If you are new to SEO, you certainly must have heard about backlinks. The big question then is: what are backlinks in SEO? Backlinks are links posted on one website that direct users to another website. It is simply a link on a webpage that directs visitors to visit another website. Backlinks are important because it plays a huge role in ensuring higher rankings in search engines such as Google. A website that drives traffic due to multiple websites linking to it can make the website noticeable by search engines and therefore improve the website ranking. It is basically a vote of confidence from one website to another that shows that the content on the site is important and valuable. This article will provide details on the question; “what are backlinks in SEO?” and also provide you with all the necessary information on all you need to know about backlinks. So let’s get to it.
What are Backlinks in SEO?
As said earlier, backlinks are links on a website that directs you to another webpage. When you log in to a website with particular content, you will find links in the website that direct you to another webpage with a more elaborate or vast explanation about the subject matter – these links are known as backlinks.
Having backlinks is one of the ways you can get higher rankings on your webpage and also grow your website. It is important to know that not all backlinks are equal; the impact of a backlink is determined by its quality and utility.
What Factors Make a Good Backlink?
The question: “what are backlinks in SEO?” must have been answered at this point. However, you must understand that not all backlinks are good for the health and ranking of your website. There are factors that make up a good backlink. Some of the factors include:
- A quality backlink is one that is relevant to the topic discussed. If a backlink is not relevant to the topic discussed in a webpage, it will hardly drive clicks. The backlink you place on your website has to be one that is relevant to the subject matter.
- If a backlink is from a high traffic page, it is likely to get more clicks than one from a low traffic page.
- Backlinks that are placed prominently are more likely to drive clicks than hidden ones.
- Backlinks are regarded as quality if they come from a website with more “authority”.
- The backlink is a ‘do-follow’ link. There are links that have the ‘no-follow’ tag attached to it. Google or other search engines ignore these links. A ‘do-follow’ link attracts visitors to a webpage more than a ‘no-follow’ link. Not too many links on the web are ‘no-follow’, most links online are ‘do-follow- links.
- A quality backlink must have anchor texts that include your target keyword. Anchor texts are those visible parts of a link.
Types of Backlinks – What are Backlinks in SEO
There are basically two types of backlinks. The different type of backlinks determines their importance and quality.
- No–follow links: This is a backlink no one wants. These backlinks tell search engine bots to ignore the link. If you are looking to improve your ranking or visibility, these links will not be helpful in achieving that.
- Do–follow links: This type of backlink is one that brings people to a webpage. This type of backlink makes more sense if it’s coming from a website that has authority. However, some ‘do-follow’ backlinks come from toxic websites and can lead to penalizing or de-indexing your site. Because the ranking of a website depends on the quality of the backlink, it is necessary to use a do-follow backlink.
Benefits of Backlinks
- Relevant backlinks help to improve search engine rankings. When a website posts a link directing visitors to your webpage, this drives traffic to your page and in turn increases ranking on your site. The more backlinks you have to your page, the more it registers to visitors that the content on your page is relevant.
- Backlinks improve the chances of less popular websites being discovered when search engine bots revisit popular web pages. A new webpage with no backlinks have a much lesser chance of being discovered or listed than one with a backlink.
- Having backlinks on your page helps to drive referral traffic. When a webpage posts a link directing visitors to your page and people click on this link, you get referral traffic on your website.
How to check your backlinks
You can check your website backlinks through several backlink monitoring platforms like Ahrefs, SemRush, Google Search Console etc. Keeping a close watch on your backlinks helps you know when your toxic web owners put up their links on your site. When you notice such links, it is advisable to ask the web owners to remove their links from your site to prevent your website from being penalized, which could reduce your page ranking.
You can check your backlinks using:
- Google search console: You can check your backlinks by signing in on the Google search console. Creating a free account and verifying that you are the owner of your account is totally free. What Google search console does is to give you data about the overall performance of your website and your organic search traffic.
To check your backlinks:
- Sign in to your account and click on ‘links’.
- Below ‘external links’ you will see the total number of unique backlinks to your website.
- You can also check backlinks using platforms like Ahrefs and SemRush. To check your backlink using Ahref, all you need to do is just type in a domain or URL and click on ‘check backlinks’. The number of all the backlinks and referring domains including the top 100 backlinks will appear.
You can also check backlinks using SemRush. You can use the ‘backlink analytics section’ in the platform to study your competition or you can go to the ‘backlink audit area’. The backlink audit area of SemRush checks every backlink and sieves out those that are toxic. You can also use this tool to email the toxic website owner to remove their links from your site before your webpage will be penalized.
How to Get Backlinks
Having answered the question: “what are backlinks in SEO?”, you must agree with me that backlink is very essential to the performance of every website on search engine search results. You might be asking yourself; “how do I get backlinks to my website?” If you want people to post your link on their website, you need to follow certain steps. Some of the steps to follow include:
- You need to make your website relevant by writing catchy and interesting articles. If you have boring and poorly written articles on your webpage, you will have lesser and lesser people visiting your site. However, if your webpage is filled with easy to read, relevant and unique articles, you will have more people visit your site to learn more.
- You can also gain backlinks ‘organically’ by earning them. This is when people discover your content through search engines, social media platforms or through word of mouth.
- By guest blogging. You can decide to write content for other people’s blogs. By writing content for another person’s blog, the person, in turn, posts a link to your website in the post. To find sites to guest blog for, look out for WebPages with tags like ‘write for us’ or ‘contribute’.
- Build back broken links in your website. To do this, you need to first find the broken link, try to rebuild the dead content and then reach out to visitors that click on the broken link and pitch your new version to them.
- You can also decide to find web pages where your brand has been mentioned but there are no links directing visitors to your site and ask the author of the website to make the mention clickable.