There are many terms related to SEO being thrown around. It can seem overwhelming to understand them and what they have to do with your website. One of these terms is the backlink. In this article, we will explain what a backlink is, and how it relates to your SEO strategy.
What Is A Backlink?
A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. For example, let’s say that you have added a post to your blog that talks about the importance of your company’s product or service. If inside of that blog you link to Amazon to showcase your product or service that is a backlink to Amazon. So, if another person writes an article on their blog that is related to your original content, and adds a link to your post, a backlink is created. That backlink is essentially a vote of confidence showing that your content has value.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
From an SEO standpoint, backlinks are critical for several reasons. First, they are important because Google and other search engines use backlinks as an indicator of relevance and quality. Each backlink demonstrates the klout of your website. Therefore, the more quality backlinks coupled with a higher quantity will in theory help your site rank higher in the search engines. I (being Cliff Robbins) like to consider backlinks similiar to relationship, for example.
I have many various connections to business owners, friends and family. Each one of my relationships provide credibility and klout back to myself establishing my standing amongst the group. Now, inside of my family I also have a brother that is a bit of black sheep. We all have one and my family is no different. We love him dearly and can’t wait for him to get back on the ‘good’ side of society and the law. Now, if I mainly associated with 200 people that were like my brother than many of you would really start to doubt my credibility to the point of thinking that I am probably shady just like my brother. However, if I only associate with 1 of my brother and 200 outstanding individuals (such as yourself) then my public credibility increases.
Backlinks are very similiar to this analogy. If you have 200 quality websites with links pointed at your website then the search engines are going to find you of higher quality than if you had 200 shady links pointed back at your website. The challenge is getting the 200 quality backlinks.
Quality over Quantity
It may seem like simply having many backlinks is the best way to rise in search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site. However, simply having many backlinks is not enough. Due to black hat SEO practices, search engines have become more careful in deciding what a quality backlink is. In the past, individuals could boost their ranking by just generating a high number of backlinks, even if they were not at all relevant to the original content. In fact, having backlinks to “backlink farms” can be harmful to your ranking. There are ways to protect yourself from harmful backlinks as well as ways to build quality backlinks to your content.
As a website owner, you can leverage Google Webmaster Tools and look under the Search Traffic tab for the “Links to Your Site” to get an idea of the various links and where they come from. That will assist you in managing the backlinks to your site. If you see some shady backlinks, Google provides a Backlink Disavow service if you can’t get the owner of the originating website to remove the backlink; however, it is your responsibility to mange the links to your site.
Just like there are digital marketing strategies, there are also strategies dedicated to backlinks. If you build out a successful onsite SEO strategy your next hurdle is to develop a strong backlink strategy to help increase the search rankings of the various pages in your site. When done correctly, you can even get the often sought after ‘double listing’ inside of the search engines.
Like other SEO factors, the management of your website can be a difficult challenge. Backlinks can be a phenomenal way to continue driving organic SEO traffic to your site. However, if not managed properly, it can seriously diminish the amount of people finding you online. It is likely that you have some knowledge of SEO and digital marketing. However, we consider the generation of quality backlinks one of the most difficult aspects of SEO. If you are looking for some assistance in managing or generating quality backlinks to your site give us a call as we have one the strongest national organic backlinking programs that has been built out over years.