What is the number one SEO factor that skyrockets your Google Ranking? This is a question that is asked by nearly every client. Sometimes people are surprised to hear that I still think it is backlinks. With all the growth and advancement of technology, backlinks are still the most important factor? Yes. Let me explain.

What are backlinks and why do they matter?

Backlinks are when other websites link to yous. I’ve given this example before, just because it’s the easiest one I know. Let’s say for example the New York Times links to your website. Google knows that the New York Times is an authoritative website and because they have so much authority, Google pays attention to who they link to. So, if the New York Times puts a link from their website to your website, then Google looks at that link and says: “Okay, well, New York Times is authoritative, they’re not going to just link to any old spammy website. So, this website that they are linking to must have some sort of authority.” So, that boosts up your overall authority or your overall page rank.

This happens on many, many, many, many, many different levels. There are a lot more factors that go into it than just that because obviously, not everyone’s gonna get links from websites as powerful as the New York Times, but Google does look at a few different things in conjunction with links. Google notices nuances like:

● How many links does the website have?
● What type of links does it have?
● Are they “do-follow or no-follow” links

Outbound Links

There was a time when people wanted really powerful outbound links. So, they would do these scholarships and I am sure there is a lot of law firms out there that have scholarships. So, what you do is create a scholarship and then contact all the colleges and say, “We are running a scholarship that we would like to offer to all of your students. Just link to our website.’ This will get you links from .edu websites, links from college websites, and those are really really good links. However, some of the colleges will link to any website. They will link to 5000 different scholarship pages. So, The problem is, if Google looks at the actual page, it has 5,000 outbound links.

Whatever authority is going to come from that link (website) gets divided by all of those links that are going out. The power of the link is really really diminished. But, there could be a bigger problem.

If this is a situation where the website is linking to a lot of different things, you can run into a Google penalty issue. In fact, this has already happened.

I believe it was Christmas day 2017, Google rolled out something called the “banhammer update.” Basically, that really penalized a lot of these websites that were relying on scholarship links, to be honest with you. But what I usually look for in a website is an authoritative website that actually gets real traffic. If it’s a website that doesn’t get traffic, it’s usually not that great of a link. I try to get links on pages that rank on the first page of Google for some search terms because if it doesn’t rank on the first page of Google, then Google doesn’t think it’s that important. I look for links that are relevant to what I’m linking to Keep it relevant
So, if you’re a car accident attorney and it’s a website all about soccer, that doesn’t make any sense. But if you’re a car accident attorney and it’s a website all about, back injuries or something like that it makes more sense. So, I try to make it relevant.

Local relevance

And then the other thing also is local relevancy. So, that’s the one instance where you can have a website that’s all about soccer. Sometimes you can go to a local organization and make a donation and they will give you a link. So, for example, if you go to your city and state and search, “Baltimore youth soccer” and they’ll give you a link from their website. So, if you’re a Baltimore DUI attorney and you have a link from a youth soccer organization in Baltimore, while that website is all about soccer, it is also relevant to Baltimore, so, you’re going to get that local relevance like that.

There are a lot of different things like that. Google has hundreds of algorithms. I don’t know how many pieces their algorithms there are now. There’s also the local algorithm and then there are the organic algorithms. There are two different algorithms, but I think that links consistently still inks make a difference with your website. If I had to boil down to one thing. That might not always be the case but that’s my gut feeling right now on it.