Even though there is no clear data that can prove this theory, many experts agree that more than half of the value of a website is determined by the number and quality of backlinks.
Backlinks or incoming links (also inbound links) is a HTTP connection that leads from one website to another. In other words, this is a link that goes from someone else’s website to our website. For instance, in case you have a website that provides airline tickets and the owner of a website focused on hotels and accommodation likes the content on your website and they place a link to your website in the content they share, you will get a backlink.
Why backlinks are important
But, what makes backlinks so important for the overall SEO strategy?
Bringing in web traffic
To start with, links that point to your website will increase web traffic because some of the readers of that website will probably click on your link.
Improving search engine authority
On the other hand, the use of backlinks also improves your authority at least in the eyes of search engines (their algorithms) because they view these backlinks as a sign of quality of your website. Backlinks are here to inform the search engines and tell them what your website is all about. In this way, you will appear higher in search results related to your industry/niche.
Enhancing website reputation
Finally, backlinks are excellent for the reputation of your website. Getting a link from some popular website like Huffington Post or Forbes is a great recognition and honor for any website. The benefits of this type of recognition can be felt on many levels – better Page Rank, increased high-quality web traffic, the opportunity to share this link with your visitors as a sign of quality etc. Getting a backlink from popular websites is very difficult and this is why Google respects these links even more.
Backlinks are not all about PageRank
Now that we know the benefits and importance of backlinks, we should learn more about the different things that are related to backlinks.
Not all backlinks are valued equally
You see, every backlink has certain value when it comes to search engines. Of course, external links that come from high-quality and authoritative website have greater value and this is something that popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have confirmed many times.
Backlinks are as important as content
Some experts claim that backlinks are as important as content. Visitors who come to our website with the help of these links are more valuable than the ones that come directly from search engines because they already have positive opinion about your website. They are more likely to get involved and buy your services or products.
In addition, some other factors that contribute to the quality of backlinks include the age of the link, the domain age, the number of external links used on a website and the placement of the backlink. So, it can be said that backlinks are as important as content.
Quality and relevancy matters
As already mentioned, backlinks don’t have the same quality. Website owners must focus on inbound links that have high quality. Before we share the details, it is also good to mention that inbound links with very low quality can actually damage your ranking, so you must be careful.
Furthermore, you must consider the relevancy of the website that has used the link to your website. A backlink that comes from a website that belongs to a completely different industry won’t be very useful.
PageRank still exists!
PageRank as one of the hundreds of Google’s ranking factors is not dead. Toolbar PageRank is dead (well, sort of.) Toolbar PageRank is nicknamed FoolRank because the number that you see is not the actual PageRank of a web page – and many are tricked into believing that it’s an uber-important figure; well, it was, but today, it’s no longer the case.
As mentioned above, one of the most important factors that determine their value is the Page Rank of the website where the link is placed. The idea is this: The higher the rank is the better.
Anchor text matters more than you realize
Another factor that you should consider is the anchor text. This is a term used to describe the text used “above” the link (hyperlink). It would be much better if the other site uses some relevant keyword, but not on your site’s main keyword to avoid manual link scheme slap by Google Webspam team.
Always try different words in the anchor texts that represent your business, such as your brand name, your web address and native links.
It’s said that backlinks are the life blood of a website. Lack of those means that your website will eventually swallowed by the sea of websites on the Internet today. That said, you need to acquire them smartly and use them correctly. One backlinking mistake can ruin the whole website.
We hope that you gain better understanding on the importance of backlinks for the overall SEO strategy of any website.