In SEO, as in life, it’s quality over quantity.
February 13, 2013
If you’ve looked at search engine optimization for more than thirty seconds then chances are you’re familiar with the term “backlink” and you know how much search engine optimization relies on it. It has been a key component of SEO since there was SEO. Backlinks are links to your site from other sites. They tell a search engine how important your site is by giving it an idea of how many people out there are talking about you. Search engines find these links by crawling the internet with a program called a spider and running all that information through a clever little algorithm that promotes or demotes sites in the search engine rankings. Google is no different and its algorithm is very clever indeed. It ought to be, some of the greatest technical minds in the world have been steadily refining it since 1998.
When it comes across a new link to your site it doesn’t automatically promote your website for being clever enough to get another backlink. Oh no siree. It takes a good long look at that link before it does anything with it. First of all, how important is the website that is linking to you? If the website linking to you has a great reputation and is highly ranked on Google’s searches then, congratulations, you’ve got yourself a valuable link and you can look forward to moving up a notch on Google’s ladder. Right? Wrong. If your website sells beauty products and ends up getting a backlink from a skateboarding forum, then Google will reduce the value of the link. If the website you’re linked from has a reputation for spam or viruses it can even reduce it so much that having that link knocks you down Google’s rankings.
That’s why good SEO is not about quantity, it’s about quality. One quality link from a website that is reputable and related to your own is better than a dozen or even a hundred from badly ranked, or worse, disreputable sources. Some SEO companies and software may claim to be able to guarantee you hundreds of new backlinks in the blink of an eye. Beware such claims. You know those annoying spam posts about a company offering a service a thousand miles away that the moderators on your favorite forum keep on having to delete? Those posts are backlinks for that company. But they are having zero positive effect on that company’s online image. You know it, the person that posted it knows it and the search engine algorithms know it.