When someone you trust points you to their sources, you feel more assured of what they’re saying. What’s even better is being this source, and not just for the ego boost – it’s great for SEO, too! Often, websites will link their references – or promote products or services they like – using backlinks.
Google pays attention to backlinks and can reward a website for receiving them. But what are they, and why should you want backlinks?
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks, also known as inbound links, incoming links, or one-way links, are links from one website to a page on another. If you’re the site on the receiving end, backlinks represent another site’s traffic coming to your website. They also are one of the ways Google rates the helpfulness of the pages they recommend to users.
Google rates pages using something called the E-A-T score: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The search engine’s algorithms need to know that other internet users think a site’s content is valuable; it considers how many sites are linking to your website as an authority. The quality and quantity of your backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines such as Google.
When an extremely authoritative domain includes your link on their site, Google sees them using your site as a source. It’s like a rocket scientist patting you on the shoulder at a party and telling other guests, “now here’s a smart person.”
It’s one of the reasons why you should want to earn backlinks! How else can they help you?
Why Do I Want Backlinks?
Backlinks are crucial for search engine optimization (SEO). The more backlinks you have (with all other aspects considered equal), the higher your site will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Even though Google has made thousands of changes to its algorithm since then, backlinks remain a key ranking signal.
Backlinks show search engines that your page is the most valuable for their users, ranked and filed in the form of first-page rankings. Not all backlinks are equal, however. If you want to rank higher in the SERPs, focus on quality backlinks. Google uses the concept of “Domain Authority” when ranking backlinks; essentially, it means that the more authority a site has, the more value it will give your site.
You should want backlinks because they raise your website’s profile through the Google rankings, creating consistent traffic levels and generating quality leads. But in many cases, quality is better than quantity. While these backlinks can be hard to get, they’re worth the effort. Because the links are from high domain authority websites, they are also more valuable than other backlinks and better for your SEO strategy.
So how can you earn high-quality backlinks?
How Can I Earn Backlinks?
Search engine optimization and content marketing are closely tied together. If you want high-quality sites to link to your website, you need high-quality content, too. You can do this by creating what are known as linkable assets – whether they’re blog posts, videos, quizzes, surveys, they must be something that people will want to link.
Another way to earn backlinks is to make connections with reliable, trustworthy websites. If the site looks like it accepts relevant links and places them within a useful context, you can feel good that your link is there. Seek out websites with relevant content and editorial standards; it may take longer, and you might not get accepted right away, but receiving a nod of approval from the rocket scientists of the SEO world is excellent for your authority. Make sure the site is in the index – if not, it will never show up on an organic search, and the backlink won’t help.
Getting these connections means maximizing your own site’s SEO because your site’s authority will matter to other sites, too! You can also build your social network through connecting with like-minded businesses, tactics like follow loops and using public link networks. The more people who know of your linkable assets, the better!