Link Quality vs Quantity: Which Matters Most & Why?
Link quality vs quantity- which matters a lot? Link building is the process of manually building or achieving links to a specific website, page, or piece of content. This can be done by adding links yourself from another website or page, by asking other website owners for links, and so on.
Google, and other search engines, rely on links to determine a website’s authority and where it should rank in search results. Because of this, link building is a ubiquitous service offered by SEOs and Internet marketing companies. In most cases, a website needs links to rank well, and it can be tough to achieve these links without the proper knowledge or experience.
Similar to link building is link earning, which indicates that links are given to websites naturally, with little to no outreach. The word link earning is usually used to describe the process of creating content that earns links easily – for example, a post on a popular blog, a helpful guide or how-to page, and so on. In this case, the focus is less on manually building links and building the kind of content that will attract links without much help.
Link Quality vs Quantity
Building a high volume of links
When link building was still young, webmasters tried to build as many links to their site as possible through blog commenting, sitewide footer links, participating in link directories, and so on. The more links a site had, the better and the more likely it was to rank highly in the results for various keywords and queries.
It’s hard to deny the importance of having a lot of links. However, things have changed. Search engines can now determine the relevance of links better and recognize “unnatural” links relatively easily. It won’t look strange if your marketing blog accepts a few links from other marketing blogs. Still, it will be suspicious if you suddenly receive a hundred inbound links from unrelated blogs or websites with no history whatsoever.
Also, the rate at which you acquire links is essential. Websites tend to naturally draw links in slow drips, with a few bursts here and there (if they’re covered in the news, for example). If you regularly gain 50 links a month, there won’t be any obstacles—but if you go from 50 to 5000, then back to 50, search engines will probably (rightfully) suspect something fishy is going on.
Although having many links is desirable, it’s risky, especially if you aren’t acquiring them naturally. This is why it’s now more helpful to focus on quality than quantity.
Now that search engines can recognize relevance, intent, and linking patterns, and there has been a shift in the attitude of those who build links. Instead of focusing on acquiring links from every source possible, most link builders try to gain links from trusted sources with higher PageRank or are seen as authoritative resources.
Gaining a link from a website with authority or faith will not only increase the amount of exposure the content or website linked gets: it will also add a powerful boost to the authority of the linked site. For example, if a national news website includes a topic and links to one of your pages as a resource, it’s saying, “We trust this link.” Readers will trust it, and so will search engines. This is just one example of a high-quality link.
When it arrives at the link-building quality vs quantity argument, there is now one clear answer, thanks to Google’s algorithm updates and the shifting views of those online.
Is link quality more important than quantity?
Yes, absolutely. If the number of links was more important than their quality – that is, the quality of the source – it would be effortless for websites to game search engines by building hundreds of links on unrelated or spammy websites. As we mentioned, this was once a general practice, but Google’s algorithm updates now punish websites that do this.
Just one link from a broadly read news website, a popular blog, or another high-quality resource can provide as much value as a hundred links from other sources. If Google trusts the website from which you’ve been linked, it’s going to trust that link, too. A followed link is actually an editorial seal of approval.
Some links may have the “rel=nofollow” tag added to them. This HTML piece, typically used on social media sites or in comment sections, prevents search engines from viewing links as receiving that editorial approval. Some large sites may use this tag in the bodies of their posts for several reasons. A nofollow link doesn’t technically carry any power – but it can lead to further links that do. Even a nofollow link can be very advantageous and more potent than a few dozen followed ones from lower-quality sites.
What are some quality link-building and earning tips?
If you’re seeking to get started with a link building campaign, or want to earn some high-quality links to your website, here are a few tips to get you started:
- If you’re contacting someone to ask for a link, keep your email short and sweet. Get right to the point, don’t flatter them, beg for a link, or explain that you’re trying to build links. Your content should drive the request, not your requirement for a link.
- Stay as relevant as possible. If your website sells furniture, it’s unlikely that a blogger interested in healthy living wants to link you.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection – you’ll never know if you’re going to take a link until you try—Aim high. Even large news websites and blogs need good stories, so give them one!
- You will presumably have to send many pitches and emails until you finally get a yes. In the meantime, focus on building your authority online via social media, guest posting, or commenting on websites.
- Don’t pay anyone for a link – Google actively penalizes websites that are found to be competing in link buying and selling schemes.
- Ask for feedback in your pitches, particularly if you’re new. Some editors or bloggers may be kind enough to tell you why your content doesn’t cut it for them, which is valuable information you can use to improve your strategy.
Above all else, your focus should be on building the kind of content people want to read, share, and talk about. Although links may not come naturally to you at first, and you may struggle with the outreach process, eventually, you will build a following that can’t wait to share your latest post or comment on your blog.
Link building can be complex, but don’t be discouraged! Everyone had to start somewhere. If you feel like giving up, you can always ask for help or consult an expert for additional advice.