Backlinks are an important part of Search engine optimization and getting your site ranked. However, it is not easy to come by and free backlink sources that provide high-quality backlinks that passes link juice are a very valuable resource that could contribute in getting your site ranked.
But did you know that you could get free backlinks from YouTube? Not only are links from Youtube videos free, they pass juice, and can affect the target link’s serp ranking. How do we know for sure? We tested it in the SIA and confirmed it!
In this article, we talk all about backlinks, what backlinks are, the importance of backlinks, what qualifies for good backlinks, and how to get backlinks from YouTube and make the most out of them.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are also known as inbound links and incoming links. These are links from one website to another website which Google and other search engines consider to be a positive vote from a page. Why? Cause you only link to a page or site that has valuable piece of content. If a site links to your site, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to a site, then they have a backlink from you.
Pages with a high number of quality backlinks usually have a high rank in search engines. Backlinks are an important part of SEO, most commonly referred to as under off-page optimization. Earning and building these backlinks to your site is called link-building.
Why are Backlinks Important?
As mentioned earlier, backlinks are important as they are considered a positive vote from another website by search engines. Search engines basically read a backlink as the content is valuable and useful content, which is why it has received a link from another website. The more high quality links a page has, the higher the rank it would have. It is one of the top ranking factors considered by Google.
In fact, it is one of the three most important search engine ranking factors. Search algorithm changes a lot but the importance of backlinks remain the same and if you want to rank higher in search engine results pages and get organic search traffic, then you would have to have quality backlinks linking to your site.
In addition, a good link building strategy is an important part of your SEO strategy and marketing strategy cause not only does this create backlinks to your site that can help increase your rank, this also gains you exposure that can give you added organic traffic and referral traffic to your site.
What Are Quality Backlinks?
Not all backlinks are created equal and the better quality backlinks you have, the better it is for your site. Also, it is best to avoid backlinks considered as low-quality or spammy as these can be harmful to your site and keyword ranking, especially if you have a lot of them.
Backlinks from high authority sites such as news sites like CNN, BBC, or .edu sites like Harvard, Oxford are very strong backlinks. Though as you can see, links from these types of sites are very hard to come by which is why Google treats these backlink as quality backlinks that can get you boosted up.
Basically, the higher the authority of the website, the better as it can pass on the domain authority it has from the site to your site, through a backlink.
The Target Keyword is the Key
Aside from getting a backlink from a site with authority, what makes a backlink more valuable is if it also uses your target keyword as the anchor text or the clickable link that goes to your site. It basically says that your content is about that particular keyword, your page is a good resource on it, and to go check you out.
The target keyword is important though it is also a must to balance it between url links (links using your url as anchor text or clickable link), brand links (links using your brand name or company name as anchor text or clickable link), and other variations of your keywords and other terms that are related to your topic. This is to avoid getting your site over-optimized with using too much keyword-rich anchor text, and experiencing a drop instead of a boost.
Remember, always keep things natural and a natural linking profile comprises of a combination of target keywords, brand links, url links, keyword variations, etc. If you are unsure of what keywords to use, it is best to do keyword research. There are a lot of SEO tool and keyword research tools that can help you with this.
Topical relevance of links are quite controversial. There are some that say your links need to be from a related site to your own site, there are some that say topic relevance does not matter, as long as it is a link.
My contention is that, as long as the blog post or content where your link is, is related to what your site is about, it should still count. If it is unrelated, then that would be a different case. Say for example, an article talking about cooking and then suddenly linking to a page on computer parts. That would be quite a mismatch and are not relevant content.
We actually tested in the SIA if a link from a niche relevant site with lower SEO metric will beat a link from a generic PBN with High SEO metric and in the test, the link with the higher SEO metric that is not related to the site won the test.
Though, it would still be best to have links from related sites and content, a couple of not very related sites should still work fine especially if the source has authority. The key is to keep things natural and to go for quality links.
Another thing to think about when it comes to this is, why waste your SEO and marketing efforts on building backlinks from unrelated sites that has a target audience different from yours? When I build links, I try to hit a couple of things with one stone – build backlinks for SEO and increasing rank, gain exposure through reaching more audience through the post about my site/page, gain the interest of readers, and get them to click on that link and view my site/page and eventually convert them.
DoFollow or Nofollow links
Same as with topical relevance being controversial, is the dofollow links and nofollow links. A dofollow link is when search engines follow the links to the page being linked to and gives it credit. A link that is nofollow, same as the name implies, search engine robots will not follow the link and your site will not be credited for it. Some say nofollow links are worthless, some say that they still have worth and that they can affect search engine rankings.
What do we have to say about this? We have tested nofollow links a couple of times in the SIA and according to our testing, nofollow links still pass juice to the site and could still help a site rank, though not as strong as if it is a follow link. Still, this does not mean we should ignore no follow links. As I have mentioned a couple of times, keep things natural, and nofollow links are part of a natural link profile. Nevertheless, when building links especially if you are paying for it, check if the link is a dofollow or nofollow link.
Now that we have discussed what backlinks are, their importance, and what quality backlinks are, let’s move on to the free backlink resource that we’ve tested to be valuable and can help boost rank – YouTube!
Youtube is world’s second-largest search engine, next to Google and it has a domain authority of 100, which is the highest domain authority. As I mentioned earlier, links from sites with high authority are very valuable.
In SIA Test 21: Does a Page with a Link from a YouTube Video Outrank a Page Without, we checked if a page with a link from a YouTube video can outrank a page without it, and the result was, the page with the YouTube link won, showing that YouTube links pass juice and can affect rank. Tested and proven.
The best part of this is that it is a free backlink source that you can take advantage of and does not require a lot of effort, time, and resources to do. If you already have an existing YouTube account for your page or business, you can set up these links fast!
How To Get YouTube Links
There are two main areas where you can place a link in YouTube – in the channel description and in the description of each video.
If you have a dedicated YouTube channel, all you would need to do is edit your channel description and add a link to your site. As for the videos, just add a short description of the video content, then add a link to the particular page that you would like to link to.
Having a YouTube channel for your business or site is a good content marketing tool. It is a way to create content and spread awareness about your brand, business, and products. It is one of the most popular social networks and as mentioned, the second largest search engine next to Google. More and more people are turning to YouTube and it is a resource that can be very valuable to you, not only as a free backlink source, but also to promote your brand and business. We have a YouTube SEO Guide that you can go through for everything you need to know about YouTube and Optimizing your videos to make your video rank in search and gain more views and subscribers. The article also talks about optimizing your channel description and video description, which are the two main areas where you could build your links.
Once you have built links using your channel and videos, another option is to set a video collaboration with other content creators. This will help you gain more video backlinks and gain exposure from viewers of other channels.
If you do not have a YouTube channel and you do not want to build your own channel, another option is to sponsor videos for some known YouTube channels that are related to your current market to basically promote your business or product in their video. It is both a way to promote your business and to get a link in the description of the YouTube video. However, this might be a more costly option, especially if you opt to go for an influencer that gains a lots of views. Still, it can be worth the investment.
Those are just some of your options when it comes to building YouTube links to your site. I would personally opt for the first option of building your own channel and creating your own content as not only is it a way to build links, it is also a way to promote brand awareness and added traffic sources. Getting your videos ranked also reaps a lot of benefit for your business and site and is definitely an option to look into. Check out our How To Rank Videos On YouTube guide to help you get started.
YouTube links are high-authority links that are free and can help you boost your rank. Even though the links are no follow, we have tested that it passes juice and it can help move you up. Note though that one link or a few link may not be enough to boost you to the top spot and getting to the top needs more than just one link. In fact, it would need a variety of links from different sources and as mentioned earlier, getting backlinks is no easy feat.
In need of more source of backlinks for your seo campaign and do not know where to get them? Tired of outreaching for guest posting and being ignored? Is creating backlinks from broken links and dead links too tedious and not as beneficial? Check out our SEONitro 3.0 program which is our patented link-building network program where you could build links to your site and also have the ability to change them up, delete them, as you please.
SIA STAFF SEO WRITER
Marie’s full bio here.