Among the most used and most effective natural referencing techniques currently, there is netlinking. As an integral part of SEO, it is essential to improve the notoriety of your site.
What is netlinking and how does it work?
Also called link building or external linking, netlinking concerns SEO practices that occur outside of your platform.
In other words, it isan “off-site” SEO techniqueunlike “on-site” strategies which consist in optimizing internal elements:
💡 Concretely, netlinking is the establishment of a network of external links that all point to your web address.
These links are called “backlink” or “return link” and their role is to transmit the popularity of the sites that contain them to yours. Most of the time, these links are placed in blog postsbut it is also possible to put them in comments or directories.
This transfer of popularity through backlinks is based on a simple principle.
Google, the leading search engine, ranks all online websites according to several criteria. The notoriety of a site, also called PageRank in SEO jargon, is one of these criteria. If a very popular site mentions you in its content, then Google will consider your site as trustworthy and will increase your ranking in its directory. This implies that the more backlinks you have, the better your SEO will be.
However, the quantity of backlinks is not the only criterion that will earn you a better place on the SERPs.
It is also important that the links are relevant and of high quality. Indeed, for your external linking strategy to be effective, placing a lot of backlinks anywhere and anyhow should be avoided.
Moreover, if the external links seem too artificial in the eyes of Google, your site will be immediately penalized. Thus, a good netlinking campaign requires finding the right balance between the quality and quantity of backlinks so that they appear natural.
The advantages of netlinking for the referencing of your website
Spending time or money to work on your netlinking is today a more than profitable investment.
Moreover, Google has itself affirmed that link building is one of the three essential pillars for the success of a natural referencing strategy.
💡For your information, the other two pillars of SEO are content optimization and improving the technical aspect of your site.
It should be noted that, generally, only the first results presented by Google will be visited by Internet users. If they do not find what they are looking for, they will make another request with other keywords.
For a showcase site or an e-commerce site for example, having a good ranking is an absolute necessity to acquire significant organic traffic and thus make more sales.
With a good netlinking campaign, your site will gradually be propelled to the top of the SERPs. In addition, SEO gives long-term results, unlike SEA which will make you lose your positioning as soon as you stop paying to have the place of advertisements.
Apart from sharing the popularity of one site to another in the eyes of Google, backlinks have other uses as well.
They allow more Internet users to arrive on your site. This is also beneficial for the conversion rate since the external link in question will be placed in a site that deals with the same subject as yours and which already interests the reader.
The backlink will redirect to your site qualified traffic more likely to buy the products or services you sell.
Finally, backlinks allow crawlers (search engine robots):
- to explore the entire web,
- to discover new addresses,
- and above all to ensure that certain links are not dead (error 404).
Moreover, the more your site is crawled regularly by robots, the more its indexing will be improved.
The importance of quality and variety
It must be understood that the quality and variety of backlinks are just as important as the quantity in a netlinking strategy.
As previously mentioned, good backlinks are those that look natural to Google. To achieve this, you must meet certain criteria when setting up external links.
Choose a site that has the same theme as yours
The theme is one of the important points that define the quality of a backlink. This was not the case before.
Everyone was then creating links non-stop, even if the two sites were not talking about the same subject. External links had become more of a nuisance than a navigational aid for Internet users.
This is why this unethical practice was eradicated with the arrival of Penguin, Google’s anti-spam robot.
💡 From now on, the site that contains the back link must have the same theme as the site to be referenced.
Indeed, it would be too obvious that it is an artificial link if, for example, a site talking about finance and economy links to another talking about garden decoration. In this kind of case, the transfer of popularity is not completely removed, but just greatly reduced so that it has an impact on SEO.
Check the consistency of the semantic and lexical fields of the two pages
Apart from the theme of the two sites, you must also ensure that the two pages that are linked have the same semantic fields.
Google robots are so advanced that they are able to understand the subject of an article just by analyzing the keywords. This is how they check the consistency of a backlink.
💡In other words, the vocabularies used on the page to be targeted must be included in the page that points.
The goal is to ensure that the two contents have identical semantic fingerprints to convey maximum popularity. If the lexical field is incomplete, the backlink will be less efficient.
Diversify your backlink profile
The variety of backlinks is also a key criterion for the effectiveness of your netlinking strategy.
You have every interest in diversify the source of your backlinks. These should not all be on the same site, nor always have the same link anchor.
If your links all have the same characteristics, Google robots will waste no time before penalizing your site by making it disappear from the SERPs.
The purpose of diversification is therefore to avoid Penguin’s radar by making the link profile as clean and natural as possible.
How to proceed to acquire credible links towards your site?
There are several ways to acquire quality backlinks that will definitely improve your site’s ranking on search engine results pages.
Entrust your netlinking campaign to a specialized agency
If you are still lost in the field of SEO or if you prefer to devote your time to your trade, the easiest way to acquire reliable and credible links is to use a specialized agency.
You will no longer have to worry about writing content, comparing semantic fields and themes or even researching popular sites.
Specialists also have several SEO analysis tools at their disposal. as well as several partnerships with reputable publisher sites.
Thanks to their resources and know-how, they will advise you:
- the right type of content,
- the type of link anchor,
- the length of the articles,
- and especially the amount of backlinks you need to increase the ranking of your site.
Once your goals are defined, you just have to leave the rest to the specialists and watch your platform appear on the first page of Google results.
As your netlinking campaign evolves, the professionals will regularly give you detailed reports on the performance of your site.
Become a guest blogger
If you have the necessary knowledge to analyze the authority of blog sites, study the keywords and semantic fields, then you can carry out your netlinking strategy yourself.
To get links, you can offer to become a guest blogger for the most popular sites.
Both parties will benefit from the collaboration since you will be able to embed the backlink in the article you write and the blog owner gets content for free.
The importance of anchor text in link building
Anchor text, or simply anchor, is the term or set of words on which the link is placed.
You will recognize it easily since it is usually a different color than the rest of the text. It is also clickable when you hover the cursor over it.
Very important for netlinking, the anchor text contains useful information for Google to contextualize the backlink. There are several types of anchors that you can use in your netlinking strategy:
- the exact anchor. You put the link on the main keyword you are targeting in your SEO,
- the wide anchor. This is a long-tail keyword, useful when targeting queries people are likely to make.
- the plain or bare URL. The anchor text is the actual address of the page pointed to by the link,
- anchor branding. The exact name of your site is used to place the backlink,
- the generic anchor. This is a text that has nothing to do with your keywords, but rather constitutes an incentive to click (CTA or call to action),
- the image anchor. The backlink will be placed on an image, but not a piece of text.
Google’s robot algorithm is continuously updated.
It is therefore impossible to say with certainty which type of anchor you should favor. The safest strategy is to vary your choice so as not to arouse Penguin’s suspicions while best meeting his requirements.
Tips for improving the overall quality of backlinks
The top of the SERPs is anything but easy to reach.
A single misstep in your netlinking campaign or in your SEO strategy in general can:
It is therefore necessary to continuously improve the overall quality of your backlinks.
Start with always check the authority and popularity of sites where you place the backlinks.
Next, make sure that the links all have the attribute “dofollow” instead of “nofollow”, the latter having no impact on SEO.
It is also essential to carry out a regular audit of your backlinks. This way, you will detect the best performing links. And you can improve them further for a better transfer of popularity.
Just be careful not to over-optimize. At the same time, you will detect and remove bad links that block your SEO.
Toxic backlinks include those that do not meet Google’s requirements:
- those placed on penalized sites;
- as well as those found in poor or duplicate content.
The platforms you will find at the top of the search results are all optimized thanks to rigorous link building.
If you do not have the resources and knowledge to compete with them, it is wiser to entrust your netlinking campaign to the professionals.