building high-quality backlinks on the blog

For full transparency, Google doesn’t only index web pages with backlinks. There are plenty (billions) of indexed pages with  no backlinks. However, because Google sees pages with high-quality links as more important, they’re likely to crawl—and re-crawl—such pages faster than those without. That leads to faster indexing.

We have plenty of resources on building high-quality backlinks on the blog.

Take a look at a few of the guides below.

9 EASY Link Building Strategies (That ANYONE Can Use)
How to Get Backlinks: 7 Tactics That Don’t Require New Content
How to Find Backlinks (That You Can Replicate)
7 Actionable Ways to Loot Your Competitors’ Backlinks
A Simple (But Complete) Guide to Broken Link Building
Indexing ≠ ranking
Having your website or web page indexed in Google doesn’t equate to rankings or traffic.

They’re two different things.

Indexing means that Google is aware of your website. It doesn’t mean they’re going to rank it for any relevant and worthwhile queries.

That’s where SEO comes in—the art of optimizing your web pages to rank for specific queries.

In short, SEO involves:

Finding what your customers are searching for;
Creating content around those topics;
Optimizing those pages for your target keywords;
Building backlinks;
Regularly republishing content to keep it “evergreen.”

This process only works when two things are true:

All the pages you want indexing are in your sitemaps
You checked the box to use the pages in your sitemaps as starting points for the crawl when setting up the project in Ahrefs’ Site Audit.
Not confident that all the pages you want to be indexed are in your sitemap? Try this:

Download a full list of pages on your site (via your CMS)
Crawl your website (using a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Audit)
Cross-reference the two lists of URLs
Any URLs not found during the crawl are orphan pages.

You can fix orphan pages in one of two ways:

If the page is unimportant, delete it and remove from your sitemap.
If the page is important, incorporate it into the internal link structure of your website.

6) Fix nofollow internal links
Nofollow links are links with a rel=“nofollow” tag. They prevent the transfer of PageRank to the destination URL. Google also doesn’t crawl nofollow links.

Here’s what Google says about the matter:

Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap.

In short, you should make sure that all internal links to indexable pages are followed.

To do this, use Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool to crawl your site. Check the Links report for indexable pages with “Page has nofollow incoming internal links only” errors:

nofollow incoming links error

Remove the nofollow tag from these internal links, assuming that you want Google to index the page. If not, either delete the page or noindex it.

Recommended reading: What Is a Nofollow Link? Everything You Need to Know (No Jargon!)


7) Add “powerful” internal links
Google discovers new content by crawling your website. If you neglect to internally link to the page in question then they may not be able to find it.

One easy solution to this problem is to add some internal links to the page. You can do that from any other web page that Google can crawl and index. However, if you want Google to index the page as fast as possible, it makes sense to do so from one of your more “powerful” pages.

Why? Because Google is likely to recrawl such pages faster than less important pages.

To do this, head over to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, enter your domain, then visit the Best by links report.

best by links ahrefs blog 2

This shows all the pages on your website sorted by URL Rating (UR). In other words, it shows the most authoritative pages first.

Skim this list and look for relevant pages from which to add internal links to the page in question.

For example, if we were looking to add an internal link to our guest posting guide, our link building guide would probably offer a relevant place from which to do so. And that page just so happens to be the 11th most authoritative page on our blog:

link building guide ahrefs best by links

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