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What Are Backlinks and Why Are Backlinks Important? [2021 Ultimate Guide]

What Are Backlinks_image

Once Google confirmed that along with content, backlinks are one of the two most essential signals used to rank websites. That means backlinks are the most important SEO ranking factor you need to give attention to grow your website’s traffic from Google. So, don’t you think it would be good to know what are backlinks and what all you can do for your website in 2020?

Keep reading, and we will share everything you need to know about backlinks:

What Are Backlinks?
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Types of Backlinks
How To Get Backlinks
How to Check Your Website’s Backlinks

Let’s begin with it…..

What Are Backlinks?

A backlink is a link that goes from the external URL to your site. Backlinks assist you to rank higher in SERP by presenting your industry authority. Google considers it as a vote of confidence and is therefore utilized as a factor when ranking results. Knowing why links matter and understanding what are the things you have to do to get them can directly impact your organic search traffic. Remember in powerful backlink quantity vs quality, quality matters. Getting few links from appropriate high-authority websites is better than gaining lots of links from sites that have no value.

With this, now let’s move on to why are backlinks important.

You can see that backlinks undoubtedly are an important area to focus your efforts on improving. But why?

1. They Will Help You To Rank Higher

You probably know this by now, that backlinks help you to rank higher on Google and other search engines. Without having a quality backlink pointing to your website you are missing out on the most essential ranking factor, one which assists to showcase that you are a reputed and trusted authority in your industry, and hence, deserve to rank on the first page for key search terms.

For links to assist you to rank higher, you have to ensure that you are getting quality links. You want to avoid those that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines, like the kind of link which falls under the classification of a link scheme intended to influence search results.

2. They Are One Way That Google Finds New Pages

Google’s spider (Google bot) utilizes links to search new pages on the web- this is the way how content is found, crawled, and indexed, and one way to think of links is as the way in which Google navigates the internet. A link from a trusted source will assist your content to be indexed by Google faster, meaning it should also rank quicker.

3. They Boost Your Trustworthiness And Credibility

Great links from authoritative as well as trusted sources help you to rank higher from an SEO point of view, but they can also help boost your trustworthiness and credibility as a business. Think about it this way…Let’s say you are a tech startup. There is a good possibility not too many people know about your business (yet).

Even if you ignore the value of SEO, having editors and journalists at key publications in your industry prefer to link to your goes a long way to present people are talking about your business, and this worth its weighed in gold.

4. They Send Referral Traffic To Your Page

When the web was first launched, links were simply navigational. The aim of links, in the most simple form, is to take web browsers from Page A to Page B, not just within one site but also within various sites. And while links are now utilized as a ranking factor by Google, the principle has not changed that great links send very valuable traffic to your page. This is an effective link building strategy.

Prominent press coverage can send genuine traffic to your website. This in turn, introduces your brand to new audiences who can convert into customers. You have also then got the power to add this traffic to a remarketing list to target around paid media channels to make your referral traffic work little bit more effectively.

People have already alluded to the fact that all the backlinks are not the same, and listed below are some types which you need to know about.

1. Nofollow Links

Links are like votes for trusted resources, but what if you do not want to vouch for a site but still want to link to it? Nofollow links utilize the rel-”no follow” attribute to update Google and other search engines that they should not pass trust(PageRank). A nofollowed backlink looks like this:

<a href=”https://www.domain.com/” rel=””nofollow””>this is a nofollowed link</a>

Given that nofollowed links do not give PageRank, they won’t assist you to rank higher in search results. However, Google declared in September 2019 that they were evolving the nofollow attribute, stating, “when nofollow was introduced, Google would not consider any link specified as a signal to use within the search algorithms. This has now changed all the links attributes are taken as hints about which links to consider or exclude within search”.

There are some individuals who believe that this change to being treated as a hint means that Google will deliver trust through nofollow links in some situations, such as when an authority news platform adds the attribute sitewide. You can also know about link building techniques so that you can rank more conveniently.

2. DoFollow Links

Simply, a followed link is something that passes trust, and hence, does not have the nofollow attribute added.

Note: there is no follow attributes and also dofollow backlink aren’t a thing.

A followed backlink seems like this:

<a href=”https://www.domain.com/”>this is a followed link</a>

3. Sponsored or Paid Links

Sometime, you might pay an influencer or blogger to promote your content or to post a review of your products. If money, or a product or service, has changed hands in return for a link, a rel=” sponsored” attribute should be included to inform Google.

As a word of warning, investing money or gifting to get a followed link back to your site from another is a violation of Google’s Webmaster’s Guidelines and can negatively influence a website’s ranking in search results. Furthermore, the top notch SEO services can help you with this.

The rel=”sponsored” attribute protects your website from being negatively impacted by these links.

A sponsored backlink seems like this:

<a href=”https://www.domain.com/” rel=””sponsored””>this is a sponsored link</a>

4. UGC Links

Utilizing another of the new attributed rolled out in 2019, UGC links are those that come from the likes of blog and forums comments. The attribute updates Google that the link has been placed by a user and not the webmaster.

A UGC backlink seems like this:

<a href=”https://www.domain.com/” rel=””ugc””>this is a UGC link</a>

5. High Authority Links

You might consider it recommended that you focus on building high authority backlinks to your website to assist it to rank higher. Keep in mind, earlier it was mentioned that not all links are equal and that Google’s algorithm is weighted towards those which it trusts more than others?

High authority backlinks are those that come from reputed sources; as an example from a newspaper or from a reputed website that has earned trust.

Obviously, as mentioned above, the way Google assesses authority is via PageRank algorithm, but that is no longer a public-facing metric since they stopped updating, and eventually retired, their PageRank toolbar in 2016.

You can learn more about PageRank and how this benefits link building in 2020 here, however when assessing whether a link is high quality or not, consider aspects like credibility and whether the website shares quality content of real value to users.

While there are different metrics used by software platforms, these are not ones that are utilized or endorsed by Google and are only an indication of a domain’s authority. As a simple measure of authority, ask yourself whether you would prefer an endorsement from a site or publication. Furthermore, you can use effective methods if you are wondering how to do I create backlinks to gain natural links.

6. Toxic Links (Unnatural Links)

The wrong links can affect your site’s ability to rank on Google and can even negatively impact any rankings you already have. Poor links are mostly referred to as unnatural or toxic links.

Toxic backlinks are those that basically come from suspicious or low-quality websites or that are in direct violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and exist simply to manipulate search engine rankings. This could mean paid links that are not specific with nofollow or sponsored attributes, those from low-quality directories or bookmark website, widely utilized footer links, or unnatural links that utilize exact match anchor text. Being a website owner must have been thinking how many backlinks do I need to rank, so that you can gather valuable links, and that is the right thing to ask for and work in the right direction in it.

7. Editorially Placed Links

Google rewards and passes the highest authority through those that are editorially vouched or placed for by the website’s owner. An editorially placed or gained link is one where a webmaster or journalist has taken the decision to link to another site or webpage due to it being deserved of being sent authority and traffic. The reason for the link is to improve a reader’s experience, not to influence search engine algorithms.

1. Guest Posting With a Unique Offer

We have talked about guest posting in the past, and it continues to be the most favorite strategy.

Why?

As it is a trend and genuine technique whether you are starting to build a backlink portfolio for your site or if you are already a proven industry leader.

And you are just one Google search from unearthing many opportunities.

Utilize these Google Search Operators:

topic + intitle:”write for us”
Topic + intitle: “become a contributor”
inurl:guest-post
Topic + intitle: “write for me”

Now it is a matter of searching blogs that adhere to the quality backlink guidelines we just discussed.

Once you have written a fabulous post for the site’s audience, it is the time that you deliver them a little extra for visiting your page.

You can develop additional, exclusive content for the readers of your guest post. It could be something as simple as an infographic, or as deep as a guide or a video.

This is how you protect that valuable SEO backlink while getting some genuine traffic at the same time.

2. Use Niche-Specific Directories

The majority of industries and niches have active directories that suggest and represent companies operating in that sector. You will also analyze that local variants of these exist for many cities and towns. As with high-value guest posting, you can utilize Google to find these opportunities.

Do a Google search: accounting intitle:”directory”

And you are quickly presented with tons of industry-specific directories that you could submit your website to.

3. The Broken-Link Building Method

The broken link building method is loved by everyone because it works perfectly to make one-way backlinks. The method involves contacting a webmaster to report broken links on his/her site. At the same time, you suggest other sites to replace that link. And here, obviously, you mention your own site. Because you are doing the webmaster a favor by informing the broken links, the possibilities of a backlink back to your site are high.

So, to utilize the broken link method, first find out suitable sites in your niche that have resources pages. Find them by utilizing these search queries in Google:

your keyword + links
keywords inurl:links
your keywords + resources

When reaching out, be very friendly and introduce yourself first. Tell the person that he or she is linking to some resources that are no longer there. Always deliver the exact location of the broken links, so they can be conveniently found. Provide some alternatives to replace those links, including your own site. Try to be helpful, don’t become greedy to get a backlink. Mostly this method works, but there will be cases when the webmaster will deny linking back to you.

4. Roundup Posts

Roundup posts can be a great way to build links to content that you are developing as part of a broader content marketing strategy.

Consider this as building links that will assist to get eyes on the content you are creating.

Do a search on Google for:
“keyword” + roundup

And you will be showcased with a list of articles, that are released in this format. Generally, it is merely a list of curated posts across a specific topic, and most industries have at least a few. The majority of people who publish roundups do so regularly, and this means that they are searching for the good stuff to include. This is one of the great ways to earn more backlinks.

So why not throw a mail to the author of the roundup posts that you find and let them know about your latest content?

5. Turn Brand Mentions Into Links

Most organizations find themselves covered in the press, be that nationally, regionally, or internationally from time to time- be it because of a new product and service you have launched, a new hire, or even a charity. Whatever the reason, it is not uncommon for mentions in the press not to links. But, the hard work is executed- securing the coverage.

It’s always good following up with the editor or journalist when you have been mentioned in the press without a link and asking them to involve it in. While some won’t, others will, and it is a very convenient way to earn some great quality links. You can monitor your brand mentions which are as simple as developing a campaign across your domain, target country, and brand terms.

6. Publish Research and Pitch It To the Press

Unique research is a surefire method of landing press coverage for your organization, but don’t be fooled that it’s a quick and convenient task.

Launching a data-driven PR campaign utilizing either your own or third-party data consumed time, but it is well worth the return. Publishers and journalists absolutely love sharing surveys and research studies, and this can be one of the most perfect tips to get quality backlinks if you are prepared to put in the effort and time.

7. Content Syndication

Just imagine if you could get additional backlinks for content you have already published and written. You likely know about Medium and LinkedIn. These two fabulous platforms permit you to repost content that is already there on your website and immediately multiply its exposure to new audiences.

Some people like to use a rel=canonical tag on their website’s content and repost their best content.

And if you can. We suggest you mix things a little bit; rewrite some paragraphs, change headlines, and whatnot. You can also convert your content into an infographic, PDF, or video guide that others can download and post it around platforms. The chances are endless. We highly suggest you think out of the box and find out which piece of content is worth syndicating today!

Whether you want to plan various types of link building strategies or looking for techniques you could use to earn more great links to your site, or see how your competitors are performing a link point of view, or analyze how you benchmark against others competing for the same rankings’ you require to know how to check your website’s backlinks and gain an insight into your link profile.

There are some tools you could use to get a clear snapshot both of your own link profile as well as your competitors; you can do so with Google Search Console.

Using Google Search Console to Check Your Link Profile

Google Search Console will deliver you an insight into what your own link profile seems like, but it won’t deliver any information about your competitors. That being said, it is a free tool, and you surely need to know the links which Google sees pointing to your website, even if the insights which you can get are a little limited compared to other tools.

First, head over to Google Search Consoled and log in. Utilizing the left-hand menu, direct to Legacy tools and reports > Links

You should then look at an overview of your website’s backlink profile under the ‘External links’ heading.

You will be then able to see insights into:

✓ External links – How many external links point to your website.
✓ Top linking text – The most common link anchor text used for external links.
✓ Top linked pages – The pages on your website that have the majority of backlinks pointing to them.
✓ Top linking sites – The website which links to yours the most times.

Conclusion:

Backlinks are a key ranking factor and the one which you cannot ignore if you want to rank higher on SERP. Build great links, and you will see an increment in your rankings, just make sure to keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing and jump onto new opportunities as quickly as you can.

So, are you ready to build valuable backlinks? If so, then reach the reputed company- LinkBuildingCorp, that can deliver you powerful services for SEO. With our SEO experts, you will be able to grow your client base and increase your sales.

For hiring our services contact us now. We will be very happy to cater to your requirement.

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