As an ever evolving landscape, Search Engine Optimisation is always changing. With regular algorithm updates to ensure pages rank correctly, organic content and natural link building is in high demand as Google is cracking down on all sorts of activity! But how do you make sure you're using your blog properly and won't be penalised? This month I'm talking how to link build correctly and organically in order for your site to get the all clear.
What's the difference between a follow and nofollow link?
In order to rank highly in search engine results you need to acquire links from other high authority, trustworthy websites. A follow link tells Google that you trust that website and are passing on your 'SEO juice' which, when enough links have been acquired, will boost that website's rankings. A nofollow link passes on no (some SEO techs will argue still a slight signal) 'SEO juice' meaning that the link is there purely for traffic but you don't want to pass any equity over.
Sounds mean right? Not in the eyes of Google! If you're linking to everything using a follow link, search engines may see your site as spammy and start to penalise you for it. A healthy website should use both follow and nofollow links. Plus you need to protect your own scoring!
When should I use a follow or no-follow link?
There's no right or wrong answer to this unless you're actually Google and know what to look for. I tend to add a follow link to brands I'm working with and a nofollow link if I've purchased the item myself. Hey, if I'm already using my time to shoot and tag you on social, you aint' getting a link too - not everything's free!
How many links should I use within a post?
I'd recommend one follow link per 100 words you write making sure they're relevant. If you wrote 20 words and added 10 links Google would see this spam and you could be penalised for it. I know it's hard to write hundreds of words about an outfit, but write as much as possible and only link if it's mandatory. I tend to link the standout pieces rather than a pair of jeans or plain tee, this keeps my site squeaky clean and tidy for when Google checks it out.
What's an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a trackable link people can use to gain commission on traffic and sales generated by your website. I'm sure you've all heard of RewardStyle, Like to Know It and Affiliate Window? Well these are some of the affiliate groups that work with bloggers and websites to incentivise traffic and engagement.
What's the difference between an affiliate link and a normal blog link?
All affiliate links are seen as nofollow because they are tracked through a third party website before being redirected to the item you've clicked. Affiliate links give you the chance to earn money whilst directing traffic whereas a normal blog link is more straightforward as it just links the two websites together as a shortcut.
How should I link my products?
Brands may sometimes ask you to hyperlink a specific keyword or term within your post. Sometimes this is fine but I'd watch out for the non-organic looking terms. For example, if you're asked to link something like 'women's clothing' to a website that's far to generic and - you guessed it - Google may penalise you! I'd stick to linking brand names and product descriptions anything you do on a normal post is always something to base your judgement on.