Like the name suggests, these are elements that are not controlled by you, the content publisher. Here is what Search Engine Land, one of the most authoritative resources on all things SEO, says about off-page elements:
Off-Page ranking factors are those that publishers do not directly control. Search engines use these because they learned early on that relying on publisher-controlled signals alone didn’t always yield the best results. For instance, some publishers may try to make themselves seem more relevant than they are in reality.
With billions of web pages to sort through, looking only at ‘On-The-Page’ clues isn’t enough. More signals are needed to return the best pages for any particular search.
The most important of these off-page elements is high quality, relevant, user-friendly backlinks. These are links from other websites or social media channels that point to your website.
Why Backlinks Are Important
Google considers a link to your site as a sign that the linking site thinks highly enough of your content to refer its visitors. It’s like a “yes vote.” In Google’s eyes this boosts your site’s relevance and authority… all good. But there is a very important caveat. The site linking to yours must itself be an authoritative site and must have some obvious relevance to your content. If it does then the link will pass link equity, or “link juice” to Google and you are likely to experience improved placement on Google’s results page. If the site linking to yours, however is a questionable site with little or no relevance to your subject matter, not only will your ranking suffer but you are likely to get hit with a Google penalty. Once that happens it is very difficult to recover.
How to Get Quality Backlinks
The simple answer is it’s not simple. Here are a couple of strategies we employ:
- Identifying broken links – we identify websites that are relevant to yours then do a broken link analysis. Broken links are a fact of life on the Internet. This can happen for all sorts of reasons – the site being linked to no longer exists, the page you’re linking to has been moved, the article you’re linking to has expired, etc. The point is this; the site owner likely doesn’t know his site contains broken links. As a “thank you” for informing him of the dead links the site owner may be inclined to include a link to your website.
- Citations and directories – getting your site listed in relevant industry directories is another good way to establish trustworthy links to your site. We will research which directories are the most relevant to your business and make sure you get listed in them.