Like it has been the case since over 20 years, backlinks are key to SEO success and still define the reputation and popularity of your brand on the web. However, backlinks do not work like 20 years ago, and far from it. It is now much more about quality of the links and relevancy. It is crucial to understand where you stand, plan, execute and control your backlink activities.
Getting many backlinks from any website, paying links off from unrelated websites, or websites operating from a different country or with a different language are some example of wasted efforts. Most importantly, if the website which is linking to you has a poor reputation itself its value will be only minimum; worse if it is considered a spammy website, the link might even lower your website's reputation.
Getting a link from a reputable and relevant (to your industry) website is a great achievement. However keep in mind the actual page the link is appearing on is the real deal. If the page itself has little exposure, little number of internal links and/or traffic, its impact will not be as positive as if it was on the homepage for example. On the contrary, if it appears in every page of the site, this might seen as spammy backlinking so avoid that extreme as well.
It is very important and useful to look at your successful competitors to analyse: how they get their (high quality) links, the domain authority and quality of their backlink profile, ratio follow/ nofollow, anchor text, ratio quality links, number & quality of referring domains
Link Explorer is a tool from Moz, previously known as Open Site Explorer. It is one of the main tools used in SEO to perform an Backlink Audit. Results vary from tool to tool although there majority of links found by each of the main tools (ahrefs, SEO Majestic, SEMRush to name a few).
Anchor text need to be as natural as possible, avoiding click here or other misleading text. Very often the brand name is the most used anchor text. Make sure the ratio of nofollow links is not too high. nofollow means that the website linking does not want to commit the link as sign a trust and therefore pass link juice (authority). It is totally acceptable to have a certain percentage of nofollow links but if this ration gets to high, this is sign that your website is not trusted.
.gov and .edu sites have by essence a lot more trust and power as .com for instance. If you have the opportunity to get a link from such sites and it makes sense to your business - bringing in at the same time quality & relevant traffic - this link will very likely be beneficial.
Offpage SEO refers to techniques that can be used to improve the position of a website in the search engine results page (SERPs). OffPage SEO has to do with promotion methods with the aim to get higher rankings in the SERPs. Unlike On-page SEO, Off-page SEO refers to activities which are performed outside the boundaries of the website. The most important are: Link Building, Social Media Marketing and Social bookmarking.
Many think the more links, the better but it doesn't actually work that way. Too many low quality and/or spammy links and your website will lose Google credibility and therefore visibility.
Since a few years already, you as website owner are responsible for the backlinks pointing to your site, so you need to constantly monitor, identify bad links and clean up your backlink profile. First step using the disavow tool then to try pro-actively to remove them.
Off page SEO gives search engines an indication on how other websites and users perceive the particular website. A website that is high quality and useful is more likely to have references (links) from other websites; more mentions on social media and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared.
Link building is the most popular and effective off-Page SEO method. By building external links to your website, your trying to gather votes of confidence from other relevant websites. Old methods which now do not work: blog directories, forum signatures, comment links, link exchange, Reality is quality of links than the number. To get quality links the best is to understand what content you can produce that will add value to potential customers and to influencers and then bring it to them:
Getting a backlink that appears on every page of a site is rarely a good idea especially if it not set as nofollow. First the position of the link on the page is a key factor so if your link is in the footer its positioning is all but optimal. Second, your numerous backlinks will in fact count as only one and its value will be minimal if negative. Other type of links to avoid: links from unrelated websites, from sites of different languages and/or countries and from websites flagged as spammy
Once you have identified those toxic links, the best is first to use Disavow Tool to inform Google you are aware of them and want to bring them to Google's attention. Please note that you need to be connected to the website's Search Console account in order to log into the tool. Google then advises you to actively get in touch with the respective webmasters and ask them to remove them.
Social Media is part of offpage SEO and a form of backlinking which could bring you traffic and recognition. Although most of the links from social media are nofollow they still have value. Social Media mentions are gaining ground as ranking factors and proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO.
Social bookmarking is not as popular as it used to be in the past but it is still a good way to get traffic to your website. Depending on your niche you can find web sites like reddit.com, stumbleupon.com, scoop.it and delicious.com (to name a few) to promote your content.
Relevant Tools and Resources