The 7 Key Elements that Google Uses to Evaluate the Quality of your Links

Any astute digital marketer or SEO specialist knows the value that inbound links can bring to a website. Every link directed to your site is capable of adding some level of trust and authority in the eyes of Google crawlers. Once Google perceives your site as trustworthy, your ranking for the relevant keywords will automatically improve.

Key Elements

However, it is important to note that all the inbound links for SEO are not treated equally. Some add more value to your site than others. Google can evaluate the links and judge whether they are spam or valuable. Here are the main factors that Google uses to evaluate the links:

1. Source Authority
Google analyzes the domain where the link is coming from and determines whether it is authoritative or not. Well-established websites that get high traffic tend to be more authoritative than the newly established ones. For instance, you will derive lots of benefits from links coming from Huffington Post, Forbes and other popular websites. Of course, we have to admit that getting links from such sources is not a walk in the park.

2. Nofollow tag
You can avoid the authority factor by using the nofollow tag. In this tactic, you use the ”rel=nofollow” HTML tag and inform Google not to crawl a given link with the purpose of passing authority. The tag comes in handy when you are creating outbound links to questionable sites. Given that link building is two-way traffic, links originating from your site to a lowly-rated website will have damaging effects on both parties. Google crawlers should never crawl such links.

3. The relevance of the Source
Link building is not all about collecting links from ten types of websites that look promising. Their relevance matters. Google evaluates the source of the link and determines whether it is relevant to your website. For example, if your website deals with automotive, links coming from a foods site can be considered irrelevant.

4. The context surrounding the link
Apart from the topical relevance, Google also analyzes the contextual relevance of the links. This is all about the immediate content that is surrounding the link. Google scans through the content of the destination page and establishes whether it is relevant to the link. The crawlers scan the sentence that has the link and the whole paragraph to determine its contextual relevance.

5. Anchor Text
Google evaluates the anchor text that houses the link. In the past, most SEO specialists insisted that the anchor text should be optimized to reflect the exact keywords used. However, since Google started using penguin algorithm, lots of rules changed. The anchor text should fit naturally in the context. Any manipulation to optimize the anchor text for keywords can lead to some penalties.

6. Destination of the Link
Google analyzes the SEO performance of the destination page. It checks on important factors such as the quality of the content, structure, title, and authority. In overall, it should be a quality piece of content that many readers love.

7. Diversity of the Links
The crawlers analyze the sources of your inbound links and try to establish their domain diversity. Are the links coming from different unique publishers or do they trace a common origin? Getting links from different unique sources will ultimately boost the authority of your website leading to high ranks.

The above are the main factors that Google uses to evaluate links for SEO. As much as you would like to look good in the eyes of Google, you should also focus on meeting the expectation of human readers who visit your website.