Everything you need to know about backlinks
In the world of SEO, backlinks are king. But what exactly are backlinks? In short, backlinks are links from other websites that link back to your website. However, they aren’t always easy to come by. In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of SEO backlinks and show you everything you need to know in order to build successful backlink campaigns that yield good SEO results.
The Importance of Backlinks on SEO
SEO is all about improving your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Backlinks are important as Google has stated that they are one of the key ranking factors. Search engines use backlinks as a way to determine the quality and relevancy of a website.
When someone links to your website, it’s a sign that they find your content valuable and worth sharing with their audience. It’s like giving your site a vote of confidence. The more votes (i.e., backlinks) your site has, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Backlinks help improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages. Additionally, they help potential customers find your website when they’re searching for a product or service that you offer.
Types of links
There are mainly four types of links which are divided into two categories.
- External links
- Internal links
- DoFollow Links
- NoFollow links
1. External Links
External links act as a bridge between two different websites. It can be from your website to another website or from another website to your website.
2. Internal Links
Internal links act as a bridge between two pages of the same website. These links usually guide the user to check other information on the website as well.
3. Dofollow Links
Dofollow links are the most valuable type of link because they pass along what’s known as “link juice.” Link juice is basically a vote of confidence from one website to another.
When a website links to yours with a do-follow link, they’re telling search engines that they believe your site is credible and trustworthy. This helps improve your ranking and visibility in search results.
4. Nofollow Links
Nofollow links, on the other hand, don’t pass along link juice. Instead, they tell search engines not to count the link when determining your ranking.
Nofollow links can still be valuable because they can drive traffic to your site and help potential customers find your business. However, they may not have as big of an impact on your ranking as do-follow links will.
How Google Treats Backlinks ?
The role of backlinks in Google’s search engine is incredibly important. They are one of the main deciding factors in how a website ranks. Google places a lot of value on backlinks because they are a measure of how much other websites trust and respect the content on your site.
But it is the Quality that matters, not the quantity. At the Google Search Central SEO hangout which was recorded on February 19, John Mueller – Google’s Search Advocate, responded to a question about backlinks. He mentioned clearly that it is the quality of a backlink that matters most to Google’s algorithm. According to John, one good-quality, relevant backlink may have a great influence rather than having millions of low-quality, irrelevant and poor backlinks.
Here is the full video of the Google search central SEO hangout:
Therefore, having quality and relevant links are extremely important if you are working to increase your site’s ranking.
How to Get Good Quality Backlinks
What is considered a good quality backlink?
A good backlink is a link from another high-quality website that is relevant to your website’s niche. It is a link that will help improve your website’s ranking and it is not from a low-quality website or a link farm.
Now that you know what they are and why they’re important, let’s get into how you can start building them. There are two ways through which you get backlinks:
- Outreach Link Building
This includes the process to reach out to other bloggers and website owners in your niche and ask them if they’d be willing to link to your content. For example; guest posting, etc. This is called outreach link building, and it can be extremely effective if done correctly.
- Reverse Outreach
One of the best ways to get backlinks is to create great content that people will want to link to. This means that you do all there is to promote your website.
For example, adding links in comments, infographics, and social media links, creating videos, and social bookmarks, posting in forums, creating informative articles, directories, etc.
There are many ways to build high-quality backlinks. Here are some of the most effective:
- Create valuable content that people will want to share.
- Submit your content to high-quality, industry-related websites and forums.
- Reach out to other website owners and ask them to link to your content.
- Create social media profiles for your business and include links to your website.
- Add your website’s URL to local business directories.
- Submit press releases about your business or new products/services you offer.
- Generate user-generated content (such as testimonials, product reviews, etc.)
- Participate in online marketing communities and contribute valuable insights/advice.
- Create infographics or videos about your business or related topics of interest.
- Engage in guest posting on other websites in exchange for a link back to yours
1. Publish high-quality content
One of the best ways to earn high-quality backlinks is to publish great content that people want to read and share. This could be anything from an informative blog post to an insightful industry report.
If your content is truly remarkable, other websites will be eager to link to it. You can also submit your content to online directories and forums related to your industry. This is a great way to get exposure to your content and earn valuable backlinks at the same time.
2. Create infographics
People love visual content. That’s why infographics are such an effective way to earn backlinks. An infographic is a graphic image that contains information or data in an easy-to-understand format. When done well, infographics can be extremely engaging and share-worthy.
If you create an infographic that people want to read and share, other websites will be happy to link to it. You can also submit your infographic to online directories devoted specifically to infographics.
3. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post for another website in your industry with the intention of earning a backlink. This is an effective way to get exposure for your website while also earning valuable backlinks.
When guest blogging, be sure to only write for high-quality websites in your industry. Also, make sure that your guest blog post adds value for the website’s readers. If you do these things, you’ll be sure to earn high-quality backlinks that will help improve your SEO.
4. Reach out to Influencers
Another great way to get high-quality backlinks is to reach out to influencers in your industry and ask them to share your content with their followers.
If you can get an influencer with a large following to share one of your blog posts or articles, you’ll get a lot of exposure for your business which could lead to many new customers finding your site.
5. Broken link replacement
Broken link building is a process whereby you find broken links on other websites and then contact the site owner to let them know so they can replace the broken link with a working link to your website.
This is a great way to earn high-quality backlinks because it provides value for both parties involved. The site owner gets a working link on their website, and you get a high-quality backlink. It’s a win-win!
What are Low-Quality Harmful Backlinks ?
- Spam backlinks
Spammy backlinks are links that are created solely for the purpose of spamming other websites. They are often used by spammers in order to increase their website’s SEO. Some common spammy backlink sources include directories, article submission websites, and social bookmarking websites.
- Toxic backlinks
“Toxic” backlinks are links that can damage your website’s SEO and reputation. They are often created by black-hat SEOs in order to manipulate search engine rankings. Some common toxic backlink sources include link farms, link exchanges, and reciprocal links.
How to distinguish between good and bad backlinks
Backlinks are an important part of SEO, and it’s essential to make sure that you only get links from high-quality websites. But how can you tell the difference between a good backlink and a bad backlink ?
Here are a few tips:
- Check the website’s Domain Rating
Domain Rating (DR) is a metric created by Ahrefs that measures the overall strength and quality of a website. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 100, the higher rating being the strongest. A website with a high DR has a lot of trust and authority online.
- Check the relevancy of backlinks to the topic
Don’t just add your website’s URL to every website. This would alarm Google that you’re trying to do SEO by force and it may result in getting a penalty from Google. Try to keep it as natural as possible.
Search for your niche and then work to gain backlinks from a related niche site. For example, if your website is about women’s apparel you will not want to have a backlink from “LED Bulbs”. This is a complete mismatch that may do more harm than help to your SEO ranking.
- Check the anchor text
Anchor text is the text that is used to hyperlink to another page on the web. If you see spammy keywords in the anchor text, it’s likely that the link is from a low-quality site.
Spammy keywords are keywords that are used to manipulate search engine rankings. They are often used in links from low-quality websites in order to improve their SEO. Some common spammy keywords include: “discount mortgages”, “payday loans”, etc.
What Type of Backlinks to Avoid ?
There are a lot of different types of backlinks that you can get for your website, but not all of them are beneficial. In fact, some types of backlinks can actually harm your SEO and hurt your website’s ranking.
Here are a few types of backlinks to avoid:
- Links from low-quality websites
Links from low-quality websites are backlinks from websites that have a low Domain Authority and a low PageRank. They are often spammy and their only goal is to improve the SEO of the website that is linking to them.
- Links with spammy anchor text
Links with spammy anchor text are links that use spammy keywords in the anchor text in order to manipulate search engine rankings.
- Links from unrelated websites
Links from unrelated websites are links from websites that are not related to your website’s niche. They are often low-quality links and can hurt your SEO. It’s important to avoid these types of links if you want to improve your website’s ranking.
- Links from link farms
Link farms are websites that are created solely for the purpose of linking to other websites. They are often used by spammers in order to increase their website’s SEO. Some common link farm websites include low quality directories, article submission websites, and social bookmarking websites.
- Link Schemes/ Paid Links,
Link schemes are methods used to artificially increase the number of links to a website in order to improve its search engine ranking. Some common link schemes include paid links, link exchanges, and reciprocal links.
Paid links are links that are purchased from another website in order to improve its search engine ranking. Link exchanges are when two websites agree to exchange links with each other in order to improve their search engine ranking. And reciprocal links are when two websites agree to exchange links with each other and give each other a link back.
6 Common Tools Used to Identify Backlinks
There are a number of different tools that you can use to identify good backlinks for your website. 6 of the most common tools include:
- Google Webmaster Tool / Google Search Console
Google Webmaster Tool also known as Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to track your website’s search engine ranking and visibility. It also provides you with information about the quality of your website’s links, including the number of high-quality links and the number of spammy links.
- Moz Open Site Explorer
Moz Open Site Explorer is a free tool offered by Moz that allows you to research your website’s backlinks. It provides you with information about the quality of each backlink, including the Domain Authority and PageRank of the website linking to you.
- Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is a paid tool that allows you to research your website’s backlinks. It provides you with information about the quality of each backlink, including the Citation Flow and Trust Flow of the website linking to you.
Ahrefs is a widely used tool that allows you to research your website’s backlinks. It provides you with information about the quality of each backlink, including the Domain Authority and PageRank of the website linking to you. It even helps in identifying broken links to improve link building. It is a paid tool.
SEMrush is another paid tool that delivers a number of services when you search for your website backlinks. It not only provides you with information about the quality of a backlink, but also the website’s traffic data and organic search traffic.
This allows you to see which websites are sending you the most high-quality links and which websites are sending you the most traffic. This information can be helpful in identifying good and bad backlinks for your website.
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How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Or Bad Links
There are a few techniques you can use to get rid of unwanted links:
- Disavow Links
If you have a lot of spammy or low-quality links, you can use the disavow links tool in Google Search Console to tell Google not to count them towards your site’s ranking.
You need to be extremely cautious while disavowing links because they may harm your website if not done correctly
- Remove Links Manually
You can even remove the links by removing them manually. Use tools such as Ahref, SEMrush, Moz, etc, to identify the links and remove them manually from your website’s data.
- Contact the Website Owner
For links that cannot be removed from your end, you can contact the website owner and have them remove the bad links coming to your website.
If you find any high-quality links that you don’t want, you can contact the webmaster of the website and ask them to remove the link.
- Hire a Professional
Removal of unwanted links can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. A minor mistake can cause your website very harm. Therefore, if you have even a slight doubt or do not have much expertise, it is better if you hire a professional to help you remove bad links.
Do You Need Help In Page Speed Optimization?
To sum it up, link building is an important factor of SEO, where you need to have a really good understanding of the metrics and competition to identify and distinguish between good and bad links. Monitor your page ranking and website traffic regularly.
If your site ranking drops without obvious reasons, check your backlinks in Google Search Console to see if there are “unwanted” toxic links that were sent to your site lately.
Also always keep an eye on where you’re trying to have a backlink from. Check the metrics for the website before adding a link from that site to yours. Always remember that it is the quality of backlinks that counts, not the quantity.