Hyperlinks have long been a critical part of the internet’s infrastructure. Practically speaking, they connect websites and webpages to each other, while providing superhighways for online readers to get from one place to another.
In the context of Google and other search engines, links are even more important. In case you aren’t familiar, links function as a kind of voting system in the eyes of most search engine; if your content earns a lot of links, it’s seen as more trustworthy and authoritative, ultimately helping it rank higher and achieve even more visibility (which is great for business owners).
The backlink-based PageRank system is much more complex than my simplistic explanation would imply, but suffice it to say, backlinks are vital if you want your content to succeed.
Because of this, and because you’ve likely encountered millions, if not billions of links in passing as you’ve browed the internet over the course of your life, you might believe that content backlinks are ubiquitous. But this isn’t the case.
In fact, 94 percent of the world’s content earns 0 external links – and only 2.2 percent of the world’s content earns multiple backlinks.
Why is this the case? And what can you realistically do about it?
The True Value of Backlinks
First, let me establish why backlinks are so important – and why you should care that your content isn’t earning any naturally. Backlinks serve multiple purposes simultaneously:
- Brand visibility and reputational benefits. First, just seeing your link in the wild can help increase the visibility of your brand and boost your reputation. If the link is coming from a distinguished author or a noteworthy publication, it can give your new customers a great first impression.
- A direct line of traffic. Links are primarily used to get from one page to another – and if your link is sufficiently captivating, your readers are going to click it. With enough links on high-profile sources, your backlink network can serve as a major source of referral traffic to your site.
- Domain authority and search ranking effects. Perhaps most importantly, links pass “authority” to your site. Search engines use links to calculate the domain-level authority of your website as well as the page-level authority of your individual pages; earning more links from better sources will make you seen as more authoritative, which in turn will support higher rankings for keywords relevant to your brand. It’s almost impossible to rise in search engine rankings (and earn more organic traffic) without these links.
Potential Factors for Rare Backlinks
There are several possible explanations for why backlinks are rare. Most likely, it’s due to a combination of factors, including:
- Unseen, unpromoted content goes unnoticed. Any content that doesn’t get seen or noticed isn’t going to earn any backlinks. People can only build links to content whose existence is known to them. If a writer in an obscure corner of the internet writes the greatest blog article of all time, it may never earn any links or get any attention simply because it can’t be found on its own. Too many writers fail to understand the importance of self-promotion; they don’t try to funnel traffic to their site, they don’t promote their work on social media, and they never try to elevate their own brand name. Because most people aren’t willing to make even the slightest effort to promote their own work, most work goes completely unnoticed.
- Most content is bad content. There’s a reason why search engines prefer content that has earned a lot of links; search engines are motivated to give people the best possible results. If a piece of content earns several links, it must be well-liked and appreciated, so it’s worth showing to others. This is important for search engines because most content on the internet is “bad” content. Because anyone can become a content creator online, there’s no barrier to entry – and as a result, most content published online is poorly written, poorly researched, and/or a poor imitation of something that already exists. You won’t see this content, because it’s often relegated to obscurity, but it’s out there.
- Most writers don’t understand the importance of backlinks. If you don’t know that backlinks are important, you won’t write in a way that earns or supports backlinks. For example, one of the best ways to earn backlinks is to provide truly original insights or information; publishing an original study or an expert opinion on a controversial subject can be very powerful. But if you’re not optimizing for backlinks, you might write about something less capable of getting you the attention you need.
- It takes time to earn backlinks. If you already have a reputation and you’re writing about a current event, you can earn backlinks quickly – but for the most part, earning backlinks is something that takes time. It takes months to build a reputation as an author from scratch, and it might be weeks to months before your content gets truly noticed (even if it’s well-written and you’re actively promoting it). The delay here results in a lot of content creators giving up prematurely.
- Some published backlinks get removed. Even if you initially earn a backlink, there’s no guarantee you’re going to keep it. Publishers may choose to remove links at any time, for any reason; your work may no longer be relevant, they may be trying to “clean up” their linking profile, or they may want to distance themselves from your brand.
How to Earn More Backlinks for Your Content
So what steps can you take to combat these inhibitory factors?
- Commit to writing great content. If you want to earn links, you have to stand out with great content. Nobody will link to your work if it’s not well-researched, well-written, and original. Try to find a niche that no other experts currently occupy and present novel information as articulately as you can. Revise and edit your work thoroughly so you only publish the best work you’re capable of producing.
- Make your content linkable. In addition to creating quality pieces, you have to find a way to make your work linkable. What would make someone want to build a link to this article? Do you offer new statistics on a problem that many people are facing? Do you have information that’s being neglected by others covering the same topic? Do you disagree with the mainstream narrative on a particular subject?
- Promote your work. Once you’ve published your work, understand that it’s not going to get popular by itself. If you want it to get attention, and eventually get links, you have to promote it; that means syndicating it on social media, sharing it with others in your industry, and possibly even advertising it.
- Network and reciprocate. Make connections with other writers and other authorities in your industry. The more you build out your network, the bigger your potential audience will be – and the more opportunities you’ll have to publish work with offsite sources.
- Publish offsite content and build your own links. Finally, try to get new content published with offsite publishers – and the higher the authority of those publishers, the better. Start small, with local publishers and websites squarely within your niche, then work your way up to bigger platforms. With each article you publish, you’ll have an opportunity to build a link to your own work (as long as it’s relevant to your content and your audience).
Whether you’re trying to launch an education platform for your target audience or you’re building a business from the ground up, content is the heart of your website – and your link building strategy. If you spend more time making your content more attractive to would-be link builders, and building some links of your own, you can be part of that top 6 percent of content creators worldwide – and earn at least one solid link for each piece you publish.
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!