How External Links Affect Google Rankings: Tips by John Mueller
In the middle of September 2020, the Google Webmasters channel organized another video meeting with John Mueller, a leading analyst at Google. The video provides up-to-date answers to questions about link building and its impact on SEO on Google search engine.
The Role of Link Building in SEO
Link building is the process of collecting external links to a promoted site. These can be Private Blog Networks, guest posts, posting on relevant forums and portals like Quora and Reddit, etc.
Why are external links needed? They determine a high level of usefulness of a web resource for users and increase its position in search results.
Thus, the PageRank algorithm from Google is responsible for determining priority in the SERP. It determines the usefulness of a particular web page similarly to conventional scientific publications. The more people that refer to scientific work, the more valuable it is. Web resources are ranked similarly.
Also, the more credible the source of the external Google links is, the better it is for ranking the promoted site. Under equal conditions, the site with the best selection of external links will be at the top of the SERP. That’s why you always need search links from reliable and relevant sources.
Link building is usually a laborious and time-consuming process. Of course, there are also black SEO practices, such as acquiring external links via special exchanges. However, the effectiveness of this approach, especially in the context of modern Google algorithms, remains unknown.
If you’re looking for some really good advice, it is best to listen to Google experts. John Mueller is one of them.
Who Is John Mueller and Why Is His SEO Knowledge So Important?
John Mueller has been in one of Google’s foremost positions for thirteen years—Webmaster Trends Analyst. Who would know better about search engine trends?
From time to time, Mueller posts helpful Q&A videos or expresses his expert opinion in SEO threads on forums.
John Mueller’s Video Lectures – A Treasure Hunt for SEO Professionals
Which useful information can you find in John Mueller’s video?
When do Links Come Into Effect?
Some SEO specialists hope for an instant effect when placing external links to their promoted site. Moreover, they tend to focus on the number of links over the quality.
Mueller assures that the usefulness and relevance of the posted links are far more important than their overall quantity.
As for the time required for links to start influencing the ranking, you can wait anywhere from several days to several months. The fact is that the search robots of Google work according to their own page crawling algorithms that optimize the load on the company’s servers. Therefore, the availability of fresh updates does not guarantee instant re-indexing of a web resource in search results.
Does Google’s Core Algorithm Affect Your External Links Placement?
In his video, John Mueller states that Google’s main algorithm is not a single mechanism, but a complex of several algorithms. Therefore, it is important to understand what exactly Google experts mean by “core algorithm updates” and when webmasters need to sound the alarm and change their traditional SEO practices.
Mueller says that when you change one cog in the whole system, it starts to work differently. This means that even updates to one of the algorithms that do not directly affect the ranking on Google links can still affect the principles of re-indexing web pages in general.
Read on to find out how important this is and if it is worth worrying about every update from Google webmasters.
How Often Are Algorithms Updated and How Does This Affect the Indexing of Site Pages?
Moz, an expert source, claims that in 2018, Google made updates to its algorithms almost 9 times a day. This activity is still happening today. However, this does not mean that all of the updates affect the page link ranking algorithms.
Some updates turn out to be quite minor. Sometimes, they are not even related to the factors that can affect SEO. These are the updates related to the replenishment of the search engine’s functionality or to the optimization of its interface.
Also, some changes to the algorithms occur locally, affecting, for example, only the Chinese version of the system (which means that the English Google for webmasters remains the same), or in some specific niche or type of activity. As practice shows, you should pay attention only to major updates.
John Mueller indirectly confirms this in his video. He states that the top priority in search engine optimization should be the quality of your published content and its relevance to the topic of the source on which the external link is published. Thus, if your copywriters honestly do their job and write high-quality texts on relevant topics, you will not have to worry about the ranking of your page when it is posted.
Even though you will not be able to speed up reindexing, sooner or later, the results in the SERP will be noticeable. You can wait up to six months for this to happen though.
Knowledge of the principles of ranking sites by external links in Google helps bring the promoted web resource to the top positions in the SERP. And vice versa, neglecting this information nullifies the work of some SEO professionals.
What impact has the link building had on your website? Have you managed to improve your position in the search results using external links? How quickly has this happened? Share your experience with us and our readers in the comments below.