of link building.