The importance of netlinking in natural referencing [Part 1]

Le netlinking, also called “link building”, is a natural referencing (SEO) technique. It consists of obtaining hypertext links, called backlinks, coming from other websites to yours. Search engines interpret these links as votes of confidence. They indicate the relevance and quality of your content. 

For example, If you are looking for someone authoritative in a specific area in your company, you will ask your colleagues who can answer your problem. This way, you will naturally go to the most cited person, because they will be the one who seems the most competent. So the same goes for search engines.

Indeed, they constitute one of the main positioning factors in search results. Each site has one or more themes depending on the subjects covered and its link profile.

Netlinking plays a crucial role in natural referencing for several reasons: 

  • Improving PageRank and Domain Authority: the more quality backlinks a website receives, the more its PageRank and its authority increase (see the first PageRank patent filed by Google) . This allows it to position itself more favorably in search results. PageRank is an algorithm developed by Google. It calculates the popularity of a web page based on the number and quality of its backlinks. As for domain authority, it measures the credibility and reliability of a website based on the quality of all of its pages.
  • Increasing organic traffic: backlinks attract visitors to your website from other sites, which generates qualified organic traffic and increases your online visibility. Organic traffic is traffic generated by people clicking on your website in organic search results, as opposed to paid traffic generated by advertising campaigns.
  • Development of notoriety and credibility: a good link profile helps strengthen the notoriety and credibility of your website among Internet users and search engines. A website with a quality link profile is perceived as a reliable and relevant source of information. This can thus improve its reputation and brand image.

The advantages of an effective netlinking strategy: 

  • Better visibility in search results: by increasing the PageRank and authority of a domain, netlinking allows you to position yourself higher in search results for keywords relevant to the site's activity.
  • Increasing organic traffic: a good link profile increases positioning in search engines. This helps attract more visitors to the website, which generates an increase in organic traffic.
  • Increasing awareness and credibility: a website with a good link profile is perceived as a reliable and relevant source of information. Thus, it can improve its reputation and brand image.


The basics of networking

First of all, you should know that not all backlinks (= links sending a hyperlink to yours) are equal. There are several types of links:

  • Categorized links "DoFollow”: they transmit PageRank and authority from the source site to the target site. In other words, these are the useful votes of your colleagues/relatives of the requested expertise.
  • Links categorized as “NoFollow”: they do not transmit PageRank or authority, they are defined by an attribute rel=”nofollow”. To return to the example of votes, it is people far from the requested expertise who give you their opinion. You will know who they are thinking of, however this will not necessarily be the most relevant and you will therefore not take it into account.


But by the way, I presented PageRank to you, as well as its first patent, but what is PageRank? PageRank ?

It's a Google algorithm. It calculates the popularity of a web page based on the number and quality of its backlinks. The higher the PageRank (PR) of a page, the more important it is considered by Google.


What are the quality criteria for a backlink?

There are several that all SEO experts agree on: 

  • The theme of the site on which your link is placed: The site must have a theme close to yours. Indeed, it would be of little relevance to obtain links from a cooking site if you sell lawn mowers.
  • Authority of the issuing site: The source website should have good PageRank and domain authority. A link from a reputable and reliable website will carry more weight than a link from an unknown or low-quality site.
  • The quality of the content: The link must be placed in quality and relevant content. A link placed in a well-written and informative article will have more impact than a link placed in a poor quality or “spammy” article.
  • The anchor of the link: The text on which the hyperlink is placed is important. It is better to position the anchor on the chosen query than on a generic anchor “click here” for example.


Develop a networking strategy

As with any strategy, you will need to define your SEO objectives and identify your targets (in terms of websites). To develop this strategy you will need: 

  • Determine the keywords on which you want to position yourself: The choice of keywords is crucial for identifying relevant websites and forums for backlinks. So, it is interesting to carry out a keyword study. This will help determine which phrases your target audience uses to search for products or services similar to yours.
  • Identify relevant and authoritative websites in your field of activity: Look for leading websites in your industry that publish quality content and have good PageRank and domain authority. You can use backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs ou SEMrush to find link opportunities.

In order to acquire links, there are several netlinking techniques:

  • Writing guest articles: Contact relevant bloggers or website editors and offer to write a quality article on their site, including a natural link to your site.
  • Participation in forums and blogs: Participate in discussions on forums and blogs related to your activity and leave relevant comments including links to your website (but without spamming).
  • Creating infographics and shareable content: Create original, informative and visually appealing content, like infographics, case studies or videos, that can be shared on social media and naturally attract links to your site.
  • Collaborative networking: Exchange links with other non-competing partner websites in your industry, as long as these exchanges are relevant and natural.
  • Link prospecting: Actively look for backlink opportunities on websites relevant to your business by using backlink analysis tools or by contacting website owners directly.


Some good netlinking practices

To increase your visibility using external linking, there are a few practices that can help you: 

  • Favor quality over quantity: It's better to get a few quality backlinks from relevant, authoritative websites than many low-quality links from unknown sites. There is a myth that Google penalizes sites with backlinks from sites considered “spammy” by certain tools. We will return to this myth in a future article. (SEO Myth or Reality: Toxic Backlinks [Part 2]).
  • Diversify backlink sources: Don’t just focus on one link source. Vary the link types and source websites. Avoid depending on a single website for your links. Indeed, it happens that when sites that send a lot of backlinks close, the visibility of the targeted site drops.
  • Create quality content: The best way to attract natural links is to create relevant, informative and original content that meets the needs of your target audience. Quality content encourages other websites to link to yours naturally. Indeed, they consider your resource as valuable and worth sharing.
  • Promote your content: once you've created quality content, don't neglect its promotion. Share it on social media or submit it to relevant online directories. Also, vYou can directly contact bloggers or influencers who may be interested in your content.
  • Analyze your backlinks regularly: Using dedicated tools, regularly monitor your backlinks profile to detect new links. I advise you to hesitate to disavow unwanted links identified by third-party tools. We We will also return to this subject in part 2 of this article.


Some tools for netlinking

If you are new to netlinking, here are some useful tools to monitor your backlinks: 

Ahrefs, Semrush : These paid tools crawl the web, identify and list as many backlinks as possible to your website.

Google Search Console : Free Google tool, which allows you to know the links taken into account, the anchors used and the pages which receive the most external links.

Netlinking in conclusion

Netlinking is an essential element of a effective SEO strategy. TheIt is therefore possible to improve your visibility in search results. Indeed, you can implement a netlinking strategy based on quality, relevance and naturalness. Also, it is possible to increase your organic traffic and strengthen your online credibility. Don't forget to stay up to date on the latest SEO practices and developments. This way, you will be able to optimize your linking efforts and achieve your SEO objectives.




Esteban Irschfeld, UX-UI Designer at UX-Republic