Backlinking – What is it and how does it work?

Backlinks are an SEO strategy that refer to the links on one website that point toward another website.


What are backlinks?

Backlinks are an SEO strategy that refer to the links on one website that point toward another website. Search engines such as Google see backlinks as indicators of quality content that is supported by other websites. Strong backlinks can strengthen EAT criteria and cause your website to rank higher on SERPs (search engine results pages).

Backlinks are not essential to rank, but if you want to rank higher, backlinks can certainly help to achieve this.
Any link from another website to yours is a backlink, but not all backlinks are equally beneficial.

Negative backlinks

A purchased backlink

Links with bad NSFW keywords

Irrelevant links

Spam links

Why backlinks are important

Backlinks play a vital role in SEO strategy and have an impact on how authoritative your website is. Website authority is one of the most important indicators that Google consider when ranking content. Good quality backlinks provide a level of trust to Google and consumers that your brand is putting out correct and valuable content.

Just as you would trust someone’s opinion that you respect over a stranger, Google functions the same way. Its algorithm will trust well-known, authoritative websites over less known or sketchy websites. Good backlinks are a way to highlight that your website is one to be trusted.

Backlinks improve rankings

Trust is essential to build your site’s reputation and authority score. Good backlinks generate trust and authority, and ultimately lead to higher rankings.

New pages

Google uses links to find new pages, making it one of the main ways that content is discovered, crawled, and indexed. Additionally, a link from a trusted source can help your content to index faster.

Trust and credibility

Quality links from authoritative and reliable sources help you to rank higher in terms of SEO, but they can also help boost your trustworthiness and credibility as a business.

Referral traffic

When the web was first used, links were used for navigation. Links are now used by Google’s algorithm and good quality links provide valuable traffic to your page.

What makes a good backlink?

1 – Popularity – Google views external links as votes of popularity for your website, providing a strong links between sites that have lots of positive backlinks and higher rankings.

2- Trust – If a good quality website with a good reputation links to your site, that works as a vote of confidence in your site. If you only have sites that Google considers spam or unnecessary, this is not likely to help your website establish authority.

Trust is shown through PageRank, a Google algorithm that evaluates the quantity and quality of backlinks. Using this it will generate a relative score of that page’s importance and authority. If your site is receiving high quality backlinks from trusted websites, this sends good indication to Google that your site is authoritative and trustworthy.

backlink image

Types of backlinks

Nofollow Links

Nofollow links use the rel= ”nofollow” attribute to inform Google and other search engines that they shouldn’t pass trust (PageRank).

Nofolow links do not pass PageRank and therefore will not necessarily help you rank higher in terms of SERPs.

Follow links

A follow link is a link that does pass PageRank and can help with page rankings if the link is from a reputable source.

Paid/sponsored links

You may pay for an affiliate or influencer to promote some of your content or post a review, in which case this will be a sponsored link. If money, a product, or service has been received in return for a link, a rel=” sponsored’ attribute should be added to inform Google.

The rel=”sponsored’ attribute stops your site from being negatively impacted by these links. So, if you’re working with an affiliate, you should use the sponsored attribute for this backlink.

Inbound and outbound links

Inbound links are links created on other websites that then point to your site. Making outbound links the links that you have created on your website that point to other sites. An inbound link for your site is an outbound link for the site that links to you.

How to get backlinks to your site

  • Use brand mentions and turn them into links
  • Pitch to the press for links
  • Write guest blogs
  • Use broken links to build backlinks
  • Reach out to people who can provide you with backlinks

Sherbet Donkey Media

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency in Birmingham, or need to find an SEO specialist to discuss backlinks, or any other aspect of SEO, get in touch with us today. Sherbet Donkey are a creative, digital marketing agency dedicated to helping your business grow.

We offer web design & development, SEO, content marketing and a lot more for your business. Get in touch today to discuss what our marketing agency can do for you.

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