Off-page optimization entails building the reputation of a website. This can hardly be achieved through changes on a website as is the case with on-page optimization. Instead, the reputation of a page is determined primarily by backlinks. These are links that point to one’s own website from another. Search engines such as google consider the amount of incoming links for ranking. An important element of OffPage Optimization is link building, with which the widest possible network of recommendations from other websites is developed through backlinks.
Link building is the structuring of a number of quality and topic-relevant backlinks to improve the ranking of a website.
Generally the more backlinks a page has, the higher its popularity is. There are several methods to achieve this. According to statements of Google, the best method is to simply do nothing. As long as the content of a website has an added value for users, the users themselves will recommend the page further in the form of backlinks. The other methods, which include reciprocal link exchange, blog comments, link purchase, or entries in web catalogues, are rather discouraged since artificially generated links violate Google’s policies. Through diverse updates of the algorithm, Google tries to detect these methods and penalize them where applicable. The quantitative factors give an overview of a website’s linking and, hence, its popularity. Quantity is, however, not sufficient as an evaluation parameter since these methods are very vulnerable to manipulation.
In order to correctly interpret and evaluate the backlinks that point to a website, search engines also assess the quality of these links.
OffPage optimization through building links has become a very difficult discipline today, as every unnatural link build-up can damage a website in terms of loss of ranks. For this reason, it is generally recommended to generate backlinks via high quality content. Blogs, magazine, infographics or other content that can be shared with users with a backlink can be useful for offpage optimization. Moreover, there is a constant discussion in SEO circles regarding how strongly the traffic generated via a backlink influences the value of such links.