A “backlink” is one of the most used words in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).
Many bloggers who have only recently started a blog or a website often struggle to understand what the term “backlink” means.
In this post, I hope to offer you an understanding of what backlinks are, why they are essential to SEO, and why they are important for your online success.
Let’s get started…
Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage.
When a webpage links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage. A page with a lot of backlinks tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. This is still true to a large extent.
Here is a glossary of common terms related to backlinks that you should know:
- Link Juice: When a webpage links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority. As a blogger, you can stop passing link juice by using a no-follow tag.
- No-Follow Link: When a website links to another website, but the link has a no-follow tag, that link does not pass link juice. No-follow links are not useful concerning the ranking of a page as they do not contribute anything. In general, a webmaster uses the no-follow tag when he/she is linking out to an unreliable site.
- Do-Follow Link: By default, all the links that you add to a blog post are do-follow links and these pass link juice.
- Linking Root Domains: This refers to the number of backlinks coming into your website from a unique domain. Even if a website has linked to your website ten times, it will only be considered as one linked root domain.
- Low-Quality Links: Low-quality links are links that come from harvested sites, automated sites, spam sites, or even porn sites. Such links do far more harm than good. This is one reason you should be careful when buying backlinks.
- Internal Links: Links that are going from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links. The process itself is referred to as internal linking or interlinking.
- Anchor Text: Text that is used for hyperlinks is called anchor text. Anchor text backlinks work great when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.
Advantages of backlinks in SEO:
Before I talk about the advantages of backlinks, you need to know that much has changed concerning backlinks in the past couple of years.
There was a time when even low-quality links helped in ranking a site. But ever since Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm, the whole landscape of backlinking has changed.
It is important to have backlinks from quality sites, and those backlinks should be contextual. If, for example, you have a site about fish, and you are creating links from other niche sites about monkeys, these links will be of no use. Your goal should be to get links from authoritative and relevant sites.
Now let’s take a look at why it is important for you to create backlinks to your site:
1. Improves Organic Ranking
Backlinks help in getting better search engine rankings.
If any of your content is getting organic links from other sites, that content will naturally rank higher with search engines.
Your goal should be to create links to individual posts/pages along with those leading to your homepage.
2. Faster Indexing
Backlinks help search engine bots discover links to your site and crawl your site effectively.
Especially for a new website, it is important to get backlinks as they help in the faster discovery and indexing of your site.
3. Referral Traffic
One of the major benefits of backlinks is that they help get referral traffic.
Usually, referral traffic is targeted and has a low bounce rate.
How to start getting backlinks:
So now you understand what the term “backlink” means as it relates to SEO and why they’re important. Let’s now learn a few simple techniques for generating backlinks to your site.
One important fact that you need to keep in mind about backlink SEO is that it is not the number of backlinks which matters, but rather the quality of backlinks.
If you are using some paid services to get links to your site, you are likely going to be penalized by Google Penguin’s algorithm.
So here’s the question:
What are some of the ways to get quality backlinks for your blog?
- Write awesome articles
- Use Broken link building method
- Create cornerstone articles (Piller articles)
- Start guest blogging
- Submit to web directories
1. Write awesome articles
This is the best and simplest way to get backlinks for your blog.
If you write awesome articles, people will naturally link to them.
Tutorials and top-ten list articles are a couple of good examples of the types of posts that have great potential for getting backlinks from other websites as references.
Important note: Such articles are based on proper research and practical examples.
2. Start guest blogging
Guest blogging is an excellent, and free way to get backlinks. Start guest blogging on blogs in your niche.
Guest blogging helps you to get solid one-way backlinks as well as more traffic and better search engine visibility.
3. Submit to web directories
Submitting your blog to web directories is another easy way to get backlinks.
With that said, this method is not very popular these days because finding a legal web directory is not easy. You must especially avoid those web directories that ask you to create a backlink to their website to get your website into their directory.
Also important: If you are using any automatic direct submission tactics, stop doing so right away. Automatic website submissions will cause your blog to appear as spam, and it can cost you a lot in terms of your domain authority or even the complete removal of your blog from search engines.
I hope this article will help you understand the basics of backlinks in SEO, and why you should start working on getting backlinks for your blog.
Do you currently work on getting backlinks for your blog? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.