What Methods Ensure Backlink Profile Sustainability Against Algorithm Updates?


    What Methods Ensure Backlink Profile Sustainability Against Algorithm Updates?

    In the ever-evolving landscape of SEO, maintaining a sustainable backlink profile is crucial. We've gathered insights from Heads of SEO and CEOs, among other experts, to share their methods. From human curation of backlinks to the monthly disavowal of unwanted links, explore the thirteen strategies these professionals employ to weather search engine algorithm changes.

    • Human Curation of Backlinks
    • Leverage Digital PR for Quality Links
    • Prioritize High-Quality, Ethical Links
    • Focus on Relevance and Authority
    • Build Credible, Long-Term Backlinks
    • Diversify Link Sources for Robustness
    • Cultivate Relationship-Based Backlinks
    • Conduct Regular Backlink Audits
    • Monitor and Adjust Backlinks Proactively
    • Diversify Anchor Text and Audit
    • Ensure Relevance in Link Placement
    • Diversify Domains for Natural Profile
    • Disavow Unwanted Links Monthly

    Human Curation of Backlinks

    One thing we encourage our account managers to do, and this still holds true for almost all types of work within SEO, is to ensure that a strong element of human curation and editing always takes place. This applies to maintaining and managing your backlink profile as well. We've seen plenty of sites where, when we've come to work on them, we've found really relevant, high-quality links (from The New York Times and Cosmopolitan, to name just two) that have been disavowed for some inexplicable reason. So it's always worth checking to make sure you don't have any great links from relevant websites inadvertently clogging up your website's disavow file—you never know what you might find!

    Paul Friend
    Paul FriendHead of SEO, The SEO Works

    Leverage Digital PR for Quality Links

    To maintain and grow a sustainable backlink profile, you need to focus your efforts on earning links from publications and websites that are relevant to your site, trustworthy, and have a strong domain rating.

    One method that allows you to build these types of links is digital PR. This method focuses on producing creative campaigns and utilizing your brand's expertise to earn editorial backlinks from media publications.

    Through data-led campaigns, newsjacking, and expert-led commentary—all of which are tactics used within digital PR—you create newsworthy content for publications but also interesting, and in some cases, valuable content for your target audience.

    Through great links, expert positioning, and consistent media exposure, you accelerate your organic results, build on E-A-T, and positively impact brand awareness. A sustainable backlink profile is just one of the great benefits of digital PR.

    Olivia Smith
    Olivia SmithDigital PR Lead, SEO Sherpa

    Prioritize High-Quality, Ethical Links

    We focus on quality over quantity. It's about choosing links from reputable, high-authority sites rather than a bunch of low-quality ones.

    This means regularly checking our links, getting rid of any that might look spammy or shady, and always sticking to ethical link-building practices. It's like building a solid house with good bricks rather than a shaky one with whatever you find.

    This approach keeps our SEO strong and trustworthy in the long run.

    Marco Genaro Palma
    Marco Genaro PalmaContent Marketing Manager, PRLab

    Focus on Relevance and Authority

    As a general rule of thumb, I always favor quality and relevance over quantity when it comes to acquiring backlinks. This means getting backlinks from websites with high domain authority scores, low toxicity scores, and solid and credible reputations, and ensuring that the content/offerings of the website have direct relevance to one's own website.

    No matter what algorithm updates search engines may come up with, quality and relevance will always be the cornerstones of these updates. Hence, if you stick to this one rule of thumb, you can navigate any algorithm changes with great ease. It's best to stay away from spammy backlinks. A greater number of links doesn't equal better. Instead, focus on getting links from a few, high-DA, and relevant websites. This alone can make a huge difference in your backlink profile.

    Shivani Maheshwari
    Shivani MaheshwariContent Specialist, WrittenlyHub

    Build Credible, Long-Term Backlinks

    I've been focusing on backlink building for the past year, and now I'm heading into year two. From the start, I've ensured that I focused on building my links with high-quality and credible sites; those that are more likely to withstand algorithm changes. It's a slower and more difficult process, but each newly earned backlink carries that much more valuable weight and increases the likelihood that our backlink profile remains strong over time. Even in the past year, I've seen competitors slowly slip down the rankings as we incrementally climb. We recognize this is a long-term process, but believe it is the stronger, more resilient, and sustainable approach.

    Ryan Stone
    Ryan StoneFounder & Creative Director, Lambda Films London

    Diversify Link Sources for Robustness

    The key is in diversifying sources. This involves using a mix of link types, like editorial, guest posts, and social media, and targeting a variety of domains and platforms. It's not just about quantity, but also about balance and variety in link sources. This approach helps in building a robust backlink profile that can better withstand algorithm changes. Continuously exploring new opportunities and monitoring link performance are essential steps in this strategy.

    Tobias Liebsch
    Tobias LiebschCo-Founder, Fintalent.io

    Cultivate Relationship-Based Backlinks

    Focusing on relationship backlinks represents a strategic approach beyond traditional link-building. Relationship backlinks ensure sustainability because their foundation is a genuine partnership and shared vision. Thus, they translate to high-quality, relevant backlinks that search engines regard highly.

    As organic backlinks, they are not viewed as manipulative, which makes them resilient to algorithm changes and, hence, sustainable. Also, due to the underlying relationship, there is potential for continuous backlink generation, which provides sustained SEO benefits. We identify potential partners who share our target audience and values. We look for businesses that focus on innovative and eco-friendly solutions, like Fortador. We establish connections with them, offering valuable content and expertise, which results in backlinks. Relationship backlinks are Fortador’s shield against frequent search engine algorithm updates, helping us stay ahead.

    Lev Tretyakov
    Lev TretyakovCEO and Sales Director, Fortador

    Conduct Regular Backlink Audits

    To ensure the sustainability of your backlink profile during algorithm updates, one method is to conduct regular audits of your profile to identify links that are lost or even low-quality and spammy. Links that are low-quality and spammy are likely to be lost in an algorithm update. By monitoring those and other links you've lost, you can increase your link-building efforts to make sure your backlink profile doesn't take a hit.

    Some quality tools to use to analyze your backlink profile include Google Search Console, Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.

    Aaron Grimes
    Aaron GrimesIndustrial Sales, Marketing and Product Manager, TYKMA Electrox

    Monitor and Adjust Backlinks Proactively

    To keep my clients' websites ranking strong through search engine changes, I stay watchful. I regularly check my backlinks for quality and relevance, reaching out to fix any problematic ones. If I find issues, I politely ask website owners for adjustments. Staying in the loop about industry trends and search engine updates helps me adapt my strategy. This mix of careful monitoring, reaching out when needed, and staying informed keeps my backlink profile strong and resilient.

    Diamond Price
    Diamond PriceCreative & SEO Specialist

    Diversify Anchor Text and Audit

    Mix it up. Don't over-optimize by using the same short- or long-tail anchors. Diversity is key, so combine branded, long-tail, and generic anchors. It's also super important to stay informed on algorithm updates and tweak your strategy to stay up-to-date with best practices and up-and-coming trends. Audit is the only way to stop spammy or toxic links in their tracks. We stay compliant this way. Be ethical. Never, ever resort to black-hat methods. Recovering from those types of penalties can be an outrageous undertaking. Stick to the transparent ways. While it may take longer, the rewards are similar to building a castle around your website—cool image, right?

    Rhonda GarySEO & Content Specialist, Insurdinary

    Ensure Relevance in Link Placement

    Based on recent backlink analysis my company has done, it seems to me that one of the best methods to ensure the sustainability of your website's backlink profile in the face of search engine algorithm updates is to make sure your links are placed on relevant content pages. The most recent algorithm changes in Google at the end of 2023, as with most other search engines, focus on ensuring the web pages it analyzes and ranks in the search results have relevant, useful content and keywords in regard to searches they receive from people on a daily basis.

    Having your backlinks placed in relevant keywords and articles to your business's niche will greatly improve your backlink profile rankings and data! Many companies and SEO agencies may try other tactics that may produce a great quantity of backlinks placed on search engine pages, but they won't be on pages that are relevant to their business. It is always important to prioritize relevancy, quality content, and relevant keyword placement rather than the sheer number of backlinks to sustain and improve your backlink profile.

    Chris Hunter
    Chris HunterDirector of Customer Relations, ServiceTitan

    Diversify Domains for Natural Profile

    One effective method for maintaining a sustainable backlink profile is to diversify your backlink sources. This means acquiring links from a wide range of domains and types of content, such as blogs, news sites, directories, and forums. Diversification ensures that your profile appears more natural and less susceptible to algorithm shifts.

    For instance, a study by Ahrefs found that websites with a diverse backlink profile tend to rank higher and are less impacted by algorithm updates. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, you safeguard against the potential negative impact of changes in search engine algorithms. This approach mirrors a healthy investment portfolio, reducing risk and increasing the likelihood of steady, long-term gains in search engine rankings.

    Bharti Jain
    Bharti JainContent marketing manager, Prezent

    Disavow Unwanted Links Monthly

    One of the most frustrating aspects of link building is the fact that you cannot control who links to your site. While building backlinks is often the goal, sometimes you get links that you do not want (think gambling, cannabis, crypto, and XXX sites). Sometimes, spammy sites will just link to you. And that not only bothers me; it scares me. I don’t want to get dinged by Google for having spammy links. That’s why, once per month, I go in and disavow spammy links that have come in. I might not be able to control who links to our site, but I can control which ones Google gives credit to. Disavowing links is easy and only takes a few minutes each month. I truly believe it’s helped with the long-term growth and quality of our backlink profile.

    John Ross
    John RossCEO, Test Prep Insight