Why Does Offpage SEO Matter?

While the Google search algorithms and ranking factors are constantly changing, the general consensus within the digital marketing community is that the relevance, trustworthiness, and authority effective off-site SEO efforts and still play a major role in a page's ability to rank.

Optimizing your site for offpage ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site's popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is accomplished by other reputable websites on the Internet linking to or promoting your website, and effectively "vouching" for the quality of your content.

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"Typically, internal website links will not cause you any sort of trouble."
Matt Cutts, the Head Of Webspam At Google

However, backlinks are another matter

Backlinks and off-site SEO

Building quality backlinks is at the heart of all off-site SEO. Google use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content's quality. Therefore a site with many high value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.

Type Of Links To Obtain

There are three main types of links, defined by how they were earned: natural links, manually built links, or self-created links.

  • Natural links are given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adds a link to a page that points to a favorite recipe on another site is considered a natural link.
  • Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
  • Self-created links are created by submitting a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release.

Regardless of how links were obtained, those that offer the greatest contribution to the off-site efforts SEO are generally those that pass the most equity. There are many Google "signals" that positively contribute to passing equity:

  • Authority of the linking domain and page
  • The anchor text used on the linking site
  • The trustworthiness of the linking site
  • The number of other links on the linking page
  • The linking site's popularity
  • How related the linking site's topic is to the site being linked to
  • The "freshness" of the link

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