SEO Extent


Key differences between high-quality and low-quality links

Search engine ranking, for the most part, is the result of building a strong link profile. The leading search engines, including the most popular Google, have made a number of updates to their core ranking algorithm so far, and this phenomenon is going to continue forever. However, if you count on one thing that has probably remained as of today is the importance of back link generation. Google has always prioritized good quality back links on web pages when ranking them on search results. Needless to say, back link generation has always been the foundation of search engine ranking.

However, the nature of the links you are creating for your website or web pages matters. Google has given us so much clarity about good and bad links, or in other words, high-quality and low-quality back links already. One has to build high-quality links because that helps in getting ranked, but unfortunately, there are a lot of SEO people that still engage in creating links that are considered low-quality. Maybe, they do it purposely. Or maybe, they just don’t understand how to differentiate between high-quality and low-quality links.

So, this post is exactly for those who don’t recognize the quality of their links and keep generating some crap that do more harm for their website than good.

We will discuss:

The key differences between high-quality and low-quality links in simple terms.

How to determine if a link is high quality or low quality

Which links are worth the effort and the budget

But before we discuss that, let’s know a little bit about the meaning and significance of links according to the search engines.

According to Google, a link from page A to page B is a vote by page A for page B. This means that if page A is an important page, then its vote makes the page B important too.

According to Bing, links built organically are very important for ranking. This suggests if people link to your content naturally due to the fact that they find a lot of value in your content, then your content or the page has a great chance of getting ranked.

So, what we have understood is that a link from a more important or popular web page will have more significance than a link from a less regarded or less popular web page.

Authority and Relevance of links

Authority of a website or a web page signifies the popularity of the site or the page. What according to you makes a site or a page popular? We’ve just discussed that a popular and well-regarded website or web page is what search engines like more. So, a more popular website has more authority. A site that attracts tons of visitors on a regular basis and most of those visitors are active on the site reducing the bounce rate to the minimum is known as a popular website. Search engines like those sites more and decide to rank them up on the search results.

So, site authority is nothing but the result of its popularity and user engagement. A link from a highly authoritative site or web page is considered to be a highly authoritative link, because the source has high authority. The high authority site or page is known as a reputable source of the information.

Therefore, a link from a reputable or authoritative website to your website is a very good signal that your content has some value and significance that the authoritative site likes, trusts and shows confidence in. Search engines, especially Google, counts on this and gives your site a promotion in the search results.

Other than Authority there is another important factor that search engines count on. And that is Relevance. This means that the authoritative site that links to your site must have to be relevant to your industry. This is simple to understand. If you are running a software selling website, you cannot expect search engines to like and consider links your site has received from highly authoritative sites from food industry. That is an unreal expectation and search engines don’t validate those links. A food industry site is not relevant to a software selling site no matter how much authority that food industry site carries. So, relevance matters.

The bottom line is: The best source of link for your website is a website that is both authoritative and relevant to your site.

Low-quality links

By now, we know that a high-quality link is the link from a website that has both authority and relevance. This obviously means that a low-quality link is a link from a website that is either irrelevant or not authoritative. This further makes clear that a link from a website that is neither relevant nor authoritative to your industry is considered to be the lowest-quality link for your site.

Unfortunately, most SEOs are engaged in building low-quality links and a large number of those links are regarded as the lowest-quality links.

It’s easy for a site owner to self-create, request and even pay for links. Links created in this fashion are generally regarded as low-quality and useless for the particular site owner. They don’t do any good for the site’s search engine ranking simply because they are part of a manipulative linking scheme.

Links from open directories, forum pages, comments and social media pages are considered as low-quality links, so search engines usually discount them.

Paid links

Paying for links is strictly against the guidelines set by the big search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Doing banner advertising and affiliate marketing are some exceptions to this though in which the advertiser is allowed to put banner ads on specific websites and pay for the ads.

Google suggests that the webmasters should use the rel = “sponsored” attribute for those sorts of links, so that Googlebots would know those are paid links and won’t use them to calculate PageRank.

NoFollow links

Search engines including Google used to use the rel = “nofollow” attribute before the introduction of the rel = “sponsored” attribute. If a high-quality page links to your page or site and uses the rel = “nofollow” attribute in the HTML for the link, then it basically tells search engines NOT to count on that link.

This suggests that the rel = “nofollow” attribute for a link makes the link useless in terms of SEO ranking. However, if people are clicking that link and coming to your site, then that link is still good for your site.

High-quality links

There are certain sites that are highly authoritative. Links from those sites regardless of their level of relevance are extremely beneficial for search engine ranking.

National and international news sites are a great example of highly authoritative link sources. Big industry blogs, on the other hand, have medium authority but high relevancy. A link from those sites would be great for your site’s search engine ranking.

The third category of sites that have high authority and high relevancy are the big industry brands. If you site gets a link from any of those sites, it can provide a high level of ranking benefit to your site.


It’s safe to say that links matter, but quality of the links always overshadows their quantity. So, you may not generate more links, but you must focus on getting back-links from highly authoritative sources. Focus on creating highly informative or newsworthy content and bring the content to the notice of relevant and authoritative sources/publishers. If they link your content and link to the page, it gives you some amazing ranking benefits.

If you are looking for a reliable search agency for authoritative link generation at a great price, SEO Extent should be a top choice for you. Our link building techniques are foolproof and futuristic, and we only generate links for our clients’ websites that would give them an SEO edge in the long run. If you want to discuss your SEO goals and requirements, contact us for a free consultation today.

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