What Are Backlinks

Understanding the Basics of Backlinks

Ever wondered how the digital world of search engines is a bit like high school popularity contests? Think about it. In that bustling online landscape, each website wants to be the prom king or queen, trying to get noticed and ranked higher by Google’s algorithm. But what gives them this fame?

The answer lies in understanding “what are backlinks?“. They’re essentially ‘votes’ from other sites vouching for your content quality, just as students voting for their preferred candidate.

Every time another site links to yours (like a shoutout), you earn a backlink. The more you have from reputable sources, the better your chances of climbing up Google’s ranks – just like winning that crown at prom night!

Interested? Hang tight; we’ll dive into how you can earn these sought-after ‘votes’ and boost your ranking.

Our WebHub service will create hundreds of backlinks to your website.

Backlink Basics

Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” play a pivotal role in SEO. Why is that? To answer this question, let’s think about backlinks as endorsements.

In politics, an endorsement from a reputable source can boost a candidate’s profile and credibility. Similarly, when your website receives a link from another site – particularly an authoritative one – search engines view it as an affirmation of your content’s quality and relevance.

This digital thumbs-up is vital because backlinks are among Google’s three most crucial search engine ranking factors. They’re like gold stars on your internet report card.

The Importance of Backlinks in SEO

Putting more high-quality backlinks often leads to better search engine rankings. The key phrase here is ‘high-quality’. It’s not just about quantity; you want other websites to link to yours because they find value in what you offer.

The interconnectedness of the web is akin to the game ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ where each link brings two actors closer together in a maximum of six steps. Each actor who has worked with Kevin Bacon moves closer within six degrees to any other actor. Regarding websites and backlinking, each connection increases your visibility on the web playing field.

How Backlinks Affect Search Engine Rankings

You might think: I need these golden nuggets, but how do they influence my ranking?

Let me introduce our good friend Ubbersuggest, a tool that checks backlinks. It’s like having a backstage pass to the SEO rock concert, letting you see who’s linking to your site and how those links affect your performance. This tool gives SEO information in addition to just backlinks.

When another website links to yours, search engines get a signal that your content is valuable and trustworthy. This can help boost your visibility in search results – it’s like getting an invitation from Beyoncé to join her on stage. The audience (search engine) sees this endorsement and thinks, “Wow. If Beyoncé trusts them, they must be good.”

Key Takeaway: 

Think of backlinks as gold stars for your website. Like a political endorsement boosts credibility, high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. This improves visibility and increases your chances of climbing the SEO rankings.

Different Types of Backlinks and Their Roles

It’s essential to recognize that the value of backlinks varies greatly. There are two main types: dofollow and nofollow. Each plays a unique role in the world of SEO.

Dofollow Backlinks

The superheroes of link building, dofollow links pass authority from one site to another. This transfer is often referred to as “link juice.” These high-quality backlinks contribute significantly to your website’s search engine rankings.

In these cases, the target keyword forms part of the anchor text, providing more context for search engines. For instance, if you receive a dofollow link with ‘digital marketing course’ as its anchor text on an authoritative domain related to education or digital marketing, Google’s algorithm perceives this positively because it helps connect relevant content across the web.

Nofollow Backlinks

In contrast, nofollow links are less powerful but valuable sidekicks in our SEO journey. As their name suggests, they instruct search engine algorithms not to let any authority pass through them. However, don’t discount them just yet. They can drive traffic toward your site, increasing visibility even though they don’t directly influence ranking factors.

If you’re looking at achieving higher rankings organically, remember both types have different roles. Hence, it would be best to strike a balance between them within your backlink profile.

Role Of Anchor Text In BackLinks:

  • An important aspect of backlinks is anchor text. It’s the clickable text in a hyperlink, usually underlined and blue.
  • Search engines use it to understand your website, which can affect positive and negative SEO results. So, choose wisely.
  • A keyword-rich anchor text signals search engine algorithms like Google Penguin (the update that checks for over-optimized links) what the link’s destination page content relates to.

Key Takeaway: 

Backlinks, both dofollow and nofollow, play unique roles in SEO. Dofollow links are the superheroes passing authority between sites to boost rankings. Nofollow links don’t pass this ‘link juice,’ but they can drive traffic for visibility’s sake. Also, remember: Anchor text matters. It gives context to search engines about your site.

Strategies for Building High-Quality Backlinks

The quest to build high-quality backlinks can feel like a digital marketing version of the Wild West. It’s wild and untamed, and everyone is looking for gold (in this case, those golden links that boost SEO). But fret not. You’ll be well on your way with these strategies in your holster.

Online Profiles

Ensure all your online profiles, like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc., have links to your website. This also extends to profiles like About.me and other websites you have online. All must link to your main website.

Writing Business Reviews

Look at the vendors that you use in your business. Write them a glowing review and ask that they add it to their website. Provide them a link to your website to add to the review. Typically, after your review, it will list your name and business name. Link your business name to a page on your website.


Use a tool like BrightLocal to update your business NAP (name, address, phone) and other business information Online. BrightLocal will keep the main 4 directories current. All the little directories online pull the information from the primary 4.

On top of this, see what directories are prominent in your industry, and be sure you have a profile on these directories. A huge one for service providers is UpCity.

Guest Blogging

Find businesses that share your ideal customers but do not do precisely what you do. Offer to write a blog post on some topic you are an expert in for their website. You should get a bio at the end of the article that can be linked to your website.

Infographic Outreach

You know what people love? Infographics. They’re fun to look at and packed with info.

A good infographic works like magic beans – plant them across social media platforms or guest posts, water with some tremendous contextual content surrounding it, including keyword-rich anchor text, et voila.

Link Reclamation

Much like an Indiana Jones adventure where he recovers lost treasures, Link Reclamation is all about recovering lost link value by finding broken links or reclaiming unlinked brand mentions. These could be from authoritative websites where someone dropped the ball while linking or failed altogether.

This strategy has two significant benefits: repairing damage to the site owner’s domain authority due to broken links and providing quality backlinks that drastically enhance search engine rankings.

The Art of Guest Posting

If you’re not into archeology-style treasure hunts like Indy, perhaps playing Hemingway would suit you better – enter Guest Posting. Here, we write valuable content on other relevant blogs/forums/platforms and subtly incorporate our website links. Remember, though: All backlinks are not created equal, so ensure they come from sites having decent domain authority, or else Google Penguin filters might mark them as spam.

Broken Link Building

This is like turning someone’s trash into your treasure. Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and suggesting they replace them with links to one of your pages—a win-win situation.

What is the best way to get quality backlinks?

  • Create content that people want to link to. You might have heard of this as link bait. These articles list the top X best CRMs (for example).
  • Offer quality reviews your vendors want to put on their websites.
  • Share your expertise in an article that links to your website. Such articles can go on article directory websites.

Key Takeaway: 

High-quality backlinks are the gold nuggets of digital marketing. Use infographics for outreach, recover lost link value with Link Reclamation, contribute valuable content via Guest Posting, and turn broken links into treasures. Remember to keep quality over quantity to avoid Google’s spam filters.

Identifying and Avoiding Low-Quality Backlinks

The world of backlinks can be a treacherous path to navigate. While quality backlinks boost your site’s reputation, low-quality ones can lead you down the road of Google penalties.

Understanding Google’s Penguin filters

You might wonder why some links are harmful. Here’s where Google’s Penguin filters come into play. These sneaky algorithms sniff out unnatural linking practices like a bloodhound on steroids.

Penguin penalizes sites with black hat SEO tactics or spammy backlink profiles. So, it’s essential to steer clear of these nefarious techniques if you want your site to rank well in search results.

To put it bluntly, not all links are created equal.

Avoid Paying for Links and Non-Newsworthy Press Releases

Paid links may seem tempting – quick fix, right? But they’re more like ticking time bombs. Statistics show that paid links can negatively affect your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In addition, press releases with irrelevant content often carry the stigma of being considered spam by search engines, which could further harm your ranking.

Finding Those Pesky Low-Quality Backlinks

Weeding out bad apples from an apple pie isn’t easy unless you know what they look like. The same applies to identifying low-quality backlinks; understanding their characteristics is half the battle won.

  • Bulk-generated comments: If there is little relevance between the comment and the post topic or excessive keyword-rich anchor text – beware. It’s a red flag.
  • Site-wide links: Links on every website page, often in the footer or sidebar, can raise eyebrows with search engines.
  • Poorly written content: Low-quality backlinks are often nestled within poorly written articles that lack value and originality. Keep an eye out.
  • Link farms are websites whose sole purpose is to provide links.
  • Paid Links: If you pay to have your link on another website (a paid link), it is not considered equal by search engines.
  • Industry relevant: Avoid links from websites that are irrelevant to your industry.
  • Different countries: Avoid links from countries where you don’t do business.

Key Takeaway: 

Backlinks can be tricky, like a two-sided coin. The right ones lift your site, but the wrong ones could put you in hot water with Google. To steer clear of Penguin’s watchful eye, say no to shady SEO tactics and spam-filled backlink profiles. Paying for links or pushing out press releases without any real news? That’s more trouble than it’s worth. Keep an eagle eye out for low-quality backlinks by checking for unrelated comments and widespread links on sites.

Factors Influencing the Quality of Backlinks

The quality of backlinks is affected by numerous elements, and not all have the same worth. The authority of a site linking to you plays a significant role in determining your domain authority. A backlink from an authoritative domain can be like getting a recommendation from someone well-respected in your field.

An essential factor that search engines consider when assessing the value of backlinks is their relevance to your content. Imagine this: if an expert chef recommends a particular kitchen knife brand, it holds more weight than if they endorsed car tires. Similarly, links from sites related to yours make more sense because there’s context — something search engines love.

The Importance Of Diverse Referring Domains

Diversity is essential when building up your link profile. Multiple high-quality domains pointing toward your website demonstrate its trustworthiness and broad appeal.

Websites with more backlinks tend to rank higher on Google

It’s like being popular at school; everyone knows who you are. But remember – quantity doesn’t always beat quality. High-quality links offer much-needed credibility while also increasing visibility among relevant audiences.

If we take another analogy here – think about food critics rating restaurants: each critique matters, but what adds weight are reviews coming from diverse sources with good reputations themselves (aka ‘authority’). As chefs seek positive feedback across platforms, webmasters need different domains to recommend them for better rankings.

Navigating Anchor Text

Another aspect that plays into the quality of backlinks is the anchor text used. Anchor text can act as a spotlight, highlighting your target keyword and making it stand out to search engines. The trick here is to strike a balance – overdoing it with keyword-rich anchor text could raise eyebrows at the search engines.

Key Takeaway: 

Quality backlinks are like respected endorsements for your site, boosting domain authority. Relevance to your content is crucial; links from related sites make more sense and offer context search engines appreciate. Diversity in high-quality referring domains shows broad appeal and trustworthiness, helping you rank higher on Google. Anchor text also plays a role by highlighting target keywords but needs careful balancing.

FAQs about What Are Backlinks?

What is an example of a backlink?

A backlink could be a blogger mentioning your website in their post, thus creating a link from their site to yours.

What are backlinks in SEO?

In SEO, backlinks are links from one site pointing to another. They’re like digital votes that boost the credibility and ranking of your website on search engines.

How do I create an SEO backlink?

Create high-quality content people want to share or ask other websites directly for guest posting opportunities. This will let you leave your URL on their platform as a linkback.

What is the difference between a URL and a backlink?

A URL is simply the address of an online resource, while a backlink refers specifically to incoming hyperlinks from external sites pointing toward that address.


So, you’ve embarked on the journey of understanding what backlinks are. Exploring the SEO realm can be challenging yet worthwhile.

You’ve learned about different types of backlinks and their roles – dofollow for passing authority and nofollow for driving traffic. You’ve explored strategies to build high-quality links and ways to avoid low-quality ones.

Now you know how factors like domain authority and relevance influence link quality. Remember, diverse referring domains strengthen your profile!

Moving forward with digital marketing requires consistent monitoring of your backlink profile for optimal performance.

Backlinks might seem intricate at first glance; however, they’re essential in ranking higher in search engine results. Master them well!

Want more ideas to grow your business?