Do different social links have different values for SEO?

There has been a lot of debate around whether social links can influence SEO. Google itself has gone back and forth on this issue, first stating that social links are important before dismissing them as ineffective when it comes to influencing website rankings. So, what do you need to know about the value of social links for SEO? Let’s take a look. 

What is a social link? 

Social linking is the practice of linking to your website via social media platforms and is often categorised broadly as social SEO. Sharing links to your content via social media can help to boost your brand recognition and drive traffic to your site. 

But a key thing to realise about social linking is that it might not have a direct impact on the ranking of your site because all links are based on their reference weight. For instance, links from Facebook and Google+ are non-follow links, which renders them ineffective from a ranking perspective. 

What’s more, Twitter links use a redirect feature and only send links to a specific resource after a 301-redirect. As such, the practice of social linking doesn’t have a direct impact on your site’s ranking on Google. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for SEO, as we explain below.

Is social link building a valuable SEO practice? 

When you invest in a social SEO strategy, one of the advantages is that you’re likely to increase traffic to your website. Sharing links to pages on your site can increase the number of people who visit your website, particularly if you have a decent following on social media. As such, traffic increases can undoubtedly boost your website’s rankings. 

What’s more, investing in an effective social media strategy can help with your site’s appearance on a Search Engine Results Page (SERPS). This is because Google and other search engines use social signals to rank your site. 

Another advantage is that social links contribute to the authority of your site. If search engines recognise that people are sharing your social links, they interpret this as authenticity and the fact that your content is credible and worth sharing. Social links can also help with your site indexing, which is a notoriously slow process for new websites. 

So, when it comes to SEO value, social links are undoubtedly valuable, but they won’t necessarily boost your site’s rankings by themselves. Therefore, you need to include social links as part of a broader SEO strategy in order to realise their value. 

Building effective links for your website

Your website’s rank is impacted by both inbound and outbound links, so it’s really important to invest in a link-building campaign that helps to increase your search engine visibility. As mentioned, social links are also valuable, but for different reasons than inbound and outbound links, so you should act to cover all bases. 

At Footprint, we help businesses execute effective link-building strategies and appear prominently on Google and other search engines. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business and keep in touch with our latest news via our blog.

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Telephone

02071831022

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FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

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© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd

The Disavow Tool: How & when you should use it

Spammy links have long caused webmasters a headache. But with the disavow tool, you’re able to do something about the links that are detrimental to your site’s health. Here, we introduce the disavow tool in detail and explain how and when you might use it.

What is the disavow tool?  

Back in 2013, Google announced that it had launched the hugely anticipated disavow tool. Fundamentally, the disavow tool enables webmasters to remove spam links that they once acquired, which can improve the overall health of their site. 

The tool is available from your Google Search Console, and it allows you to actively discount the value of an inbound link to your site. However, it’s not quite as simple as that, as Google warns that disavowing links can actually have a detrimental effect on your site. 

Let’s take a look at when and how you can potentially use the disavow tool to your advantage. 

When should you use the disavow tool? 

The main reason why you should consider disavowing links is to protect your site from spam. Spammy links harm your site’s reputation, which then have a negative impact on your site’s ability to rank on Google. 

People create spam links for a number of reasons. It could be a competitor trying to drive down the trust value of your site, or there could have been some recent changes in a Google algorithm that influenced your site’s trust. 

When you’re constantly receiving spam backlinks, it can have a hugely negative impact on your SEO, which is why the disavow link can come in handy. But as mentioned, Google cautions webmasters against using it, stating that “if used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google Search results.”

How to use the disavow tool correctly

Your first job is to create a list of backlinks to your site that you wish to disavow. You can do this using a platform like Ahrefs or Backlink History to help automate the process. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to determine which links are inherently good and bad, as Google isn’t clear about this. 

Therefore, you need to use your judgement and investigative skills. Begin by visiting each of the sites you think are questionable and consider how harmful they really are. If the site seems suspicious based on its content, structure, or any other red flags, you might decide that you don’t want it linking to your site. 

You then need to create a txt file containing the links that you wish to disavow. Your txt file should meet specific guidelines, and you have the opportunity to add comments to the file if you wish to inform Google of your reasoning for disavowing the links. 

Thereafter, you can upload your file to Google and await their decision, which may take several weeks. We can’t stress enough how important it is to investigate links before disavowing them, as you need to guard against ruining all of the good work you’ve put into your SEO strategy in the first place. 

Avoiding spammy links in the first place 

While there’s not a great deal you can do to prevent spammers from linking back to your site, you can be mindful of link quality when working on your backlink-building strategy. Low-quality links with little trust will harm your site, so you need to avoid poor-quality paid links that are likely to do your site more harm than good. 

For advice and guidance on how to build high-quality links that will improve your site’s rankings, get in touch with the Footprint team today.

Telephone

02071831022

Address

FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

London, E8 4DY

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd

The Internal Web: The importance of linking internally

Many SEO technicians focus their energy on building backlink profiles without realising the importance and value of linking internally. Below, we explain what internal linking is, why it’s so important, and how you can begin building links within your site today.

What is internal linking?

Internal linking is the practice of using hyperlinks to connect the different pages of your website. It’s a helpful SEO tool, as it can: 

  • Encourage people to stay on your site by visiting different pages 
  • Aggregate authority on a particular topic within your niche or area of expertise 
  • Improve the way that the Google algorithm ranks your site 
 

Why is internal linking important? 

Effective internal linking can help to boost your SEO performance in several ways.

When search engines crawl your site, they will look at links on your site to include in their index. The more links that exist between your pages, the more likely they are to add pages to the index, ensuring your content can be found on search engines. 

Google also views links as a way of discerning what related information you deem to be important when creating content. This can help lift your position in search rankings. 

Ultimately, you can look at internal linking as a way of informing Google of other relevant content throughout your site. 

What are the different types of internal links? 

It’s possible to create different types of internal links, depending on what you hope to achieve. These include: 

  • Relative links take you to different pages on your site. 
  • Root relative links are shortcuts that can lead to multiple parts of a site’s homepage.
  • Deep links direct the user to a page within the same domain. 
  • Content-based links take you to other pages on the site to offer more context on a particular topic.
  • Site-wide links include links in sidebars that appear on each page of your site. 
  • Image-based links exist in the alt text of an image. 

For most people, content-based links are the easiest and most useful. They allow you to expand on a particular topic by redirecting your page viewers to another part of your site. 

This lowers your bounce rate and keeps people on your site for longer, which is helpful when it comes to boosting your domain authority.

How to use internal links to your advantage  

The key thing to remember when it comes to internal links is that they should be helpful. There’s little point in linking to other pages just for the sake of it, as you don’t want to confuse people who visit your site. 

To get started with internal linking, it’s easy to look for opportunities to add naturally helpful links within the body of your content. 

For instance, an article about the origins of organic coffee could naturally link to your online shop where you sell the coffee that you have introduced in the article. 

Another great way to get started is to add links to the bottom of your blog that invite your site visitors to find out more information about the topic. 

Finally, don’t go crazy with the number of internal links that you include on your site. If your post is littered with links, it will be confusing and off putting to your users and may come across as spammy to the Google algorithm. 

If you’re hoping to create a successful internal link-building profile or would like any other tips on how to improve the SEO of your site, reach out and say hello – we’d be delighted to help you. 

You can also keep up to date with all of our latest SEO tips and tricks by checking out our blog.

Telephone

02071831022

Address

FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

London, E8 4DY

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd

Social Bookmarking: Are they important to a trusted backlink profile?

Given that there are more than 1.7 billion websites active on the internet, using every tool at your disposal is crucial if you want to get your business out there. Here, we look at social bookmarking and how it can help drive traffic to your site.

What is social bookmarking? 

Social bookmarking is the act of saving a web page to visit at a later time. Using a browser-based tool, you can tag a website and visit it again later if you wish. This is a viable alternative to saving social media posts directly to your browser bookmarks. 

Provided you have an internet connection; you can access a site that you have saved via a social bookmark at any time, from anywhere. Lots of people use social bookmarks as a way of gathering and accessing content that inspires and interests them. But how can this help your SEO?

The SEO benefits of social bookmarking 

When used correctly, social bookmarking tools can be an effective way of building your presence online, as bookmarks help Google and other search engines to understand the content on your site. The benefits of social bookmarking include: 

Backlink building 

If content from your site appears on a bookmarking site, it creates a backlink to your website. Social bookmarking backlinks are considered high quality by Google and will help your SEO. 

One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website is to build legitimate, trusted backlinks, and it will help you rank higher on search engines. The fact that social bookmarking boosts your domain authority means that you can rank for relevant keywords more easily. 

Speed of indexing 

New sites often experience difficulties when it comes to indexing. Search engines crawl the web looking for new data and updates, and when Google stores the data, it is referred to as indexing. 

It can take a while for Google to find fresh content on a new website, but social bookmarks help Google’s bots identify your content more quickly. Therefore, it speeds up the indexing process and helps your content rank more quickly.

Increased traffic 

Social bookmarks can also increase traffic to your website. When your content is stored on a social bookmarking site, people typically click the link and access your content. 

If they discover content that is engaging and informative, it will likely result in many more website views a month, which will help your numbers significantly. 

Social bookmarking best practice 

As is the case with all of your SEO tactics, there are a number of things you need to think about before attempting social bookmarking, as we explore below.

Site authority 

There are lots of social bookmarking sites out there, but there’s little point in wasting your time with low authority sites. Posting your content on spammy sites will actually harm your site’s rankings and hinder your SEO. 

The likes of Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest are great places to get started with social bookmarking and come with the relevant authority to ensure your content isn’t at risk of being marked as spam.

Complete your profile 

When you create a profile on a social bookmarking site, make sure you complete your profile. The information you include should be consistent with other content you have shared online. 

This will help search engines index your site and ensures consistency of brand, no matter where you share information about your business. 

Engage 

Once you’ve created a profile on a social bookmarking site, be sure to engage with your audience and followers. Share your content regularly and take part in discussions. 

Social bookmarking is most effective when you’re active and engaged, so it’s best to choose one or two platforms that you can regularly maintain instead of spreading yourself too thinly across multiple sites.

The bottom line is that social bookmarking can be an effective component of any backlink-building strategy. Discover how Footprint can help you build a legitimate, high-quality backlink profile for your business today. 

Telephone

02071831022

Address

FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

London, E8 4DY

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd

Do online directories still have value as backlinks in 2022?

SEO companies and individual web developers have been using online directories to build backlinks for a long time now. But is this still a viable SEO tactic in 2022? 

The death of directories? 

When the internet first arrived in our lives, very few people and organisations actually had websites. As the number of sites slowly started increasing, so too did the presence of web directories. 

Directories played an important role because it was necessary to recall the name and URL of the website you wanted to find. After all, these were the days before keyword searching via Google and other search engines became possible. Therefore, directories like Yahoo were established, which listed websites under various categories and subcategories, making it easier for people to find what they were looking for on the web.

As websites became more and more prevalent in the early 2000s, search engines started to emerge as a viable alternative to web directories. Typing a keyword into a search engine is much simpler and time-efficient than scanning through a web directory to find what you’re looking for. 

The key difference with search engines is that they are powered by algorithms, which ultimately decide how and where a specific website would rank. Google powered to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness, replacing the likes of Yahoo! at the top of the tree in a relatively short space of time. 

Are web directories still used today?

Although web directories have been usurped by search engines, they are still used by some people, albeit not for their intended purpose. People quickly realised that web directories could be used for link building, as you could pay a relatively small sum of money to be featured on the first page. 

But this led to a huge problem with people and organisations spamming web directories, and Google now penalises people who rely heavily on web directories as a primary source for their SEO strategies. 

The main reason why web directories won’t help your SEO a great deal is because they don’t add much value to users, given the amount of spam within the sites. What’s more, web directories are no longer actively managed as they don’t generate anywhere near as much income as they once did. In other words, they’re not really a viable SEO tactic.

The heyday for link building via web directories is undoubtedly over, but they might still have a minimal impact on your overall page rankings, in the same way, that any other site that links to your site does. 

But the key thing to remember is that Google doesn’t look favourably on web directory listings, and posting backlinks to directories is not likely to have a positive impact on your SEO. 

To explore link-building strategies that work, reach out and speak to one of the Footprint team today.

Telephone

02071831022

Address

FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

London, E8 4DY

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd

Drop the Anchor: Anchor text best practice explained

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink, and it can make a big difference to your SEO. As well as directing your audience to a specific resource, the anchor text provides search engines with integral contextual information about the content of the link’s destination. 

Dropping the anchor 

The anchor text on a website is the visible words displayed in blue by a hyperlink, which enables you to direct your audience to a specific location on your site or elsewhere on the internet. Search engines use anchor texts to rank a page based on what they perceive it to be about. Therefore, useful, descriptive, and relevant anchors can help your site rank, even if certain key phrases don’t appear within the text itself. 

There are several different types of anchor text to be aware of: 

Exact-match 

If your anchor text includes a key phrase that mirrors the page it is linking, it is deemed an exact-match. For example, ‘anchor text’ linking to a page about anchor text. 

Partial-match 

This is anchor text that incorporates a slight variation of the key phrase, such as ‘anchor text best practice’ to a page about anchor text. 

Branded 

You can also use the name of a brand as the anchor text. For instance, ‘Footprints’ directing you to a published article on the Footprints blog.  

Naked link 

Some people use naked links as an anchor, which is just a website URL with no integration. For example, www.footprintpr.co.uk is a naked anchor. 

Generic 

It’s also common to use a generic phrase as an anchor on a website. The likes of ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ are examples of generic anchors. 

Images 

In the instances when an image is linked, the search engine will look to the text within the image’s alt attribute when deciding upon the anchor.

Anchor text best practice 

Anchor text should be succinct, relevant, and not generic. It should also not focus too heavily on your targeted keyword. Although there’s no correct length for anchor text, your goal should be to keep things as concise as possible. 

You should think carefully about how to concisely describe the linked-to page, as well as which word or phrase would motivate users to click on it. 

Link relevancy is also really important as far as anchor text SEO is concerned. Search engines will consider how related page A is to page B, and a relevant and concise link will improve the chances of both pages ranking for queries relevant to their topic. 

Google determines link relevancy by considering the topic of the source page and the content of the anchor text. So, links that point to content that is related to the topic of the source page are deemed as more relevant.

For example, a page about the best exercise bikes will be more relevant in the eyes of Google when it links to a gym’s website than when it links to a site with information about women’s hair products. 

Search engines focus on anchor text variations and consider them as indicators of what the article is about. This will then influence which search queries it will be considered relevant for. So, to ensure your links are relevant, make sure your anchor text is as descriptive of the target page as possible. 

What’s more, following the Penguin algorithm update, Google decided to examine how keywords are being used in anchor text. When too many keywords are used, it can raise suspicion, as it potentially highlights to Google that the links were acquired unnaturally. That being said, it’s still a good idea to use keyword and topic-specific anchors for the most part, but variety is key. 

When it comes to internal link building, make sure you’re not over-reliant on keyword-heavy anchor text. Google might interpret too many internal links with the same anchor text as spammy behaviour, so bear this in mind when creating your text for your internal links.

Contact us to learn how Footprint can help your brand’s SEO or if you have any further questions about anchor text best practices. 

Telephone

02071831022

Address

FootPrint, 8 Lee Street

London, E8 4DY

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Footprint is a trading name of Footprint PR Ltd