When I first read what link velocity in SEO was all about, it was a lot to take in. In short, it refers to the speed of backlink growth within a page or domain of interest. If this is not a subject you’re familiar with but need to know everything there is to it, you’ve come to the right place – I plan on breaking it all down in this post.
In my opinion, the best way to learn what this means is to get an understanding of what backlinking is, as they’re both, essentially, the same concept.
What’s a backlink?
In very simple terms, a backlink is a hyperlink on another website that directs the reader to your website. It’s like a citation that makes a reference to your brand, product, or service, which is hyperlinked to carry the reader to a webpage on your site.
Backlinks are one of the metrics used by Google to measure the value of a page and are sometimes referred to as incoming links, inbound links, in-links or inward links.
Above is an example of a backlink we received from an article posted on a website called ‘social media explorer’. In the sentence that the arrow is pointing to, the highlighted phrase ‘B2C’ is linked to one of our posts, which discusses B2C marketing in the Instagram era.
While that link is an outgoing link for them, it’s an incoming link to our website, i.e. a backlink.
Why are backlinks important?
In essence, backlinks have a positive effect on a site’s ranking or search visibility.
The quality and quantity of pages linking to your website can help search engines, like Google, determine your website ranking on its search engine result pages (SERPs). When many websites link to your website, search engines can infer that the content being linked to, on your site, is worth linking to and, therefore, worth being listed among the first few results on a SERP.
It goes without saying that the higher you rank on a SERP, the better it is for your business because people tend to click only the first few search results generated in response to a search query. Backlinks are very important and it’s a crucial SEO tool for any kind of website content that’s published and it’s also an essential component of off-site SEO.
This practice evolved as a way of determining the true quality of a page or site in an era when companies produced and published content by over-stuffing keywords. This created a need for high quality and useful content. This is also what caused search engines to rethink how they ranked content on SERPs and what pushes users to produce good content instead of keyword-stuffed posts/pieces.
Backlinks are one of those methods used to determine the usefulness and importance of content published on the internet.
How does backlinking add value to your website?
Backlinking is the brainchild of two Stanford students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who penned two scientific papers and introduced the concept of ‘page rank.’ This was the inception of the concept of backlinks.
Their concept was the product of two assumptions:
- The more backlinks leading back to a particular website, the better that website must be.
- The backlinks a given website receives from other authoritative websites means that that website must be very good.
With these assumptions in mind, this concept added value to any website according to the quality and the quantity of the backlinks it received.
The above illustration is taken from the paper ‘Page rank citation ranking’ penned by Page and Brin and it demonstrates how backlinking adds value to other websites.
Take the page on the right, which has a value of 53. Do you see how that page has received two backlinks from the pages on the left and the total value carried by these links have added value to that particular website?
That’s the simple math of how to measure the value of a webpage as demonstrated by Page and Brin.
You can clearly see how one backlink carries a greater value than the other and that’s the beauty of receiving a backlink from an authoritative website. Though the other backlink only carries a value of 3, however, it still adds to the value and the importance of the primary website.
On a side note, did you know that Page and Brin incorporated this system into an experimental search engine, which they ultimately named Google?
So then, what does link velocity in SEO mean?
We established earlier that link velocity in SEO and backlinking is the same concept but there’s more to this definition. Link velocity, in essence, means the speed at which backlinking occurs or the speed at which links get added to your website.
Think about it – if backlinks are a value-addition that increases the importance of your website, imagine how your website would be ranked if the velocity of receiving backlinks is high and keeps growing? The value added to your website would be through the roof.
However, receiving more links at a high velocity will not guarantee that your website ranks well on SERPs. Your backlinks, primarily, need to be of high quality.
Intentionally adding backlinks to your site is a useless practice
At one point, everyone got on this bandwagon of backlinking and ended up adding backlinks to their site, without focusing on creating good content that generates organic and authentic in-links. So, the high link velocity in SEO concept impacted search engines for some time and it became crazier when backlinking became a business where people started offering backlinks for a price.
To tackle this issue, Google became more sophisticated, and the part of its algorithm that deals with links called Penguin started to value natural, high quality links and devalue unnatural and spammy links. So, rest assured that Google is a search engine that cannot be manipulated to the benefit of webmasters.
Always be vigilant when you decide to outsource backlink generation or thoughtlessly add backlinks to your site as you run the risk of being penalised by Google. Your website will either experience a drop in search results or get removed from search results altogether!
Since I doubt that any of you want that, focus on receiving organic backlinks or ‘build’ high quality backlinks.
How do you build good backlinks?
As you know by now, backlinks are an important SEO tool that adds value and importance to your website. According to Google experts, link velocity in SEO should grow naturally, along with content on a site.
So, if adding or building backlinks can, unnaturally, cause your website to take a hit, you need to find better ways of receiving more backlinks. Otherwise, you need to build links in such a way that the link velocity in SEO increases steadily over time.
Here are some examples of proper backlink building:
● Guest posting and blogging
Contact reputable, respected websites relevant to your industry that accepts guest articles and offer them one or more free articles on a relevant topic in exchange for a byline with a link back to your website.
● News articles
Getting quotes from different media outlets is a great way to not only get backlinks but also to build credibility within your industry.
Certain websites connect you with journalists and writers or you can even monitor Twitter for relevant conversations between journalists. These methods yield opportunities that help you connect with writers working on pieces involving your industry.
● Create better content
Create better content than your competitors by finding content that has already ranked well on Google and could use an update.
Create an updated and more valuable version of that content and promote it on websites interested in linking to those pieces.
● Local citations
Business address listings on Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yellow Pages, and on business listing sites also count as backlinks. Perhaps more importantly, they also go a long way towards helping customers find your business!
Make it a point to set up a couple of new citation profiles every week or so and look for updated lists of reputable business listing sites.
The above is an example of my company being cited in a local business address listing site, ‘Pure local’, as one of the best, approved and verified marketing and advertising agencies in Australia.
Maintain an optimal link velocity in SEO for better SERP ranking
Maintain the rate of backlinking or link velocity, proportional to the existing content on your site, so you can continue to add value and importance to your site and rank better on SERPs. In this process, use tools available to you to keep track of whether your link velocity in SEO has made any progress.
While this is not an easy task and will take some time to achieve the right rate of backlinking, you can begin your journey of giving your website(s) a meteoric rise by following effective backlink strategies.