Many moons ago when people first started doing SEO, link building was none existent. You could solely rank on just your meta tags. When link building came into one of the factors of Google’s algorithm, many people were clueless by this and didn’t know where to put a link. At first Google described getting a backlink as a vote from another website that is all. This still confused a lot of webmasters at the time as they weren’t sure where to put a link, people thought that the more backlinks they get the better the rankings.
At the time this was correct and so people started to create their own directories and link farms, which would later be the reason for Penguin. As it advanced people started to make money from these link farms and directories and the search results on the SERPs were getting more and more spammy and irrelevant. So as a Search Engine Google’s main aim is to deliver the best possible results for the user and as there was so many irrelevant sites coming up on the SERPs mainly due to people buying links and link farms, this I where Penguin was born.
Google still to this very day are still clamping down on link networks (SAPE most recently) and penalising sites that are buying totally irrelevant links for their website. Link building today is more about quality and relevance rather than quantity and irrelevance.
What is a quality link?
In my personal opinion when searching for quality links, I take into consideration the Page Rank of the website – this shows me that they have quality links pointing to the domain hence why they have a good page rank. The page authority – 9 times out of 10 if a website where you are trying to link to has a high page authority then it is bound to have a high PR. The higher the PR and page authority then the better quality your link will be. Lastly is relevance, I will say it again… Relevancy is the new page rank, if you have a load of links pointing to a roofing company from a beautician’s website then you are not getting the page rank you are capable of getting mainly down to the irrelevance of both sites.
In summary link building post Penguin is now more about the quality and relevance of a link rather than quantity. Don’t get me wrong by all means if you have a big quantity of quality links then that is even better, it is just finding the correct balance between the number of quality links you will need and the competition of the niche you are trying to target.
Blog Post by Jordan Whitehead