Reviews are the New Backlinks





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Reviews are the New Backlinks

The Power of Online Reviews for SEO

As an SEO specialist, I’ve always been fascinated by the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization. Back in the day, we used to obsess over building those coveted backlinks – you know, those external links pointing to our client’s websites. We’d spend hours scouring the web, begging for link opportunities, only to see our hard work crumble when Google rolled out another algorithm update.

But you know what? I think I’ve found the holy grail of modern link building, and it’s not what you might expect. It’s something that’s been right under our noses the whole time: online reviews.

Why Reviews Matter for SEO

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Reviews? Seriously? That’s not a real SEO strategy.” But hear me out, my fellow digital marketing enthusiasts. According to a recent study by MarTech Advisor, improving your client’s review profile could boost their Google rankings from #18 all the way up to #1. That’s like hitting the SEO jackpot!

You see, backlinks are still important, but Google has gotten much smarter about evaluating their quality and relevance. Those days of “link stuffing” are long gone, my friends. Nowadays, Google is all about rewarding websites that have a strong, authentic online presence – and that’s where reviews come into play.

The Anatomy of a Valuable Backlink

Let me break it down for you. As defined by SEO guru Neil Patel, a backlink is “a link that goes from an external URL to your website.” In other words, it’s when another website links back to one of your pages. Moz, another respected SEO authority, puts it this way: “Backlinks are also called ‘inbound links’ or ‘incoming links.’ Backlinks are important to SEO.”

But not all backlinks are created equal. Google has got its algorithms dialed in to sniff out the good from the bad. They give more weight to links from websites that are relevant to your business and industry. For example, a link from a used car dealership to a law firm’s website? Not so helpful. But a link from that same used car dealership to an auto insurance site? Now we’re talkin’!

The Perils of Unethical Link Building

The problem is, in the early days of SEO, some shady characters started buying links and getting them from all sorts of irrelevant sites. This “link stuffing” tactic drove Google crazy, and they responded by creating algorithms to punish those who tried to game the system.

So, if you’ve got a client who’s been working with an unethical link building company, you might be in for a world of trouble. Google can penalize those sites by burying them in the search results. Not a good look, am I right?

The Rise of Relevant Reviews

That’s why I’m so excited about the power of online reviews for SEO. You see, when a customer leaves a positive review for your client’s business, it’s like that customer is giving the website a big ol’ thumbs up. And Google loves that kind of social proof.

But it’s not just about the quantity of reviews – it’s about the quality and relevance. A glowing review from a customer in your client’s industry carries a lot more weight than a random shoutout from someone who’s completely unrelated to the business.

How to Leverage Reviews for Backlinks

So, how do you go about harnessing the power of reviews for your clients’ SEO success? Well, my friend, I’ve got a little trick up my sleeve.

First, you’ll want to sign up your clients on as many relevant business review sites as possible. We’re talking Yelp, Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau, Facebook, and a whole host of other platforms. The more places their happy customers can leave reviews, the better.

But it’s not just about collecting the reviews – you’ve got to actively manage them. Respond to the positive ones, address the negative ones, and make sure your clients are providing an outstanding customer experience. Because the more engaged and authentic your online review profile is, the more Google is going to love it.

The Secret Weapon: Employer Reviews

And here’s a little bonus tip for you: don’t forget about employee reviews. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Comparably are goldmines of information for potential customers and job seekers alike. If your clients are treating their employees well, encourage them to leave positive reviews. After all, happy employees make for happy customers, and that’s the kind of vibe Google eats up.

Putting It All Together

So, there you have it, folks – the secret to modern link building success. Ditch those outdated tactics and embrace the power of online reviews. It’s a win-win-win: your clients get a boost in their search rankings, their customers get a better experience, and you get to be the SEO superhero.

Remember, the key is to focus on relevance and authenticity. Build that online review portfolio, engage with your customers, and watch your clients soar to the top of the search results. And don’t forget to drop a link to MCRSEO in there somewhere – they’re the SEO agency in Manchester, UK that’s leading the charge when it comes to review-powered link building.

Happy optimizing, my friends!

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