High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links – Understanding the Difference
The importance of backlinks in the SEO industry needs no introduction. They play a crucial role in site ranking. However, getting it right is a skilled task as there are many aspects to links that can do as much harm as good.
Backlinks are links that lead from one web page to another. When it comes to search engines, high-quality links earned through white-hat measures are considered as “votes” for the page it leads to.
It is important to know what are high-quality and low-quality links, the difference and the usage of which can determine the kind of website traffic and ranking you get online.
Here’s a quick guide from our SEO pros on what is high-quality links vs. low-quality links and how to use them effectively.
Factors that determine the quality of a link.
There are two major factors that search engines take into account when determining the quality of a link.
The authority of a website is determined by the search engine to generate the value of a link from them. An authoritative webpage is typically a reputable source of information, usually one that has .gov, .edu, or .org at the end of it.
The relevance of a website is determined by how closely related the topic of the linked article is to the website. A site focusing on environmental activities at a global scale will be considered a more relevant source than a community website with an eco-club page. While both the web pages may be talking about “environmental activities in this city”, one has more relevance in giving answers to the question from the search engine’s perspective.
Getting the best combination in terms of authority and relevance gives you the best bet at creating a high-quality link. Here’s a quick reference on the different combinations of authority and relevance and how they fare in quality.
Low-quality links- Scores lowest in relevance and authority.
Low-quality links score the lowest in relevance and authority. Links that can be created on your own or upon request, or do not follow link quality guidelines fall into this category.
- link directories
- discussion forums
- blog comments
- social media pages
- paid links
- private blog networks
Due to the non-curated nature of the content in these pages, search engines have algorithms that overlook these pages.
High-quality links- Highest in relevance and authority.
They are the best kind of links. As hard as it is to get them, it’s not impossible. Getting a backlink from a very good website takes very high-quality content that can be genuinely useful to the reader. These can include –
- Big industry brands
- National news site
- Big industry blogs
- Government institution sites
- Educational institution sites
Medium quality links
These links score average in both relevance and authority, but they do not do much to move your site rankings. It may also be of high authority and low relevance or vice-versa. They are not worth a lot of investment in terms of content marketing, but they do create a healthy backlink profile.
- Local directories focusing on certain industries
- Small industry blogs
- Small industry brands
- Local news sites
A few proven ways to generate good quality links are given below.
- Linkable assets: Creating content that is worth linking to is the best way to do this. The more useful your content is to the reader, the more it makes people want to link to your page.
- Link roundups: These are blogs that round up amazing content with links to it. Finding the right link roundups and pitching your content to them can get a spot in a good link roundup.
- Guest posting: It is one of the best ways to use backlinks. Posting in reputed sites as a guest can help drive traffic to your site.
Disavowing backlinks – is the process of asking search engines to ignore certain backlinks to your site.
White-hat SEO – They are SEO measures that follow the terms and guidelines of search engines.