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What Are Backlinks in SEO & Why Are Backlinks Important?

What Are Backlinks?

A backlink is a link created on one website for a page on another website.

If another website contains a link to my page on their website, I have a backlink from their website. Similarly, if I link a page from another website, I have created a backlink for them.

Backlinks are also known as “inbound links”, “Incoming links” or “one-way links”.

Think of backlinks as endorsements from other known and credible websites. It’s one way of letting the audience know that their content is worth sharing and will add tremendous value to your reading experience.

Of course, no website will do that unless they are positively sure that the link they are creating is an authority in the niche, providing credible information that matches its standard as well.

This is also why Google still considers backlinks as a key determinant in a page’s ranking, despite many changes in its algorithm over the years.

So, is it easy to get backlinks? I would not say yes.

But is it important for your website’s ranking and visibility? Absolutely Yes!

Importance of Backlinks for SEO

We have already established that pages with multiple backlinks rank higher on Google. Google views these backlinks as a vote of confidence from other websites.

But the backlinks need to be from the most credible, authoritative and well-trusted sources to be impactful and enhance your domain’s ranking.

One backlink from a leading and well-known website can do much more for your website’s ranking than thousand backlinks from poor-performing websites.

That being said, here is why backlinks are so crucial for your website’s search engine optimization

  • Considerably boosts the ranking
  • Affirms your credibility
  • Confirms your authority in the niche
  • Aids Google to find and rank new pages
  • Sends more traffic to your website
  • Promotes brand recognition

What are High-Quality Backlinks?

Since search engines like Google consider only valuable and notable backlinks as one of the key ranking signals, here’s how you can tell what a high-quality backlink is:

1.     Must be from Established and Authoritative Resources

Let’s say you have a website about personal finance, would you rather want to be linked somewhere on the finance guru website Investopedia or some random sites talking about investments, budgeting and savings?

Investopedia right?

Because you know almost everyone wanting to know about financial terms goes there. It is a highly acknowledged website with valuable content. It has proven its authority in the niche, and if your website gets a backlink from there, it will automatically inherit some of the authority.

Google sees this as a highly game-changing factor and boosts your ranking significantly. However, getting backlinks from reputed websites is not child’s play. The process can be daunting, but if done correctly, it is highly rewarding for your blog.

2.     The Anchor Text of the Link Must Include Your Target Keyword

Anchor text is the text or words in a hyperlink that is clickable and directly leads to your page. It is among the best practices to use words relevant to your page as anchor text rather than generic terms like “click here” or “link”.

Keywords used in anchor text help your pages to rank higher in search engines. For websites on SEO, “SEO best practices, learn SEO, or What is SEO” are good keywords for anchor text instead of using “click here”.

However, you should be aware of the Google Penguin filter that can pinpoint websites that have artificially increased their ranking by manipulating their backlinks or using black hat strategies for link building. Google Penguin views websites with exact match anchor texts with prying eyes, so make sure to stay relevant but not overdo it.

3.     The Page Creating a Backlink for You Must Be from The Same Niche

It only makes sense to get a backlink from a website that shares content in the same category or niche as yours. Imagine running a blog on personal finance and looking for a backlink from SEMrush.

For one thing, the audience currently reading blogs on SEMrush is not interested in reading about personal finance. But if you get Investopedia to create a backlink for you, the audience there might come to you for more information or clarity. Google also values this relevancy between two websites exchanging backlinks.

4.     The Link is not a “NoFollow” Link

There are several types of backlinks, including “Follow” and “NoFollow” links.

You should typically aim for a follow link that informs Google to pass the trust and authority to the site being linked.

Most links are “Follow” links unless an attribute is added to change the purpose of the backlink.

A “NoFollow” backlink uses the attribute rel=”no follow” to inform the search engines that authority should not be passed to the page being linked. This means that a “no follow” link will not affect your SEO or enhance your page’s visibility, rendering it practically useless.

5.     The Link is from a New Domain

Repeatedly getting backlinks from the same website will do nothing for your ranking after the first time.

It’s amazing to get a backlink from a well-reputed and trusted website once. After that, make sure to get backlinks from another domain. Several backlinks from the same domain are not as impactful as a few backlinks from multiple new domains.

Google values the number of sites linking to you more than the total number of backlinks you get for search engine ranking.

Conclusion

We all know that SEO requirements keep changing, and if you want the best search engine visibility for your website, you have to keep yourself and your website updated.

Backlinks are one ranking factor that still matters a lot for Search Engine Optimization. A well-optimized website has high-quality backlinks from multiple well-trusted and high-authority domains, helping them get more organic traffic and eventually higher leads and sales.

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