Before moving forward with this guide, let’s take a few moments to define the term “backlink”.
A backlink is basically an incoming link to a webpage. The term is often used in search engine optimization(SEO).
Bloggers who are just starting out and are now developing their blog or website will often encounter the term in a variety of guides, however, few of them actually understand what “backlinks” are and why they are important.
In this guide, you will learn the basics of what a backlink is and how they are used in the SEO process.
As mentioned above, backlinks are incoming links to a webpage. Basically, when a webpage links to another page, it is called a backlink.
A few years ago, backlinks were extremely important when it came to having a webpage rank well, and the pages that had a lot of them used to rank relatively high on search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. While this is true to a large degree, some things have changed. These, however, will be included in the information below.
To get started, here are a few terms that you should know, in order to better understand backlinks:
- Link Juice : This refers to a webpage that links to an article that you own or to your website’s homepage. This so-called “link juice” is important in helping your article or page rank higher, and also helps you gain domain authority. If you ever decide that you don’t like the idea of being associated with a website that you link to (it may be unreliable) you will be able to use a no-follow tag and prevent this from happening.
- No-follow links: No-follow links are the backlinks that do not pass link juice. Basically, if a webpage links to another webpage, but the link has the no-follow tag mentioned above, it will not pass link juice. These links do not have any effect when it comes to how a page ranks and is extremely useful when you link to resources that you don’t completely trust, such as comments from other blogs, or information from unofficial websites.
- Do-follow Links: These are the default links that everyone uses. All the links that you add to a blog article, and that do not have the no-follow tag, will pass link juice, therefore will affect how your webpage ranks in search engines results pages.
- The process of linking root domains: This process refers to how many backlinks are coming into your website from a unique domain. It is important to keep in mind that even if a website links to your website several times, it will still count as one linked root domain.
- Low-quality links: These links are usually gathered from harvested, automated, span or even porn websites. These links are rarely useful and will damage a website’s rank, most of the time. This is one of the most important reasons why it is important to pay attention when buying backlinks.
- Internal Links: Internal links are the links that go from one page to another, within the same domain. You may see this process called interlinking in many places.
- Anchor text: The text that you use for hyperlinks, anchor text backlinks are vital when you want to rank for using particular keywords.
Now let’s look at what the advantages of using backlinks in SEO are:
Backlinks used to be far more important than they currently are, unfortunately, this changed a few years ago when Google started the Penguin Algorithm in order to determine how websites rank in their search engine results pages(SERPs).
Currently, it is vital to ensure that the backlinks that you have come from quality websites, and that they fit in the context of the article. For example, let’s say that you post an article about the weather, but you use links from other niche websites about smartphones, Google will determine that the links have been used improperly and will disregard their existence. Ideally, you should always try to get links from websites that have authority in their field and are relevant to your content.
Next, we will look at why it is important to create backlinks to your website or blog:
- It improves the organic ranking of the webpage
Backlinks are extremely helpful when it comes to getting your website to rank better.
Google’s algorithm will look to see if your content is getting organic links from other sites, and will rank it higher if it does. The best way to use this to your advantage is to create links to individual posts or pages, not just ones that lead to your homepage. This way, you will use backlinks to their full potential.
- They allow for faster indexing
Backlinks help search engine spiders (automated systems that map websites by navigating through links) crawl through your website faster, helping search engines speed up the indexing process. This is extremely important when your website is relatively new.
- Referral Traffic
An important benefit of using backlinks is that they can help you get a lot of referral traffic. You should keep in mind that this traffic is usually targeted and has a relatively low bounce rate.
Best practices when looking to get backlinks:
Now that the term “backlink” has been explained, and we have established what part it plays in search engine optimization, it is time to see which the best techniques that you can use in order to start generating backlinks to your website are.
The first thing that you will have to understand is that the number of the backlinks that you have is not nearly as important as their quality. This means that it is usually a pretty bad idea to buy them from a paid service, as these usually create poor backlinks that the Penguin algorithm will recognize and penalize.
This brings us to one of the most important questions in this guide: How can someone get quality backlinks for a website?
There is no shortcut to obtain them. You will have to write quality articles, use link building, comment, create cornerstone articles and submit to web directories.
- Write great articles
This is the easiest and most basic way to get great backlinks for your blog. If you write great content, people will share them and link to them.
You can write any kind of articles, but the ones that seem to be the most effective are tutorials and top-ten lists due to the fact that they offer a lot of value and a large number of people can relate to them.
This having been said, do keep in mind that in order for this content to be effective, you will have to research the topic thoroughly and offer relevant examples. Don’t just create random top-ten articles or useless tutorials. Look at what people want to do but don’t know how and teach them.
- Write comments
Comments are a great, free way to get backlinks. So start commenting on do-follow blogs and forums (remember what we discussed before?).
According to Google, no-follow links won’t help you too much, however, comment on any blog that you can and you will start getting link juice surprisingly fast.
This having been said, do not spam. Commenting can help you get incredible backlinks and drive a lot of traffic to your content, not just increase your SEO ranking.
- Submit to web directories
A third way to get backlinks is by submitting your website to web directories.
Now, this method may be the least popular on in this guide, due to the fact that finding a legal web directory tend to be quite difficult. There are a lot of directories that ask you to create a backlink to their website first, in order to trap you into driving more traffic towards them. If you link to their website, Google will be merciless, and your rank will drop faster than you can say “Web directories”.
Keep in mind: You should never use automatic direct submission, due to the fact that this method will make your blog look like spam and you will lose much, if not all your domain authority. In some cases, your blog may be completely removed from search engines, which will essentially mean a permanent dead end.
Use the information and methods presented in this article properly, and your search engine ranking will improve substantially. Good luck!