Backlinks are an important factor in search rankings, as they display trust and authority to pages on a website. However, there are a number of best practices which need to be adhered to, including ensuring links are relevant and not seen as spam. Our Hangout Notes cover these, along with other key insights from Google.

Unnatural Links Can Hurt a Site Regardless of Algorithm Updates

November 26, 2019 Source

If you believe your site is suffering from poor link-building schemes, John recommends focusing on removing these unnatural links, regardless of any algorithmic updates. This can be done in a number of ways, including using the disavow file or removing links from the source site.

Disallowed Pages With Backlinks Can be Indexed by Google

July 9, 2019 Source

Pages blocked by robots.txt cannot be crawled by Googlebot. However, if they a disallowed page has links pointing to it Google can determine it is worth being indexed despite not being able to crawl the page.

Web Spam Team Can Issue Targeted Manual Actions Against Pages With Unnatural Linking

May 31, 2019 Source

The Web Spam team can take targeted manual action against websites with unnatural linking by choosing to disregard links to individual or small groups of pages.

Value of Backlinks Changes Over Time as Sites Grow in Size & Adds More Links

May 1, 2019 Source

Backlinks don’t lose their value directly because of their age, but PageRank is distributed more broadly over time as the linking site publishes pages and increases the volume of links.

Google Doesn’t Place Fixed Weight on Backlinks in its Algorithms

April 18, 2019 Source

Google doesn’t place a fixed weight on backlinks in its algorithms, it varies from case to case. For example, a new article may rank well for a trending topic but have few links because it is so fresh.

Rather Than Redirecting Temporary Pages, Encourage Users to Link to More Permanent Pages

February 22, 2019 Source

If you have a page that will only be live for a short amount of time, instead of trying to consolidate link equity through redirects, John recommends encouraging users to link to more permanent pages on your site like category pages.

Google Ignores Links From Press Releases

June 29, 2018 Source

Links from press releases are generally ignored because Google knows that companies publish these themselves. John doesn’t recommend relying on links from press releases as part of a link building strategy.

Links to Different Language Sites Provide Same Value as Same Language Links

June 29, 2018 Source

Links to a different language site provide the same value as links to same language sites.

Anchor Text Helps Google Understand Topic of Target Page

June 29, 2018 Source

The anchor text in a link helps Google understand the broader topic of the target page.

Related Topics

Internal Linking Anchor Text External Linking Disavow Deep App Links