Off-Page SEO Checklist – Tips for External Search Engine Optimization

Off-page Search Engine Optimization is the second significant SEO section.

In contrast to on-page search engine optimization, which included a lot of points, off-page SEO is just about one thing. And these are backlinks.

But there is a lot to keep in mind, and that’s why this checklist gets a bit more extensive.

Off-page optimization. Uh what?

In SEO, the optimization of a page is roughly divided into two categories: on-page and off-page. On-page is everything I can do on my page myself, from keywords to meta descriptions to loading times. Off-page SEO is everything that does not happen directly on my page but has an impact on it. This is one thing above all: links.

Links are super important, and that’s why I would like to give you an overview of the different links, why links are worth different amounts, how you can take link building yourself and what you should pay attention to. Because if you don’t have useful links or the links don’t point to the right pages, even the best keyword optimization will not help you, and your blog will hardly land on Google in the first place.

What are the different links?

Links are classified according to which pages they come from. Google also recognizes which pages your links come from, and it is therefore essential that the link profile is mixed, which means that you get links from different sources.

Links from forums

You probably all know forums. One or the other has undoubtedly written something in a forum or read something there. Forum links show Google that a site has a high standing and is recommended in the “general population”.

Links from question

pages Question pages are pages like a good question, ask mom or similar. Similar to the forums, these pages also show that a page is known and recommended.

Links from other blogs

Other blogs on the same topic are great for your link profile. This shows Google that you have good content that other bloggers also value.

Links from large portals

Large portals are websites with high traffic and a lot of content. This includes, for example, the Huffington Post. A recommendation (link) from such a portal is great since it shows Google that your site is trusted.

Why is a link not a link? How do I recognize its value?

The fact that links have different values ​​is due to various factors. I am now writing from an SEO perspective, which means that a link is worth a lot and is well rated by Google. This does not mean that you will get many new visitors or become better known through this link. The two are not mutually exclusive, but in no way go hand in hand.

A link from a strong page is worth more

One factor in how much a link is worth is the page on which the link is placed. The rule of thumb is that the more links this page has, the more a link from this page is worth. The larger the page, the more a link is worth. So-called dofollow links are always much more valuable than a nofollow link ( nofollow is a marker that tells Google that this link should not be rated, so this link does not bring you much). 

A link from a thematically relevant article is worth more

If I have a page on turtles and get a link from Urbia from an article on diapers, this link is worth less than a link from a large portal on the subject of pets I get a link from an article about turtles. Why? Links are recommendations. Google uses these recommendations to assess what the linked article is about. It is, of course, best now if this recommendation Google immediately points out the right keyword. That doesn’t mean the other link isn’t worth anything, but it’s worthless.

Links that I can put myself are worthless

Determining the value of a link is always a bit of a personal assessment. If you consider the three factors mentioned above, you can at least rank many links. You can’t determine the real value of a link, but you can at least see which link takes you further and which one you can do without. By the way, very large portals take up to € 2,000 for a link from an article, so they value their link very valuable, and some people buy such

Take the link building into your own hands. Link … what ??

Link building is when you make sure that your page gets more links. You can do this, for example, if you comment on another blog and enter your website. Link building is particularly important at the beginning since you get little traffic without links, little traffic means that few people know and link to you, which in turn ensures that you don’t get any new links. A vicious circle. You can breakthrough by placing a few good links yourself.

1. Comments on other blogs

In the beginning, comments are good for getting known and for providing your website with a few simple links. But you should be careful because, as explained above, Google recognizes that you write comments yourself, and if you only have links from comments, this will not help your page in the long run. So, a few, yes, but don’t overdo it.

To recognize when you are exaggerating, you should regularly look at your link profile (for example in the Google Webmaster Tools). If the comments make up more than 50% of the links there, you’d better take a break first. Or comment without leaving a link.

2. Guest articles

Guest articles are great for getting links and networking at the same time. If you’re small, write blogs that are just as small. In return, offer a guest article to you! And don’t be demotivated if no one answers. Link building is sometimes cleaning the door and writing to 20 people and not getting a single response.

Always think: at some point, I’ll be big and then you want something from me, and then I’ll ignore you as you do me now!  (Please don’t take it very seriously and keep in mind that the big blogs sometimes get a lot of inquiries …)

3. forums

To make your link profile look as natural as possible, you are now only missing a few forum links. They are not so easy to get, but with a little patience and diligence, it works. I build up good profiles in various forums and try to help the users there. And sometimes you are lucky and can naturally refer to your page in a post.

If this is too tiring for you, you can also simply present your page in various forums. You don’t need to build a great profile and get a nice link quickly and easily. Be prepared, however, that you may not only get positive feedback for your site. There are a lot of SEO pros and affiliate marketing people on these forums, and there is often jealousy and resentment instead of a sense of community.

4. Link building for pros

And if you are bored and want to catapult your blog on Google to number 1, then build your own PBN 

Oh hurt, what’s that again ??

PBN stands for “Private Blog Network” or “Private Blog Network”, which are pages that you register and from which you then link to your page. The goal is to get the strongest possible pages and hide the blog network in such a way that you don’t notice that they’re all your pages.

Yes, it’s a very unfair technique, and Google doesn’t like it. Yes, that does an incredible amount of work and costs a lot of money (just hosting for the pages, not to mention the purchase price). I cannot recommend it. Nevertheless, I would like to point out here to perhaps make it a bit easier to understand why there are terrible pages, and that still rank well.

The secret is usually a huge blog network. However, I would also like to point out that this method does not ensure long-term success and that it will probably be more worthwhile in the long term to write guest articles 

5. The link target should also be considered

As the last point, there is one more thing to consider: Which page do I link to and how do I formulate the link text. Most of the links that you get, of course, go to the homepage and some to subpages.

If I want to rank with a special article, my page must have a lot of good links, but it also helps immensely if a few links point to the special article. A small part of these links should also be called the keyword for which I want to rank (so if I want to rank for turtle, I should link my article a few times with “turtle”), these are links that rank well Drive up.

Still, you have to be very careful here because there are too many such keyword links be punished by Google – and then I achieve exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

Off page SEO checklist

Off page search engine optimization is mostly about building backlinks.

Links from other websites to their own are still a very, very important ranking criterion for Google.

But in the past, a lot has been manipulated, and Google now looks very carefully. That’s why there are a lot of things to keep in mind.

In addition to the simple backlink structure, there are, of course, a few other off-page seo measures that support search engine optimization directly or indirectly.


  • Before you actively link building operates, you should first stand the analysis. How many backlinks does my site havewhere does it come from, and what is the quality of the links?
  • This can be done by hand, or you can use a professional tool such as Semrush.
  • Based on the analysis, you can then decide which direct or indirect link building measures are necessary.


One should have the backlink structure in mind at the beginning and during link building. To a natural backlink structure later more.


  • Before I come to the measures for backlinks, I would like to address the subject of content, that is content.
  • Excellent and attractive content is, in my experience, the best prerequisite for link building.
  • Especially blogs, it is therefore quite easy to collect many backlinks.
  • Other website types, such as company websites or affiliate sites, have a harder time.


Wherever possible, you should publish great content that the readers themselves recommend and link to.


As already mentioned, backlinks are the most important off-page SEO factor. Here are some essential tips:

  • The anchor text of the backlinks should vary and not always contain the same. However, it is important to ensure that the important keywords appear again and again in the anchor texts. This can be achieved by including the keywords in the title and the headline of the page in question. Because many bloggers, etc. link with the page title or the headline as anchor text. (by the way, most social websites do that too)
  • Backlinks with the domain as anchor text are not bad either. But you should ideally have the most important keywords in the domain.
  • It should be collected in addition to backlinks to your own homepage and deep links. So links to individual subpages/articles.
  • You have to market your own articles on social websites and coactively. Only this way will many others become aware and link the articles.
  • It should be easy to link articles. This means, for example, the incorporation of social media buttons.


If you pay attention to a few things, then you can quickly provide good backlinks. If, for example, a relevant page sets a backlink without a keyword in the anchor text, then you can ask helpful questions as to whether this can be changed.

Natural backlink build

Google automatically checks the backlink structure of websites. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a logical structure, especially with active backlink construction. The link building should be as natural as possible and, above all, look like that. In other words, do not collect too many links at once in the Off Page optimization, paying attention to a healthy mix of links from particularly “good” sites (such as from a university) and smaller, less-known sites. 

  • The temporal factor also plays a role. The backlinks should gradually emerge. Please do not sit down once a month and generate 50 backlinks in one day. That also stands out.
  • Overall, follow-up links will certainly add more than nofollow links. However, Google becomes skeptical if there are only follow-up links. Nofollow are part of a healthy backlink structure.


If you are actively building links, you should pay attention to these things. Google recognizes quite well if one ignores these recommendations and operates an unnatural Backlinkaufbau.

Backlink sources

  • There are a very large number of backlink sources. The more different sources you use, the more natural it looks.
  • But everyone has to decide for themselves which sources he uses.
  • But again, very good and / or attractive content is helpful. Because this usually gives you backlinks from different sources. Link baits, for example, also play an essential role in this context.


Especially for new blogs and websites, you should use the possibilities of free backlinks from different sources. This speeds up the entry into the Google ranking.

Direct and indirect backlink generation

  • The direct backlink generation is especially necessary where hardly anyone links themselves. This is often the case in the affiliate area.
  • Indirect backlink generation is my primary way of building backlinks. By writing high quality and useful articles, I almost alone care for many backlinks. While you have less control over the backlinks, but a natural structure results in itself.
  • But even bloggers can and should start using active link building methods.


I do not care so much about active link building. I prefer the indirect way. However, it depends on your situation, which method works better or is possible.

Link buying/link exchange

  • Link exchange is also quite popular. The problem with this is that too often simply links to each other. Google notes this and invalidates such links in the ranking calculation.
  • Also, one should not exaggerate the link exchange, as well as the link purchase, and use only as a measure among many.


As complementary measures, these methods can be helpful. But you should not just bet on it.

Ranking optimization

  • Often it is worth optimizing certain articles or specific keywords.
  • Otherwise, I put a lot on the Longtail. These are search terms that are rarely searched, but there are many of these long-tail keywords. It’s much easier to get upfront because these keywords are not so competitive. And in sum, they bring a lot of traffic.
  • Its key rankings should be kept in mind with SEO tools like Semrush.


For blogs, the optimization of individual rankings is rather less significant. At affiliate sites, etc. but this can make the difference.

Social web

  • The newest toy of SEOs is the Social Web. But this is more about commitment and not about the simple setting of backlinks.
  • I use Twitter quite intensively. In addition to exciting and useful tweets of other users, which I retweeted, I make my followers from time to time aware of new own articles. This works very well. I guess 70% I retweeted other tweets, and 30% tweeted my own articles.
  • It’s even more about communication on Facebook and Instagram. Again, you should show commitment, and 90% of his time recommend other interesting links and content and communicate with others. 10% of the time, you can then push your own articles.
  • But you should not use the social web to distribute your own content exclusively. This will not work.


The Social Web offers some potential for off-page search engine optimization. However, one should really participate here and not try only “offload” its own content.


  • Networking with other bloggers and website operators is also very important. It’s not about begging for backlinks in the first conversation. Instead, you should build contacts and so make a name in the scene.
  • Giving is more important than taking. Also, link to other bloggers and push their content without immediately asking for a similar favor back. Anyone who gives of himself without ulterior motives, who will later get back unasked again.
  • Comments in other blogs without having to include a URL can also build contacts.


Contacts are very important on the web. Who knows others and maintains good contacts, for that will pay off, for example, through backlinks again and again.

The most important thing at the end: Stop being stingy with links!

Do you want links from others yourself? Ok, then you too should be more generous with your links! A link from you to another site won’t hurt you, won’t harm you (unless you link to a spammy porn site) and won’t cost you anything. Then why do bloggers sometimes hoard their links like a treasure of gold? And stop links to “nofollow” (unless it’s an advertising link)! That does nothing for the other and neither for you.

And if you are afraid that the other will rank better than you through a link, then be aware of how rarely you use the same keyword, how big the internet is and that we can all find our place there. Together! In 90% of the search queries, the big pagess rank in the first 3 places, why shouldn’t a small (or large) blogger rank up there and get a piece of the cake instead? And the more links you give, the more you will get!

Conclusion Off-page SEO

On the one hand, it’s almost all about backlinks, and there are certainly a lot of methods to actively build them.

On the other hand, at least in my blog, I prefer the passive method and provide good content for backlinks.

But of course, there are cases where you have to help manually to rank well, and then you should definitely follow the tips given above.

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