Backlinks: An Overview
Alternatively known as “inbound links,” “one-way links,” or “incoming links”, these are literally the links that connect one web page to another. Major search engines, like Google, consider backlinks as a major factor to vote for a specific page. It is generally found that pages with the largest number of backlinks reap high organic search engine rankings.
It is termed “backlinks” on the fact that it redirects directly to a site page.
Backlinks: Its Importance in SEO
See it simply as votes from other sites, with every vote implying the value and credibility of content to the users.
The more votes your site receives, the higher will be your ranking on Google and other search engines.
Link building is the oldest search engine algorithm that was used to gauge a page’s rank, and still exists in practice.
It is widely known that Google keeps changing its algorithm, but the importance of the link-building factor has remained undeterred and has since remained a key ranking signal.
So, how do we identify a valuable backlink from a link that hardly offers any value? It is simple, and there are a few parameters you should keep in mind that separate a rich backlink from the rest.
Before heading into this, understand that every backlink has a unique nature. From an SEO perspective, it is important to focus on quality backlinks. Remember that one quality backlink is better than hundreds of average ones. Therefore the priority should be given to creating the quality one.
The next section entails ideas to identify quality backlinks that show the following traits.
How to identify quality links?
Any successful SEO strategy includes quality backlinks, but how do you identify them? Well, simple ways to identify its quality is to see where they are coming from. If they come from sources that are authoritative, relatable, and credible it means you can trust them. We have laid out a few methods to help you identify quality links.
- Authority and relatability of the linking site: The linking site’s authority and relatability are critical factors in determining quality backlinks. Links from credible sites in your industry or niche are more important than links from low-quality or irrelevant sites.
- Contextual applicability: Contextual applicability ensures that the linking site’s content stays aligned with the website’s content. The fact that content stays aligned increases the likelihood of its value for search engines.
- Anchor text: This text stays linked to your website. Typically, quality backlinks leverage natural anchor text relevant to your site’s content. As a general rule of thumb, avoid links that use exact match keywords or non-related anchor text, as they may appear spammy.
- Link placement: It is very crucial to place the link on the optimal place on the linking page. It is ideal to place links within the content, as they serve more value in this position and not when on the footer area or sidebar.
- Link profile diversity: A credible link profile comes from various sources like blogs, news sites, social media, and more. The diversity in source ensures that it looks like coming from a credible profile rather than appearing spammy.
- Traffic and engagement: It is beyond any doubt that links from sites with high traffic and engagement offer more value than those flowing from low-traffic or inactive sites. Marketers can use useful tools like Alexa and SimilarWeb to assess the traffic of linking sites and engagement metrics.
Follow the steps shared in the above section to identify quality backlinks that can be used to improve the website’s ranking and bring optimal organic traffic to your site.
Now that it is more than clear how important are backlinks to build an effective SEO strategy, now is the time to understand ways to create valuable backlinks and what are some of the optimal backlinking practices.
Methods to create valuable backlinks
- Write high-quality content: Building high-quality content is the pillar stone to build a successful backlinking strategy. When you draft and publish informative and engaging content, this increases the chance for other websites to link it.
- Develop relationships with other sites: Building relationships with other sites in your industry or niche opens the door to acquire more backlinks. Connect with other website owners and bloggers who offer to write collaborative guest blogs or any other form of content.
- Use social media as a promotional tool: These platforms are an ideal way to promote your content and gain backlinks. Make it a habit to share your content on social media and drive your followers to share it with their followers.
- Use relevant directories: Submitting your content to related directories helps you in getting more backlinks. Look for directories in your industry or niche to submit your content to them.
- Use internal linking: It is a process of linking other pages on your website. This approach improves your website’s navigation and offers users more information. Likewise, if done properly this process can distribute link equity throughout your site.
- Use natural anchor text: This text is the clickable text used in a hyperlink. Use natural anchor text that is relevant to your content. Avoid using exact match keywords, as it might appear spammy.
- Assess your backlink profile: If you need to determine quality links from spammy ones, it is important to monitor the backlink profiles. Tools like Ahrefs and Google Search Console can be used to achieve this goal.
For example, you own a yoga blog and publish a post about the benefits of sun salutation. You can reach out to other yoga websites and offer to write a guest post on the same topic. Now there are some optimal backlinking efforts through which once can boost his website’s search engine ranking and drive targeted traffic, these are as follows:
- In the guest post, link a page from your site as a source of information.
- Use the same post on your social media to encourage its following.
- Use internal linking to link relevant pages on your website, and increase your site’s visibility.
In conclusion, backlinks are hyperlinks that move from one page to another site. These are important because it plays a critical role in increasing search engine rankings, enhancing organic traffic, building brand authority, increasing brand visibility, and other long-term benefits that aid to maintain a site’s visibility, authority, and traffic flow.