If you’ve never researched online marketing or worked with a medial marketing agency, you’ve probably never heard of link building. Of course, you know about links and how they work on the Internet. You probably click on hundreds of them a day. What you probably don’t know is that they are a core part of Google’s Ranking algorithm.
1. The Beginnings of Offsite Authority
Google was the absolute pioneer with developing modern search engines. Before they came on the scene, websites like MSN, Hotbot, and WebCrawler dominated the space. The one big thing Google introduced was adding links as a new ranking variable. Now, offsite authority would be used to help determine what websites were most relevant for a particular query.
Adding links to the ranking algorithm revolutionized search. Before, the only thing that was looked at was the onsite content. This was obviously something each web master could easily manipulate. Google’s code finally added a variable that each website owner couldn’t directly control.
Google’s idea worked amazing. Adding links to the code drastically improved the accuracy of search. The improvement to the quality of listings is what turned Google into to the juggernaut that it is today.
2. The Fall of Link Building
Back in the early 2000s digital marketing practitioners started to learn about the importance of links. They saw it was really easy to spam the Internet to get a huge amount of low quality references. This was really the start of old school, traditional SEO.
Google didn’t like how people could essentially game the system and trick their algorithm. Rather than backlinks being useful for determining accurate, organic placement, they had become a liability.
In the Spring of 2009 Google fought back. They implemented stiff penalties for people who had unnatural linking profiles. This was a game changer within the digital marketing industry. No longer could people benefit off of low quality, high volume tactics.
3. Where We Stand Today
Links are still a big part of what drives organic placement. However, now it’s much more about quality that quantity.
The companies that really know how to get top rankings use a practice called “Guest Blog Posting”. This is where you find another website that’s relevant to your industry and you contribute a high quality post. This adds value to publishing website by giving its readers some excellent information to consume. It adds value to the person that provide the post by including a backlink in the content that points back to his/her site. Overall, its a win win for everyone.
If you’re looking to start getting rankings for your dental or medical practice, we highly recommend implementing a guest posting strategy. Getting one super high quality backlink is going to be worth more than hundreds and hundreds that are low quality.
4. Popularity Contest & Value of Links
Within the online marketing space, links act as votes. This is a way for one website to essentially pass a small amount of its authority off to another site. The one thing that’s different between links & votes is they definitely aren’t created equal. A link from a popular, reputable site is worth much more than one from a brand new domain.
Websites with different extensions can also have different values. If you’re picking up links from .org and .gov websites, they are going to be worth a lot more than domains built on .com or .net.
The other thing that’s important when building your linking profile is to get links from relevant sources. If you own a cosmetic surgery practice, getting a link from a car dealership isn’t going to be very helpful.
5. Anchor Text Within The HTML
There’s one more thing to discuss with link building. That’s the principle of anchor text. There are two parts to a link. Below you can see what the HTML actually looks like. The first part is the href. This is where you put the destination a person will land when clicking on the thing.
- <a href=http://www.solutionmedmedia.com
The second part of the link is the anchor text. This is where you can put the term you want the search engines to see you as relevant for.
- “Medical Marketing Agency</a>
When you combine to two pieces together, it looks like the completed piece of HTML below.
- <a href=”http://www.solutionmedmedia.com”>Medical Marketing Agency</a>
When you look at a standard page, the HTML is turned into text. If you were to see the code above on a traditional page, it would like like the example below.
Just to bring everything back together, when you’re building your backlink profile, you want to get as many links from as many quality sources as possible. You also want the links to have a high ration of targeted anchor text. This will ensure Google bumps your rankings up for that term.
Backlinks are what modernized the modern search engines, and are still an important part of the ranking algorithm. Having a sound understanding of where we’ve come from and where we stand in the current medical marketing space will ensure you adhere to Google’s strict guidelines. If you follow our recommendations on focus on getting high quality backlinks from relevant sources, you will be rewarded with top organic placement.