All links are not created equal. Some links are high quality, high authority links that come from relationships you’ve nurtured over months and years. Other links are one-off, or self-generated links that Google doesn’t like nearly as much. When you’re building your links, it’s important to look at not just the quality of the link itself, but the underlying relationship that created that link.
That’s what a link is, after all. One human being is looking at a piece of content created by another human being and decides that it’s worth endorsing. A link represents someone who either likes you enough or trusts you enough to recommend what you have to say to their entire network of readers.
These kinds of genuine links have a domino effect. Tip one such link and it ripples down the line.
How One Strong Relationship Can Net You Many Links
Knowing one person well and getting a link from them can result in many, many more links – As well as many new relationships.
First, getting a link from an authoritative site means you’re going to be exposed to a lot of their audience. Unlike a link you create yourself, this link represents a genuine endorsement. People who see your link know that.
They’re more likely to click on your link. Because you came from a reputable source, they’re also more likely to repost that piece of content on their social media profiles. They’re more likely to also link to you if they have their own website(s).
How Google Views These Kinds of Links
Google is getting better and better at picking out self-generated links. In fact, Google’s Penguin update was more or less a pinpoint attack against self generated links. Simultaneously, links that were generated through real relationships got a nice boon.
It’s nearly impossible to say exactly how Google evaluates links and relationships. They can read behind many lines and use hundreds of different indicators to determine whether a link is authentic or not. Instead of trying to game the system, smart marketers have simply moved on. Instead, they focus on relationships.
When you build links based on real content and real relationships, you get real rankings. Those real rankings in turn lead to more real backlinks, assuming your content is good. The cycle repeats itself, netting you more and more links.