How to choose high-quality platforms for installing crowd links
External links are important - a theory that requires no proof
Link promotion factors are still there. It doesn't matter if this information surprises you or not, but it is a fact. No matter how often and loudly the representatives of Google and Yandex announce that in their algorithms they reduce the influence of link factors on the ranking of the site - they exist and they work. This statement is based solely on regularly updated, systemic empirical data, so it is useless to argue with it. We must accept it as an axiom.
However, along with statements about reducing the influence of links on the effectiveness of organic promotion (ranking in search results), search engines do not deny the importance of a high-quality link profile for a site. Otherwise, why would Yandex.Webmaster and Google Console have created (and actively developed) sections in which the robots of these search engines show the resource owner a detailed link profile of the resource?
Why is it important to place crowd links only on high-quality sites?
What else has happened recently? On July 26, 2021, Google announced the launch of a new algorithm to combat link spam, i.e. essentially by assessing the quality of backlinks. We read this carefully and remember:
In an effort to improve the quality of search results, today we are introducing an updated algorithm to combat link spam. It will be fully operational over the next two weeks and will make it possible to more effectively detect and neutralize link spam in content in different languages. After that, sites with invalid links will no longer occupy their previous position in Google Search.
Such statements, not even indirectly, but completely directly and unequivocally indicate to the site owners that links are good, but good - these are only high-quality links.
What are the platforms for crowd links?
The question that seems simple is actually not that simple. First of all, because the very definition of the concept of "crowd links" is rather vague. Various sources describe this entity as follows:
- Crowd links are links left by live users: forums, social networks, sections with reviews, message boards
- Crowd links - URLs that organically fit into comments on forums, reviews and other visited sites
- Crowd links are links in the text of recommendations, opinions, comments or reviews about a service, product or brand, posted on thematic sites with the ability to comment, that is, where the target audience lives
- Crowd links are a link in the text of recommendations and reviews on thematic sites in the most natural way to increase brand awareness and build link mass
- Crowd links are a tool for raising positions by posting posts on forums with links
It is quite obvious that catalogs of sites (companies) cannot be considered high-quality sites, because they are inherently non-thematic. The second factor that works against directories is spam. The very principle of the idea and the structural organization of the site implies a large volume of outbound links, which contradicts the definition of the principles of quality.
As for social networks, they cannot be considered crowdfunding platforms either. The reasons are simple:
- links in the overwhelming majority of cases are closed from indexing, which has no effect in SEO promotion
- an abundance of services for promoting social signals - links are placed by bots, which guarantees their inefficiency for getting traffic to the site
Based on the definitions and the restrictions described above, we can distinguish only 3 types of platforms for installing crowd links, which can be considered high-quality, these are:
- blogs (thematic platforms),
- service reviews.
Have you decided on the sites, where to get them?
Sources for site search - 3 ways
The methods are arranged in order of their effectiveness for the final result, that is, obtaining high-quality donor sites.
The most reliable way to find relevant and high-quality sites is to use the search for key queries. If you need to find a site for setting a link on the topic "fishing", it is obvious that you can in Google or Yandex on the request "forum about fishing" find a list of forums on this topic. The same applies to other possible topics. It cannot be argued that this is the easiest way - it will take a lot of time to collect and structure sites in the list.
An easier, but less reliable way to search for ready-made thematic site directories. It can be considered less reliable for the reason that very often such lists are outdated, a large number of sites are already "dead" or are at the stage of extinction of activity.
Buy a base of platforms for crowd links. This method is the simplest, but it cannot be called the most effective for two reasons:
- spamming of such lists will certainly affect the quality of installed links
- the relevance of sites - despite the assurances of sellers, in such databases there is a fairly large percentage of "dead" forums and blogs
The cost of an up-to-date and high-quality database of crowdfunding sites may surprise you.
But let's move on to the most important question - how to evaluate a forum or blog before deciding to install a link on it?
Parameters for assessing the quality of the site for installing crowd links
First of all, it is necessary to define a set of parameters for the assessment. Most of the sources who took responsibility for the selection of quality parameters highlight the following:
- Domain Rank
- Trust Rank
- Number of referring IPs
- Number of indexed pages
- Number of outbound links
Marketing quality metrics
All these parameters are described in more detail in another article, but we will focus on the most important ones in our opinion. Their list is smaller:
- Domain Rank
- Number of referring IPs
- Number of indexed pages
To assess the quality of a donor site, you need to know and be able to use several analysis tools.
To obtain data on the Domain Rank parameter, you can and should use the ahrefs service. The service is free, data can be obtained without registration, but you will need to go through the captcha.
The SQI of the donor site can be found in the be1 service. It is also convenient because you can get data from a large number of sites, up to 500 at a time.
The thematicity of the site. It is obvious how it is defined, but additional comments are needed here.
Find a large number of high-quality thematic sites, incl. forums, you can only spend a lot of time - this is natural, but for many link builders it is excessively expensive. Some SEO community experts claim that the link is established, for example, on a city forum, but in its thematic section it works just as effectively as in a thematic forum. We can only partially agree with this - it can work as a traffic source, but it will definitely work worse from the SEO point of view, since it can work as a traffic source. search engine algorithms determine the thematicity of the entire donor. But at the same time, other quality indicators of the site will play a plus.
You can check the number of referring IP addresses to the analyzed site using the Megaindex service. The data on the backlinks of the site can be obtained in an expanded form.
The number of indexed pages for Google and Yandex search engines can be found in a simple way, using the site operator: <domain>
The attendance of the donor site can be determined using Similarweb. The service does not show traffic of all sites.
In addition to the services described, there are others that can give a more complete picture of the quality of the site, but they are either paid or give incorrect data.
What site parameters can be considered acceptable
When working as a Contractor (Link Builder) on our exchange, first of all, you need to focus on the requirements of the Customers. The default values of the site parameters:
- Domain Rank, from 10
- SQI, from 100
- Referring IPs, from 50
- Indexed pages, from 1000
It can be argued with confidence that even such parameters will be sufficient to get the effect of the established link.
But what else you need to know about effective crowd link promotion - read on.
Pitfalls - how can it be without them
The most important pitfall in link building, but not obvious to many, is link indexing. In pursuit of the number of installed crowd-links and SEO parameters of donor sites, the index of the installed link is overlooked.
The site owner buys dozens and hundreds of link packages, but the site's indicators do not grow. Why? Because the links do not get into the index of search engines or get into it after a very long time.
Why is this happening
Link builders put links in sections that by default are closed from indexing by the owner of the forum or blog. For example, a user's profile page on a forum or pages attached to it. In our service, this is prohibited by the rules. The link is set using the comments widget - there are no such links in the page code, so they technically cannot be indexed.
The link was established through a redirect - some blog and forum owners set up link posting in this way so as not to harm their site with a large number of outbound links. Search engines understand a redirect as an internal link. Nofollow links - these links do not transfer the page's weight to the acceptor, which means that the effect of them can be expected only in terms of potential traffic. The Customer pays for these links with a 50% discount.
Choosing high-quality sites for installing crowd links is not a quick and labor-intensive process. Entering this game, the Link Builder must realistically assess his strength and be prepared for the fact that even this preparatory stage in its essence can take more time in total than the process of link installation itself.
If you approach the issue of selecting donor sites without proper attention and responsibility, in the end you will collect something that will not be in demand or is cheap, which means you will waste your time and effort.
To become a real specialist and professional in link building, you need to spend a lot of your own resources, but the market represented by the Customer will appreciate it and you will be able to earn decent money for your work.