If you are looking for ways to increase digital brand visibility, you must consider obtaining backlinks to your site. In this post, I’ll review 20 critical backlink factors that increase brand visibility.
Let’s jump right into number one…
1) Number of Linking Root Domains
The number of referring domains is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, as you can see from this chart from Moz (bottom axis is SERP position):
2) Linking Domain Age: Backlinks from aged domains may be more powerful than new domains.
3) Alt Tag (for Image Links): Alt text is an image’s version of anchor text.
4) Links from .edu or .gov Domains: Matt Cutts has stated that TLD doesn’t factor into a site’s importance. However, that doesn’t stop SEOs from thinking that there’s a special place in the algorithm for .gov and .edu TLDs.
5) Authority of Linking Page: The authority (PageRank) of the referring page is an extremely important ranking factor.
6) Authority of Linking Domain: The referring domain’s authority may play an independent role in a link’s importance (ie. a PR2 page link from a site with a homepage PR3 may be worth less than a PR2 page link from PR8 Yale.edu).
7) Links From Competitors: Links from other pages ranking in the same SERP may be more valuable for a page’s rank for that particular keyword.
8) Links from Bad Neighborhoods: Links from “bad neighborhoods” may hurt your site.
9) Guest Posts: Although guest posting can be part of a white hat SEO campaign, links coming from guest posts — especially in an author bio area — may not be as valuable as a contextual link on the same page.
10) Nofollow Links: One of the most controversial topics in SEO. Google’s official word on the matter is:
Which suggests that they do matter…at least in certain cases. Having a certain % of nofollow links may also indicate a natural vs. unnatural link profile.
11) Diversity of Link Types: Having an unnaturally large percentage of your links come from a single source (ie. forum profiles, blog comments) may be a sign of web spam. On the other hand, links from diverse sources is a sign of a natural link profile.
12) “Sponsored Links” Or Other Words Around Link: Words like “sponsors”, “link partners” and “sponsored links” may decrease a link’s value.
13) Contextual Links: Links embedded inside a page’s content are considered more powerful than links on an empty page or found elsewhere on the page.
14) Backlink Anchor Text: As noted in this description of Google’s original algorithm:
“First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.”
Obviously, anchor text is less important than before (and likely a web spam signal). But it still sends a strong relevancy signal in small doses.
15) Linking Domain Relevancy: A link from a site in a similar niche is significantly more powerful than a link from a completely unrelated site. That’s why any effective SEO strategy today focuses on obtaining relevant links.
16) Page Level Relevancy: The Hilltop Algorithm states that a link from a page that’s closely tied to page’s content is more powerful than a link from an unrelated page.
17) Link from Authority Sites: A link from a site considered an “authority site” likely pass more juice than a link from a small, microniche site.
18) Linked to as Wikipedia Source: Although the links are nofollow, many think that getting a link from Wikipedia gives you a little added trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.
19) Backlink Age: According to a Google patent, older links have more ranking power than newly minted backlinks.
20) Reciprocal Links: Google’s Link Schemes page lists “Excessive link exchanging” as a link scheme to avoid.
Are there any additional backlink factors you believe affect brand visibility? Let me know in the comments section below…