Backlinks to your site are one of the most important elements of its promotion, on which your traffic depends. The quantity and quality of external links (backlinks) can radically affect positions in search engines. Low-quality links from domains with poor performance, irrelevant or prohibited topics, lower the website position in search results, and sometimes cause serious penalties, up to complete exclusion from search results. I will tell you how to avoid problems and arrange high-quality links, and usually without direct monetary payment.
Free links: what’s the catch?
Backlinks are links to your site posted on other resources.
There are several ways to organize them.
For example, make an order on link exchanges like Collaborator.pro, or get them with the help of outreach-strategies. But in this case you will have to enter into an agreement with the owner of the donor site and pay for his services.
Of course, the most popular is free linking. Alas, in most cases it is “conditionally free. Still have to spend working time, effort, and sometimes pay for the services of outside experts.
It is possible to optimize and reduce the cost of “linking” goals only by understanding the variety of techniques for finding donor sites.
Criteria for selecting link donors
A link donor (donor domain, donor site) is a site that allows you to place a link (backlink) in one of its sections.
SEO-specialists Netpeak determine the quality domain-donors by the following criteria:
- DR – stands for Domain Rating. This is an indicator of the quality of the domain from Ahrefs, based on an analysis of the link profile of the site. Measured on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score the donor, the better. The minimum DR score may vary by topic, region and budget.
- Traffic – both general traffic and traffic coming from search engines are considered. Serpstat, Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, etc. are used to determine it. The traffic indicator may also vary depending on the subject, region, and other data. It is important to consider the dynamics of growth or decline in traffic.
- The ratio of incoming and outgoing links – this parameter can be found on Ahrefs. Link donor should have a greater number of incoming links, or at least equality on the inbound / outbound. Otherwise you can be in the “link dump” – among the sites where indiscriminately, on a commercial basis, placed backlinks. This will adversely affect the position in SERPs.
- Thematicity – look for donors with similar themes, then the link to your site will look natural. For example, to promote a site with children’s products choose a women’s forum, a blog about beauty and fashion, or site agency for children’s parties. Suitable and donors with a broad subject, as an option – regional news providers.
- No spammy ads and “black” content – be wary of donors with a lot of intrusive banners, porn ads, casinos and other resources that are considered illegal by search engines.
- Regionality – consider domains that attract traffic from the region in which you plan to promote your project.
- IP location – the donor’s server should be in the region your site is aimed at. This metric can be checked with Netpeak Checker. Note, however, that many Ukrainian sites are now running from servers in Europe and the U.S.
- The number of keywords for which the site ranks. These should be considered in relation to the traffic indicator. If a site, for example, is ranked for 20,000 keywords, but receives 500 visits per month, this indicates that it is in the “top ten” of the output by a very small number of “keys”.
You can also use Majestic’s metrics:
- Trust Flow, a metric measured on a scale of 0-100. It is based on a domain’s link connectivity to so called “starter” sites, as determined by Majestic. According to them, these sites have an unconditional trustworthiness.
- Citation Flow – a metric that determines a domain’s link weight, based on the number of sites linking to it. It is also measured on a scale from 0 to 100.
Keep in mind that the indicators of link donors should be considered holistically, to trace their combination and interdependence, but in no case – each parameter separately.
Some of these indicators can be ignored or defined as a higher priority, depending on various factors. For example, if you find a donor close to the subject with an acceptable rate of traffic, but not having a sufficient rate of DR, it is probably possible to choose it as a potential web resource donor backlinks.
Ways to post free links
I divide free linking into two categories:
- types of sites – sites where you can directly place links;
- placement strategies – methods to ensure that you get a link after performing a set of actions on your part.
Sites for placing links
This is a relatively simple tool, suggesting a single action: identifying a donor – get a backlink.
There are two types of directories in which you can register your domain:
- directories of companies – platforms for online and offline projects, such as a travel or car company;
- directories of sites – for backlinks of companies that operate only online, for example, a blog, article site, news site.
Make a list of company directories or sections in directories that are relevant to your business and start linking smoothly. If you abruptly increase the links in one month, and then stop placing them at all – you may fall under the sanctions of the search engine. In no case do not use automatic promotion of directories, in order not to get into search filters.
Note that many directories has a significant disadvantage: more outbound links than inbound. This is an undesirable indicator for a link donor. I recommend that you consider only resources devoid of this drawback.
It is worth using links in your accounts and posts, as well as leaving useful comments with links on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Naturally, provided that you regularly maintain and develop your profile on social networks.
Platforms like Reddit, Digg, and Quorra combine the functionality of forums and social networks. Here you can give links both in the posts, and in the comments, on the condition that the topic of your company or website corresponds to the direction of the social platform.
Search engines consider valuable links that are posted in comments and discussions of thematic forums, assuming that users share them with each other.
For example, promoting a local firewood company, create a thread on the regional forum “Where to buy quality firewood in the Kiev region?” Then, answering this question from another account – add a link to the company (just not at once, after a few days, so that the answer looks natural).
Placing links on social platforms, social networks and forums is also called crowdfunding. Always take into account the rules of the community platform, so as not to incur penalties from the administration.
Try to use sites that post reviews and reviews of products and services as a donor. You can leave the link in the evaluation of the product your company sells, or point to it as more reliable in a competitor’s discussion thread.
Aggregator sites are sites that collect and categorize information, products and services from different companies into one web resource: marketplaces, aggregators of goods, message boards, services for buying certain types of goods, etc.
Your music store and its products, for example, should be registered on the marketplace like prom.ua, and on OLX place an ad for services on the tuning / repair equipment. In both cases you will get a quality and relevant link.