What Are Backlinks?
A backlink is a link from any website to a specific website. Now what it provides is value to that specified website by reference. It is also known as a citation, inbound link, or incoming link. To put it simply, wherever a backlink exists, it is a vote from any website to a specific website. These votes tell that the content is valuable and useful. Moreover, a backlink is a factor that search engines like Google test to determine sites ranking at SERP. Google values the backlink more if it is related to your site.
Difference between a Link and a Backlink
As you have seen, the content on the web is interconnected via links. Links hold the documents together like glue. These are of two types. The first one is internal links. These are the links that connect web pages on the same domain. Internal linking helps people navigate between the web pages of a website. The second one is external links. These are the links that connect web pages to other domains. Moreover, it provides a wider context and authenticity to a user's query.
Thus, a link has a direction that provides extra value to the reader. But any link that is incoming to any specified page is called a backlink. Backlinks state valuable content in that URL.
How do backlinks work?
Backlinks can be seen as a way of conversations among different websites. For example, blogger Sam shares his perspective describing any popular place. Then another blogger, John, writes an article on the best 10 places to visit. Now if John creates a backlink to Sam's post, will increase the reputation of Sam's website.
It’s a win-win.
Do I have to pay for backlinks?
No! You should not. If anyone is trying to charge you for links, it would never be worth the money. Instead, you can gain backlinks by creating engaging and detailed content. Then, reach out to people via email in your industry. High-quality links can only earn through content and relationships. Paid links will never help you to boost your rankings on Google result pages. But if someone is reaching you promising paid links, send that email straight to spam.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are significant to SEO. They play a huge role in determining search engine result page rankings. For instance, you have recently created a website. How can you expect it to be discoverable on Google? You can not either.
There could be a link that points to your website. That link will help in making your site discoverable. Search engine spiders only then can crawl and index your site. This is the main reason why backlinks matter a lot. In fact, earning trusted links is necessary to rank websites. It is crucial for both search engine rankings and users alike. Search engines determine your site's relevancy using the quality backlinks you have. Thus, if many sites link to the same web page, it increases the chance of ranking higher at SERP.
Backlinks are the sources that help in finding more on the related topics. For example, if the reader is searching for the best smartphones launched in the recent year. He might find a link useful that carries the latest smartphones with discount offers. Thus, backlinks provide a solid user experience with SEO support.
How do backlinks help SEO?
● Back linking helps in improving organic ranking. The content that gets links from other sites naturally begins to rank higher.
● Backlinks contribute to faster indexing. Using backlinks, crawlers find new web pages from existing web pages. It becomes possible for them to discover your site and business. Without backlinks, if the site isn't discoverable, it can never perform well at SEO.
● It increases referral traffic. Backlinks provide extra information about the related topic to the user. So backlinks tend to have more clicks on the anchor text. These clicks are targeted and lower your site's bounce rate. This helps in increasing referral traffic and then SEO.
How will backlinks work in the future?
In the future, Bing will reduce the effect of backlinks in its ranking algorithm. But Whether Google will change the backlinks algorithm or not is still a question. But, it may be assumed that the change will happen in Google at some point. In my view, backlinks will remain a powerful ranking factor in the future. This doesn't mean the algorithm won't go through any changes. But, it may happen that their effect will get lower.
Google uses many other factors to rank its content. What time can change here is the weight for each of the factors. Beyond doubt, the priorities of some factors can be modified by Google’s algorithm for every query. Google’s algorithm tries to provide the best results. Knowing such changes will give you a competitive edge over others. In my opinion, Google can give more weight to user signals as a ranking factor. User signals include:
● How much time a consumer has spent on a Site,
● The bounce rate of a website,
● Click-through rates (CTR)
● Then user engagement,
● In-depth or differentiated content,
● Page loading Speed, or
● Combination of all these metrics.
What Types of Backlinks are Valuable?
All backlinks are not equal. Only quality backlinks are valued to determine result page rankings. In fact, a single quality backlink is more powerful than 100s of low-quality backlinks.
1. Backlinks should come from trusted Websites.
You may have heard of a concept known as domain authority. It is a factor created by MOZ to check how much a website is trusted. The more domain authority a site has, the more powerful its backlinks are. That means an authoritative website passes more authority to your site also. (via backlink)
But is it that easy to get a backlink from high-authority sites? The answer is No. But if you succeed in receiving a backlink, you will notice a boost in your site's traffic. Google gives a lot of weightages on a number identified as a website's authority.
So are these links worth the time and effort? Absolutely yes.
2. Links anchor text should include your target keyword.
Anchor text is the descriptive content that appears as a link. What the need is to include the target keyword in the anchor text. Only then a backlink is considered as a value to SEO.
But this does not mean to be extreme with keyword-rich text everywhere. Indeed, Google's Penguin algorithm filters backlinks with exact match anchor text. Google Penguins find out easily about websites that use black hat linking strategies.
3. The targeted website should be topically related to your site.
When you get a backlink from another website, the link is valued only when the two sites are related. Google wants to see external linking between the websites in the same niche. Obviously, it would make sense too if you think about it. The websites of the same niche should only be connected via links. Imagine you have written an article on the importance of yoga. In that case, valuable backlinks are those from sites about fitness, running, health, and so on.
4. The Link Is a Do-follow Link
Search engines do not value the links that have no-follow tags with them. Google crawlers tend to ignore links with the no-follow tag attached to the code. So it is crucial to include the majority of do-follow links on your website. In point of view, most backlinks on the internet are do-follow links. They are only counted for search engine ranking algorithms. For example, some sources tend to give no-follow links. They are:
● Press releases,
● Blog comments,
● Paid advertisements
These source links aren’t that much help in getting higher rankings at Google. That's why there's no doubt that they’re no-follow. For knowing in detail about what are do-follow and no-follow links, read the types of backlinks you need for SEO.
5. The link is from a unique domain.
Imagine a website X that has given you a link. But what if it will link you again. And again. And again. Google spiders will consider that you may have some memorandum of understanding. Thus, will not give that much value to the 2nd and 3rd links as compared to the 1st one. More links from the same website have diminishing returns. Google values a backlink from a site that hasn't been linked before.
No doubt, the number of unique sites linking to you relates with Google rankings more than any other factor. Now, it's time to learn how to start building quality links.
How to Get Backlinks?
Link-building is a lengthy process. It isn't an action that can be achieved immediately. Rather, building backlinks takes too much time and effort. Earlier, building a high number of backlinks was a concern. But the updated Penguin algorithm gives priority to only quality links. Now the process of getting backlinks has become a bit more complicated. There are many tricks and techniques to earn backlinks. You can look at our guide to proven ways to get free backlinks to acknowledge more on earning backlinks. Here are some simple ways to build backlinks:
● Add links to your site on different social media profiles. Also, make sure to have a solid internal linking.
● Do competitive backlink analysis for the same niche as yours. And then try to improve your site's backlink profile. Or directly you should replicate the backlinks of competitors.
● Create posts with infographics or with embedded videos. These kinds of formats get more backlinks than text posts.
● Write simple and descriptive guest posts on other websites. These should cover every angle of the topic.
● Outreach influencers through email in your niche. Tell them about the worthiness of articles on your site. They might then give you a backlink.
● Create high-quality content that is worth linking to. It must be a detailed post that covers every angle of the topic. Also, you have to remove the outdated content to increase trust.
● You can write testimonials at different tools or service providers. They are always looking for positive reviews of their product. In return, they might link back to you.
● Mention your link at Question and Answer sites like Quora. You can answer any question of your niche there.
● Find Broken links of websites you want backlinks from. Sending a proper URL of 404 errors can help them a lot.
Since you’re now familiar with links, go ahead and check out our new guide.
SEO is crucial for every business to include in its marketing strategy. With backlinks, you can improve the ranking of your website at Google. This will make your business reach more of the target audience. Because when you earn links from reputable websites, turns out to be a vote of worthiness. Also, the quality backlinks help search engine crawlers to index your webpage. This allows your site to begin nurturing your prospective customers.
I hope you loved reading this post on each and everything about backlinks. I hope you understood well about backlinks in SEO. Last but not least, remember to spy on competitors for updates. Do make sure to see our article on how exactly to use backlinks.
Remember as mentioned here that the need is to link with only relevant sites to improve your chances of ranking higher at Google. It is crucial to appear on the very first page that appears when a user puts a query. Only then they can click on your business site and see information that solves their problem. What more you can insert in your SEO strategy are the best tools for checking backlinks.