So you’ve been hearing the words backlink and SEO being thrown around together and have started to wonder exactly why backlinks are important for SEO. Worry not, this comprehensive article will answer all your questions regarding the two most crucial tools businesses use to improve their online visibility today.
To understand their importance in SEO, you must first understand why are backlinks important. In the simplest words, a backlink is a link on a website other than yours that directs traffic from that site to your website. They are also known as inbound or incoming links and play a big role in achieving credibility of a website.
Backlinks represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another, signaling to search engines that others vouch for the website to which they’ve linked. When multiple sites link to the same webpage, search engines consider that content worth linking to and rank it higher in search results.
So now you know the basics and why backlinks are important for SEO, but all this might raise one question in your mind; are backlinks still important? And the answer is a big, resounding yes.
Inbound links are the foundation of Google’s original PageRank algorithm, which means that not only are they still significant for SEO performance in 2022, but that they are going to remain so even years from now. The data on this is clear.
There are different types and not all of them are equally valuable to Google. The three main ways to earn them are:
A naturally earned backlink is one where another website came across your content, found it helpful and worth linking to, and shared it with its viewers. When they come from reputable websites in your industry or niche, they play a very big role in your website’s authority and trust.
The naturally earned ones may be the best type out there but they are exceptionally difficult to earn. Another easier way is through manual linking. This is when you reach out to a website in your niche and collaborate with them to get a link. An example of this is guest blogging.
This is the easiest way, but also the most dubious. Self-created backlinking is when you manually add a backlink into an online directory, comment etc. These can often tend towards black hat SEO and are not recommended as they may have a damaging impact on search engine reputation.
When it comes to SEO, incoming links are come in handy in the following ways:
1. Increase reliability and credibility
When a lot of authoritative and reliable sources link to your content in a way that search engines determine to be genuine, your website’s reliability and credibility go up. Search engines consider you more trustworthy and rank you better from an SEO viewpoint.2. Higher ranking position
As they are one of Google’s essential ranking factors, good links play a big role in helping you rank higher on search engines. When quality backlinks redirect traffic to your site, search engines consider you a trustworthy authority in your industry and rank you higher on SERPs.
The quality of the backlink is essential here. Any links that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines won’t do anything for your page’s ranking and might even have the opposite effect.
3. Referral traffic
The purpose of a link, first and foremost, is to lead web browsers from Page A to Page B. And this purpose is not lost just because they are now regarded as a ranking factor by Google. With this navigational ability, high-quality backlinks play a major role in driving healthy referral traffic to your site.
4. Help Google explore new pages
As covered previously, links are navigational. Googlebot depends on links to explore new pages on the web, crawling and indexing the content found. Backlinking from reliable sources facilitates this process of indexing, helping your content rank faster.
Now that we have answered the question, why are backlinks important, it’s time for you to learn how to use them effectively. Creating a backlink may be a relatively simple process, but that’s not enough if you want to rank.
Here’s what to keep in mind to use backlinks effectively for SEO:
- Authority: To figure out a site’s authoritativeness, you must consider certain algorithms. If you don’t have the necessary knowledge for this, you can turn to helpful 3rd-party tools like Open Site Explorer, Semrush, and Ahrefs.
- Relevance: Not all backlinks are created equal. Links derived from pages directly relevant to your product or service are the most effective at increasing ranking and authoritativeness. And in the case of physical businesses, the best ones are those that are both directly related to your business and in your area.
- Link quality: Some websites pretend to be reliable with fake feedback, ratings, and testimonials. To filter these out, use a 3rd-party tool to analyze the domain your potential backlink derives from and if it’s ranking well organically and driving traffic.
- Outbound link quality: When trying to get a backlink from a certain site, make sure you check what other outbound links they contain and if they are organically positioned. Only go ahead with the backlinking process if the other outbound links on that site are related and added properly.
- Editorial standards: Look for websites with high editorial standards. This might take longer and be more difficult, but the result will be worth it.
- Indexing status: Never get a backlink from a website that is not indexed. This is because unindexed websites do not appear on organic searches. To identify if a website is indexed, simply search it on Google. If it shows up you’re good to go and if it doesn’t step right back.
This article covers everything from are backlinks still important in developing your site to why are backlinks important in creating a proper SEO-strategy. Keep the above points in mind and in no time, you’ll be using backlinks like a pro to organically boost your SEO.