Backlinks not only add value to your content but also bring traffic by elevating the SEO game of your web page. SEO or Search Engine Optimization rests on several pillars, and backlinks are one of them.
Search engines like Google take several factors into consideration to decide the rank of a page and visibility of the website in search engine result pages (SERPs). Of these, links that lead to other web pages are very important. In fact, link building has been a very important part of SEO for a long time.
According to CIO, backlinks come second in the list of important factors that influence ranking, the first being content relevance. It is also said that page-level and domain level backlinks are very influential ranking factors.
So, before we discover how to do link building the correct way and garner high quality links, let us go through the basics of backlinking.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links from other websites to a particular web resource, such as a website, web page, or web directory. It can be compared to a citation or reference to other content. Backlinks are created when one website links some of its text to another.
They are also called inbound or incoming links as they denote another website’s traffic being attracted to your site. Good quality and quantity of backlinks help boost your website’s SEO and increase your search engine ranking.
Google considers backlinks as votes for a specific web page. Thus, pages with high backlink numbers have high organic search engine ranks. Although several factors go into determining the quality of backlinks, they can be classified into four categories:
Why Is Backlink Quality Important?
Backlinks basically tell Google that your content is “valuable, credible, and useful.” So, the more and better they are, the higher you will rank in SERPs. However, in the case of backlinks, quality is more important than quantity.
This is because backlinks reflect on the authority and trustworthiness of your content. Hence, they work better if they come from trusted websites. For instance, it is always preferable to get a backlink from, say, The Mirror’s website, compared to the blog of an obscure blogger.
This elevates your domain authority, as any link building company would tell you. It is also important to have the backlink include your target keyword in the anchor text. That would be proof of quality to tell Google that your website has the right stuff.
In addition to these, there are many reasons for giving importance to backlink quality.
- Google values links from high-authority sites very much, and associates that value with your content to decide your page rank.
- Good quality backlinks denote that the website content is valuable enough to be referenced by other high domain websites.
- Links are one of the most important off-page ranking factors in terms of SEO.
- Link quality directly impacts search rankings.
- It describes how well the site is being optimized, what the page wants to convey, and how many visitors found the content useful or valuable.
Overall, backlink quality makes or breaks your SEO game. It amplifies the impact your website makes, if you keep working towards it over a period of time.
However, people often fail to garner high quality backlinks, instead of wasting time and effort on adding numerous random backlinks that bring little to no value. That is why you must be aware of the essential factors that make a backlink high quality.
Essential Factors that Contribute to Making a Backlink High Quality
Some aspects of a backlink influence its quality and impact. Here, we will discuss which factors are most important in ensuring a backlink is high quality and can do the trick to improve your rankings.
Domain authority was used as a ranking metric by marketing firm Moz to measure the authority of a website. It is a score given out of 100, based on the website age, size, and trustworthiness.
It is a useful attribute to determine the quality of a backlink. Domain authority depends on content engagement, quality, and metrics. For instance, websites with higher ranks that have a lot of audience interaction on their blogs or posts, have a higher domain authority than websites with low user engagement.
You can check the domain authority of a website before targeting it for link building. The ideal score is above 70, but anything above 40 is considered decent.
Relevant content is the most important factor in determining rankings and backlink quality. It is as important for real readers as it is for search engines. Hence, you should always include backlinks that are relevant to your content. Otherwise, it may do more harm than good.
Linking irrelevant pages reaches Google’s webmaster guidelines and you can be penalized for it. After all, Google’s chief aim is to provide users with relevant and valuable content for their searches.
The value of a backlink increases when it comes from a relevant source and contains some valuable information. For instance, if your blog is about health foods, a link to a nutritionist’s column is more helpful than a reference to a fashionable clothing website. People are more likely to click relevant links.
While considering content, also ensure that the content covers important aspects of the search keyword, is grammatically and logically sound, and has uniqueness and insight.
PageRank is a Google algorithm to rank web pages for the SERPs. Named after co-founder Larry Page, PageRank is a way to measure the importance of web pages while displaying them as search results.
Even though you might think PageRank has little to do with backlinking, it has been said by Google time and again that “the quality of inbound links pointing to your domain or page is still the most important ranking indicator.”
And since PageRank counts the number and quality of links to a page to assign value to the content, it is a crucial factor in backlink quality.
The age of the domain can impact the quality of your backlinks. Websites that have been around for a longer time are considered to be more reliable. Domain age has an impact on your website’s SEO and Google’s evaluation of your content value. Therefore, it benefits you more to have backlinks from older domains than newer ones.
Anchor text or link label is the clickable text associated with an HTML hyperlink. When clicked, the anchor text leads you to another link with relevant content. Anchor text optimization is an important factor in backlink quality and matters to Google algorithms.
Make sure your anchor text appears natural and relevant. Use targeted keywords here, including long-tail and LSI keywords, for better results. However, do not over optimized anchor text by becoming spammy. Keep it natural, varied, and relevant to the content.
Ability to Attract Traffic
The primary purpose of a backlink is to send traffic to your website. And that is more important than manipulating the search engine to improve rankings. You should think of backlinking as a way of influencing your website value by sending traffic organically to your web page.
For that, you must be aware of follow vs no-follow links. A no-follow link turns a link useless by telling Google to ignore it, whereas a follow link lets Google associate that content with your page and give it precedence.
Since search engines ignore links with a no-follow tag, you should focus on adding valuable follow links, while avoiding spam.
Link building is a sure way of increasing traffic, improving rankings, and creating value for your website. If you can keep track of all these factors and ensure that all your backlinks are of high quality, you will be able to drive organic traffic to your website without spending any money. You can also use the help of a link building company to create effective backlinking strategies for SEO.