How We Build Links
Relevance & Domain Authority – our decision making about what to focus on varies from client to client. We always try to get as relevant links as possible, but need to adjust based on what competitors have and what we’re realistically able to acquire.
Timing – we treat link building as an experiment. We build links to the pages that need them, focusing on getting the most relevant links as possible. We measure the results over time and understand that some pages can respond to links within a few weeks and others take much longer.
More Detail: The Authority-Relevance Matrix
FAQs About Link Building
Over the years we’ve researched questions around the finer points of link building. Here’s what we’ve researched and a summary of what we’ve found.
Do we start with some low DA links and keep adding them until we rank?
According to Search Engine Journal, getting low-DA links is okay as long as the content is relevant and the domain linking is relevant to the client. Certain high DA sites can be ignored by Google if they seem to have tons of outbound links.
Differing Opinion: Moz mentioned that DA is always taken into account. Authority and trust probably overrides link relevance.
It would make sense for Google to make an assessment of the website giving the link and using this as a strong indicator to help decide how much value to pass across the link.
This would allow them to still pass value even when topical relevance isn’t there but they trust the website giving the link – which, as we can see, can easily happen.
Is it much more effective to get 1 high DA link than multiple low DA links?
There are differing schools of thought in this area.
Unknown – Some SEO’s say relevance is much more important. Others say it’s all about DA.
How important are the anchor text and context of the site?
Google can get some idea of what the page being linked to (the target page) is about based on words used in anchor text. If a page links to a URL using the anchor text “top 10 pizza places in NYC,” then Google knows what type of page users are being directed to visit.
With generic text (e.g., “click here”), it’s less clear to Google what the target page is about. Just as a site would provide descriptive text to assist users, it should do the same for Google.
How long does it take for a link to impact keyword rankings?
A new link doesn’t affect rankings immediately. According to Moz, It takes 10 weeks on average to see 1 rank jump. However, more links do have a more immediate effect. If you add many links at once, you’re not only going to see faster results; you’re going to see much bigger results over time.
Other important notes:
- The lower the rank, the more effect a link has
- Higher DA will move the needle faster
Differing Opinion: According to Search Engine Journal, it takes 3 to 12 months to see changes in the rankings after link building.
What link factors contribute the most to higher rankings?
According to Moz:
- The linking site’s popularity
- How related the linking site’s topic is to the site being linked to
- The “freshness” of the link
- The anchor text used on the linking site
- The trustworthiness of the linking site
- The number of other links on the linking page
- Authority of the linking domain and page
How is the “freshness” of the link relevant to improving rankings?
According to Search Engine Journal, Google prefers fresh content. Since freshness of content is a ranking factor, getting a link from a fresh content can pass a more relevant link juice to our page.
According to Moz, if a webpage sees an increase in its link growth rate, this could indicate a signal of relevance to search engines. For example, if folks start linking to your personal website because you’re about to get married, your site could be deemed more relevant and fresh (as far as this current event goes.)