Understanding the difference between relevant and irrelevant links is the basic and core base of any link building service. The internet is a giant network of information constructed of links. Just as a house is built more soundly with higher quality materials, the World Wide Web is fundamentally similar therefore we need to understand the difference between Relevant Vs. Irrelevant Link Building. The network as a whole makes more sense and has much higher efficiency when quality links are present.
Individual webmasters and businesses around the world, along with specialized SEO firms, use link building strategy to optimize certain content and increase search engine visibility. Like any other benefit-reaping strategy, some people take advantage of the system.
This is called irrelevant link building. Those that do it right keep it relevant. Below I explain the key ideas surrounding both irrelevant and relevant link building, and how the separate approaches impact internet usability and rankings.
Irrelevant Link building
Irrelevant link building (often grouped with Black Hat SEO strategy) is an approach that confuses both the end user and major search engines like Google. While links are the building blocks of the internet, they also provide near-literal bridges from one idea to the next.
Irrelevant links confuse the average person simply trying to navigate the web. It can be compared to someone driving down the road and being tricked into taking the wrong exit by a deceitful sign. It doesn’t make sense. Google also frowns upon these links, specifically after the Panda and Penguin updates. With another anticipated update looming in soon, the situation can only get worse for those that harbor illegitimate links.
Below I list some quick examples of irrelevant links and link building strategy:
An SEO firm that sprays thousands of links to business directories across all industries, with the goal of raising their client up in SERPs.
An SEO writer that compiles an article about the hospitality industry before getting it published on a rock climbing website, all with the intention of acquiring a link.
A link with the anchor text “bird feeder” in the resource bar of a bird website that goes to a landing page about motorcycles, attempting to attract viewers.
Irrelevant links, particularly when they are acquired through link building, are detrimental to the internet. Not only will domains that utilize this form of the strategy be severely punished in SERPs, but they also inhibit the end user from having an efficient experience with the internet. The average person at home doesn’t understand when or why they’re being tricked, and irrelevant links are one instance of this.
Relevant Link Building
Relevant link building (often grouped with White Hat SEO strategy) is an approach that increases a website’s visibility by legitimate means. If the whole internet was filled with relevant links, it would be the most usable platform in the history of mankind.
Google would be able to rank pages and sites appropriately, and every user could find exactly what they were looking for immediately. Due to humans, the internet will never be perfect. There is too much competition within our global economy for the internet to be completely fair. However, there are many people that do it right.
Below I list some quick examples of relevant links and link building strategy:
An SEO firm that works to get a select number of clients increased visibility through link building. These link builders do legitimate research to acquire relevant resource links and write content that makes sense where it’s placed.
An SEO writer that compiles a well-researched article about how certain software can make a supply chain more sustainable before getting it posted on a corporate sustainability blog. They wrote it with the intention of getting a link, while at the same time providing information that helps the end user and the internet in general.
A link with the anchor text “dog food” in the resource bar of a pet website
Relevant links, particularly when they are acquired through link building, are exactly what Google and every standard user of the internet desires. Due to the rankings that quality links can achieve, there are inherently people who abuse the strategy. However, it is still a key component of the continued evolution of the internet.
Why does it all matter?
The internet is the platform of informational networks that evolves by the second. Everyone can contribute in some way, and someone (usually Google) has to decide how to filter content and rank accordingly for quality. Links, relevant and irrelevant, are the building blocks of the internet this year. The good thing is that illegitimate ones are being devalued by Google, with the goal of enhancing user experience.