What Are Backlinks in SEO

“Backlink” is one of the most used words in the world of search engine optimization. Many bloggers who have only recently started a blog or a website often struggle to understand what the term “backlink” means. In this post, I hope you offer you an understanding of what backlinks are and why they are essential to SEO and your online success.
Let’s get started:
Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage. When a web page links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a web page. A page with a lot of backlinks tends to rank higher with all major search engines, including Google.  Here is a glossary of common terms related to backlinks that you should know:
What Are Backlinks in SEO
  • Link Juice: When a web page links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes the link juice. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority. As a blogger, you can stop passing the link juice by using a nofollow tag.
  • Nofollow Link: When a website links to another website, but the link has a nofollow tag, that link does not pass the link juice. Nofollow links are not useful concerning the ranking of a page, as they do not contribute anything.  In general, a webmaster uses the nofollow tag when he is linking out to an unreliable site. Example: Links from comments on other blogs.
  • Do-follow link: By default, all the links that you add in a blog post are do-follow links, and these pass the link juice.
  • Linking Root Domains: This refers to the number of backlinks coming to your website from a unique domain. Even if a website has linked to your website ten times, it would be considered as the one-linked root domain.
  • Low-Quality Links: Low-quality links are links that come from harvested sites, automated sites, spam sites or even porn sites. Such links do far more harm than good. This is one reason you should be careful when buying backlinks.
  • Internal Links: Links that are going from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links, and the process itself is referred to as internal linking.
  • Anchor Text: Text that is used to hyperlink is called anchor text. Anchor text backlinks work great when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.

Advantages of backlinks in SEO:

Before I talk about the advantages of backlinks, you need to know that much has changed concerning backlinks in the past couple of years. There was a time when even low-quality links helped in ranking a site.  But since Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm, the whole landscape of backlinking has changed.
It is important to have backlinks from quality sites, and the backlinks should be contextual. If, for example, you have a site about fish, and you are creating links from other niche sites, these will be of no use. Your goal should be getting links from authoritative and relevant sites.
Now let’s take a look at why it is important for you to create backlinks to your site:

Improves organic ranking:
Backlinks help in getting better search engine rankings. If any of your content is getting organic links from other sites, that content will naturally rank higher with search engines. Your goal should be to create links to individual posts/pages along with your homepage.

Faster indexing of site:
Backlinks help search engine bots to discover links to your site and to crawl your site effectively. Especially for a new website, it is important to get backlinks as they help in the faster discovery and indexing of your sites.

Referral traffic:
One of the major benefits of backlinks is that they help to get referral traffic. Usually, referral traffic is targeted and has a low bounce rate.
  • Learn: What are anchor text and the SEO importance of anchored text

How to start getting backlinks:

So now you understand what the term “backlink” means as it relates to SEO. Now it’s time to learn a few simple techniques for generating backlinks to your site.

One important fact that you need to keep in mind about backlink SEO is that it is not the number of backlinks which matters, but rather the quality of backlinks. If you are using some paid services to get links to your site, you are likely to be penalized by Google Penguin’s algo in the future.
What are some of the ways to get quality backlinks for your blog?
  • Write awesome articles
  • Start commenting
  • Submit to web directories
  • 101 ways to generate links

    Write awesome articles
    This is the best and most simple way to get backlinks for your blog. Tutorials and top-ten list articles are a couple of good examples of the types of posts that have great potential for getting backlinks from other websites as references. Such articles are based on proper research and practical examples.

    Start commenting
    Comments are an excellent, easy and free way to get backlinks. Start commenting on dofollow forums, dofollow blogs and also on WordPress blogs using top commentator plugins.

    The latest news has suggested that nofollow links don’t matter all that much but start commenting on any blog, and you will benefit with link juice. Commenting helps you to get solid one-way backlinks as well as more traffic and better search engine visibility.

    Submit to web directories
    Submitting your blog to web directories is another of the easy ways to get backlinks. With that said, this method is not very popular these days, because finding a legal web directory is not easy. You must especially avoid those web directories that ask you to create a backlink to their website to get their website into a directory.

    Also important – if you are using any automatic direct submission tactics, stop doing so right away.  Automatic website submission will cause your blog to appear to be spam, and it can cost you a lot in terms of your page rank or even cause the complete removal of your blog from the search engines.

  • Read: 7 ways to get quality one-way backlinks to your blog
I hope this article will help you to understand the basics of backlinks in SEO, and why you should start working on getting backlinks for your blog.
Do you currently work on getting backlinks for your blog?  Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

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