Front-facing contentBackend code | Off-page factors  | Local SEO

Why read this page? Helps to expand on backlinks within Google rankings and how they have evolved.
Who is this for? Marketers who want more knowledge and advice on off-page metrics.

Off-Page Ranking Factors

Off-page refers to off-site. This means factors outside of the remit of your own website, its content and code that affect your Google ranking position. These are basically websites that link to your website in some way that a computer can track and analyse.

Be prepared for myths and conflicting opinions on off-page metrics and importance in SEO

Google success as a search engine is largely due to its Page Rank Algorithm. According to Google: PageRank works by analysing the number and quality of backlinks to a web page to determine an estimate of how important the website is.

Google’s page rank algorithm is still working today albeit in a more advanced form. John Mueller who works at Google confirms this.

John Mueller
John Mueller, a Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Our own research has proved there is a clear correlation between backlinks and Google ranking.

OK, so we now know that backlinks and other off-page-metrics are important but which ones and how do we add them into the SEO mix at VC?

There are many types of off-page signals that Google takes notice of. What is not known is exactly what weight is put on each one.

A number are still open to debate. As with all of the below, the first question we are asked is how many backlinks, how many reviews, how much social media etc.

The answer is not quantity but ratio; it is not the number but the quality.

Noting is counted in isolation. For example, a website with a high DA of 90 but has 100,000 pages has the same link strength as a DA20 site with 30 pages.

Mathematics Behind Google Search Engine - A Brief Note
To work at Google you need to be a maths genius!

The most important off-line metrics


Backlinks are links that point back to your site. They are one of the most contentious issues in SEO. An entire industry has evolved that promise instance, Google ranking success if you buy their backlinks. Google has issued many public updates to its algorithm to help combat backlink spam. The latest was July 2021.

Google spends so much time and effort on removing spammy or purchased links from its index because they can be so effective and hence rank the wrong websites, and they are so simple to implement, just pay!

Vanilla Circus has been building backlinks for over 14 years.

Read more on how we create effective backlinks that are future-proofed. Even with VC’s knowledge and contacts, the outreach process is a slow burn; however, the results are outstanding and entirely in line with Google Guidelines.


Reputation Management

Here we are not talking about Reputation management as a service. Instead, we are talking about how Google interprets positive reputations signals and incorporates them into its algorithmic scoring. 

Reading between the lines, it is what the internet says about your business. For example, reviews in Google and Trustpilot et al. can also be PR like news articles and comments on the forum; the list is not endless, but it is comprehensive.

Google reviews would be a good bet, as would all review sites. Again it is not a question of scope or number of reviews but the ratio and the good and bad aspects.

Google Local is another no brainer. Again simple management of this platform ticking all of the boxes and adhering to Google’s suggestions are normally all that is required.

Read more on how Vanilla Circus can help maintain your reputation signals for SEO and user conversion.


Social Media Signals

No social media traffic in this day and age is probably a red flag to Google’s manual Quality Raters.

What we know is true.

  1. Websites without links to FB/Twitter etc. do worse in Google’s ranking than those sites that have
  2. You don’t have to link to your own social media accounts (strange but true)
  3. Backlinks from social media are often counted as one per URL max
  4. Multiple posts/tweets with the same URL do not improve rankings

What we think is true but are still testing

  1. There is no correlation between social (referral) high metrics and improved ranking that we can discover.
  2. More active social media accounts do not influence rankings any more than the less active accounts.
  3. Dead accounts with no actively do seem to affect rankings

Except in an off-page ranking metric capacity, VC does not engage in Social Media as a client service.

81% of digital marketers in London use content marketing specifically to generate links (2021)

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