The Complete Guide to Off-Page SEO

The Complete Guide to Off Page SEO

Do you feel like you’ve been trying hard to optimize your content, but you are still struggling to rank high on Google? If so, maybe the reason is that you haven’t practiced off-page SEO well.

Basically, SEO can be divided into two: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Many think that off-page SEO is synonymous with link building, or an effort to build links to a website. But is it true? Check out the discussion below to find out the answer.

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What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is all activities outside the website that are carried out with the aim of increasing search engine rankings. Link building is one of the most promising off-page SEO efforts. However, beyond that, there are several other factors that are no less important. All of which will be discussed in the next section.

Difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO

On-page SEO is all SEO optimization activities on a website that are completely under your control. Examples of on-page SEO activities include improving content, title tags, using keywords, internal links, and so on.

On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to all activities that occur outside of the website with the aim of increasing search engine rankings. Examples of activities include getting links or mentions from other websites. Unlike on-page SEO, there are several factors that you cannot control when working on it.

Why is off-page SEO important?

Backlinks and other off-page components are the foundation of Google’s search algorithm. This has been proven from the results of the Backlinko study which found that there was a positive correlation between the number of backlinks and Google’s SERP ranking.

Not only backlinks, many other off-page factors determine your Google search rankings. For example, in Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines it is explained that they include the off-site reputation of a site to determine whether the site can be trusted or not.

The determination process carried out by Google is called “Reputation Research”, which is carried out by looking at:

  • Online reviews
  • Recommendations from experts
  • Mentions from trusted news sites or Wikipedia

In essence, links are definitely an important factor in off-page SEO, but not the only one. Therefore, as much as possible, we will discuss the factors that are included in the off-page SEO business, whether related to links or not.

Off-page factors related to backlinks

1. Number of referring domains

Referring domain is the domain of origin of a backlink. The more websites that are linked to your website, the easier it will be for you to get the highest ranking on Google. It also means, more likely to get more traffic.

However, you also need to think about which pages these websites go to. For reasons of effectiveness, direct backlinks to the page you want to rank well.

2. Link authority

The authority of a link indicates the quality of the link, and not all links are of the same quality.

The higher the “authority” of the pages linked to your site, the higher the authority of your site. In other words, links with high authority are better than links with low authority.

So how do you determine the authority of a page?

Google had a PageRank score that could be a determinant of the level of authority of a page. However, this score is no longer displayed since 2016. However, there are now many platforms that provide similar metrics.

Some of them are URL Rating (UR) on Ahrefs’, or even Page Authority (PA) on Moz.

3. Dofollow and nofollow

Dofollow links are links that include the website on the indexed link. While nofollow links on the contrary, the website on the link will not be indexed. Google does not count nofollow links on PageRank. Therefore, dofollow links should be prioritized.

Most of the web is actually “dofollow”. However, there are several websites, Forbes for example, which some of the outbound links are nofollow. So, make sure first whether your link source is dofollow or nofollow.

To ensure this, you can install the nofollow Chrome Extension which can detect nofollow links on a page.

However, prioritizing dofollow links does not mean ignoring nofollow links. Although it will not have an impact on your page authority, nofollow links are still very useful for bringing in referral traffic which indirectly has a positive impact on your SEO.

4. Anchor text

Anchor text is a clickable word, which is used to link a web page to another web page.

In Google’s PageRank patent, it is stated that anchor text is one of Google’s techniques in improving search quality. That is, it is likely that backlinks with anchor text that match the topic of the web page will affect rankings.

This is also in line with a study conducted by Ahrefs, which concluded that there is a correlation between anchor text and SERP ranking position.

5. Relevance

As previously explained, backlinks are a kind of guarantee that your content is quality. However, there are certain backlink criteria that can help your SEO effectively. The criterion is relevance. That the relevance between the linking website and the linked website has a hand.

To explain why this is so, let’s consider the following analogy.

Suppose you are looking for catering services for your wedding. Then, two of your friends recommend two different service providers. Both are your best friends. However, one of your friends is a gardener, while the other is a cook. Of the two recommendations in your friend, which one will you choose? Surely not from your friend who is a gardener, right?

The same logic applies to search engines. If your business is linked by a culinary blog, then it will certainly be more valuable than being linked by a botanical blog.

6. Traffic

The results of the Ahrefs study found that there is a positive correlation between SERP rankings and the amount of organic traffic from referring pages. This means that links from pages with high organic traffic are more valuable than links from pages with low organic traffic.

Off-page factors that are not related to backlinks

1. Brand mentions

Brand mention on other websites is very valuable for your SEO efforts either with or without links.

Of course, it is quite clear how brand mentions with links can provide SEO benefits. But what about brand mentions without links?

Google indirectly mentions brand mention without a link in one of its patents. That they have a certain system to calculate express links (mentions with links) and implied links (mentions without links). This is a signal that mentions without links are still a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

The only difference is, express links can be clicked so that they can generate referral traffic.

So, if brand mention is one of the off-page factors, how do you optimize it? There are many ways you can do to get brand mentions. Here are some of them:

  • Writing guest posts
  • Be a guest on a podcast
  • Blogger outreach
  • Go viral

You can also use tools like Google Alerts to track mentions of your brand and your competitors.

2. Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free business profile from Google. It is this profile that will rank in Google search results “snack pack” which appears at the top of local search results.

GMB is one of the determining factors of your off-page SEO. However, just claiming GMB is not enough. If you want to rank on local queries, it is also necessary to optimize your GMB profile to match those local queries.

3. Reviews

A study from Moz found that reviews are the third most important factor in ranking in Google snack pack search results, and the fifth most important factor in ranking regular organic search results.

In short, the more positive reviews on your GMB profile or other sites, the more likely you are to appear at the top of search results. Negative reviews will have the opposite effect.


Off-page SEO seems more difficult to do when compared to on-page SEO because many factors are beyond your control. However, the difficulty of off-page SEO should be a signal that the off-page component is a fundamental ranking factor.

Therefore, ignoring off-page SEO on the pretext of difficulty is a fatal mistake. An SEO effort will be more likely to succeed if the on-page and off-page weights are balanced.