Debunked: Nine link building myths you should ignore in 2019

Almost anyone running a B2B or B2C business knows that Google and other search engines like quality links, and could consider them as one of the top ranking factors.

So, if you want your website to rank higher than your competition on search engines, a proper link building strategy is not debatable.

However, if you’re going to implement link building in your 2019 digital marketing strategy, you have to do it the right way.

Search engines shroud their algorithms in secrecy, so the SEO and link building industry is flooded with many myths that will never get you results but can get you into a lot of trouble.

To avoid investing resources into wasted link building efforts, pay attention to these nine link building myths that won’t get you anywhere in 2019.

1. Guest posting is dead

This myth started to get really popular in 2014 when Google’s Matt Cutt said,

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company. So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”

Because of how direct and stern this warning by Cutt was, it’s understandable that many people believe that guest blogging is genuinely dead.

However, Cutt later clarified this statement by saying that what he meant was spammy blog posts for the sake of SEO purposes was dead.

This means that publishing relevant and resourceful blog posts on authoritative sites for building links, exposure, branding, increased reach, and building a community is still very relevant in 2019.

2. Links not relevant to your niche are low-quality links

This is a prevalent myth that contradicts the fundamental idea of link building in 2019. To rank high, you need to get top authority sites to link back to your site. To get these sites to feature your link, you need to provide relevant content for them. Moreover, whether or not that content is related to your niche or not, it still improves your ranking.

So, when your site receives a non-relevant backlink from a non-relevant niche, Google will not frown upon these links.

3. Building tons of links to a single piece of content is spammy

Many people still think that building tons of links to a single piece of content could negatively impact their keyword rank. Again, this link building myth contradicts itself because it goes against the idea of organic link building.

If search engines do not penalize highly original and valuable webpage that other websites link to because of how helpful and informative their content is, why would they consider a piece of content with tonnes of backlinks spammy?

However, if your links are low quality (from spammy content networks and directories), you could be slapped with a manual penalty or significant link profile devaluation.

4. Link building is irrelevant if you already rank high in search queries

It’s sad, but many marketers still believe this. Link building, like other digital marketing strategies for social media marketing, blogging, and others should be consistent. Not only because it helps you maintain your position above your competition in search queries, but also because it helps you with the following:

  • Increase your brand’s visibility across the web
  • Increase traffic to your domain
  • Showcase your brand’s authority and value

Link building is not just about increasing the volume of links to your site; it also exposes your business to new customers.

5. Google will always prioritize sites with higher backlinks over others in search queries

The truth is there isn’t a “one size fits all” for search engine ranking. There are about 200 ranking factors related to UX, mobile usability, technical performance, query intent, and many more.

Google’s ranking factors are very dynamic. According to Google Webmaster John Mueller, the search engine focuses on a particular query intent to select its ranking factors.

So, while link building is a valuable ranking factor, Google algorithms find a balance between its 200 ranking factors before displaying results to a search query.

6. All pages/posts/links on your site have an equal ranking value

When people talk about this myth, they usually mean either of these two things:

  • Every post on your site has the same authority or
  • All links on a page are of equal ranking value

Both statements are wrong. In the first instance, a post that has been linked back to by high authority sites will rank higher than others which have not. There are tools like website auditor which can be used to check the individual ranking value of your site’s posts.

As for the second statement, Google’s John Muller confirmed that their search algorithms take into account the position of a link on a webpage it appears.

So take advantage of link positioning. SEO experts like Bill Slawski and Rand Fishkin recommend positioning your links higher on the page because the higher a link is placed on the page, the more it weighs, and the more value it passes to the pages it links to.

7. Internal links don’t help you rank higher

While high-quality external links are one of the most important ranking factors, internal links also play a huge roll in helping you rank higher. This is because linking from higher to lower ranking pages can give a massive boost to weak pages. Interlinking related content on your website also creates what search engine experts call a “topic cluster”.

In 2019, topic clusters are significant because when a search query is made for a particular topic and search engines find relevant topic clusters on your website, your site will be considered an authority in this field and will automatically rank higher than other sites with relevant single pages.

8. Stuffing your image alt texts with relevant keywords helps you rank higher

Image links are not bad for SEO. However, too much of anything is never a good idea. And this applies to image link building. While there are no penalties for using image links, stuffing your image alt tags with keywords to manipulate rankings is against Google’s guidelines.

Before Google started using AI and machine learning to understand images, people had to stuff their alt tags with text to ensure the pictures appeared in relevant search queries. However, in 2019, both text and image are translated into the same language in coding.

9. Wikipedia and Wiki-like pages are the Gods of domain authority building

Many people are convinced that getting a link back from pages like Wikipedia will automatically give them a higher ranking authority because of the exceptionally high domain authority Wikipedia has. But sadly, digital marketing has as many facts as it does fallacies.

Information directly from Google’s Garry Illyes tells us that Google ranks Wikipedia just like any other website.

In conclusion

Don’t allow the fear of spamming keep you from harnessing the many fantastic benefits of implementing a link building strategy.

Also, although Google’s dynamic algorithms are usually hidden, SEO and link building agencies like seopow study them every day to let you know what’s a fact and what’s a fable.

Segun Onibalusi is the Founder and CEO at SEO POW, an organic link building agency. He can be found on Twitter @iamsegun_oni.

The post Debunked: Nine link building myths you should ignore in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Five ways to improve your website’s bounce rate (and why you should)

Bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors that land on your website and leave before viewing a second page. You can easily determine your website’s bounce rate by setting up Google Analytics.

Now, if you’re thinking this isn’t such a big deal and that as long as they visit your website, irrespective of how long they spend on it or how many pages they view, they at least know your business exists, that’s not good enough. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more time you have to turn them into subscribers and customers. But how can you convince users to stick around longer and visit more pages?

Luckily, there are a number of easy and free ways to improve your website’s bounce rate and grow your business.

Here are five ways to improve your website’s bounce rate

1. Create content consistently

Creating content consistently is one of the best ways to keep users around longer and get them to view multiple pages. Useful, engaging content will drive traffic to your website. Once that traffic is there, they’ll stick around, keep reading, and eventually become a subscriber or customer if you have a wide array of informative blog posts for them to read. In fact, according to HubSpot, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5 times more leads than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.

So, create a content plan that’s consistent and offers something for everyone. Not everyone prefers written content, so include a mixture of formats such as written, video, infographics, audio recordings, and more.

Another important tip for your content: Practice effective internal linking. Relevant and useful internal links sprinkled throughout your content can guide users to more of your awesome content and keep them reading.

2. Add images and videos

Speaking of a mixture of formats, to improve your website’s bounce rate, be sure you add eye-catching images and videos to your website. Many users won’t spend a lot of time reading your website content, so you need to grab their attention with images and videos.

Add a large high-quality image or video to your homepage to grab the attention of viewers as soon as they see your site. Most websites do this while keeping everything else on the page simple, like the Panera website for example.

Example of images and video for website content


Image Source

If you don’t have the means to hire a photographer, you can find a ton of stunning, free stock images on a site like Unsplash.

3. Speed up your site

You may not have realized it before but your website speed is important for improving your website’s bounce rate. In fact, according to Google, 53 percent of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And for every extra second that your page takes to load, the probability of users bouncing dramatically increases. So, don’t make your website visitors wait.

You can use a site like GTmetrix to test the speed of your site. Not only will it tell you what your site speed is, but it’ll also give you advice for improving it. If you’re running your website on WordPress, it would also be wise to download and install some free plugins like WP Smush and W3 Total Cache to help boost the speediness of your site.

4. A/B test

As you’re attempting to improve your website’s bounce rate, don’t leave it up to chance. You should be A/B testing everything in order to determine what’s working and what’s not. You might be surprised by the small things that can cause users to abandon your website. It might even be something as simple as the color of your call-to-action button.

So, perform A/B tests, or split tests, of every aspect of your website. Does your bounce rate improve with a popup on your homepage or does it get a bigger boost on another page? Does one font convert more visitors over another? Does showing or hiding a progress bar help or hurt your bounce rate? When we say A/B test everything, we mean everything.

5. Target abandoning visitors

Did you know that over 70% of people who leave your website will never return? If you don’t start to improve your bounce rate now, that’s a lot of potential leads and customers your business is missing out on. One effective way to stop those users in their tracks and get them to stay on your website longer, and eventually convert them into subscribers or customers is by utilizing exit-intent popups.

Example of utilizing exit-intent popups to improve site bounce rate

Image Source

Exit-intent popups are able to track when a user is about to leave your website and send them a targeted message at exactly the right time. Your popup can encourage website visitors to subscribe to your email list, download your lead magnet, or even offer a discount if they purchase. So, not only can exit-intent popups improve your bounce rate, but they can also boost your sales in an instant.

Got more points to share on improving bounce rates? Share them in the comments.

Syed Balkhi is an entrepreneur, marketer, and CEO of Awesome Motive. He’s also the founder of WPBeginner, OptinMonster, WPForms, and MonsterInsights. Syed can be found on Twitter @syedbalkhi.

The post Five ways to improve your website’s bounce rate (and why you should) appeared first on Search Engine Watch.