Google’s link evaluation involves a number of factors. In link building strategy, it is not enough to just gain a large volume of links, they need to have quality. So now learn what Google considers when analyzing the links a page receives.
Link building is one of the main SEO strategies . After all, evaluating the links a page receives – either from the site itself or from external domains – is Google’s way of determining their relevance and authority on the web.
This was the great web searcher revolution. When Google came into existence, there were already other search engines, but it stood out because of PageRank : the algorithm that revolutionized Google’s link evaluation.
While other searchers sorted the results alphabetically, PageRank adopted a relevancy rating based on the links links a page received . With the evolution of the algorithm, he began to consider not only the number of links received, but the importance of the sites that pointed to it.
From then on, Google delivered a far superior search experience to its competitors. And no one else held back the search engine, which continued to innovate with an increasingly complex link evaluation to deliver better results.
So, to learn how to better position yourself on Google, you need to understand this complexity of link evaluation factors. This is what we will explore now in this article.
What are the main factors in evaluating Google links?
In a link building strategy , do you know which sites to focus on to get quality links? To understand this, we’ve brought here the 12 key factors Google considers in evaluating links to rank fairly. Keep up!
1. Links from other websites
In link building, you can use both external links (from other sites) and l internal inks (from your own site). All of these serve to show Google what your most relevant content is.
But it needs to be clarified that while both types of links matter and should be in your strategy, external linking counts more points for ranking ranking ].
Basically, Google understands that internal links represent your site speaking well of itself, while external links show that you really are a reference in other sites’ view, which is much more relevant. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
2. Popularity of Pages
In Google’s link evaluation, one of the most important points is the popularity of pages. This means that the more links a page receives, the more popular it becomes and the more relevant Google considers it . And the more popular page links you get, the more authority you earn.
After all, if so many people refer to content, it must be good, right? This is the basic principle of PageRank, with which it was launched. This logic was taken from academic citations: an author who receives several mentions is a reference in his field.
With this logic, however, the searcher opened the door to the black hat , which generated links indiscriminately just to have a large volume of mentions. Because of this, the algorithm has evolved and today considers many other factors besides the number of links a page receives. Still, this factor remains a determining factor for ranking.
3. Link Positioning on the Page
Another important point that Google looks into when evaluating links on a page is where they are placed.
First, links that are positioned in the main content area are worth more. Google understands that they were entered by a person with an editorial intent, which demonstrates their value.
On the other hand, those in the header, footer, or side columns do not earn much points as they are automatically inserted via CMS and often repeat across multiple pages of the site.
In terms of placement, links that are located higher in content also gain more relevance.
To make a link more visible, you would probably choose to put it in the first paragraph of a text, not the end, would you? So, this is also what Google understands: if it’s in the beginning, it’s more important.
So here’s a tip for writers: Make sure the first link you put in a blog article is relevant, and try to get it right in the front lines.
Also, be aware that if this link appears more than once on the page, only the first appearance counts to Google. So it’s no use filling the page with repeated links, ok?
4. Relevance of the anchor text
Anchor Text is the visible and clickable text of a link. It often gives clues about the subject of the linked page to both the user and the search engine. Therefore, this has always been one of the key factors in Google’s link evaluation algorithm .
Let’s say, for example, that you have a furniture store and sell a three-seater sofa. So the anchor text of the link to this product’s sales page could be a “three-seater sofa.”
These terms are relevant to the page that received the link, as they indicate your subject matter and reinforce your authority for that keyword . When this happens then she gets points with Google.
However, if the link has an anchor text that is irrelevant to the page content, it may lose value. For example, if you use “click here” or “litter box” to link to a page that sells a couch, the user may be directed to a URL they didn’t want to visit and then leave the site. This shows Google that that link is not useful.
This does not mean, however, that you should run after multiple links with the exact match of the keyword you want to rank for. This can be understood as spam!
Google can identify malicious practices, but it also realizes when link building happens naturally and with anchor text that fits the content. Without forcing the bar, ok?
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5. Domain Diversity
Did you know that it is better to have 20 links from different domains than 100 links from the same site?
Pages that receive links from multiple domains have more value than pages that are linked multiple times by one site only. This means that your page is popular on the web and has earned the trust of many websites, not just one.
So when planning your link building strategy, look for different partners that diversify your site’s link profile.
6. Website Reliability
Google likes trusted sites. They are those mature domains with relevant content from brands that are references to the public. News portals or large companies are some examples.
They help the searcher build a safer web. In Google’s eyes, these sites will never link to poor quality pages. Therefore, those who relate to them also earn the trust of Google. Therefore, the closer to trusted sites you are, the more reliable your site will be considered .
Okay, you may not receive a link from NASA’s website, for example. But if NASA links to a site, and that site links to yours, you also earn Google’s trust. And so your page gets more value in link evaluation.
However, the same logic goes for bad sites. The closer your page is to them (especially with a deep link), the lower your reputation will be in Google’s eyes.
Here’s a caveat: Some SEO experts argue that poor quality links really hurt placement. For them, Google simply ignores sites that don’t follow their guidelines. As a result, they would not pass your link juice negative to the linked pages. But there is no consensus on that, ok?
7. Link Context
A football blog article that links to a sports site earns points with Google. However, if this article is cited on a cooking site, it does not gain as much relevance.
Why does this happen? Because Google understands that a person interested in football is probably not in the mood for new food recipes (at least not then).
The search algorithm is smart enough to identify the context in which the link is inserted and to see if it has to do with the content of the linked page. If this happens, this link conveys more value as it keeps the user within the theme they are interested in.
8. Updating the page
Google wants to deliver the most up-to-date result possible to the user. So one way to gauge the relevance of a page is to look at how recent the content is pointing to it. This means that links to fresh content – newly released or recently updated – tend to convey more value than obsolete sites .
But it is clear that obsolete pages are not synonymous with old pages. We are talking about content that is forgotten on the site, with outdated information and no updates. This way, they no longer deliver value to the visitor.
Already old content can be extremely relevant, depending on the theme, as long as it is periodically reviewed to always provide correct and up-to-date information.
Also, one of Google’s review criteria is the rate of new links the page receives. If this rate increases significantly in a short period, the searcher understands that it is probably new or has recently been updated.
As a result, they tend to gain more relevance than pages that are no longer receiving new links (which probably means they are becoming obsolete).
9. Robot files
The search engine can only evaluate URLsb that allow crawling and indexing. However, in Google’s link evaluation, the robot may come across pages that hinder this work. This can happen in two ways:
- the robots.txt file blocks tracking;
- The robots tag uses the noindex directive, which prevents page indexing.
So if you want Google to consider for ranking those external links you have earned, they must allow the robot access.
10. Nofollow Link Authority
Who uses the nofollow tag doesn’t want to pass link juice to the linked page. This tag acts as a wall for the robot, which must stop tracking there and follow another path. It is often used, for example, to prevent spam in the comment box of blogs.
Therefore, it is understood that the nofollow tag does not convey authority from page to page. However, some studies show that these links may convey value in some cases (not as much as dofollow links, but still with some relevance).
Google probably analyzes the context of these links. If they’re on authoritative, content-aligned sites with consistent anchor text – all right! -, they may even have some value .
11. Brand Mentions (No Link)
We’re talking about Google link evaluation, but unlinked mentions also count in that analysis, you know that?
When an authoritative site cites a brand, Google is able to associate that mention with the company page. Therefore, one way to gauge the relevance of a page is also to review the mentions it receives from other sites, even if they are not linked.
12. Links from the page
So far, we’ve talked about referral analysis that a page receives. But do the links she inserts into your content count too? Yes, they also go into this assessment.
The same logic here applies to relationships with trusted sites. If you are close to them, Google understands that you are likely to offer valuable content to the user. So, including links to authoritative websites increases page relevance.
On the other hand, placing links to poor quality sites can damage your reputation. After all, if you think it’s worthwhile to embed this type of link on your site, you’re probably not concerned with providing a good user experience. And with that, it loses points with Google.
It is important to note that these factors we cite are not strict rules . They interact with each other, surpass each other, and can be updated at any time, as Google is always tweaking its algorithm. Moreover, they are the result of tests and experiments by SEO experts and not all are recognized by the search engine.
Therefore, it is worth testing these principles in your link building strategy in your market. If you find, for example, that links from old pages are paying more than new sites, invest in it! What really matters is the performance of these factors in practice.
Now, to further increase your online visibility and get better results, learn all about SEO in our complete guide !