Phew, this is a multi-faceted subject and I want to emphasise it’s not clear cut. But here is what I know in my analysis at the Backlinks clinic:
Authority – basics
The more authority your site has the better you will rank on Google. Authority means that searchers trust you and your content. The great news is that authorities trusted by people are also recognised as trustworthy by Google. A good illustration is the .edu and .gov suffixes. These suffixes imply they are trustworthy sources of content and it’s a proven fact that as far as Google is concerned backlinks from these domains to your web pages will contribute authority to your web pages. Another perfect example is Wikipedia as the entries here are mostly added by by tribes of humans as opposed to a single source.
So it follows that authority is significantly influenced by the source of your backlinks and if authoritative sites link to your site then you inherit their apparent trust and in the eyes of Google you become more authoritative and hence the trust in your site by Google increases.
How Google declares what is and isn’t authoritative is a guarded secret for good reason and falls in line with Google’s philosophy of “Do no evil”. The last thing the Internet needs is someone exploiting the methods that Google untilzes in its efforts to try and regulate probably the most significant technological resource of our times.
How not to get Backlinks
In the same vein it’s valuable to state some ‘black hat sources and practices of building backlinks that Google not only dislikes but appears to be acting to ‘’categorize as negative authorities. In no particular order of merit, the prime examples are:
- Paid backlinks – hubs where individuals purchase and sell backlinks
- Comment spam – entries that have links on web sites that are just not associated to the main content.
- Low quality and *duplicate content – ‘scraped’ or copied
- Unnatural growth – there are a myriad of ways that this is achievable, Google isn’t stupid. Any sudden rise in the amount of backlinks is going to show up on Google’s monitoring systems, specifically if it’s a recently registered domain.
- Backlinks from ill reputed web pages – these are particularly henous as you are guilty by association – need I say more.
*There is another factor where I may be on dodgy ground, but reputable media portals seem to get a lot of authority and I have definitely seen significant quantities of the same content over and over again on different portals with no penalties, I am still monitoring this, only as some of the results I am seeing defy the normal behaviors I usually expect to see. More on this is in a future article….