What are backlinks and why do you need them for your SEO?

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If you’re new to SEO or just thinking about starting your own website, you probably have hundreds of questions. One of the most pressing is probably backlinks.

If you are going to run a successful website, you simply need to understand what backlinks are. Fortunately, it’s not too complicated.

What are backlinks?

Let’s start at the very beginning. Backlinks are among the essential components of a web page. To put it simply, every time a website links to another website, it generates a backlink for the linked website. Backlinks are crucial as they are considered a vote of confidence by the Google search algorithm. Also, the more prestigious and better rated the website that links to yours, the stronger the backlink.

Related: 6 SEO tips to benefit any business

Why should you care about backlinks?

Backlinks are important for SEO, and that’s why you should always aim to get as many backlinks from reputable sources as possible – having lots of backlinks signals to Google that various websites consider you a respectable partner. This, in turn, means that you have a high chance of getting a better position in Google search results, which of course means that more people will be able to notice and visit your site.

Different types of backlinks

There are three types of backlinks that deserve your attention.

First of all there is natural backlinks. Another website gives them away without any action on your part. Simply put, the other website links to yours simply because the owner or author of a given article thinks your content is worth following. How to generate natural backlinks? The solution is simple: you just need to strive to produce the highest quality website and content possible.

Then there is also manual backlinks, and you can reach them through various activities. You can, for example, blog as a guest on another website and use this opportunity to promote your web page with a backlink – as long as you have permission from the owner.

Finally, there are also self-created links. As the name suggests, the only person responsible for creating them is you. Of course, this means that creating them will not cause any problems and will only take a few moments. Remember, however, that overusing this method can worsen your SEO reputation, which means your website will slip in web search rankings.

Do all backlinks count?

On a basic level, the more backlinks you generate, the better. However, as mentioned, not all types of backlinks have the same value. Self-created backlinks are obviously less important than those you earn naturally, but that’s not the only way to rank backlinks. There are several other issues you need to consider.

Dofollow vs No-Follow Backlinks

If you run any type of website, you can choose whether your backlinks go through what is called equity, also known as “link juice”. A typical no-follow link does not exceed equity, unlike a standard dofollow link. On paper, the following links are much more desirable. However, a lot depends on the quality of the linking website. If it is relatively high, even unfollowed links will give you high quality benefits.

Binding Domain Authority

The highest the quality of the site backlinks you get, the higher your website will be rated by Google search algorithms. Links from websites considered spam, however, can significantly lower your rankings.

Relevance of the link

Google has its way of judging whether a given backlink is relevant to your website’s topic and assigns appropriate ratings. For example, let’s say we are a candy factory and our backlink is from a candy store, then it will be rated as excellent. However, if the backlink is from a mortar factory, it would be considered very bad. The more relevant both websites are, the higher the relevance rating of the links and the greater the chance of getting a better position in the Google search rankings.

Link location

The term “place” in this case does not describe an actual physical location. So what does “link location” mean? This rating measures how “optimal” or “relevant” the place where we placed the backlink on our webpage is. Generally, the more visible a backlink is to a random user, the better the score. For example, a backlink placed in a paragraph of a given article would receive a higher ranking than a link placed at the very bottom of the web page.

Link number

Backlinks are undoubtedly useful and extremely important, but we have to be careful how many we include on any given webpage. It turns out that “more” doesn’t always mean “better”. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, having a limited amount of thoughtful links will do much better than just having tons of backlinks on any given webpage. Quality over quantity is the rule of thumb.

Anchor text

Finally, anchor text is also worth discussing. Anchor text is simply formed by the words that display the hyperlink in a given content. It can be used with any type of link, such as inbound links and outbound links. The key to receiving high anchor text rankings is to compose it with careful attention to SEO standards. In case not all anchor words match well; then it is good to use the suggested synonyms. As a general rule, high-quality anchor text should be non-generic and relevant to the topic.

Related: How to Get More Backlinks for Your Small Business Website

How should you NOT get backlinks?

We’ve shared the essential tips on what you need to do to get high-quality SEO backlinks, so let’s cover everything you need to avoid.

First of all, don’t randomly buy a big backlink pack! Contrary to what the sellers say, this is not a good idea. You need to steadily develop your website and over time attract the attention of more trustworthy partners. This is the only way to achieve success.

You should also never forget that backlinks are probably the most crucial aspect of website ranking done by Google. Don’t reduce their quality just because it would make the website more visually appealing.

Finally, remember that Google can easily recognize any attempt by you to “rig the system”. If they deem the problem serious enough, they may even completely ban your website from appearing in Google search!

Backlinks are valuable for improving your SEO and gaining the upper hand in the SERPs, but only if you commit to getting them the right way. There’s no need to rush; focus on creating meaningful, premium content and building relationships with relevant authorities in your niche, and you will slowly but surely grow your backlinks and SEO.

Related: 4 Stupid SEO Tactics That Will Penalize Your Site

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