If you have read or studied anything about Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ), you will have come across the term « backlinks » at least once.
Those who are new to SEO may be wondering what a backlink is , what it means in Spanish, and why it is important.
Backlinks have become very important to the scope of search engine optimization. They have become one of the main components for good SEO.
In this article, we'll explain their concept, why they're important, and what you can do to get them to avoid getting into trouble with search engines.
What are Backlinks?
Backlink is a link that one website gets from another.
Backlinks have a huge impact on a website's prominence in search engine results.
That is why they are considered very useful to improve the SEO ranking of a website.
Search engines calculate rankings using multiple factors to display search results.
No one knows for sure how much weight search engines give to backlinks when listing results. However, what we do know for sure is that they are very important.
Backlinks must be natural, this means that a website must not use artificial ways to create backlinks for their own websites.
The quality of the links is much more important than the quantity.
Here is a glossary of common backlink-related terms you should know:
- Link Juice: When a web page links to any of your articles or to the home page of your website, it becomes a link juice. This link helps improve the ranking of the article and also improves the authority of the domain.
- No-Follow link: When a website links to another website, but the link has a no-follow tag, that link does not pass link juice.
- No-follow links are not helpful with regards to page ranking as they do not contribute anything. Generally, a webmaster uses the do not follow tag when connecting to an untrustworthy site.
- Do-Follow Link – By default, all links you add to a blog post are do-follow.
- Linking Root Domains: refers to the number of backlinks coming to your website from a single domain.
- Low-Quality Links – Low- quality links are the ones that come from automated sites, spam sites, or even porn sites. Such links do far more harm than good. This is one of the reasons why you should be careful when buying backlinks.
- Internal Links – Links that go from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links. The process itself is known as internal linking or interconnection.
- Anchor Texts – The text used for hyperlinks is called anchor text. Anchor text links work very well when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.
Importance of backlinks
Backlinks are important for a number of reasons.
The quality and quantity of pages that link to your website are some of the criteria used by search engines.
This is done by Google to determine your ranking in their search engine results pages (SERPs).
The higher it is in a SERP, the better it is for your business since people tend to click on the first results that are displayed on Google, Bing, among others.
But why do search engines care about backlinks?
In the early days, it didn't matter how good the content on a website was, how popular it was, or what the website was for. If a phrase on a page matched a phrase someone had searched for, then that page would probably show up.
That meant that if someone had an online diary documenting extensively how they had to take their car to a "car accident repair shop," people searching for a "car accident repair shop" would probably be directed to that . page.
On the other hand, website owners quickly realized that they could exploit this weakness by resorting to “keyword stuffing”.
This practice simply involved creating websites with massive keyword lists and making money from the ad revenue they generated.
This made search engines virtually worthless and weakened the usefulness of the Internet as a whole . So how could this problem be fixed?
Google was born and brought with it the value of website backlinks.
Back in the 1990s, two Stanford students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin started thinking about how they could make a better search engine that wouldn't be fooled by keyword stuffing.
So they realized that if they could measure the popularity of each website (and then cross-index with it), they could build a much more useful search engine.
In 1998, they published a scientific article in which they presented the concept of “ PageRank” . This topic was explored in another paper to which Brin and Page contributed, "PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web."
As they pointed out in their article, pages crammed with useless keywords "often kill any results a user is interested in."
Although we constantly complain when we come across scam pages today, the problem was much worse back then.
It is incredibly difficult to think of this happening now. Imagine searching for the word "Google" in that search engine, and not having www.google.com appear on the first page of results.
And yet, that's how bad it was 20 years ago.
But PageRank was the product of two assumptions:
- If many websites link to one, then that website is probably a very good one.
- The more backlinks that point to a website, the better it needs to be. Powerful websites are not likely to link to low quality websites. Therefore, a link from such authorized websites means that the linked site is very good.
So they used these assumptions to develop a concept called PageRank, in which each website was assigned a value based on the number of websites linking to it.
In short, a website with very few backlinks would have a small score.
How to build backlinks?
As you already know, Google analyzes the number of backlinks and the quality of these links to determine the importance of a website.
Consequently , SEO experts go to great lengths to get more backlinks for their clients.
But there are good and bad ways to accomplish this.
Building quality backlinks takes a lot of effort and time . This is not a one-and-done operation.
This requires perseverance. Some examples of proper backlink building include:
- Guest Posting/Blogging: Are there any quality websites dedicated to your industry that accept guest articles? Try contacting them with the offer of a free article on a relevant topic in exchange for a line with a link to your website.
- Press Articles: Journalists and writers are always on the lookout for experts to contribute citations to their articles. Some (but not all) will include backlinks to their source websites. Websites like HARO and Profnet help you connect with journalists who have specific needs, while other tools allow you to send interesting submissions to writers.
- Local citations: Address listings on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages, and elsewhere count as backlinks and also help customers find your business.
- Comments / Blog Profiles / Forums: Commenting on blogs and forums used to be a great way to build backlinks. While this approach isn't as robust as it once was (due in part to frequent abuse), providing support on industry-specific forums , as well as sites like Quora, can help build backlinks and awareness for your site.
- Press releases: These are posted on many news sites with backlinks to your site.
- Directories – While the value of web directories has dramatically decreased, by submitting your website to local, industry-specific, and niche directories, you can build worthwhile backlinks.
- Business Networking Profiles: LinkedIn profiles, for example, allow you to post your URL and other industry networking sites as well.
- Reciprocal Links: These are 'eye for an eye' links; your friend has a website that links to yours, and your website links to your friend's site. While reciprocal links are seen by some as effective, they are in the gray area where they can be used honestly and solely to improve Google ranking. Be careful.
- Social Media – You simply cannot ignore the value of social media . And even at the basic level of backlinks, there is a modicum of value, as social media sites display the URL of a profile owner's website. However, since Facebook and some other networks do not allow Google crawlers to index profile pages , backlinks from these networks will not directly affect Google's SERPs .
- Internal Site Links: Links from one page on your site to another count as backlinks. Technically, internal site links are not backlinks, but when used properly, such links can help increase the ranks of your internal web pages for certain keywords.
- Donations – Donating your time or money to local charities, organizations, and schools can be an effective way to gain backlinks.
Advantages of backlinks in SEO
Before talking about the advantages of backlinks, you should know that there have been several changes.
There was a time when even low-quality links helped rank a site.
But ever since Google implemented its Penguin algorithm, the entire backlink landscape has changed.
It's important to have backlinks from quality sites, and those backlinks should be contextual.
If, for example, you have a site about fish and you are creating links from other specialized sites about monkeys, these links will not be useful.
Your goal should be to get links from authoritative and relevant sites.
Now yes, let's see its advantages for SEO:
1. Improve Organic Ranking
Backlinks help get better search engine rankings.
If any of your content gets organic links from other sites, that content will naturally rank higher with search engines.
Your goal should be to link to individual posts/pages alongside the ones that lead to your home page.
2. Faster indexing
Backlinks help search engine robots discover links to your site and crawl it effectively.
Especially, for a new website, it is important to get backlinks as they help in faster discovery and indexing of your site.
3. Referral traffic
One of the main benefits of backlinks is that they help you get referral traffic.
Referral traffic is usually targeted and has a low bounce rate.
Working the backlinks will only bring benefits to your digital business . They are fundamental in the web positioning of your brand.
Try to add backlinks to your marketing strategy to be able to position yourself better in search engines and build yourself as an authority on the topics that interest you.
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