What Are Backlinks? SEO Basics You Need to Know

June 02, 2022    Reading Time: 7 Minutes

In the world of SEO, backlinks are one of the most important factors that determine your ranking. But what are they, and why are they so important? In this blog post, we will answer those questions and provide you with some basic information about SEO that you need to know in order to create a successful website.

What are backlinks?

In simple terms, a backlink is a link from one website to another. Backlinks are also sometimes called “inbound links” or “ incoming links.” When you create a new website, you will want to generate backlinks in order to improve your SEO ranking. However, it’s important to note that not all backlinks are created equal. In order for a backlink to be effective, it needs to come from a high-quality website that is relevant to your own.

Dofollow and nofollow backlinks

There are two types of backlinks: dofollow and nofollow.

Dofollow links are the most common type of link, and they pass along “link juice” to the site that they are linking to. This link juice is a ranking signal that helps improve the SEO of the site that it is passing to.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, do not pass along link juice. These types of links are often used when a website is linking to another site that it does not want to endorse. For example, if you are linking to a site that has spammy content, you may want to use a nofollow link in order to avoid passing along link juice.

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks are important because they are one of the main ranking signals that search engines take into account when determining where to rank a website. In other words, if your site has a lot of high-quality backlinks, it is more likely to rank higher in search results.

High-quality backlinks vs. low-quality backlinks

When it comes to backlinks, quality is much more important than quantity. One high quality backlink from a reputable website can be worth hundreds of low quality backlinks from less reputable websites.

There are a few key things to look for when assessing the quality of a potential backlink:

The PageRank of the linking website: The higher the PageRank of a website, the more valuable its backlinks are. The scale goes from 0 to 10, with higher numbers indicating a greater link value.

  • What is PageRank? It’s a metric search engines use to measure the quality and quantity of links pointing to a website.
  • A PageRank of 0 means that the website is new or has no incoming links.
  • A PageRank of 0.0 to 0.99999 means that the website is still new and has low authority.
  • A PageRank of between one and three means that the website is starting to become more authoritative.
  • A PageRank of four to six means that the website is now quite authoritative.
  • A PageRank of seven to ten means that the website is extremely authoritative.

The relevancy of the linking website: A backlink from a website that is relevant to your industry or niche is worth more than a backlink from a website with no relation to your business.

The quality of the actual content on the linking page: A backlink from a website with high quality content is worth more than a backlink from a website with low quality content.

The anchor text of the backlink: The anchor text is the actual text that appears on the linking page and links to your website. Anchor text that contains keywords related to your business is worth more than generic anchor text.

The placement of the backlink on the linking page: A backlink that appears in the main body of content is worth more than a backlink that appears in the footer or sidebar.

The number of other backlinks on the linking page: If a webpage has 100 other links, and one of them is to your website, that backlink is worth less than if the webpage only had five other links, one of which was to your website.

The age of the domain: A backlink from an established website is worth more than a backlink from a brand new website.

SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, but understanding the basics of backlinks is essential for any business that wants to improve its search engine ranking and attract more organic traffic.

Backlink research:

Keyword research:

Before you can start building backlinks, you need to know which keywords to target. This requires a little bit of research on your part. Start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords related to your business or website. Once you have a good list, use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to help you identify which keywords are most relevant and have the highest search volume.

Competitor analysis:

Once you know which keywords you want to target, it’s time to take a look at your competitors. Visit their websites and take a look at their backlink profiles. Use a tool like Moz Open Site Explorer or SEMRush to see where their links are coming from. Identify any patterns or opportunities that you can capitalise on.

Link building:

Now that you know which keywords to target and where your competitors’ links are coming from, it’s time to start building your own backlinks. There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Guest blogging: Reach out to other bloggers or website owners in your industry and offer to write a guest blog post for them. Make sure to include a link back to your website in your author bio.
  • Link Roundup: Many bloggers and websites compile weekly or monthly roundups of their favourite articles from the past week or month. If you have an article that would be a good fit, reach out and see if they’ll include it in their next roundup.
  • Directory listings: There are a number of online directories that list websites in different industries. See if you can get your website listed on one (or more) of these directories.

Monitoring and tracking:

Once you start building backlinks, it’s important to track your progress. This will help you identify which link building strategies are working and which ones need to be tweaked or abandoned altogether. Use a tool like Google Analytics or Moz’s Link Explorer to track your backlink profile and monitor your progress over time.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that backlinks are just one piece of the SEO puzzle. In order to rank higher in search engine results, you need to have a well-rounded SEO strategy that includes other elements like keyword research, on-page optimization, and consistent content marketing. But building quality backlinks is a great place to start.

How to find high-quality backlinks

Now that you know what makes a high quality backlink, it’s time to start building them. The first step is to do some research and find websites that are relevant to your business and that have a high PageRank.

One way to do this is to use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer. This tool allows you to enter a website’s URL and see all of the other websites that link to it.

You can also use Google’s search operator “link:example.com” to find websites that link to a given URL.

Once you have a list of potential linking websites, the next step is to reach out to the owners or editors of those websites and ask them to link to your website.

This can be done by sending an email, filling out a contact form, or even leaving a comment on a relevant blog post.

Just remember to be polite and professional, and make it clear why it would be beneficial for the other website to link to yours.

If you follow these steps, you should start seeing an increase in the number of high quality backlinks to your website. This will help improve your search engine ranking and drive more organic traffic to your site.

How to get backlinks

The most common way to get backlinks is to earn them. You can do this by creating high quality, informative content that people will want to link to.

Another way to get backlinks is to reach out to other website owners and ask them if they would be interested in linking to your website. This approach should only be used with website owners who you have a good relationship with, and only if you are confident that your website is worth linking to.

The final way to get backlinks is to buy them. This should be avoided at all costs, as it is considered a black hat SEO practice that can result in search engine penalties.

What is black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is any practice that goes against the guidelines set forth by search engines. This can include practices like keyword stuffing, link buying, and cloaking.

What is white hat SEO?

White hat SEO is any practice that follows the guidelines set forth by search engines. This can include practices like keyword research, link building, and creating informative content.

What is gray hat SEO?

Gray hat SEO is any practice that falls in between black hat and white hat SEO. This can include practices like link buying from reputable sources, or using keyword-rich anchor text. Gray hat SEO can be risky, as it is possible to get penalized by search engines for using practices that are too close to black hat SEO.

How to disavow bad backlinks

If you notice that your website has a lot of low quality or spammy backlinks, you can use Google’s disavow tool to tell Google to ignore those links.

To do this, you’ll need to create a text file with a list of all the bad backlinks, and then submit that file to Google.

For more instructions on how to use the disavow tool, check out Google’s help page.

Conclusion

In order to create a successful website, it is important to understand the basics of SEO. Backlinks are one of the most important factors that determine your ranking, and they are essential for driving traffic to your website. If you want to learn more about backlinks and how to create them, our team of experts at Graticle can help. We offer a variety of services that will help you improve your website’s SEO and increase your traffic and sales. Contact us today to learn more! Call (360) 450-3711

SEO Frequently Asked Questions

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

What is on page SEO?

On page SEO (also called on site SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to improve its search engine rankings. It involves improving the website’s architecture, title tags, meta descriptions, content, etc.

What is off page SEO?

Off page SEO (also called off site SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to improve its search engine rankings. It involves link building, social media engagement, etc.

Why is SEO important?

SEO is important because it helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which means more people will find your site.

How long does it take for SEO to work?

The effects of SEO can be long term or short term. Short term effects are usually achieved by making on page changes, such as optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions. Long term effects are usually achieved by building links to your website.

How much does SEO cost?

The cost of SEO varies depending on the size of your website, the competition for your keywords, and the amount of work you need to do. Generally, small businesses can expect to spend anywhere between $500-$2000 per month on SEO.

I have more question about SEO. Who can I ask?

If you have more questions about SEO, you can contact an SEO company like Graticle. We would be happy to answer any of your questions. Call (360) 450-3711

Written by Shawn Hooghkirk on June 02, 2022

Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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