No matter how hard you try, your search engine optimization efforts seem to be in vain. Your website is still on the fourth page, and no one gets to see it there. If everything is alright on your website, the problem might be on the off-page SEO.
To most people, off-site optimization is
nothing but link building. They try to get links here and there, hoping to push
their websites up. While link building is certainly a good idea, it is not
everything. Many other techniques can be even more useful in the long
So, what is off-page SEO, what works today,
and how do you apply the right solutions?
off-page SEO important?
Understanding the importance of off-page website
optimization is fairly simple. Everyone can relate to it. You search for
something over the Internet. It could be the safest city in the USA, the best
places to live in Asia, the most picturesque villages in Wales and so on.
You click on the first couple of results, and you
hit an issue – you will have to subscribe to read the article, as you can only
read the first couple of paragraphs. Other times, you might hit one of those
content traps, where you need to click next to see the next entry –
As you close these tabs and hit the third and the fourth results, you realize that other pages could have easily ranked first, especially as you can read their articles, and they are based on actual data. In other words, it is not the content that puts such websites in the first positions, but the off-page optimization.
Dofollow versus nofollow
When PageRank was big and strong, most marketers
focused on dofollow links, which link to your website and send search engines
over as a recommendation. Now that PageRank is gone, nofollow links have also
gained some notoriety, as they have their benefits.
Is there a difference between them? Apart from this tag, the average reader will see no differences. In off-site SEO, the difference is quite important. A dofollow link will send more robots and crawlers to your website, improving your ranks.
There is still lots of value in nofollow links, as
they can bring referral traffic, which will help your SEO campaign. However, if
you put time and effort into building a proper link network, you might want to
look for dofollow links.
The anchor text is the word associated with a hyperlink. It could be a single word, as well as a phrase or even an entire paragraph (not recommended). These links connect one page or website to another, yet it is essential to be relevant.
To help you get an idea, imagine someone linking to
your website about traveling. The anchor text should mention holidays in
Brazil, the best time to travel, and so on. Hyperlinking words like
“here” or “this” will add to your backlink network, but
they are not as efficient.
The bad news is you do not have too much control over someone else’s anchor text in off-page SEO, yet you can increase your success rate through guest blogging. However, do not exaggerate – keyword stuffing in the anchor text can lead to a penalty.
Google used to run PageRank, which clearly showed
the authority of a website. It stopped in 2016 because most people focused on
it, rather than their websites. The way it worked was pretty simple. A backlink
from a website with the PageRank value of 6 was much more powerful than a
backlink from a website with the PageRank value of 1. It merely transferred
more authority to the linked site.
A link over Wikipedia is more powerful than a link
over a website created last month – to give you an example.
How do you check the authority of a website without
PageRank then? There are quite a few good websites to check metrics, including
Alexa or Ahrefs. It is up to you to decide on one. Each portal has its way of
checking the quality of a website based on content, links, age, and other
A backlink from a traveling website is more useful than one from a banking website if you run a travel agency. Relevance is critical, but it depends on a few factors. Practically, a backlink is a vote. If some website backlinks to yours, they recommend you.
Now, how does relevance compete against authority?
If you want results overnight, a backlink from an authority website with no
relevance is more valuable than a backlink from a low authority website with
lots of relevance. If you want to convert and you want people who are
interested in what you have, opt for relevance.
This is a no brainer – backlinks from websites with lots of organic traffic are much more valuable than those from sites with little organic traffic in off-page optimization. This is where many newbies make mistakes. Focusing on traffic only is a bad idea.
A backlink from a website with relevance and authority should never be overlooked, even if the traffic is insignificant. Relevance and authority (even with no traffic) will add to your off-site optimization, while those with traffic will add to your conversion rate.
As a short conclusion, off-site SEO can be a
bit challenging. It takes time, and results never show up overnight. But at the
same time, do not go for any random backlink that you can get. Opt for quality
over quantity, as times have changed over the past few decades.
At the same time, backlinks represent a sketchy
area in this field because they are generally challenging to get. Sure, you can
buy them, write guest posts, or get low quality links fairly simple. But if you
want results, lots of websites will refuse to link to you unless you bring
value to their guests.