SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the ultimate tool to drive quality traffic to your website by ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs). It is the process of optimising a website’s technical configuration, the relevance of the content of the website and link popularity. Search engine optimisation ultimately aims to make your website findable and popular in search queries. Backlinks are one of the most significant aspects of SEO and stand among Google’s top-ranking factors. It signals the search engines (like Google) that your website has valid authority. But what are backlinks? Let’s understand the term and learn why backlinks are essential for your SEO Campaign.
What are Backlinks?
Simply put, a link, also known as an ‘inbound’ or ‘incoming’ link, created to link one website to another is a backlink. Backlinks are URLs to your website published on other domains. The primary purpose of backlinks is to direct and drive visitors from one website to another.
For instance, if a food blogging site (Website A) links to a blog post for the recipe of pasta (Website B), website B gains a vote of confidence or backlink from Website A. Visitors from website A driving to website B are the simplest explanation of one of the ways in which backlinks work. However, it doesn’t mean you stuff multiple links on a webpage without understanding the relevance. The quality of backlinks is the aspect that matters and not the quantity!
What are the Different Types of Backlinks?
Backlinks differ in terms of the value they pass onto other websites. Different backlinks hold different values in search engines’ algorithms and do not hold the same weight. While certain backlinks pass on the value or “link juice”, as it is termed, some do not pass on any value. Every type of backlink serves a different purpose (sponsorship, advertising, driving traffic etc.). Read further to learn the different types of backlinks:
1. Do-Follow Links
They are the most valuable types of backlinks and significantly boost a website. When gained from a high-authority website, it passes the benefit of authority (or the link juice) to other websites or blogs. They are the best kind of backlinks you can gain for your website as they aid in ranking in search engine result pages.
2. No-Follow Links
Although search engines consider them, these links do not pass the value or link juice to other websites. But still, they provide the benefit of referral traffic and brand building. One thing to note here is that they should be used in limited numbers because the quality of links always has the upper hand over the quantity of these links.
3. User-Generated Content (UGC) Links
User-Generated Content or UGC links are generally posted within content, mainly in the form of a forum post or a comment. UGC links act as a layer of information and clarify to search engines that the linking is not a form of advertising.
4. Sponsored Links
These types of backlinks are specifically used for advertising purposes. Like a no-follow link, they do not pass on any benefit or link juice.
What Makes a Good Backlink?
Backlinks from websites relevant to your content or industry tend to carry more weight when it comes to SEO. For instance, if you run a fashion blog, getting a backlink from another fashion website would be more valuable than one from a cooking website.
Backlinks from authoritative websites with high domain authority and page rank can significantly boost your website’s SEO. This is because search engines value links from authoritative sites more highly than links from low-quality or spammy ones.
3. Anchor Text:
Anchor text is the clickable text within a hyperlink. Including relevant anchor text that accurately summarizes the contents of a backlink can help boost your website’s SEO; however, be wary of over-optimizing with exact match keywords as this may appear spammy and negatively affect performance.
Backlinks that are placed within context of relevant content are more valuable than links placed in irrelevant or low-quality material. For instance, a backlink from a blog post discussing an issue related to your website’s content would be more advantageous than one from random comment on a forum.
Diversifying your backlinks from different domains and sources can significantly boost your website’s SEO. For instance, having links from blogs, news sites, social media platforms, and other sources is more advantageous than having all of them come from one source.
Why are backlinks important for SEO campaigns?
If you wish to rank on the first page of SERPs, you need to stand out from your competitors and do SEO for your website. And backlinks are one of the most critical elements of SEO. They improve the website’s authority by representing a “vote of confidence” from other websites to yours. Other reasons to establish that backlinks are important for SEO campaigns are as below.
1. SEO Backlinks Help Search Engines Index Your Pages Faster
Google’s search index is essentially its inventory of websites, and it takes Google time to crawl websites, especially new websites. Only when a website gets indexed can it appear in the search results. At times, a newly published website or page doesn’t appear in the search engine result pages for weeks or even months! This is where backlinking helps.
Backlinking is one of the fastest ways to overcome the issue of crawling and indexing. Getting backlinks from websites with high domain and page authority helps make your content noticed by the crawling bots of search engines. This phenomenon is because search engines frequently crawl these high-authority websites, and it automatically puts your website in a position where it gets crawled and indexed faster too!
2. Give Boost to Domain Authority
As mentioned in the blog, building quality backlinking helps boost your domain authority. Domain authority is a metric that signifies how likely your website is to rank in search engine result pages. One thing to note here is that although domain authority quantifies ranking potential, it is not a ranking factor!
Backlinking helps boost domain authority and builds trust. This is because when your website is linked to another high-DA website, it signals the search engines that you are providing informative and valuable content to the readers and might interest them. Consequently, domain authority is likely to rise.
3. Increase Ranking in Search Engines
Ranking a website depends on a plethora of factors and becomes extremely difficult if your industry is highly competitive. From improving on-site SEO to finding relevant keywords, efforts go down behind increasing a website’s ranking in search engine result pages.
You can publish great content, but it will only be useful if readers can see it. Incorporating backlinks strategically in your website can be a great way to increase ranking in search engines. Gaining backlinks that are of high quality and relevance will provide you with a competitive advantage. They work as referrals from other websites that let the search engines know that your website can be trusted.
4. Drive Organic Traffic to Your Website
Eventually, every website needs visitors to come and read its content and increasing traffic organically is the most effective long-term strategy for building and growing a website.
Although there are no shortcuts to increase organic traffic, backlinking is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website. While boosting visitor traffic, backlinks also serve as ranking factors. Backlinking is fairly easier than other SEO tactics, but it takes time and thoughtfully developed strategies to work as intended.
When it comes to ranking, backlinks play a vital role and are a crucial part of your SEO strategy. One thing to remember while dealing with backlinks is that the focus should remain on quality rather than quantity. An optimised website with a backlink profile including valuable, relevant and good-quality links will yield benefits in rankings sooner than a website with no value links. Backlinks can not be a substitute for content that is of n value or interest to the readers.