SEO Tips- Guide To Cross-Linking For 2022. In the field of SEO, there is a method called “cross-linking SEO.” And it’s a handy technique for getting a higher ranking on search engine result pages. But what is cross-linking in SEO, and how can you use it to your benefit? Below, in this article, you’ll learn all about cross-linking SEO, including what it is, the benefits it offers, and how to do it in the perfect way to give your web pages a better chance of ranking for specific keywords.
The Three Levels of Backlinks
Google considers three levels of backlinks: low-quality, medium-quality, and high-quality. Google classifies low-quality backlinks as webspam. Low-quality backlinks have been created in a fake way to play with the system. So they’re against Google’s guidelines.
Medium-quality links come with value and are easier to attain than high-quality backlinks. High-quality links offer the highest value but are harder to get because their editorial standards are much higher.
Three Important Elements of High-Quality Backlinks
The idea of a high-quality backlink is subjective. No one knows clearly how search engines measure them, but most SEO agree on three core elements.
Backlinks should be natural. The website owner chooses to link to your website because your site provides value to their readers. It is not because you paid them to do so or tried to manipulate them in another way.
This is the natural approach to ‘earn’ a backlink.
This is different from unnatural backlinks, where the intent is to fool search engines. Unnatural backlinks fool the search engine that a website has a better reputation than it does.
If Google finds a backlink is spammy or unnatural, Google may at first ignore it, and for repeat offenses, it punishes the site and demotes them in its search engine results.
Along with being natural, backlinks should be reputable too.
Modern search engines search for social proof in determining the credibility of web pages.
Google has its dedicated PageRank algorithm that measures the importance and reputation of web pages.
The higher the number is, the higher the quality of backlinks a webpage gets. It gets a higher chance of ranking for competitive keywords.
Google used to provide a metric for PageRank. This helped to calculate a rough estimate of the reputation of a webpage. Google stopped this because spammers were misusing it. They were using it as a currency to buy backlinks, which is against Google’s guidelines.
So consider PageRank as a concept or algorithm, not as a metric.
The Rel Link Attribute
The rel attribute is an important part of search engine reputation. This can be added to an HTML link.
As regular HTML links don’t come with the Rel attribute, this means that search engines can pass PageRank, from one page to another.
However, it has been seen that HTML links that contain values in the Rel attribute often fail to pass search engine reputation. These include the ‘sponsored’ rel attribute, the ‘user-generated content’ rel attribute, and the ‘nofollow’ rel attribute.
There was a time when only the ‘nofollow’ rel attribute existed. Previously, the nofollow attribute also covered user-generated content and sponsored links. When you add a nofollow attribute to a link, you instruct search engines not to pass any search engine reputation. This supplies the ranking power to the page. Nofollow links were also not used for indexing or crawling.
However, after a Google update, Google added ‘sponsored’ and ‘user-generated content’ rel attributes to the existing ‘nofollow’ attribute. Google said that all three may now be used as a hint for indexing, crawling, and ranking.
‘Nofollow’ and ‘sponsored’ attributes won’t help with search engine rankings. So if a link has a rel attribute, how do you check it?
In Google Chrome, you can right-click on a link and then click on the ‘inspect.’ This reveals the HTML and whether there is a rel attribute or not. It can be said that it is better to have backlinks without the rel attribute. They are more likely to pass search engine reputation, and the types of backlinks are referred to as ‘dofollow’ links.
The third most important element of what makes a high-quality backlink is that it should be relevant. Search engine pays attention to both the reputation of a domain and the backlink page. They follow a similar process for relevancy as well. Search engines review the relevance of both domain and page of a backlink.
Let’s imagine you have a fitness membership website called Peak Fitness 365. And your signature course is called ‘5K to Marathon in Six Months’.
If your website got featured as a blog on a business news website, then the page’s relevancy of the link would help your page.
However, as the website provides business advice, it would lack the relevancy of the domain.
However, if your marathon course was featured on a website dedicated to runners, then it would score high on both page and domain relevancy. If you stick to the runner’s website example, now you should check a page that links to your site.
The anchor text “5K to Marathon in Six Months” links to your course.
You should choose the words carefully for the anchor text because through it, readers get to know what page is linked to being about, especially for SEO. Search engines consider it a relevancy signal and use it to rank the page linked.
So, in this case, as your anchor text is ‘5K to Marathon in Six Months’, this offers a boost to your page against the keywords in the ‘5K to marathon training’ topic.
The balance between relevancy and reputation
Let’s take the example of the backlink on a fictitious business news website. As you know, it has low domain relevancy, and let’s imagine its reputation metrics are also low.
So, does this make it a bad backlink?
If it doesn’t tick all the boxes, it is not a perfect backlink. It’s unrealistic to expect all your backlinks to be of high quality. But will this backlink help?
Well, it’s a natural backlink, which means it won’t hurt the search engine reputation, and it is certainly not a bad backlink. Though the business news domain isn’t particularly relevant, the page content can pass some relevancy.
On top of that, while the domain and page reputation of the backlink is comparatively low in the running industry, every little helps, and this will get added to your backlink profile. So this backlink falls under which category – low, medium, or high-quality?
This is a medium-quality backlink and maybe the lower end of medium.
It doesn’t fall under the high-quality category because it isn’t super relevant or authoritative. As it doesn’t break any of Google’s webmaster guidelines, it doesn’t become low-quality.
What Is Cross-Linking In SEO?
Cross-linking in SEO is the method of linking two sites together. The primary purpose of cross-linking is to improve the number of inbound links to a page with suitable SEO keywords. Cross-linking in SEO can help web pages rank higher for specific keywords terms and develop referral traffic.
Types of Cross-Linking
- Organic Cross Links: Organic cross-links are inbound links that appear naturally when one website editor decides to cross-link to another site. Organic or natural cross-links happen when a content editor likes to reference another site in the written material.
- Outreach Cross Links: Outreach cross-links are inbound links formed by contacting other website owners and requesting a link placement on their website. This can be in exchange for a payment or a written guest post to get a link to an existing written piece of content on the website.
- Private Cross Links: These are inbound links created by the website owners and asking themselves who has their network of websites called a private blog network (PBN). A private blog network only exists to link to the main website to impact that website’s rankings on the search engines pages.
Now that you understand the basic idea behind what is cross-linking in SEO. But there are some other things you need to think about before you cross-link two websites together, be it your websites or through outreach.
Benefits of Cross-Linking Websites
Increases Inbound Links
The main benefit of cross-linking is that it increases the number of links to a page. And the more inbound link you have on a page, the higher it can rank in Google result pages.
Increases Domain Authority(DA)
DA is the search engine ranking score developed by MOZ that ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a more remarkable capability to rank.
And while several things calculate domain authority, the most crucial metric for cross-linking is the number of linking root domains to a site.
So, the more websites link to a particular website, the higher the DA becomes for that website, making it easier to rank for more keywords.
Boost Page Authority (PA)
Page Authority is another search engine ranking score developed by MOZ that shows how well a specific page will rank on the SERP (search engine result page).
PA scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater capability to rank.
Therefore, cross-linking can help increase the PA for a specific page on your website to have a better chance of ranking higher on Google result pages.
Increases Referral Traffic
Referral traffic is another benefit of cross-linking SEO is that it boosts the amount of referral traffic to your site.
When links to your content appear on other sites, the visitor of those websites may click on the links and visit your web pages. This is an excellent way to improve your traffic outside of the search engines.
How Do I Link to Another Website With Cross-Linking?
Cross-linking can bring you the much-coveted inbound links from other sites.
But if you own many domains, make sure that you do things in the proper way to acquire the maximum advantage.
The best strategy here is to have a website on its domain, but you can try this method by using free web 2.0 websites.
After setting up another website, you can follow the actions below to cross-link them together.
1. Open an appropriate page on the website
The first step you can take is to open a relevant page on the linking website.
This step is essential because topic relevance matters in search engine optimization.
For instance, you wouldn’t like to cross-link a webpage about car insurance to a web page on computer keyboards. Instead, you want to use cross-linking and SEO to connect topically related pages, such as a page about cars or insurance, to a page on car insurance.
2. Open the page editor
After you select a relevant page for cross-linking, the next step you need to take is to open the web page editor so you can begin the procedure of adding in the cross-linking for SEO.
3. Select the keyword to link to another website
Before placing the cross-link to the web page, you must select the right keyword to link between the sites.
Anchor text matters a lot in the cross-linking process and can help a page rank higher for a specific keyword. So you always like to pick keywords or terms that the target page is already being optimized for with on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
4. Add the hyperlink to cross-link the websites together
Once you have selected a keyword and confirmed it’s on the webpage, the next step is to hyperlink the two sites together with that phrase or word.
5. Save the page
The last step is to save the page, so your changes take outcome.
Now the cross-linking is in place, and the SEO value will be evaluated by Google when it crawls the linking page again.
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