Many companies are catching on to the fact that backlinks are important for the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts of a company. Head of Google Webspam, Matt Cutts, recently made the announcement that one backlinking tactic, guest blogging, was finished. But the truth is it just needs to be done correctly.
Articles need to be relevant, posted on quality sites free of spam and written for the good of the audience—not just for a link back to your site. This is all great advice, but let’s be honest—even if a link back is the last thing on your mind, you’re still going to throw it in there if it’s relevant because it will help improve your PageRank.
For businesses, a high PageRank and an authoritative site means more investors, better job security and, of course, more money. While the most ideal situation is when a website links back to your website all on its own, this is tough when you’re a new website. You need to gain exposure in order for other websites to take notice. Then, once you gain a little visibility online, other websites will begin to see your great content and link back to your website as the original source.
Whether you’re a blog owner or a writer, you’ve probably noticed there are two different ways authors can earn links back to their company’s website: in an author box or in the copy of the article.
If you’re familiar with WordPress, you know you can add a profile for your guest writer. In this profile, the writer can put links back to his/her site. This way, no matter how many times the author writes for your website, the author box will pop up at the bottom. Below is an example of an author box:
As you can see, an author box typically includes a picture and a border around the author bio. Although these links won’t change with each article written, most blog owners are more than happy to include links in an author bio.
Many writers try their best to include links within the copy of their article. If they are referencing something and they know their company has a webpage that can help, they may reference the webpage.
This begs then question: Is one more desirable than the other?
Going back to Matt Cutts’ announcement, guest blogging specifically for links isn’t your best move. However, he did say multi-author blogs shouldn’t go down in rankings so long as the quality is there. Links within the body of the article must be relevant, and there should be an author bio at the bottom with a link to the company website.
Google therefore puts more weight on links within the copy of an article over links within an author box. Google knows links within an author box may not add value for the reader, so it’s not quite as impressive if a website is linking back to your website this way. In the end, both types of backlinks are great and will improve your SEO, but it’s a good idea to shoot for links within the copy of the text as opposed to an author box.
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility.com, one of the leading SEO companies in the United States.