To explain what Off-Page SEO basically means is pretty easy. To fully understand it is much harder. To actually be successful in executing it requires lots of experience.
How the name already tells Off-Page SEO is everything that doesn’t happen on a website itself. Backlinks – they are the main topic when it comes to Off-Page optimization. That’s why we will explain that in more detail below.
But there is more than just backlinks…
We shouldn’t forget about social media signals. Social media is one of the biggest phenomenons of the 21st century. We all are using it many hours per day.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and many more became such a big part of our lives that it makes sense that they should somehow be a ranking factor.
Google itself says that social media doesn’t play a big role for their rankings, but this is one of the most discussed topics in SEO. Google would be stupid if they don’t use social media to decide which content users want to see, as nobody knows us better than our social media profiles and all the data they collect about us.
Shares and engagement on a website’s social accounts can show Google how good your content actually is. A well-written article that’s super interesting will be shared many times, while nobody will share a boring article that doesn’t bring any value.
Next to backlinks and social media there is another interesting Off-Page factor… brand mentions. Google loves brands. They are experienced, trustworthy and popular. That’s why brand mentions can improve your rankings, at least a bit.
These mentions don’t have to include a link though. The Google crawlers will recognize if a brand is mentioned many times around the internet, even if there’s no direct link. So don’t underestimate branding.
What Are Backlinks?
One of the most important ranking factors. Backlinks are the most important part of Off-Page optimization and a hotly discussed topic in search engine optimization.
A backlink is a link from one website to another. If your website is example.com and forbes.com links one of your articles on their website, then this is a backlink.
The founders of Google had the idea of backlinks and their importance for web algorithms in 1996. This was even two years before they officially founded Google in 1998.
Until today it remained one of the main ranking factors of the world’s most famous search engine and will probably always stay in the list of the top ranking factors. But why does Google give backlinks such a big importance? Let’s explain this now:
Why Are Backlinks so Important?
When it comes to ranking trillions of pages for a specific search query, it’s clear that an important website like the New York Magazine should rank before a small blog that your best friend just started a few days ago, right?
Yes, it should! Because the New York Times proved many times that it delivers informative content from the highest quality, which made it one of the most famous magazines in the world with over 100 million online views per month. The best writers in the world are creating content for this magazine and budgets for its articles are huge.
So when it comes to the newest speech by Donald Trump, the New York Times should rank before the blog of your best friend, who sometimes uploads his new favorite dish.
This example is pretty obvious, but usually it’s not so easy to decide which of a few websites is the most relevant. That’s where backlinks come in.
If a website has many links from authoritative websites, it’s a sign for search engines that this website is relevant and of high quality – otherwise other websites won’t link to them, right?
There are many things to consider in link building, as if it’s done wrong it can actually hurt your website’s rankings or result in a penalty by Google. You must see our post regarding the different types of backlinks and their quality.