By all means, if you’ve read anything about or studied SEO best practices, you’ve come across the term “Backlinks” at least once. And for those of you new to SEO, you may be wondering what Backlinks are too. As well as Why a site backlink is important.
Having said that, in this article, I’ll explain to you what backlinks are, why they are important, and what you can do to help gain them. Of course, Yes! While avoiding getting into trouble with the Search Engine Console (i.e Google).
After all, while we battle daily to create an uptick in our analytics when we’re reviewing our “google / organic” or “google / CPC” traffic, there can be a lot of missed opportunities.
Sometimes it pays to take our blinders off and look at the myriad of other opportunities around us that can create bigger improvements in traffic and/or conversions with less work.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also known as Inbound links (IBL’s). The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website.
Backlinks are also important Feature elements for SEO (for website ranking on page one). Simply, because some top search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. And even consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.
For instance, when search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they consider the number of quality inbound links to that site. So, you should not be satisfied with merely getting inbound links, it is the quality of the inbound link that matters.
In other words, a search engine considers the content of the sites to determine the quality of the links.
Which are the Major Types of Backlinks?
Markedly, there are two major types of backlinks according to their capacity to pass on the link juice. Namely, the do-follow and no-follow backlink types.
However, the novice online marketers (like jmexclusives) and even new webmasters equally are still quite confused on the differences between the two. Therefore, to clear the confusion, it is best to define each of these types of backlinks.
What is a No-Follow Backlink?
A no-follow backlink, on one hand, is basically a link that does not pass on the SEO benefits of the source site to the blog where the link points to.
In short, no-follow links do not have any SEO value at all. And they will not add up to the link profile that search engines use to evaluate when ranking websites. Search engine bots will crawl on this link, but they will not literally follow where it is pointed to.
What is a Do-Follow Backlink?
On the other hand, a do-follow backlink is a link that will pass on the SEO benefits of the website where it is built from the hyperlinked site. In reality, this is the type of backlink that link builders will create for SEO purposes.
Backlinks created at high PR sources will pass on the link juices towards the hyperlinked blog. Thereby, significantly improving its ranking position among the search engines.
So, when doing search engine optimization it is important to concentrate your link building activities on sources that allow you to build do-follow links. For one thing, these links will remarkably enhance your link profile. And therefore, improve your site page rank in search results.
How do Backlinks work?
When inbound links to your site come from other sites, and those sites have content related to your site, these inbound links are considered more relevant to your site. If inbound links are found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant.
The higher the relevance of inbound links, the greater their quality. For example, if a webmaster has a site blog about how to design a website, and received a backlink from another site about website design, then that would be more relevant. Especially, in a search engine’s assessment than say a link from a site about sports.
Therefore, the more a relevant website is while linking back to your site is, the better the quality of the backlink. Bearing in mind, search engines like Google and Bing want websites to have a level playing field. At the same time, while looking for natural links built slowly over time.
Although it’s fairly easy to manipulate links on a web page to try to achieve a higher website ranking, it is a lot harder to influence the search engines. Particularly, with external backlinks from other websites.
Lately, however, the search engine criteria for quality inbound links has gotten even tougher. All thanks to unscrupulous webmasters trying to achieve these inbound links by deceptive or sneaky techniques.
Such as with hidden links, or automatically generated pages whose sole purpose is to provide inbound links to websites (aka link farms).
To enumerate, a link farm is a website that features links from other websites meant to increase a website’s rankings. Although these sites are regularly penalized by Google as these sites tend to produce low-quality content. And may eventually, use Black Hat SEO strategies.
Another reason to achieve quality backlinks is to entice visitors to come to your website. You can’t build a website, and then expect that people will find your website without pointing the way. You will probably have to get the word out there about your site.
One way webmasters got the word out used to be through reciprocal linking. Let’s talk about reciprocal linking for a moment.
Why is Link Exchange important?
In the first place, there is much discussion in these last few months about reciprocal linking. In the last Google update, reciprocal links were one of the targets of the search engine’s latest filter. Many webmasters had agreed upon reciprocal link exchanges. In order to boost their site’s rankings with the sheer number of inbound links.
In a link exchange, one webmaster places a link on his website that points to another webmasters website, and vice versa. Many of these links were simply not relevant and were just discounted. So while the irrelevant inbound link was ignored, the outbound links still got counted. Diluting the relevancy score of many websites.
In the end, this caused a great drop in many websites on Google My Business Map. So, to simply put, we must be careful with our reciprocal link exchange. There is a Google patent in the works that will deal with not only the popularity of the sites being linked to but also how trustworthy a site is that you link to from your own website.
This will mean that you could get into trouble with the search engine just for linking to a bad apple. We could begin preparing for this future change in the search engine algorithm. By being choosier with which we exchange links right now.
Generally, by choosing only relevant sites to link with, and sites that don’t have tons of outbound links on a page. Or even on a site that doesn’t practice black-hat SEO techniques. Increasing our better chance that our reciprocal links won’t be discounted.
How is Multiple Interlinking risky?
Many webmasters have more than one website. Sometimes these websites are related, sometimes they are not. You have to also be careful about interlinking multiple websites on the same IP. If you own seven related websites, then a link to each of those websites on a page could hurt you. As it may look like to a search engine that you are trying to do something fishy.
Many webmasters have tried to manipulate backlinks in this way (backlinks bombing).
One thing is certain: interlinking sites doesn’t help you from a search engine standpoint. The only reason you may want to interlink your sites in the first place might be to provide your visitors with extra resources to visit.
In this case, it would probably be okay to provide visitors with a link to another of your websites. But, try to keep many instances of linking to the same IP address to a bare minimum. One or two links on a page here and there probably won’t hurt you.
What is a Working Strategy for Backlinks?
There are a few things to consider when beginning your backlink building campaign. It is helpful to keep track of your backlinks and to know which sites are linking back to you. As well as how the anchor text of the backlink incorporates keywords relating to your site. A tool to help you keep track of your backlinks is the Domain Stats Tool.
This tool displays the backlinks of a domain in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. It will also tell you a few other details about your website, like your listings in the Open Directory. Or rather, DMOZ from which Google regards backlinks highly important. As well as Alexa traffic rank, and how many pages from your site that have been indexed, to name just a few.
Another tool to help you with your link building campaign is the Backlink Builder Tool. It is not enough just to have a large number of inbound links pointing to your site.
Rather, you need to have a large number of QUALITY inbound links. This tool searches for websites that have a related theme to your website. All in all, which are likely to add your link to their website.
You specify a particular keyword or keyword phrase, and then the tool seeks out related sites for you. This helps to simplify your backlink building efforts. By helping you create quality, relevant backlinks to your site and making the job easier in the process.
How do I increase Backlinks to my Site?
There is one more great way to gain quality backlinks to your site. In addition to related site themes and anchor texts. When a link incorporates a keyword into the text of the hyperlink, we call this quality anchor text. A link’s anchor text may be one of the under-estimated resources a webmaster has.
Instead of using words like “click here” which probably won’t relate in any way to your website, you can use phrases or words like: “Please visit our RSS Feed page for more updates.” It’s a far better way to utilize a hyperlink.
A good tool for helping you find your backlinks and what text is being used to link to your site is the Backlink Anchor Text Analysis Tool. For the anchor text to try something like incorporating relevant keywords. This will also help boost your quality backlinks score.
Finally, building quality backlinks is extremely important to Search Engine Optimization, and because of their importance, it should be very high on your SEO efforts priority list. I hope you have a better understanding of why you need good quality inbound links to your site. And have an equal handle on a few helpful SEO Analysis tools to gain those links.
Believe it or not, gaining inbound links has always been – and still remains – an essential part of any SEO strategy. Not to mention the success of a website.
However, link building is a very challenging part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), no doubt about that. And while many site owners resort to generating spammy links to their site to increase website traffic, this isn’t an effective solution.
As can be seen, there are various easy opportunities to generate inbound links. So, what have you learned about Backlinks and SEO so far? Please share your inputs, questions or even suggestions in the comments box below this blog.