Does Link Velocity Make a Difference to Your SERP Ranking?
Backlinks are an important SEO factor. They help search engines understand the authority and relevancy of a webpage. A good SEO strategy should therefore include link building. We have spoken about the importance of earning high-quality links in a previous article. But many customers are concerned about the speed at which backlinks are earned. Clients frequently ask us about link velocity and whether it will affect rankings. So, here’s a quick look at link velocity and whether it is important for SERP rankings.
What is link velocity?
Link velocity refers to the speed at which your website accumulates backlinks over a certain period of time. It is usually calculated on the basis of how many new links have been collected in a month.
Now, while link velocity may contribute to improving your SERP ranking, do not assume that high link velocity translates into high rankings. Only quality and organic backlinks will help make a positive difference to your rankings.
What does Google say about link velocity?
SEO professionals are divided over this – some say that a high link velocity helps with your rankings; for others, a high velocity can negatively affect rankings as it is considered unnatural and spammy. Yet others say that link velocity is a made-up term, and Google never mentioned it as a ranking factor. To be fair, Google doesn’t say anything specific about link velocity but rather mentions a ‘spiky rate of growth’ in links as problematic.
After scouring the web and trying to decode what Google has said on various platforms at various times, we found that –
It doesn’t matter how fast or how slow your backlinks grow. What matters is whether these links are spammy or gained unnaturally, which is against Google guidelines. Google looks at how your links are built over a period of time to understand if anything spammy is going on. Most people will admittedly find a bit of grey in this.
So, is link velocity important for SERP rankings?
The short answer is No. The best piece of advice out there, a strategy that we have always followed at our Perth SEO team, is – Don’t worry about link velocity. Instead, direct your efforts to create great content pieces that will naturally and organically attract high-quality backlinks. Avoid any strategy that borders on the black-hat SEO horizon.
If you are really concerned about link velocity, then keeping it proportional to the volume of your existing online content should give you the peace of mind you need.
So how do you ensure natural backlinks?
Focus on organic strategies such as:
- Creating relevant and quality content that readers will readily share
- Locating resource pages or business listings for your specific industry and using them to promote your site
- Getting in touch with reputed websites that welcome guest articles and contribute quality articles with backlinks to your website
- Utilizing business listing features on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites to create natural backlinks and improve online visibility
Link velocity can help identify Negative SEO
There is a good use for link velocity. Backlinks are not really in your control – you can’t control who links to your website or post. Some people take advantage of this fact and send out a lot of spammy links to their competitor’s website in the hope of popping them on Google’s radar and demoting them. Yes, that’s against Google guidelines, and no, we will never recommend doing that. But if you see a lot of low-quality links on your traffic analytics, you can disavow them. Disavowing links means asking Google to ignore certain links to your content and not pass on the link equity to you.
Read our article on disavowing links to learn more on the topic.
Link building is a constant effort. Link velocity is not that important for SERPs ranking; creating awesome and shareable content is. If your business needs content that is SEO and conversion-driven, contact us right away or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link equity – Also known as link juice, it is the authority or value that a backlink passes to the site it connects to.
Disavow links – A request to Google to ignore (not to count for or against) certain backlinks to your website.
Black-hat SEO – SEO strategies that are against search engine guidelines in order to manipulate rankings.
Negative SEO – Manipulative tactics that are aimed at lowering a competitor website rankings in search results.