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How to level-up your link building strategy?

When it comes to link building in an SEO strategy, there are plenty of different techniques that may be used. That topic is as broad as it is tricky. Whether you buy backlinks or not, whether you put yourself into the white or the black side, or perhaps you see yourself sailing through the 50 shades of grey… what you look for and want in the end is a technique that works.

You want and need backlinks that provide to your target page a significant boost!

Is what you think what you actually get?

Picking up a backlink is not that complicated, but picking up the right one is.

Nowadays, acquiring backlinks can be achieved through different methods:

  • Market analysis
  • Competitor’s assessment (referring domains + backlinks + IPs, etc.)
  • Link building platforms
  • PBN (calm down, PBN doesn’t necessarily mean black hat…)
  • Guest articles (don’t forget to set up the proper tag 😜)
  • Ninja linking (I told about 50 shades of grey just above, so I warned you!)
  • Backlinks of competitor’s backlinks => depth 2 analysis
  • Your network
  • Babbar Connect (we’ll talk about this one later on)
  • Etc, etc.

The purpose of this article is not to cover all the techniques you can use to get backlinks, but to highlight one single thing: when you choose one backlink over another, how do you make sure this backlink is the best you get?

Basically, if you have £100 to spend and 10 backlinks at £100 each, which one will you choose?

You’ll most likely take a look at each of its metrics, such as trust, popularity, topic, traffic, keywords the URL is ranking for, its referring domains, its backlinks, IPs, etc.

But still, are you sure that the backlink you get is the best among the 9 others?

On the paper, yes, but under the hood, it’s impossible to ensure that this backlink will transfer to your page the amount of popularity, or link juice, you think it has to offer…

Bring your link building strategy to the next level

Remember, in my last article about the Topical PageRank, I was highlighting the fact that as an SEO, we should focus our analysis on the topic; Topical PageRank is the key. And guess what? It also applies when it comes to link building!

We’ve seen just above some techniques we usually use to find valuable link building spots. This is no coincidence I mentioned this… As you can see, there are plenty of different techniques, that are all as smart as relevant, but one is missing:

  • Looking for URLs that are semantically close to your target page!

In other words, I’m looking for pages that are categorised, from an algorithmic standpoint, in a topic very close to my page. We want to ensure the backlink we get comes from a page that will transfer the maximum of strength to our page.

Doing this, we’ll be checking out 2 factors:

  1. Topical PageRank => URLs semantically close to the page we want to boost
  2. Induced Strength => what strength those URLs will send out to the page we want to boost

Find semantic spots to maximise your strategy

First of all, let’s find URLs that are semantically close to us.

To do so, let’s take a look at the Spot Finder module in Babbar. The purpose of it is to provide you with domains that are semantically close to the piece of content you’ll be providing to the model. Yes, here, you don’t provide your target URL, but a sample of text there is in there or you’re about to produce.

See below:

By assessing the semantic of the text you provide, the model sends back to you domains that are semantically close to your piece of text, along with the Semantic Value of each of them (which reflects the Topical PageRank of the domain/host given, but you already know that now 😉):

That way, you’re not only looking for URLs that look somehow relevant, you’re searching for URLs that are semantically compatible with the topic of the page you want to boost. And that makes a huge difference! That actually makes your analysis very thorough.

Therefore, from here, things are getting interesting…

If you base your analysis on the domains’ popularity only, you would most likely be, at first glance, attracted by the 2 hosts framed in green below:

These have the highest popularity score among all the hosts listed. But, since you need to pick up only one, looking closer, you will probably go for the one that displays trust and semantic value. Fair enough!

With a Semantic Value of 75, that host is the most authoritative one on the list. Therefore, you might want to stop here and go for this one.

Let’s dig a bit deeper…

Induced Strength model as a game changer

From now on, we have our list of serious contenders for the quest for the perfect backlink (obviously, you can enhance your list by providing as many text samples as you like, as well as filtering hosts in order to get the most relevant list for your analysis).

On top of that, we identified a host that seemed to be the most valuable one in terms of Topical PageRank. It could be the one, but…

Let’s double check all of this through another Babbar module called Induced Strength.

First thing first, this module is absolutely unique! The induced strength model will calculate the level of strength and relevancy a source URL will transfer to a target URL. And once again, the Topical PageRank is involved in there.

Let’s jump right into it and see how it looks like!

By providing to the model our list of hosts we got from the Spot Finder module, as “Source” URLs, and the page* we want backlinks for, as “Target” URL, it will calculate and send back to us an indication (as a score) regarding which URL is worth picking up in order to maximise the PageRank transfer.

In other words, which page will send out to our page the maximum strength and popularity!

The IS column (Induced Strength) provides a score (from 0 to 100). That score reflects the level of strength each source URL will transfer to the target URL, based on their semantic proximity.

Following this calculation, it looks like we’ve got a surprise…

The host that had the higher semantic value doesn’t seem to be the one that would send us the most strength… Another host looks actually more interesting in the way of maximising the PageRank transfer (IS of 37 vs 33).

And if we get back to the previous analysis using Spot Finder, among all the hosts in the list along with their own HV and Semantic Value, this is probably not the one you would have chosen in the first place…

A host that you most likely didn’t even think about in your process of selecting the best URL for a potential backlink just popped up and revealed its relevancy over the page you want to boost!

By looking at more “typical” metrics, you would have probably missed out on something…

This is why the Induced Strength is a game changer in a link building strategy.

Thanks to actual algorithmic models being used, you can thoroughly select the most valuable spot for your link building strategy.

If you have £100 to spend over 10 potential backlinks at £100 each, you’ll be able to make a strategic decision.

Quick tip: performing this type of analysis at the URL level rather than the host level may be way smarter. Just give it a try… 😉

Special Bonus

On top of this, in order to make your outreach campaigns smoother, please meet Babbar Connect! This feature allows you to connect with website editors and webmasters through the platform.

Babbar Connect is a smart and gently way to get in touch and make link building deals.

To do so, when performing an analysis from the Spot Finder module, you may see items popping in the Babbar Connect column on the right hand side:

Just hit the “Contact” button and you’ll be able to get in touch with the owner of the website you’re interested in (and it’ll be nicer than a cold outreach campaign).

And if you own a website and would like to be contacted for link building purposes, just add it through the Babbar Connect dedicated module. Easy-peasy!

That being said, hopefully you’ve got everything now to level-up your link building strategy.

Make it easy. Have fun!

*The URLs mentioned in this article are used as examples in the context of a case study. They are not Babbar’s property.

Nicolas Piquero is a seasoned SEO with 6 years experience. He worked as an in-house, agency and freelance SEO, with various major european companies. Being both a and power user, it was obvious that he could be an ambassador for babbar’s tools. So, being based in London, he is the first babbar ambassador for the UK.