SEO backlinks - What are the importance of backlinks in SEO?
A backlink is a hyperlink present on another website that will take you back to your website. A backlink is a citation form where someone is talking about any topic related to you, your product, or service, and they wish to refer to your website.
Suppose you are running your own business or are new to search engine optimization and trying to increase traffic on your domain. In that case, you might not be familiar with what backlinks are and why it is so important for you to build links and make search engine optimization efforts.
- What is SEO?
- What are backlinks?
- How Do Backlinks Work?
- Role of backlinks in your strategy
- Types of backlinks
- Why are backlinks important?
- How to Get Backlinks?
- Why are backlinks important?
- Tips for establishing relevant SEO backlinks
- How to earn backlinks?
What is SEO?
SEO or "Search Engine Optimization" is the process of setting up your website in such a way that makes it easy to find on Google.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting targeted traffic to a website from a search engine's organic rankings. This can be done by creating high-quality original content, optimizing that content around desired keywords, and building backlinks.
By SEO, you improve the site's rankings in the non-paid section of the search results. You try to work very well so that Google knows what your website is all about, and it knows that your website is a high content resource in your industry.
What are backlinks?
Some connecting tools link from a page on one website to another website, popularly known as backlinks. Backlinks are links which take website visitors from one website to another linked website. Backlinks are used by search engines such as Google as a ranking signal because when two websites are interlinked using backlinks, it means that the content is worth mentioning. Backlinks are like votes to your trusted sources.
There are internal links between two pages within your website, but backlinks are the links from third-party sources pointing to your website. Ranking, position and visibility of websites on google or other search engine results are increased when you use high-quality backlinks. Backlinks are also popularly known as "one-way links," "inward links," "incoming links," or "inbound links."
Backlinks are an important part of search engine optimization. Webpages having a high number of backlinks will have a high organic search engine ranking. They are one of several metrics which Google uses to evaluate the value of a page.
How Do Backlinks Work?
Backlinks play a very important role in the overall growth strategy of your website and search engine optimization algorithm. The easiest way to explain how backlinks work is to have a cross-site conversation. For example, a blogger named Julie writes a very interesting article about a fashion show.
Another blogger, Samantha, links to Julie's article when she shares her perspective. Since Samantha writes about this fashion show on her well-known online fashion magazine site, this creates a backlink to Julie's post. Because this online fashion magazine is very popular, many other websites will link back to that article.
So naturally, this will increase the online fashion magazine's popularity, and Julie's article will also get a valuable backlink from a renowned site. It's a win-win situation for both of them.
Role of backlinks in your strategy
You need to pay attention to backlinks to grow your website's traffic from Google because backlinks are one of the most important SEO ranking factors. As confirmed by Google in 2016, the two most important signals are used to rank websites: content and backlinks. In 2016 Google confirmed, the two most important indicators for ranking websites are content and backlinks.
Google views backlinks as votes of popularity for a particular domain or website, or web page. As a result, there is a strong correlation between web pages with higher rankings and a higher number of links pointing towards them.
If you are working on SEO success for your website, you must pay attention to related links, as search engines like Google and others use them as a gateway to understanding the authority of a page. Treat them as the website's online reputation, with a link from Website X to Website Y being taken as a vote that it is a trustworthy source. For example, if ten people who are not related to each other all recommended a particular hotel in your city, you would likely trust that you would be able to get a good stay there, as multiple individuals would all be voting for it.
Any link from one website to another is a backlink, but not all links are considered equal. Like you trust a recommendation from someone who you think is reliable over someone you have never met before and don't have much information about it. Similarly, Google relies on backlinks from trusted and authoritative domains through unknown or less trusted domains.
One of Google's algorithms that evaluates the quality and quantity of backlinks is PageRank. Trust comes in the form of this PageRank. PageRank is the number of backlinks pointing to a page to determine a relative score of that page's importance and authority.
Types of backlinks
It is already mentioned that the backlinks aren't all the same, and below are the different types of backlinks that you should know and understand.
A Nofollow tag instructs search engines to ignore a link. Nofollow links are based on the rel = "no follow" attribute, which tells Google and other search engines not to pass credibility or PageRank. As a result, the nofollow backlink looks like an unfollowed link.
Nofollow links don't pass any PageRank from one site to another. So, they will not help you in improving your search rank or web visibility.
Everyone wants a Dofollow type of backlinks. Dofollow links are those that convey trust or PageRank, so the Nofollow attribute is not added.
Those backlinks which are coming from well renowned reputed sites hold the bigger value. These types of backlinks can help to improve your search engine rankings. For example, a Dofollow backlink looks like this is a followed link.
Toxic or unnatural links
Some Dofollow links are considered bad or 'toxic.' These links come from low-quality or suspicious websites which violate Google's webmaster guidelines and exist just to try and manipulate search engine rankings. These wrong links can harm your website's ranking on Google and can negatively impact your current ranking. Often Bad' links are known as toxic or unnatural links.
Because of this, Google can punish or even de-index your site. It's not the number of backlinks but rather the quality on which your ranking depends. By using the Backlink Audit tool, one can identify potentially toxic or unnatural links.
Sponsored or paid links
At times, you have to pay a blogger or influencer to advertise some of your content or to post a review on one of your products or services. Then you can exchange money, goods, or services for a link; notify Google that the attribute rel=" sponsored" should be mentioned. Adding this attribute stops your site from being negatively impacted.
High authority links
High authority backlinks are those links that you get from trusted sources, e.g., from a renowned newspaper or a well-established trusted website.
Editorially placed or earned links
Google passes the greatest authority through those which are confirmed or editorially placed by the website's owner. An earned link or editorially placed link is where a journalist or website owner has decided to link to another website as it deserves to be sent traffic and authority. The reason is not to manipulate search engine algorithms but to enhance a reader's experience.
Why are backlinks important?
It Will help you rank higher
If you do not have a good backlink to your page, you will miss one of the important ranking factors. Backlinks help to showcase that you are one of the most trusted authorities in your industry and, hence, deserve to rank on the top for key search terms.
They are the way to find new pages
To find new pages on the web, Google's spiders or Google bots use links. By using backlinks, content can be discovered, crawled, and indexed. Backlinks are one of the ways by which Google navigates the web. A link from a reliable source means it will help your content to be indexed by Google faster.
Boost trustworthiness and credibility
From an SEO perspective, few links from reliable and well-known sources will help you to rank higher. However, these backlinks can also help you build credibility and trust in your business. For example, if you are a tech startup, then there is a good chance not too many people know about your business.
You can get a credibility boost if you get little press coverage and backlinks from the tech industry. This will help drive traffic to your website. Even if you sideline the SEO value, having editors and journalists at key publications in your sector who choose to backlink you will go a long way to show people are talking about your business.
Send referral traffic to your page
When the website is launched for the first time, links are just navigational. Although backlinks are used as a ranking factor by Google, great links divert extremely valuable traffic to your page.
For example, relevant press coverage will attract interested readers to your site. This will, in turn, introduce your brand in front of new audiences who could turn into potential customers. You can add these visitors to a remarketing list, which you need to target across paid media channels to make your referral traffic work that little bit harder.
How to Get Backlinks?
It takes time and effort to build backlinks to your site. In reality, there are many different strategies and ways to do this; some of them have a higher success rate and help you build better quality links. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that is not true that you always need to pay an external agency that will help you build backlinks.
There are many ways by which you can easily start earning great links by yourself. Backlink tools can help you find such great links so that you can use these web pages as part of your link-building strategy. Remember, earn your links, don't buy them.
Here is a look at some popular ways by which you can start building quality backlinks for your website.
- Put backlinks on your social media profiles that divert visitors to your website.
- Try to improve and expand after doing a Google search for a well-ranked post.
- Create posts like "why," "how-to," or video posts. Compared with standard posts, these formats tend to generate more backlinks.
- Write the ultimate guide posts covering every angle of the topic and containing several thousand words.
- Write some guest posts on other blogs and websites.
- Try to contact influencers in your industry and tell them about articles on your site that they may want to link to.
- Interview influencers in your field and send them links, and they will link back to your website.
- You can also start doing competitive backlink research where you have to see the backlinks of your well-ranked competitors.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are considered a "vote of confidence" from one website to another website hence they are essential for SEO. In addition, backlinks help people to find other sources of information on the same or related topics.
Earlier, indicators of a page's popularity were the number of backlinks. Today, backlinks are evaluated based on different ranking factors. Thus, it is focused less on quantity and more on the quality of sites from which the backlinks are coming.
Backlinks on your website are an indicator for search engines that other websites are verifying and trusting on your content. Every backlink present on a website indicates to search engines that "This content is credible, valuable and useful." Therefore, getting backlinks from another website can have a positive impact on your website’s ranking or search visibility.
Tips for establishing relevant SEO backlinks
- To increase your daily website traffic, some easy and effective recommendations will help you.
- Keep your links relevant. The relevancy of links depends on the below points:
- The connecting websites general content topic
- The main content of the page with the link
- The backlinks appropriateness which will hit the domain
- You must check the relevancy of backlinks. It's important to earn some great backlinks that match your website.
- Be friendly with authority websites
- Together with the help of authority websites, your website will also get stronger.
Concentrate on real traffic websites
Your foundation can be strong enough with backlinks from real websites. They are difficult to find but are useful.
Carefully spread your anchor text
If your anchor text is aggressive and you present it the wrong way, your website will be losing its ranking, and you may be penalized. Therefore, you should precisely select strong anchors for your website, properly analyze them with the help of a free backlink checking tool. This will help you in figuring out how to further improve your link-building strategy.
Get backlinks from high-standard websites
Don't select any spam websites which have objectionable or non-valuable content. Such websites have a lot of spam backlinks which can be penalized by Google.
How to earn backlinks?
Earning great backlinks is an essential component of SEO. This process of getting links for your website from another website is known as link building or link earning. Backlinks can be earned by following ways
Natural links can be gained without any action from the website owner. These links can be obtained by creating consistent, high-quality content.
These can be acquired from link-earning activities. One can opt for guest blogging on a relevant website to gain a manual link. Make sure to backlink your website within that blog content.
Website owners create these by adding your link into their forum, blog comment, or online directory. While self-created links are the easiest way to gain links, they may tend toward "black hat SEO," strategies that can negatively impact your search engine reputation. Therefore, these links are labeled with "no follow" tags.
The practice of using backlinks in search engine results is not new. These backlinks are the basic stone foundation of Google's original algorithm called "PageRank." Even after so many changes in the Google algorithm, backlinks remain a key ranking factor.
Backlink building isn't rocket science, but you need to work on a proper link-building strategy to improve your search visibility. If you want to rank higher on Google, backlinks are a key ranking factor that you can't ignore. However, backlink building is an expansive field of SEO in its way, and you will find many specialists who focus only on backlink earning.
By building great backlinks, you can see an increase in your search engine rankings. You must keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and work hard on fresh opportunities as quickly as possible.
As we know, all backlinks are not created equal. However, based on their relevance, placement, and other attributes, backlinks' quality and utility are established. So try to get unique and authoritative links for a higher ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and improve your SEO.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.