Backlinks and Why They Are Important
Evolution of Backlinks. Google implements over 200 mechanisms to determine where a web page should rank in the event of a search. With the internet being home to over one million websites, organic visibility remains to be a matter of utmost importance as it is the dream of every website owner to have their website rank high on the charts with a wide readership.
Well, whether your web page ranks 1st or 5th or 50th depends primarily on the relevancy and popularity that you’ve gathered in the time that you’ve run your site. A more significant number of these ranking mechanisms are aimed at determining these very factors- relevancy and popularity.
From mobile friendliness and SEO and user experience to links and page speed and the security and accessibility of a website, we could go on and on about the ranking mechanisms that Google has put in place, but today we look into another topic. We direct our focus on one of the off-page references-the backlink- and the part that it plays in increasing the readership to your website.
What is a Backlink?
A backlink- also known as a one-way or inbound link- is merely an external domain/website that links to your website. For instance, if BBC linked to SuperSport’s Football League’s website, then that would be termed as a backlink for SuperSport.
Search engines are an intelligent creation that has been trained to use links in establishing connections between different websites and web pages. Receiving links to your website from reputable sources identifies you as a relevant and trusted result for a surfer’s query. In other words, search engines use backlinks as signals to gauge for the relevancy, authority, and trust of a site so obtaining a high-quality backlink carries as much weight as the type of content you post to your website.
Therefore, you are not likely to come across an SEO strategy without a plan that includes getting high-quality backlinks. Notice the emphasis made on the phrase “high-quality.” Backlinks vary in value and having more links doesn’t necessarily guarantee your visibility in search engines.
A link from a less public page on a valued website carries more relevance than one from an accessible page on a downgraded website. You can bank on it getting clicked a more significant number of times than the latter.
Now, backlinks can basically be divided into two categories namely dofollow backlinks and no-follow backlinks.
Come to think of it; it wouldn’t seem fair to the website providing the link if it didn’t receive credit for increasing the other website’s organic visibility. A natural link that is not accompanied by a no-follow tag is considered a dofollow backlink. This type of link passes credit to the website that assists it to rank higher in Google.
Dofollow backlinks are default by nature and are an essential entity in Search Engine Optimization.
A no-follow backlink contains a no-follow tag and is not considered a useful plan when speaking from an SEO perspective. Google crawlers ignore no-follow links as they hold little to no relevance in page ranking.
Internal or External Backlinks
Backlinks exist on an ample space and can be further distinguished as external or internal. External backlinks are exchanged between two different websites. Internal links connect pages in the same domain.
Here’s a plus for website owners- The search engine makes it possible for you to maximize its use by giving you control over the surrounding content and the anchor text to help it better understand the link’s target.
A helpful strategy when using internal backlinks is to arrange your posts in a way that connects topically related content (SEO pillar/ Silo strategy).
Now that you know what backlinks are and how they apply to Search Engine optimization let us briefly look into their relevance when it comes to the overall success of a website. How does a backlink factor in skyrocketing a site from the uncharted depths of page 70 to the well-reached space on page one?
The Importance of Backlinks
Acts as Google’s filter
When its founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, first created Google, there was a weakness with the search engines with regard to how they handled search operations at that time. Not only was it difficult to find matching content, but search engines also could not return results based on what the user typed on their search list. Until the backlink was introduced.
A backlink directs a searcher to the best result by filtering the low-value content and letting all the good stuff through. Come to think of it, this makes an excellent win-win situation. Searchers get what they want, and Google gets to keep its reputation.
To boost credibility
Your online reputation largely depends on the backlinks you’ve collected from relevant sources and Google itself uses these links to determine how authoritative a source you are in your particular niche.
If a mobile manufacturer has an inbound profile with backlinks from mobile app developers and Android game websites, wouldn’t it lead you to view them as a credible enterprise that deals with something of value?
Backlinks aid in driving traffic to your site
How easy it’ll be for the search engines to find you is contingent upon the amount of traffic you receive to your site. Anyone who clicks on a backlink to your website whether, through a guest post, social media link, or directory listing helps accelerate your referral traffic.
Always strive to acquire backlinks from high-quality, relevant sites with an established audience.
Google uses backlinks to find new pages
In the same way that you utilize a map to find your way to a new place, Google spiders utilize backlinks to find and index web pages. It takes 4-6 months on average for Search Engine Optimization to work for websites that have just started out.
Not to take shortcuts, but a bunch of relevant backlinks to your website is a catalyst for faster rankings.
A Final Word on Backlinks
As we conclude, we’ve managed to understand the concept behind backlinks, how they work and why they are important in achieving visibility for your website in the internet. Be sure to implement a strong backlink strategy that will positively affect your ranking in search engines. Remember, relevant backlinks equal more traffic which equals to a successful site. Best of luck!