Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Many affordable SEO packages include links for their clients to enhance their website. It’s easy for an affordable SEO company to get cheap links, yet the quality of those links is an entirely different story. The fact is, you should care about where your links are coming from and how they’ll help your website.
As an affordable SEO service, you’re likely overwhelmed with offers for buying links at discount prices while guaranteeing an increase in rankings. You should probably stay away from such snake oil salesmen who make promises of grandeur for a measly $200. What you want are authority links, and those are the type of links that simply can’t be bought. Authority links come, of course, from authority websites, but the real question is how to identify and find authority websites, and how to get links from them.
Authority websites are simply those that provide trusted information and services. Authority websites will likely have steadily rising numbers in membership or viewership because the content of the website is trustworthy and extremely informative, and not due to any affordable SEO tricks. Authority websites instead ranks for anything and everything related to its own business, as well as the users who provide more expert information on the given subject.
Authority sites rarely rank #1 in search engines these days, or even on the first page for that matter. Back in the “old days,” it was more likely that an authority website would be rated highly. Today, however, with clever if not nefarious SEO techniques will make less informed, profit-motivated websites to get ranked highly. Also, with the latest Google algorithm changes, it’s harder to identify authority sites just based on metrics alone. If a site has garnered 15,000 Twitter followers, how do you know that they gained those followers honestly? There’s no easy way, and there isn’t a magic tool to help distinguish authority sites from cheapskate sites.
So how, then, do you identify authority sites? For starters, if you spend some time on the site and inherently trust the information, then it’s likely an authority site. Look to see if they have regularly updated content that’s often “liked” or tweeted by other users. Look through their backlinks to see if they’re earned or if they lead to sketchy article directories.
There are several different types of authority sites. One of which is the author/blogger variety. Crowdbooster is also a tool that allows you to see which bloggers have a big influence.
Local authorities are ones such as government agencies, education providers, charities, news stations, trade organizations and other legitimate organizations.
Finding authorities in your industry, however, might be a bit tougher. If you just do a search on your industry, you may hit upon lots of spam. If you search for an agency or conference alongside your industry, however, those search terms may give credence to the site.
So the next step is getting links from them. Even asking for them is worth a shot. Offering something unique and useful on your website will also garner you natural links. If anything, check out the links that the authority sites themselves get and see if you can’t get those same links.
Doing the work to get high quality, authoritative links will be worth the time and energy. Getting a bundle of cheap links will not get you the respectable traffic you want and, worse, you’ll likely suffer for it later thanks to Google algorithm changes.