A backlink is any inbound or incoming link from another website. It’s part of the algorithm that search engines use to determine a webpage’s ranking. The number and quality of backlinks help improve the position and visibility of a site in search engine results.
Types of Backlinks
There are two basic types of backlinks, with each one having a different effect on a website.
A do-follow link is an attribute that allows search engines to follow it. It passes value from one site to another. If the source is a reputable site, it lends credibility to another site and improves its search engine rankings. However, if a do-follow link comes from a suspicious or malicious site, it can harm the reputation of the site linking to it.
A link with a no-follow attribute doesn’t affect a webpage’s ranking. Search engines ignore this link as it doesn’t pass as much value as a do-follow link. A no-follow link is often used when a site doesn’t want to be associated with the hyperlinked site. This is quite helpful when linking to an unreliable source.
Advantages of Backlinks
Backlinks provide users more value by giving them additional sources of information related to the topic they’re interested in. They also help search engines determine the value and importance of a webpage. Aside from these, backlinks offer websites other benefits, including:
Better organic ranking
Backlinks improve a site’s search engine rankings. The significant number of backlinks in high-ranking pages show a positive correlation between the two. The reason for this is pretty straightforward. If a page has links from several other sites, its reputation and authority increases. Naturally, this results in a higher organic ranking.
Better site discovery
If a site doesn’t have any backlinks, it would be improbable for search engine bots to find it. Search engines can’t crawl a site they’ve yet to discover. And if a site isn’t indexed, it won’t appear in search results.
Backlinks help search bots discover and index a site. They lead bots from existing webpages to new ones that haven’t been indexed yet.
When readers want more information about a specific topic, they usually click on the links in the content they’re browsing. In this way, backlinks increase referral traffic. Users click on these links voluntarily and are likely to spend more time on the page in search of relevant information. Consequently, this also reduces the bounce rate.
How to Get Backlinks
There are paid services that offer backlinks, but some may not be that reliable. There’s a risk of getting penalized by Google’s algorithm if there are too many paid backlinks to a site. So instead of focusing on increasing the number of backlinks, opt to be more mindful of their quality. Here are some ways to get backlinks from authoritative sites.
Provide good content
Informative content presented in an engaging manner attracts more readers. It also compels other sites to link to your pages.
Strive to publish content that’s relevant and timely. Provide solutions to problems through comprehensive guides, infographics, how-to articles, tutorial videos, and the like. Make sure that the content is easy to read and understand. An effective content marketing strategy will encourage others to share your links and include them in their own webpages.
Another way to gain more backlinks is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Be the go-to source of information, and sites will automatically link to your pages.
Write about topics you have expertise in. If you don’t consider yourself an expert, interview and quote those who are. You can also interview influencers and send them a link to the post they’re featured in. They’ll most probably link back to your site and spread the word to their followers.
Offer to write for other blogs and websites that allow you to link back to your own pages. This is a good way to increase your exposure and get your content to a new audience.
Pitch articles to reputable sites, preferably those that already have high search rankings and page authority. Ensure that the content you provide them is well-written and adds value to their site.
Learn from the competition
Learn from those who have been successful with their link building strategies. Find out how your competitors have been acquiring links and replicate their techniques.