Since 2012 Google has been releasing updates that has left people confused about the right way of building backlinks. The question of how many backlinks and from where are still in the grey.
In this post, we will try and address every aspect of building an effective strategy for creating backlinks that are super safe.
What are Backlinks ?
Imagine you have a website named as “www.MyWebsite.com”. Let us now also imagine that there are 100’s of other websites. Let us call them “www.OtherWebsite.com”. Now every time a hyperlink from “Other Website” to “MyWebsite” is created a backlink is formed.
Voila! So you have formed your 1st backlink. Now this link can be from different source (i.e. Other Website) like
- Article in a Blog pointing to your website
- Comments in Blogs and forums
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc)
- Online Magazines & Forums
- Business Citations
- Social Bookmarking
- and many more sources.
We will discuss all these in detail and at the end of this article we are sure that as part of your SEO strategy in UAE, your backlinks will have a very strong foundation.
Okay so moving on.
How many backlinks should my company create to strengthen its SEO ?
In the good old days, I had say just blast your website with as many backlinks as you can. The higher the backlinks you have the better the ranking of your website.
But all good things turn bad when they are over exploited. Google realised that people have been creating backlinks left, right and centre. They have manipulated the searches by creating backlinks through Bots. Yes bots (in layman terms known as softwares such as Ultimate Demon and SENuke) that would create millions of backlinks overnight for your website. So in this “Game of Backlinks” what really happened?
- Through huge number of backlinks, less relevant sites started getting ranked in the top results. Thus creating a BAD user experience.
- Website owners and SEO agencies were all in a race to create backlinks. The focus on content, the ease of use, the structural strength of website and the relevancy took a backseat.
- The Search Engine was soon becoming a source of Spam Websites that served only one purpose – minting money for themselves.
Google put an end to all of this with its Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. Therefore today the scenario is different.
“Search Engines are aiming for Quality”
So if your company is doing SEO in UAE, we suggest you start focusing on Quality. The answer to “How many backlinks” is
NOT in quantity but in the Quality & Relevancy of the backlinks created.
Quality of Backlinks
This refers to weather your link resides in a good neighbourhood. This simply means that is you link coming from a site that is trusted? Does the source site have outbound links to Spam Sites ?
Imagine it in this way. You want to build your house. Will you look to build your house in a neighbourhood that is notorious, known for spam activities. I am sure you would not put your money into such a locality.
In this example,
- Your Website = Your House
- Backlinks = Building your House
- Other Website = Other Houses in the Neighbourhood
Google is very conscious about what neighbourhood do you reside in.
Links coming from quality sources such as Websites (Example: Forbes), Social Media sites (Example: Facebook,Twitter), Web 2.0 blogs (Example: Tumblr), RSS Feed submission (Example: Yahoo Answers), Site Profiles (Alexa) etc will have far greater positive impact on your website ranking.
These websites have far greater Authority (referred as Domain Authority or DA) and when a backlink is created from these high DA websites, a significant trust is established in your website and your website gains a few points in increasing its own DA.
Creating 1 backlink from DA 80+ website (DA 80+ means website has Domain Authority score of 80+ out of 100) is much more effective than lets say creating 1000 backlinks from DA 10 websites.
I use the MozBar Chrome Extension to check Domain Authority and the Page Authority (PA is nothing but how authoritative the page is on the website) before placing any link for my client during my SEO projects in UAE.
Relevancy of the Backlinks
Now that you have understood the essence & impact of Quality Backlinks on increasing Domain Authority and ranking. Let us now try and understand the word relevancy with respect to Backlinks.
Let us imagine that we are going to create a backlink from a blog for OnDxb
OnDxb specifically deals with Search Engine Optimisation, Digital Marketing and Online Marketing. Broadly we may also at times write on Data Analytics and Programming.
Let us assume there are 3 options available to me to create a backlink for OnDxb
- Blog 1: Focused on food & restaurant (DA= 70 & PA = 55)
- Blog 2: Focused on travel packages & tourist places reviews (DA = 75 & PA = 45)
- Blog 3: Focused on tools required for analysis during SEO & Digital Marketing (DA = 50 & PA = 40)
Which Blog would you chose?
If your answer is Blog 1 or Blog 2, then I believe you have based your selection only on selecting higher quality blog identified through DA & PA score.
Yes both Blog 1 & Blog 2 have higher Domain Authority & Page Authority.
But are they relevant ? Since both the blogs are not relevant to what OnDxb does, will it make sense to anyone (let’s leave Google aside) for us having a backlink from these 2 blogs.
This is what RELEVANCY is.
Blog 3 maybe a notch down in Domain authority & Page Authority, yet the backlink created from Blog 3 (which is about tools used in SEO & Digital Marketing) is more relevant to our website.
Before moving to methods of creating backlinks, it is important we understand that Quality & Relevancy are in the heart of super safe SEO.
It’s better to have No Links than getting penalized
Build Super Safe Backlinks for SEO in UAE
It is important to note that while building Quality backlinks you should use only Naked links or Branded anchor text.
Since we are linking from Authority Websites directly to your Website, it is important that we use unoptimised anchor texts.
An important part of our local SEO strategy in UAE is gaining maximum traction through business citations.
Business Citations are simply websites that list your businesses details (such as company name, contact details etc) and/ or map locations.
When we focus on increasing the authority of companies in UAE through SEO, listing in local business citations is a must. It helps us in 2 ways:
- We get an easy backlink
- We create a sense of localisation that is recognised by Google’s Algorithm
It’s not always an easy task to find a credible niche related business citation website, hence I have compiled a list of 25 High DA general business citation websites that is sure to give a boost to your SEO efforts in UAE and elsewhere.
While submission of your website to directories will create backlinks of low – medium quality but nevertheless you can always have them.
We don’t recommend doing a link blast to any and every directory you find on the web. However we strongly recommend you to target these 2 categories of Directories during your SEO backlinking process:
Location Specific Directories:
We are in UAE and we love to create the tier 1 backlinks that can guarantee our ranking in local searches.
This is why we recommend listing in Location Specific (or as some say Geo specific directories). How do I find local directories?
Just search in google
- Location + Directory (Example Abu Dhabi + Directory)
- Directory + Location (Example Directory + Dubai)
Niche Specific Directories:
Well as stated earlier, that relevancy is extremely important.
It is again important that you do not start backlinking to every directory you find unless it is a general directory.
Get better backlink value by submitting to niche specific directories. Like Location Specific, you can also google:
- Niche + Directories/ Directory
- Niche + Location + Directory (never miss these)
You can click here to check list of business directories in UAE.
This is a no-brainer!
While there are almost 100’s of Social Media websites and Apps, you literally cannot be everywhere unless you really have a dedicated team to manage the same.
However we still recommend you to be on major platforms and have minimal engagement with users (in form of Posts, tweets, shares etc) in the ones that are not very relevant to you.
For example for one of our clients in UAE, we populated their account in every major platform but decided that Twitter & Facebook will be the focus platforms.
Blog comments is one of the most easiest ways of getting a backlink to your website. To do it correctly you need to keep relevancy in mind (i.e. you target commenting only in your niche related blogs).
Blog is an easy way to get a mix of dofollow and nofollow backlinks to your website.
Never ignore the hidden power of nofollow backlinks. While NoFollow links do not contribute in passing the link juice yet they are extremely important because they help you maintaining a balance of both type of links.
Secondly you get to diversify the usage of anchor text as you can have multiple comments with different anchor texts.
Participation in Forums
Obtaining links from Forums is again a great way to create a relevant backlink. Regular participation in forums through comments will help you earn backlinks easily.
Unlike Blogs, most of the Forums allow signature backlinks and are DoFollow (well most of the time).
Using Co-Occurrence technique you will be able to create a relevant and a powerful backlink to your website. Co-Occurrence is a technique wherein you place your keyword closer to your website link (as you will be using mostly naked link in your bio hence it is important to have a good write up and place your keyword closer to the link)
Well if you are great in crafting content then you should leverage the most powerful backlink builder process known as Guest Posts.
How do I become a guest writer ?
Well most of the websites, have tabs such as
- Write for Us
- Submit Your Story/ Article
- Contribute to
So basically you try and contact the site owner/ editor through these options and submit a well written, well researched and relevant guest posts.
Do NOT write guest post for the sake of backlinks as you can get penalised for placing your link in a poorly written article.
Also ensure that you get a contextual backlink i.e. the backlink is placed within the article. Most of the time backlink comes from Author byline, which is not a great way of telling search engines what the entire backlink is all about.
Well there are few more techniques mostly grey hat SEO such as expired domain redirection, building layer of blog 2.0s, creating tiered network etc however for I suggest you to focus on the ones we have elaborated and stay super safe in creating links.
We are open to all questions and feedback!