Originally published March 30, 2020
Backlinks are merely a link between two different sites. Backlinks are also known as inbound links as it’s only the site that receives the link where it gets classified as a backlink.
If someone links to your site, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you. In this post, we’ll discuss how they work, why they’re important for SEO and how to gain backlinks on your own site.
Backlinks are an essential component for growing your website and ranking higher. They mean other websites vouch for your content therefore you can develop yourself as reputable. You can view them as a signal to search engines that your content is noteworthy.
A good backlink comes from a popular and high ranking site with relevant content. High-quality backlinks can be hard to earn but are well worth the work.
There is a strong correlation between ranking high and number of backlinks according to Brian Dean of Backlinko research. High-quality backlinks are important for SEO purposes as they can establish your site as this recognizes your content as important.
The more backlinks your site has the more you’ll be considered knowledgeable in a topic therefore Google will rank you higher. Aside from the total number of referring domains, there are other backlink factors that the search algorithm takes into account.
High-quality backlinks can be hard to implement. So are they worth it? In short yes. They are arguably one of the most important factors aside from relevant content. Of course, the quality and relevance of your content will come first, but backlinks will be hot on their heels when it comes to ranking well.
Other good SEO practices like keyword-rich content, metatags, H1 and H2, mobile-optimized site and age of your website still come into play. If you solely focus on backlinks you probably won’t have much luck in ranking highly. But when good quality backlinks and other SEO best practices are used in conjunction with each other you’ll have a strong formula for success.
So after rambling on about the importance of backlinks, how do you actually gain them? To gain high-quality backlinks from reputable sites can prove challenging but starting small will get you well on the way.
There are two ways in which this can be approached. One through white-hat methods or two, through black hat methods.
White-hat methods: Generally speaking, white-hat methods are the correct and ethical way to increase your search ranking. With a focus on long term results through good content, relevant keywords, and relevant backlinks.
Black-hat methods: These often focus on quickly rising up the rankings, without thinking about the long term consequences. These tactics include keyword stuffing, invisible text, irrelevant backlinks. This is not the correct way to go about SEO and in some cases can lead to your site being de-indexed.
Let’s take a look at how to build backlinks organically and sustainably.
Backlinks are an important part of SEO strategy. As always, it’s still important to focus on good and relevant content but sourcing backlinks will certainly help you on your way up the rankings.
While creating high-quality valuable content will generally result in people linking to your content over time, it’s important to be proactive about getting backlinks for your website — through white hat SEO — to help Google to trust your website more.