Backlinks, also known as inbound links or one-way links, refer to the links from other sites to yours. Every person who has a basic knowledge of SEO knows that backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. It’s because search engines perceive them as a “thumb up” from other sites for yours, which means your site offers relevant, high-quality, and interesting content worth reading.
But, why are backlinks so important?
Backlinks affect several SEO ranking factors, including:
So, the first and biggest importance of backlinks is page rank. As a now archived Google guidance page explains, the number and quality of backlinks to your page determines the importance of the website. And, the more important a website it, the higher it will rank.
Domain authority is one of the ranking factors for SEO. It was created by MOZ to determine the success of your domain. One of the ways to increase your site’s domain authority is to build quality backlinks from authoritative sites.
High-quality content is another ranking factor for SEO. It’s also very important for link-building because no one would like to link to your site if your content isn’t of good quality and has no value. Hence, to get quality backlinks from authoritative sites, you must provide high-quality and valuable content.
Not all backlinks are created equal. Some of them aren’t really important while others dictate your site’s rank on search engine page results. So, if you want to optimize your website for search engines and boost your ranking, you need backlinks with the following traits:
It does matter where your backlinks come from because it’s not the same to have a renowned website like searchenginejournal.com and an unknown blog about SEO, right? Search engines agree with this!
Google and other search engines put a lot of weight on links coming from highly authoritative sites. It’s because, in that way, they pass their authority to your site. And, the higher authority your website has, the higher it will rank on SERP.
Backlinks for authoritative sites are of high quality. Even if you don’t have a lot of them, only a few, they will still benefit you more than having 100 backlinks from low or no-authoritative sites.
Google wants to see that the two sites linked are related. So, if you want to build even more quality and valuable backlinks, they should come from authoritative sites that are relevant to yours. In other words, you should get backlinks from sites/pages that are topically relevant to your site/page.
For example, if your page is about dog’s health, a good backlink would come from sites like akc.org, pets.webmd.com, or thesprucepets.com not from unknown blogs about dogs (pets).
Therefore, when building backlinks, you should always look for authoritative sites that write about the same things as you.
Anchor links are the words representing your target keyword. Since they are the visible part of the link, i.e. the words representing the backlink, they must match the same. After all, the anchor must match the link to make sense and be understandable to search engines.
We know that finding sites to link to you is hard and finding more and more different sites is even harder. However, it’s very important to make sure your backlinks come from as many different domains as possible. It’s because when getting links from multiple authorities, Google realizes that many authoritative sites support your site. Google “sees” the number of websites “praising” your site, not the number of praises each site has given you.
While you can use links from the same sites verand over again, they won’t have any value to your SEO. Therefore, you should try to get each new backlink from a domain that hasn’t linked to you before. It’s better to have 20 links from 20 different websites than 40 links from the same website.
“Dofollow” links are the ones that search engines’ ranking algorithms count. These links don’t have the “nogollow” tag in their HTML code. Usually, most backlinks are “dofollow” ones.
What makes these links important is that when a website links to yours with a “dofollow” backlink, it directly affects your site’s search engine ranking.
Homepage links are some of the most common types of backlinks people get. It’s when your website’s name is mentioned and that anchor text links to your homepage. And, while these links are valuable, the deep links are the real thing.
Deep links are the backlinks that lead directly to your content, to a page. They are very important because they not only drive traffic to your page and provide a better user experience but also tell Google (and other search engines) which part of your website, i.e. which article or another type of content is great. And, Google will love it!
For example, a deep link would be when you have an article on Core Web Vitals and you link the anchor text to Search Engine Journal’s article on Core Web Vitals. Just like I did right now! You shouldn’t link it to the SEJ’s homepage because it’s not relevant. Also, it will create an awful user experience.
Now that you know the importance of backlinks and which ones matter, let’s check the most common link-building tactics marketers use. The top 10 tactics for building backlinks are: