Over the years, several myths arose around Link Velocity and its impact on Google Penalties. They are encouraging SEO professionals to pursue the wrong strategies rather than strategies that work. In this article, we will cover how you should approach Link Velocity in your SEO strategy.
What is the theory around Link Velocity?
Link Velocity is the rate at which other domains are linking to your site. The speed at which referring domains and backlinks increase over time defines Link Velocity. In some cases, this rate could be essential to ranking on high competition keywords.
There are a lot of myths on optimal link velocity rates and how this rate will impact your ranking on Google.
At the very least, when done right we’ve seen a trending effect, on your rankings.
Unfortunately, just like a vehicle, when the gas runs out, your vehicle can fall behind the competition that is still pumping gas.
And could potentially get you slapped with a penalty.
Pro tip: Take a look at the competition on SERP before even considering link velocity.
Before diving into the best strategy, let first look at what Google Says about link Velocity.
What Google says about Link Velocity?
In 2019, John Muller, a Senior Webmaster Trends analyst at Google, said the following when asked about link Velocity.
“it’s not so much a matter of how many links you get in which time period. It’s really just… if these are links that are unnatural or from our point of view problematic then they would be problematic“
Most SEO’s interpreted his reply into going for an approach of acquiring quality links that look natural rather than the amount.
In reality, the Velocity rate is a significant factor when it comes to ranking on Google, particularly in very competitive sectors, like Gambling. To beat the competition, you need to have a strategy to catch up to top positions.
The answer to the question. What link velocity I should have to rank number one on Google is
MORE THAN YOUR COMPETITION.
Disclaimer: Your competitors may be pushing a tone of crap links that disguise their overall activity. Don’t push crap, you’re better than that. Eventually, all spammers pay the price. So proceed with caution and keep things as natural as possible.
What is the best strategy around Link Velocity?
The Google search algorithm is a black box that changes over time.
Whatever approach you take that works in a given period may not work in the future.
The best way to build your strategy when it comes to link velocity is to analyze your competition. Invest in proper SEO tools like Ahrefs that will help you get insight into the following parameters.
- The number of backlinks acquired.
- The number of backlinks lost.
- The amount of referring domains backlinks are coming from.
- The anchor texts used.
- Domain quality ratings (organic traffic, domain metrics, Taxonomy etc.)
We won’t go into too much detail, but there is no end to the number of data points we monitor to create the ideal strategy.
As a start, using these parameters, you can understand what type of strategy will work for your sector, keyword targeting, country, and language of choice.
It will provide you with the rate you need to follow month on month to reach your target.
And how to distribute that rate.
How to mitigate Google Penalties?
Being slapped with a Google Penalty is something that you have to be on the lookout for.
Link velocity can be important, but at the same time, it is vital to review your strategy when it comes to which links are published and the anchor text that will be bound to those links.
The pressure to maintaining link velocity will force you to get large volumes of links in competitive niches.
Links always require vetting and validation to ensure that they are not from PBN’s or spammy sites. This was a popular tactic that will slowly die out as Google and other search engines get better at snuffing them out.
And if we can build a system that identifies PBN sites, which we have. Google, Bing and other sites, certainly can also!
The disruption of keywords in anchor text is also significant. Avoid rookie mistakes like over-optimization of exact match anchors as a start.
Determine which links should target the keyword you want to rank.
The taxonomy of the domains the link will come from is also an essential factor. Make sure that distribution will look natural to Google.
Ultimately the best approach is this case is to analyze the competition that lost rank in Google.
Determine what factors contribute to wins and losses over time and take decisions based on that.
The moral of the story is that when it comes to Link Velocity and Google penalities, competition analysis is the best tool in your arsenal.
The competition allows you to spot the truth and follow best practices.
We at Gainchanger automate the tedious part of an SEO expert’s job, to allow you to scale your results exponentially and focus on what really matters and rank higher for very specific keywords.
Simon Bonello is Co-founder of Gain Changer. His main area of focus is Business Process Automation, Software Technical Architecture and Technical SEO