Earlier this month, Google started rolling out its March 2024 core update, which follows the helpful content update from September 2023—the difference is that this update is set to make an even bigger impact on search engines! 

As a result of the update, Google promises to reduce unhelpful content in the search engine by 40%. This includes webpages with a poor user experience or those that feel like they were created for search engines instead of people, as well as ‘spammy auto-generated content’ like artificial intelligence written content. 

At Wild PR, we think the latest Google update is a positive step toward decluttering the SERPs and creating space for websites that adhere to best practices. This update also highlights the importance of diversifying backlink profiles. As Google considers links to be important ranking factors, having a variety of relevant links pointing to your page signals relevance and authority. By prioritising link diversification, you align with this ranking signal and strengthen your website’s position in search results.

As an SEO-focused PR agency, we understand the importance of broadening reach through backlink diversification. This strategy aligns with Google’s ranking signals, enhances website visibility, and protects against algorithm changes. Let’s delve into what backlink diversification means, how we approach it, and why it should be a consideration for brands looking to optimise their online presence. 

What is backlink diversification? 

Diversifying your backlink profile involves obtaining links to your website from various sources. These sources could include national news outlets, regional and local newspapers, industry-specific publications, lifestyle magazines, niche blogs, podcasts, government websites, and more.

It’s important to ensure that the approach to diversifying backlinks is strategic and aligned with project objectives. For instance, if you’re running a PR campaign with a lifestyle theme, pitching the story to government press teams wouldn’t be effective. However, if your PR campaign identifies a positive locational angle, government press teams might be interested in your story! This is where the expertise of PRs comes into play. We develop highly-targeted media lists to ensure that we’re reaching out to the right outlets that resonate with the specific angle of a campaign (the more angles, the merrier, as this is where we can diversify!). This targeted approach maximises the effectiveness of a backlink strategy and enhances a website’s authority in relevant domains. 

Why diversifying your backlink profile is important 

Authenticity: Diversifying backlink profiles demonstrates authenticity to search engines. Diverse links from varied reputable sources signal to search engines that a website is credible and worthy of ranking higher in search results.

Credibility: Building links from different types of sources enhances a website’s credibility. When referenced in various (relevant) sources, sites establish trustworthiness and authority within relevant industries or niches.

More varied traffic mix: Diversifying backlink profiles leads to a more varied mix of traffic sources. This means a website isn’t solely reliant on one type of traffic, such as direct or organic. Instead, a brand’s website will receive traffic from a range of referral sources, encouraging stability in traffic channels.

Increased visibility in the SERPs: A diverse backlink profile can improve rankings in the SERPs. Search engines favour websites with diverse and high-quality backlinks, which are perceived as more relevant and authoritative. This increased visibility can translate into more organic traffic and better overall online presence.

Protection against algorithm changes: Diversifying a backlink profile also protects against sudden algorithm changes. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving (such as the March 2024 core update, for example), and what may work well today could be penalised tomorrow. By having a diverse range of backlinks, your website is less susceptible to fluctuations in search engine rankings caused by algorithm updates.

How to diversify your backlink profile 

When conducting outreach for a PR campaign or press release, it’s essential to consider various angles and key takeaways of the campaign findings. Take the time to identify publications and websites that would find value in the content. This could include national and regional news sites, lifestyle titles, industry-specific publications, government websites, broadcast channels, educational institutions, podcasts, and more. The aim is to target outlets that align with a brand’s PR goals and objectives.

As part of the PR process, creating a bespoke media list with targeted publications and journalists is important. This allows for a more strategic approach to backlink diversification. By selecting the best publications and journalists likely to cover the story, you can ensure that your backlinks come from a diverse range of authoritative sources.

Do you always need to diversify a company’s backlink profile?

Diversifying backlink profiles is particularly beneficial if your primary goal is to enhance your site’s SEO, boost visibility, and drive more traffic to your website. In this instance, engaging with digital PR tactics can effectively achieve these objectives. By securing backlinks from various reputable publications, you can improve your site’s authority and relevance in the eyes of the SERPs, ultimately leading to better rankings and increased organic traffic.

However, if the aim is primarily to increase brand awareness and share of voice, the need for backlink diversification may vary. For example, when launching a product or shouting about a business announcement, traditional PR tactics may be more suitable. While the scope for diversifying backlinks might narrow in these scenarios, securing coverage in targeted and relevant channels, even if it results in fewer links and brand mentions, will align with securing brand awareness among targeted audiences. If both website visibility and brand awareness are important objectives, then an integrated approach may be beneficial.  

While diversifying your backlink profile is often recommended for SEO purposes, the necessity may vary depending on your specific goals and objectives. It’s important to adapt approaches to align with overarching business objectives and target audiences.

Backlink diversification example 

Here’s an example of how we’ve diversified backlinks for a manufacturing client:

To highlight Heald’s Christmas market protection offerings and support overarching business objectives and elevate Heald’s online visibility, we created a data-driven PR campaign to reveal the top 10 Christmas markets in Europe

To ensure we could achieve backlink diversification, we created three different versions of the press release: one targeting national titles, another for regionals, and a third for security-focused outlets. By tailoring our releases to different media demographics, we aimed to provide niche content that resonates more effectively with different audiences. For instance, in the security-focused version, we delved deeper into security topics and offered practical tips for event organisers.

The campaign secured national, regional, and security-focused press coverage, including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sport, Yahoo! Life, Manchester World, Proper Manchester, I Love Manchester, Scottish Daily Express, and CT Insight.  

In addition to creating bespoke press releases for different media outlets when we undergo a PR campaign, we also strategically engage in thought leadership-led PR, reactive PR, and traditional PR approaches as part of our comprehensive strategy for Heald. This multifaceted approach not only contributes to diversifying backlinks but also solidifies Heald’s position as an industry authority and enhances brand credibility. 

To learn more about our work and how we can support your PR efforts, contact us or book a no-strings-attached 30-minute introductory call with managing director Katrina Cliffe

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