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What are Backlinks? And How to Build Them

Written by Dennis Ventura
November 5, 2022

If you’re looking to rank higher in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and get more traffic, then backlinks might be the answer. What are backlinks? These are links that point to your website from other websites or webpages on the internet. What does this have to do with ranking higher in Google’s SERPs? It helps you rank higher because it increases your website’s authority.

When you use SEO methods like keyword research, content marketing, social media marketing, link building strategies, and others, they are all designed to increase your site authority so that when people search for keywords related to what you offer, they will see your webpage come up first in the search engine result page!

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are essentially votes for your website from other websites. “This content is valuable, credible, and useful,” each of these votes informs search engines. The higher your site ranks in Google and other search engines, the more of these “votes” you have.

It’s nothing new to use links in a search engine’s algorithm. Backlinks were, in fact, the backbone of Google’s first algorithm (known as “PageRank”). Backlinks remain a vital ranking signal, even though Google’s algorithm has undergone thousands of adjustments since then.

For example, according to recent industry research, links are still Google’s most important ranking signal. According to the company, backlinks are still one of Google’s three most significant search engine ranking variables.

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What Types of Backlinks are Valuable?

Backlinks can take numerous shapes, just as different people and businesses have diverse needs. As a result, what works for one website may or may not work for another.

That’s why it’s critical to know the differences between the three types of links: Dofollow, Nofollow, and editorial (or “naturally occurring”). Each class has a unique manner of assisting your website in ranking higher.

Backlinks aren’t all made equal. In other words, focus on quality backlinks if you want to rank higher in the SERPs. To put it another way, a single high-quality backlink can outperform 1,000 low-quality connections. High-quality backlinks, it turns out, have a few common characteristics.

They Come From Trusted, Authoritative Websites

Google, it turns out, feels the same way. The term “Domain Authority” is used to describe this concept. In other words, the more authority a site has, the more source it may transmit to yours (via a link) is an exceptionally authoritative domain, according to Ahrefs. Google gives the link a lot of weight because it originates from an authoritative site. Is it challenging to obtain these links? Definitely. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

They Include Your Target Keyword In The Link’s Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible text portion of a link, in case you forgot. In general, you want anchor text that incorporates your target term in your links. Indeed, a recent industry study discovered a link between keyword-rich anchor text and higher keyword rankings.

Now for a word of caution: You don’t want to use too many keywords in your anchor text. In truth, Google’s algorithm includes a “Google Penguin” filter. Google Penguin penalizes websites that employ black-hat link-building tactics. And it concentrates on sites that engage exact match anchor text to build backlinks.

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The Site (and Page) Linking to You Is Topically Related To Your Site

Search engine rankings will be harmed if you use a high-quality backlink from a non-related site. For example, Google wants to verify that you’re providing helpful material on the same subject as the website that’s connecting to you. Furthermore, it does not want its users to click through only to find themselves on an entirely unrelated webpage. When one website links to another, Google looks to check if the two sites are connected.

When you think about it, this makes sense: Assume you’ve just finished writing an article about marathon running. In that instance, Google will value links from sites about marathons, running, and fitness for more than links from sites about fishing, unicycling, and digital marketing.

The Link Is a “Dofollow” Link

Links with the “nofollow” tag are ignored by Google and other search engines. (In other words, No follow links aren’t taken into account by search engine algorithms.

The great majority of links on the internet are dofollow links, which is a good thing. The majority of links with the nofollow tag aren’t precious, to begin with. For example, nofollow links from these sources are standard:

  • Comments on a blog
  • Publications
  • Advertisements that are paid for

Because these links aren’t handy for SEO, the fact that they’re nofollow links isn’t a significant concern.

The Link Is From a Domain That Hasn’t Linked to You Before

Assume you receive a link from Website A. Great. Let’s say Website A connects to you once more. And once more. Are the second, third, and fourth links as effective as the first? No.

Links from the same website, it turns out, have diminishing returns. Another way to say it is: Getting 100 links from 100 distinct websites is usually preferable to 1,000 links from the same domain. In fact, the number of sites linking to you (rather than the total number of backlinks) linked with Google rankings more than any other element, according to our search engine ranking correlation study.

Best Practices

You need something worth linking to on your website if you want others to link to it (Also referred to as “Linkable Assets”). A Linkable Asset can be anything that people will want to link to, such as a blog post, a video, a piece of software, a quiz, or a poll. Your linkable asset will always be a fantastic piece of content (which is why search engine optimization and content marketing are so closely tied together). Google utilizes 200 ranking signals, according to a report I read the other day. Naturally, this piqued my interest: “What are these 200 signals?” Of course, Google wasn’t going to let the world know about them. As a result, I began accumulating statements from Google as well as patents that I discovered online. It takes a long time to compile these 200 factors (it took me over two weeks). But, in the end, I generated a list of 200 ranking indicators that Google’s algorithm might consider. So far, nearly 25,800 backlinks from 5,870 domains have been produced by this single piece of content.

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Create a Linkable Assets

The most crucial step in getting your site to rank on Google is to create a linkable asset. What does it mean to have a “linkable asset”? Anything that individuals would wish to share with others, for example:

  • A blog entry
  • An information graphic
  • A video presentation is available.
  • Computer software (with an API)
  • An electronic book
  • A piece of information

Instruments (as long as they are valuable) What distinguishes something as linkable? It must be beneficial to the user. What makes it worthwhile to connect to, share with others, or inform your friends about? People will want to share it across their social networks if it addresses an issue. External links matter so following a link-building strategy can help you in creating linkable assets and good quality links, but without proper help or guidance, it can end up as a broken link building. Read more on our latest posts here.


Dennis Ventura

Dennis Ventura




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