A backlink is a link that points from one domain to the other. For the website that links out it is called an “outbound link” and for the website that receives the link, it is called an “inbound link”.If you think about it, the Internet is a collection of domains, webpages and links. The term World Wide Web emerged from the fact that the various websites published on the Internet are connected together via links, formatting a web.So, a backlink is generated when one website links to another. This is different than having links that point to pages on the same website. These are called internal links. Check For SEO Services in London at Vivid SEO
Why do all webmasters and SEO experts go crazy about backlinks and link building? What is the value of having backings pointing to your website? The story goes back to 1996 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google Founders), included the number of backlinks pointing to a website, as one of the signals used by the Google ranking algorithm.
The idea was simple and it is valid until today: Backlinks act as a vote of trust and websites that have more backlinks than others deserve to be in a higher position in the Google SERPS.Of course, things have changed since the early 2000s and it’s no longer a numbers game but more of a quality game i.e. websites that have more quality backlinks, get better rankings.
Are backlinks still important today
The answer is simple, yes backlinks are still important for SEO. All SEO related studies agree that when it comes to Google rankings, the websites that have the strongest links appear in the top positions of Google.Here is a graph from a recent study performed by SEMRUSH.
What do we mean by high quality and low-quality links? I will explain this below but before that, you need to understand how SEO works and where do backlinks come into play.
A quick introduction to SEO
The main goal of SEO is to optimize a website for the greatest possible exposure in the different search engines and in particular Google.To achieve this, you first need to ensure that search engine crawlers can access and index your website pages without any problems (that’s called technical SEO).Then you need to work on your pages (one by one) and make sure that they provide search engines with the right signals related to page structure, page titles, headings, meta-descriptions (that’s called on-page SEO).
At the same time, you need to optimize your content for both search engines and users (that’s called content SEO). When you do the above correctly and consistently for a reasonable period of time (at least a few months), you will start noticing that some of your pages will appear close to the first page of Google.While this is a great start, your organic traffic will still be at low levels because the majority of Google users click on one of the top 5 results.
So, unless you are in the top 5 for the keywords you want, you won’t get that much traffic.How can you improve your rankings and get to one of the top 5 positions that can get you more traffic? The answer is ‘backlinks’.
Off-Page SEO and Backlinks
Off-Page SEO is the term used to describe the process of promoting your website on the Internet for the purpose of gaining references (links) from other websites.
Why is this important? Because during the ranking process, the algorithms consider backlinks as one of the factors indicating the popularity of a website.A website with lots of backlinks is considered more popular than others, so it gets a higher ranking.
Consider the following example:
20 websites are blogging about the exact same topics. They all publish high quality content, are fast, easy to use and provide a great experience to the user.
Which website will be shown on top of the SERPS when a user types in a related query in Google ?
This is exactly where backlinks come into play. The websites that have links from other related websites on the Internet, will be shown in the top positions and get the traffic.Image source wikipedia. Smiley faces represent websites. Notice how the size of a website gets bigger when it has a lot of backlinks pointing to it.
They’ve mentioned several times above that although backlinks are important for SEO, it’s not exactly a numbers game.In other words, it’s not a matter of how many links you have but from where these links are coming. For SEO Agency Check here
What is a good backlink
A good backlink that can positively influence your rankings, has the following characteristics:
A. It comes from a related website
B. It does not have the nofollow attribute attached to the link properties (more on this below)
C. It comes from a website that has a high Google trust and domain authority.
D. It comes from a high quality website
What is a bad backlink
A bad backlink has the following characteristics:
A. It is paid for
B. It’s a result of a link exchange
C. It comes from a on low quality website (i.e. article directories)
D. It comes from a website that has low Google trust and domain authority
E. It comes from a website with little or no original content
F. Its sole purpose is to manipulate Google rankings
A website that has a lot of toxic backlinks can be imposed a Google penalty, either site-wide or for the particular webpage and lose its Google rankings.
Note: Although some of recent changes made to the Google algorithm have to do with automatically ignoring bad links, a penalty can still be imposed on the website. Read this guide if you want to check if your website is under a Google penalty.
Also, If you end up with a lot of bad backlinks and want to ensure that these will not affect your Google rankings, read: How to remove bad backlinks from Google.