Backlinks — that is, links to your website that appear around the internet — have become a more and more important element in your organic search result performance. Understanding the definition, use, and cultivation of quality backlinks can help you quickly reach the top ranks for your target keywords.
What is a Backlink?
A backlink is a link to your website that appears anywhere on another website. For example, this is a backlink to Google. The reason we call them “backlinks” and not just “links” is because when we say “backlink,” we specifically mean a link that takes the visitor from one website to your website. This link to the Faster Solutions homepage is not a backlink, because we’re already on the Faster Solutions website.
To clarify, you don’t need to do anything special to “create” a backlink. It simply refers to where the link is found. Any link that takes you from Site A to Site B is a backlink to Site B.
Okay, but why should I care?
Quality backlinks can benefit your website’s performance in search results. Google pays attention to how many other websites include backlinks to your website. If dozens of well-established, reputable websites feature backlinks to your site, it must mean your content is pretty good!
Remember: Google’s goal is to ensure that the best, most relevant content appears at the top of their search results. Google’s AI does a pretty good job of “reading” websites to determine the quality and relevance of their content, but it isn’t perfect. Backlinks, on the other hand, are how human beings share and promote content they find helpful. By tracking backlinks, Google can determine what websites people truly find most helpful, interesting, and entertaining.
What is a Quality Backlink? How is it different from a regular backlink?
This is the really, really, important part.
When people first realized that backlinks boosted their site in search results, some of them went a little overboard. At the time, Google didn’t really differentiate where the backlinks were found, they just tallied up the totals. So, savvy marketers took matters into their own hands. They posted links to their websites wherever they could — message boards, comment sections, online directories, and so on.
Google soon caught on to this tactic. To prevent “backlink spam,” they introduced some guidelines for proper backlinking. Backlinks that follow these guidelines will benefit your website. Backlinks that do not follow these guidelines could hurt your rankings.
Here’s an idea of what Google takes into account when determining the quality of a backlink:
- The reputation of the website where the backlink is posted
- The relevance of the backlink to the other content on the page
- The permanence of the backlink — is it in the website content, or just a comment?
If and when a well-established website with relevance to your business publishes a link to your website, you’ll have a new high-quality backlink!
Sounds great! How do I get more quality backlinks for my site?
There are a few different ways to generate more high-quality backlinks to your website:
- Generate High-Quality Content
- Remember, the reason that somebody would link back to your website is because they find the content useful, informative, and/or entertaining. That means you need useful, informative, and/or entertaining content on your website. Think about how you (and your website) could provide resources to others.
- Share, Self-Promote, and Network
- So you’ve got some great content on your website. Don’t just wait around for folks to stumble across it! Find other websites whose visitors might benefit from your content, and reach out to the owners to see if they’d be willing to feature it. While publishing your links on social media platforms, etc., doesn’t count as backlinking, it does help your content reach a wider audience. And individual members of that audience just might backlink that content on their own platforms.
- Stay Consistent and Up-To-Date
- Once you have a few high-quality backlinks under your belt, folks may start to pay more attention to your website as a whole. Now’s your chance to capitalize! Keep up a consistent stream of relevant, up-to-date content, and you’ll begin to find that your audience starts building your backlinks for you as they share your latest posts around the web.
When it comes to digital marketing, you might dream of one day “going viral.” High-quality backlinks are the best way to quickly get your website in front of a massive audience. We’re here to help build your online presence! Contact us to set up a meeting to discuss your backlink building strategy.