Backlinks are among the most frequently heard terms in search engine optimization. Backlinks are one of Google’s top-ranking factors. Without quality links, your search engine rankings might not improve. As a result, link building is an important component of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Establishing backlinks with renowned and authoritative websites plays an important part in Google’s algorithm. Frequently, quality links can be the decisive factor in whether a website rises or falls in Google’s search results (SERP).
High-Quality Backlinks are an Important Part of Your SEO Strategy
Link building was once so huge that businesses were buying links on all sorts of websites to rank higher in search engines. When companies like Google started down-ranking sites that did it, it seemed as though the SEO value of links was dead…but is it really?
Gaining a higher ranking in search engine results is still the number one way of getting more traffic to your website. As only a tiny percentage of people click through to the second page of search engine results (SERP), if you want to succeed in becoming an authority, the first page in the SERP is where you need to be.
Backlinks are sometimes referred to as inbound links, incoming links, or one-way links. These links are clickable and allow you to jump from one website to another’s page. Google and other big search engines think backlinks heavily influence the quality and quantity of your website. The pages with backlinks are more likely to get good organic search engine rankings as they are packed with more information that provides their web pages and websites with good traffic. In fact, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic you’ll start to generate. Unfortunately, 66% of web pages don’t have backlinks.
What Do We Mean By Links?
A link is simply a hyperlink that points (links) one website to another. It’s often highlighted and underlined, like this link to the hyperlink definition.
There are two main types of links: internal links and external links.
An internal link is a link on a webpage that, when clicked, takes the user to another page on the same website.
An external link, in contrast, takes the user to a page on another website. The SEO value of links is huge, but only if you use them the right way. Once upon a time, any backlink might’ve helped your SEO, but Google and others have become smart to underhanded tactics including purchasing massive amounts of links from “link farms” and unrelated links from off-topic content sources, and frequently assigning a penalty. SPAM isn’t welcome, and detracts from the goals of providing a positive user experience.
External Links on Your Website
Otherwise known as outbound links, external links on your website allow your readers to click through to a different website. This might seem a little strange at first. Why would you want to send your readers elsewhere, and how will that benefit your search engine ranking?
External links are actually very useful for you and your readers. They allow you to link your content to more information about the subject to improve your reader’s understanding.
These types of links also tell Google what your website is about, as you’ll be linking out to a related webpage. As we’ve seen, the more search engines understand your site, the higher your chances of a good ranking.
So, if you run a lawn care business and have an article on how to maintain your lawn and keep it green year-round, you’ll need external links. You could put a link to an article about water conservation. The external link won’t go to a competitor of yours, but perhaps an information-rich site on California Water Conservation or to Wikipedia.
What Are Backlinks?
These are external links on someone else’s website that point (link) to your website. When search engines like Google crawl your website to determine what it’s about and how highly to rank it, they look at many different factors. In the simplest terms, to rank highly for a particular keyword, you need to make it as clear as possible to the search engine that your website is about a particular subject.
Backlinks are considered votes for your website compared to other websites. Many votes tell search engines that this piece of content is worth reading, credible, and useful.
As a result, the more votes you have, the higher your site will rank in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Introducing backlinks in a search engine’s algorithm is an old concept. The original Google algorithm called PageRank was founded using backlinks. However, Google made several changes in its algorithm, to prevent abuse and improve their customer experience. Backlinks still flourish and continue to be a key ranking factor, AS LONG AS THEY ARE RELATED AND ADD VALUE. Backlinks are still considered one of Google’s necessary search engine ranking factors, along with high-quality content, Mobile-first, and page experience (page speed).
Backlinks are not all created equal. Quality backlinks are administered to put a higher rank in the SERPs. A single top-quality backlink can outperform 100 low-quality backlinks. As it turns out, the same characteristics are exhibited by high-quality backlinks.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Now that you know the answer to the question – What are backlinks? It is crucial to understand why they are important before incorporating them into your optimization strategy.
Backlinks serve as valuable votes from other websites that tell the search engines that your content is credible and useful.
So, the higher the number of these “votes” you manage (without trying to “stuff” the ballot box, the higher your site will rank in Google and other search engines.
The concept of using links isn’t new. It has been there since the foundation of Google’s original algorithm, PageRank. Despite many years and numerous changes made to the algorithm in those years, backlinks continue to hold their importance as an important ranking signal.
Google also confirms that backlinks are amongst their three most crucial search engine ranking factors. When externally linking and generating backlinks, the links will either be NoFollow or DoFollow. These HTML commands tell search engines whether they should follow that link for evidence or not.
Many backlinks will be NoFollow, as this protects the site from low-quality sources. This used to be a challenge for backlink building as you want sites to put in DoFollow links to your website.
However, Google has now revealed it still counts NoFollow links. While Google won’t put the same weight on them, it will use them as hints to gain more information on what your website is about.
It is a signal to Google that other businesses vouch for your content. When several websites link to a particular website/webpage, search engines get to know that the page/ site is worth linking to and surfacing on a SERP. So, earning backlinks can positively impact your website’s ranking or search visibility.
Quality Link Building Boosts SEO Value
While search engine algorithms constantly change, you do not need to worry if you’re building your website the right way. Google and other search engines value high-quality content that helps readers. As long as you base your digital marketing strategy on adding value, search engines won’t penalize you.
The SEO value of link building is still high, but only if you do it right. Ensure that your links are relevant and go to high-authority sources. This is good for your readers, good for search engines, and good for you. Creating a digital marketing strategy, getting onto page one of the results, and driving more traffic is tough. If you need help reaching your SEO goals, check out our digital marketing review and get the ball rolling in the right direction.