Site Speed vs Link Building – how this is influencing rankings on Google

If you pull an SEO report for your site, you will probably notice site speed and backlinks cited as highly important factors. While both are important building blocks for your rankings, it’s essential to understand exactly why that is. Our toolkit is here to take you through these concepts and let you in on where they’ll be going in the future.

Site speed – Why is this so important?

Site speed has been becoming more and more heavily weighted by Google, as they want to create the ideal user experience. We’re less engaged with sites and we are impatient for sites to load, if they take longer than a few seconds then we go elsewhere. This would be a failing for Google, as it means the results they provided didn’t give you the right result the first time. 

With this in mind, they test out each site and figure out which are fastest. Then, they weigh up this and other factors to determine your place in the rankings. While these are backed up by human experiences, it’s mostly driven by their AI.

This is an essential part of your SEO strategy, as on page speed is one of the main drivers of rankings. Having all elements of your on page SEO working as one will have you rising up the rankings quickly. Optimising your tags, creating quality content and having a site that loads speedily creates an on page strategy that will bring real results.

What about link building?

Link building will feed into your off page SEO, which should augment your on page work. Building up backlinks should be an addition to your overall strategy, not the only part of your SEO strategy. Choosing the right time and destinations to build your authority means that you will be more successful.

Posting irrelevant links and creating a spammy backlog can end up hurting your site. The Google AI understands a lot about backlinks and the hallmarks of bad ones. This can create an automated penalty to be added to your site, leading to a significant loss of traffic overnight. This can be a source of frustration for site owners, as they can’t always identify which link caused the action in order to remedy it. 

In the last few years, the idea of link detoxing has become a lot more popular, as the algorithm has become more adept at detecting the quality of links. This would have seemed crazy just a few years ago, as the AI wasn’t advanced enough to understand good and bad links, therefore they were all beneficial.

The way this algorithm is going, it will become harder to get results from paid links. It’s all about creating natural links to sites that have their own authority. We hear terms like ‘link juice’ being thrown around, but no one really knows exactly how the algorithm assesses links. 

Using speed and links to your advantage

If you have an affiliate site, then you really need to be fast. You’re vying against hundreds of other affiliates to give information to your users, if the site is too slow then this won’t be communicated. You can have the best content in the world, but if no one gets to read it, then it won’t lead to conversions. 

In terms of link building, don’t copy your competitors. It’s easy to check out other affiliates’ backlinks and attempt to replicate them, but these are then less likely to be effective for you. Google can see the value of your link and if you’re just copying the crowd and paying for links, you could be tempting a penalty. 

Try reaching out to other sites, contributing and creating relevant links that your competitors don’t have. As always, those that try out new strategies will be able to lead the pack and get better results.

The big link debate rages on and each person has a different opinion on what makes a good link and even whether it’s relevant for SEO anymore. Our best advice is to do your research and find out which links will be advantageous for you. Don’t just go on the advice of the person that wants to sell you the link.

If you want to access expert knowledge and understand these concepts fully, then book your ticket to AffiliateFEST. It’s free for 100 affiliates, so if you’re not fast then you may miss out! Don’t delay in getting the information you need to boost your affiliate portal to new heights.