The Relevance of Link Relevancy: 3 Things to Know
Next to targeting the right keywords for making your brand rank and capture the most relevant searches, good SEO requires link-building. It’s a strategy for building your site authority—a clear indicator that your site is trustworthy and relevant to customers’ shopping decisions. Simply, the more internal links within your site and external ones that refer to your brand, the more authority it has.
Unfortunately, the race to accumulate relevant links has pushed many brands to simply play the numbers game: get as many links as possible across the web, even when they’re not the most relevant. As Google continuously updates its ranking algorithm, a lack of link relevancy can only negatively impact your site’s authority and rankings.
So, how are your SEO backlinks looking? Are you scoring well on link relevancy? Find out how relevant links impact your search rankings.
What are SEO links?
Before we dive into link relevance and why it matters, let’s talk about link-building for SEO. As we mentioned earlier, it builds your site’s authority, signalling to Google that you are a ranking authority within an industry or among competitive searches.
Essentially, link-building for SEO works like “upvotes”. The more votes or links to your site that you accumulate, the higher your chances of ranking on search. This tells Google’s PageRank Algorithm that many websites consider you an authority on the web, so they refer audiences to your site for more information.
Types of SEO Links
Link-building strategies for driving SEO are usually focused on backlinks from external sources. But there are more types of links that are essential to boosting your page authority and rankings.
- Internal links: These are hyperlinks to relevant pages on your website. For example, on an eCommerce product page, you may want to refer customers to related items. As well, you’ll want CTAs on blogs to link to a contact form or page to move customers along the sales funnel.
- Outbound links: These are links you create to other websites. For example, if you’re referring to an article, citing a report, or providing links to expert resources, these outbound links contribute to another site’s authority.
- Inbound links: Also known as backlinks, these links are the most crucial and difficult to obtain. The best inbound links come from relevant and authoritative sites that refer to your website.
What is link relevance in SEO?
We already established that you need a good number of high-quality links to your website—otherwise, they’re just spam. Link relevancy is the measure of exactly that: the quality of links to your site, whether they come from relevant pages in your industry and how authoritative they are.
Link relevancy is a measure that Google uses to determine whether the backlinks to your site are relevant, useful, and genuine, and not merely spam to win the numbers game. Google looks at these links to understand where they come from and how they relate to your niche. The more relevant links you have, the better for SEO.
When looking at link relevancy, Google also aims to penalize sites that simply take part in link exchanges without being relevant. Instead, they encourage brands and SEO agencies to leverage content marketing to earn high-quality backlinks and increase link relevancy.
Google’s Penguin Update: Why Link Relevancy Still Matters
Google Penguin updates are a series of algorithm updates for evaluating the quality of links more effectively. Initially, some SEO agencies were skeptical of the need for backlinks however, high-quality SEO links became even more crucial to a site’s authority and search rankings.
Google’s Penguin update improved the algorithm’s ability to identify whether links are natural or artificial, and penalize sites for the latter. Because of this, SEO agencies are even more encouraged to focus on content marketing to share link-worthy content and earn trust.
Why Link Relevancy Matters for SEO
Earlier, we went over what links are and why they matter, and how they boost your site’s authority, which benefits SEO. But what does that really mean? How do links boost SEO? Let’s find out:
1. Natural inbound links mean there’s no quid pro quo
Why would a site link back to yours if they’re not getting anything out of it, like a link exchange? What value does your site provide to theirs?
These are the golden questions to ask yourself when creating a link-building strategy for SEO. if you’re not taking part in a link exchange and the site isn’t spam, what’s there to gain from linking to your site? Is it a report or an article with compelling stats? Or perhaps a product they’re reviewing?
Google’s PageRank algorithm essentially looks at these factors when evaluating an inbound link and deciding whether they’re natural. So while inbound links are the hardest to get, demonstrating value for other sites leading to them linking back to yours results in major SEO benefits.
2. Demonstrate authority and provide value
As mentioned above, high link relevancy boosts your site’s authority. The more relevant and trustworthy a site is that links back to yours, the higher your authority.
Earning these links requires an effective content marketing strategy wherein you provide valuable information to other sites so that they refer back to yours. Essentially, you’ll want links from credible sites, like a product review blog that links to your merchandise, or a page that lists your site as an expert resource for further reading.
3. Artificial links can only hurt SEO
Earning high-quality links can take time. Among millions of sites across the web, only a handful may be highly relevant to your site. Moreover, it takes time and a serious investment in a content marketing strategy to demonstrate why your site is link-worthy.
While it can be frustrating to wait to earn these high-quality links, the most important thing to do is avoid taking shortcuts. Many marketers and SEO agencies are tempted to just fake it—to get lots of links from sites like:
- Online forums and Q&A sites
- Blog comments
- Social media profiles
- Article directories
- Social bookmarking, and more.
While these offer many opportunities to add links to your site, these links are just artificial. Google can easily spot these links when monitoring link relevancy, algorithm updates, and manual actions.
In the end, it’s SEO that suffers. When Google sees all of these artificial links, it can downgrade your site since it hasn’t gained any real authority from organic activities like content marketing. This is why it’s crucial to invest in natural link-building strategies that can effectively boost your site’s authority and signal to Google that it’s worth ranking you at the top of competitive searches.
Get High-Quality Backlinks and Boost Link Relevancy with Our SEO Agency
Getting links may be easy, but making sure they count takes hard work and top-notch SEO expertise. That’s where Consultus Digital comes in.
At the leading SEO agency in Toronto, we’re dedicated to keeping things above board with good old-fashioned hard work. Our team of SEO experts knows all about the ins and out’s of link-building.
We don’t resort to black-hat techniques just to get you links, only to suffer penalties from Google. Instead, we put in the time and effort required to craft an integrated SEO and content marketing strategy to build your expertise and increase link relevancy. The result is stable, improved rankings that cement your authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of your industry peers and customers.
Do you have a reliable, above-board link-building strategy? Measure your link relevancy and its impact on your site authority and search rankings. Get in touch with our SEO agency today.