Being one of the pillars of SEO, backlink building can either skyrocket or plummet your online presence. SEO has gone through numerous Google updates and algorithm changes, but one thing stayed the same– knowing how to manage backlinks properly can help you maintain and improve your business’s online presence.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one-way links”) are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. Backlinks are basically votes from other websites. Each of these votes tells search engines: “This content is valuable, credible, and useful”. So the more of these “votes” you have, the higher your site will rank in Google and other search engines.
The Importance of Knowing How to Manage Your Backlinks
Link building is of utmost importance because backlinks are among the most important ranking factors. Having a good backlink profile and proper backlink management will give you a good foundation to create a reputable site and consequently earn money. However, if not done correctly, it can deteriorate your site’s worth. However, link building is only the first step. Although link-building should never end, deciding how to manage your backlinks can be as important as the link-building process itself.
The Benefits of Maintaining Your Backlink Profile
By managing your backlink profile, you can make sure your SEO efforts and money invested don’t go to waste. Therefore, you should keep track of your links and make sure everything goes according to your pre-defined strategy. By doing so, you ensure great ROI and you shouldn’t take that for granted. Here’s a couple of tips on how to manage backlinks properly and why you should spend at least a couple of hours each week on that task.
Full Control of Incoming Links
Losing control and track of your business can hurt you in the long run. After all, 70% of small enterprise owners fail after ten years in business. Keeping a clean slate and being alert at all times can make or break your business and the same rules apply to SEO and backlinks.
You’ll need to make sure that the incoming links match your content and the easiest way to track your progress is through GSC or GA (free) and paid tools. Namely, it’s always important to get links from relevant websites (or at least keep page-to-page relevancy intact) and that’s why backlinks you get from your competitors are like unicorns–you’ll probably never get one but they’re extremely valuable.
The Ability to Analyze Your Competitors
It’s always important to know who you’re battling against. Use SEO tools to analyze your competitors and get the backlinks they don’t have but might be relevant to the niche your business is in. Similarly as when creating a content strategy, you can also find sites that link to your competitors but don’t link to you.
The Ability to Control Your Backlink Profile
Now knowing how to manage backlinks and letting things slide because you’re not paying enough attention can hurt you in the long run. That’s why you always need to track your backlinks, avoid building messy and spammy links and try to keep the good ones. Google Search Console has a disavow functionality but we advise you to use it with caution and only when you suspect your website is being attacked. Rest assured that Google can detect low-quality links in most cases and ignore them.
Having a Full Control of Your SEO Strategy
Finally, you need to take control of your off-page SEO strategy. Find the right anchors, get the links from the right sites, and know which pages have the most links so you can update them regularly and keep those backlinks intact. What’s more, if you’re an experienced SEO, you know how broken links can hurt your website. Many SEO experts and outreach workers benefit from people being lazy and not fixing their broken links.
The Pitfalls of Failing to Manage Your Backlinks
Maintaining a healthy backlink profile has more benefits than most people in SEO realize. Namely, the hours you spend learning how to manage your backlinks might seem like a waste of time since you won’t see instant results. However, an up-to-date and clean backlink profile can help you prevent losing links and therefore rankings and traffic. In the worst-case scenario, creating a terrible backlink profile can even lead to getting a manual penalty from Google.
The state of the SEO industry is such that competitors are lurking at all times and, if you’re not careful enough, your valuable backlink will be poached. Whether it’s through broken links campaigns or outdated link building, someone is always trying to get people to replace your link with theirs. If that happens, the link juice your pages got will be lost and that may consequently result in your website losing its place in the SERPs. Losing valuable places in search results causes a loss of traffic and will hurt your monetization strategy as well.
Last but not least, not taking care of your backlink profile can have Google analyzing your website manually and potentially noticing something unusual. PBNs, paid and sketchy links, as well as pure spam links can bring you a spike in traffic but it’s only temporary. Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated and not keeping your backlinks clean will eventually hurt your business, one way or another.
How to Manage Backlinks–Bottom Line
Unfortunately, most of the new people working in SEO care only about temporary gains and would do just about anything that would bring them monetary compensation. However, proper backlink management is one of those things that pay off months from now, but should be done right away.