The “Volume Of Backlinks” Kool-Aid
How Many Backlinks Will You Build Me Every Month?
Our expertise and skill in building high quality, non-spammy backlinks is a criticaL benefit WE offer as part of our SEO services. But RECENTLY, I have become AWARE OF A NEW IMPORTANCE given to a SINGLE question.
As a matter of routine, when we welcome new SEO clients and share the many benefits they will experience when working with us, we inform them that we create very high value, quality backlinks from reputable sources. This is a major benefit of working with an SEO expert with technical skill and an understanding of backlinks.
A backlink is a link that a person places on their site that links with your website, usually because they think their visitor, user, audience, or client will benefit from the quality of content you have on your website. When Google and other major search engines see that your site is the recipient of backlinks from other high quality websites, it increases your site’s “authority” and is one of the factors that helps to increase your page rankings on search engines. This leads to increased site traffic, and ultimately, new customers and clients and increased sales.
Andrew Berz Expert SEO Services offers website audit, technical SEO, onsite SEO, offsite “white-hat” SEO, and keyword campaigns to get our clients to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing as quickly as possible. One major benefit our clients receive is our expertise and skill in building extremely high quality, non-spammy backlinks. It’s a no-brainer. Since the goal is to get our clients to make more money, get to the top of Page 1 of Google, increase their site traffic and more, we know that creating a volume of no-follow backlinks won’t help. Why would we want to build spammy backlinks and hurt our client’s ratings or get them penalized or even get their websites banned from search engines?
But recently, it seems that new potential clients are eager to get an answer to one question that seems to be a motivating factor for them in choosing an SEO expert. This question is given a level of gravitas, with a heightened sense of urgency and importance, and it brings one to smile and realize we have a teaching moment:
“How Many Backlinks Will You Build Me Every Month?”
This question is, within a few short moments often accompanied by an affirmative statement, like one would make when ordering food at a restaurant.
“I want as many backlinks created per month as possible!”
It occurs to me that as an experienced, professional SEO expert who deeply cares about people, I have a responsibility to, as quickly as possible, help folks navigate and avoid the pitfalls which may lead them to hire an SEO provider or “backlink-builder” who sells them on the idea that they will immediately work to provide them hundreds or thousands of backlinks.
I was inspired to write this blog because this morning, I met with a client in a Zoom meeting, and in addition to hearing her state (verbatim) the title line of this blog, she said,
“This other company is offering to build me 500 backlinks per month! and you only build how many?”
And voila, the inspiration for this blog was born.
A growing obsession with the volume of backlinks an SEO provider offers to build is indicative that folks are not understanding the complexity to ascertaining the value of backlinks to their domain authority (DA), which is a critical factor in their website’s visibility. They are believing that “lots of backlinks” is the goal here—but missing that the quality of each backlink is the most critical metric in determining that value. When one can accumulate a volume of quality backlinks, which takes strategy, time, commitment, and depth of understanding, they are on their way. There are other critical factors, but we are here now to talk specifically about backlinks.
Here are six (6) rules of thumb for anyone assessing whether they should hire an SEO expert who sells them on the idea that they are going to create a ton of backlinks, and that this will guarantee them traffic and increased revenue from new customers. And of course, they will pitch this is the road to high page rankings on Google and other major search engines.
Related to these rules of thumb are what to look for in the backlinks they are creating. When the topic of backlinks comes up as you are interviewing SEO providers:
- Ask what type of backlinks they are going to create, and if you hire them (or any provider, always check to see what type of backlink is being created. Ask if the backlink is a “do-follow” (aka “follow) backlink or a “no-follow” backlink. In simplified terms, there is no comparison between the two. Do-follow or follow backlinks (with certain accompanying important criteria addressed in 3-6 below) are highly beneficial to your site authority and visibility. The “backlink builders” can build you “no follow links” all day and all night—they are, in true SEO terms, like building no links at all. There are two ideological schools of thought in SEO experts about backlinks—whether they are totally valueless or whether they may have some distant, inconsequential traffic value, with the recognition that the value is close to nothing. Think about that for a second. If a backlink creator is creating dozens, hundreds or thousands of no-follow links and you are being charged, you have wasted your money. And in fairness to the provider, they may not even know what they are doing or have the knowledge to know the difference (which you now have!). Be smart and remember this.
- Watch out for “backlink velocity”. If you are getting backlinks built at a high rate every month, Google, Yahoo and Bing may (and will) flag your account because they will see the site authority being attempted to be grown artificially. Think about that for a second. We all want to increase our site’s visibility as quickly as possible. Someone who excites us by promising to build us tons of backlinks as quickly as possible is—get this— working against our best interest. Huh? Yes, it is true. If backlinks are being built too quickly, and they are built from spammy, non-reputable sources, Google, Yahoo, and Bing may suspend your website, or ban your website from their search engines. The speed of adding backlinks is one flag that will raise a penalty alert (through an algorithm, not through a person clicking and counting) that can immediately drop your website in search engine page rankings. You may not know why it is happening, but you will see it happening and later wonder why. This is a reason.So watch out for promises about building a high volume of links quickly—this is often a losing formula, counterproductive to the results you are seeking.
- Ask for the spam score of the website from where you are getting the backlink. A backlink from a source with a low spam score (we measure these for you, and there are free services available as well that can do it) will have a negative impact on your search engine page rankings and your site authority. Imagine that! Each new backlink that you are paying for is hurting your website’s visibility and page rankings? This is the unfortunate result of being both uninformed and having an SEO provider possibly who doesn’t know what they are doing.
- Make sure they are adding contextual backlinks, i.e. backlinks in your business sector or industry niche, which have a significantly higher value than backlinks that are not relevant to the “context” in which you operate. If you are in a particular industry, getting an organic backlink from a reputable source in your industry is ideal. Avoid backlink builders who create backlinks from sources outside of your sector or the “context” in which you operate your business. Make sure they are transparent and understand your industry or “get it” enough to be able to connect the dots.
- Make sure your SEO expert is fully transparent with backlinks and shows you exactly which backlinks they have built. If they won’t show you or aren’t completely transparent, run for the hills! There are many SEO providers who place links in shaky, random websites who index businesses in any sector and link to them. These have almost zero value for your visibility.
- Check the domain authority of the site from which you are acquiring the backlink; this is a similar guideline to No. 3 listed above. A site linking to you with a higher domain authority and lower Spam score is where you want to be linked.
There are many other factors related to backlink impact on your visibility and website’s growth, but 1-6 are some core rules of thumb to follow.
Our Backlink Mantra at Andrew Berz SEO Services:
Quality over quantity and with time, quality and quantity
When high quality backlinks are in place, with great technical SEO, onsite SEO, offsite SEO, and a well-crafted and impactful keyword campaign, you can reach the sustained level of success you seek. Your website will rank as high as possible on Google and other major search engines, will get more quality traffic, increased sales and revenue, and you will have made a great choice of an SEO provider. You will be rewarded for your wise choice of a great SEO expert.
So as simply as I can put it, with a nod to Public Enemy, do not believe the hype. Be cautious and thoughtful. Watch out for SEO providers who can’t or won’t show their backlink work, who don’t really understand your field, and stay with the points being offered here.
Make sure the SEO expert, among other import details not included here, can tell you the type of backlink (follow vs no-follow), the Spam score and domain authority of the site from which the link is being made to your website, and make sure it is closely contextually related to your website. Have them explain what I have explained to you, and make sure you feel comfortable with them. To read a little more about SEO, here is some more general background, and we are always here to help.
These are some keys to getting the SEO visibility results you seek.
For any questions related to Andrew Berz SEO Services, backlinks, or to request a free consultation, please contact us.