What Are Backlinks and How Do They Impact Your SEO Strategy?

What Are Backlinks and How Do They Impact Your SEO Strategy?

Chris Porteous Chris Porteous Jul 4, 2023 10 mins read
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Search engine optimization (SEO) has become crucial for site owners and businesses to increase their online visibility in the immeasurable digital landscape.

The internet has a structure built on the foundation of interconnectedness at its core. Backlinks function as bridges that connect gaps between different pages, which enable a user to navigate between sources of information.

From an SEO standpoint, backlinks serve as pathways for users and indicators of a website’s value and credibility in the algorithm of search engines. As a result, search engines tend to reward websites with a strong backlink profile by ranking them higher in search results, which leads to increased visibility and organic traffic.

Comprehending the significance of backlinks and their impact on search engine optimization is critical for developing a successful digital marketing strategy. This article will explore the importance of building backlinks for SEO, the various types of backlinks, and how SEO beginners can create compelling backlink profiles that boost your website’s authority and visibility in search engine rankings.

Key Takeaways
  • Backlinks are essential for SEO and play a crucial role in search engine rankings by indicating the relevance and authority of your website.
  • Dofollow links pass link equity and contribute to search rankings, while nofollow links do not affect rankings.
  • Obtaining high-quality backlinks is challenging but crucial for the success of your SEO strategy, as they improve search rankings, increase discoverability, and drive referral traffic.

What is backlinking?

A backlink, also called an incoming or inbound link, is a link that directs from one website to another. This link is essential in determining a website’s relevance, overall ranking, and authority in search engine results. They function as pathways between web pages.

Backlinking, also known as link building, is obtaining hyperlinks from other websites that guide users to your website. That means backlinking plays a critical role in determining the success and visibility of a website. 

The most popular search engines, like Google Search, Yahoo Search, and Bing, consider backlinks as votes of confidence. When an authoritative and reputable website links to another, it indicates to search engines that the linked content is relevant and trustworthy.

The quality and number of backlinks that point to your website are pivotal factors that search engines consider when determining the visibility of your website in search results. As mentioned, a website with a strong backlink profile is more likely to rank high on the search engine results page, or SERP. As a result, that website boosts exposure and organic search results.

Backlinking is not only about obtaining as many links as possible. The relevance and quality of the backlinks are critical. Those backlinks from authoritative, relevant, trusted, and reputable websites carry more value and significantly affect search engine optimization.

Additionally, building a strong backlink profile entails the use of various strategies. These strategies include contacting reputable websites for link opportunities, guest posting, generating high-quality content, leveraging social media platforms, and participating in industry-related forums.

Creating a strong backlink profile requires a combination of relationship building, constant monitoring, and content creation to ensure it is diverse and healthy.

Distinguishing Backlinks From Hyperlinks, External Links, and Referring Domains

In search engine optimization and digital marketing, it is crucial to understand the various types of linking terminologies and their distinctions to develop effective strategies. Many individuals and organizations often interchange hyperlinks, external links, referring domains, and backlinks.

However, the various descriptions and terminologies of linking have unique implications and meanings. It is critical to understand their differences, their significance to search engine optimization, and how they contribute to the exposure and authority of a website.

Hyperlink vs. backlink

In the context of web connectivity and content, a backlink and a hyperlink are two concepts that are related but distinct.

A hyperlink, simply known as a link, is an element within a document or webpage that enables users to navigate to a different location when activated or clicked. It is often represented by an image or text that is visually distinctive from the rest of the content. It typically appears with an underline or displays a different color to signify its interactive nature.

Content writers and web designers often use hyperlinks extensively to connect various sections or webpages within a webpage. That allows users to access related sources, external websites, or additional information.

On the other hand, a backlink is a hyperlink located on one webpage that guides users to another. In simpler terms, a backlink refers to a link from one website to another. As mentioned, backlinks are important for search engine optimization because they determine a website’s authority, relevance, and popularity.

In a nutshell, a hyperlink is any link that enables a user to navigate between various sections or web pages within a webpage. A backlink, on the other hand, refers to a link from one website to another.

External link vs. backlink

Unlike a hyperlink, an external link is the opposite. An external link, also called an outbound link, is a link on a webpage that guides a user to a different website or webpage outside of the current domain.

In simpler words, the function of an external link is to direct a user from one website to a different one. Website owners and content publishers often use external links to guide users to related content on another website and provide additional information or reference sources.

As discussed, a backlink is also known as an inbound link or internal link. A backlink refers to a link originating from a website outside your domain, whereas an external link pertains to a link originating from one of your own web pages. Instead of directing users from one website to another, backlinks function as incoming links, connecting one website to another and establishing a reference or connection between the two.

An external link is placed on a webpage to direct users to a different website. A backlink is the opposite. It is a link found on one website from another that points back to the first website.

Backlinks describe links from other websites to a specific website. In contrast, external links describe links from one website to external sources.

Referring domain vs. backlink

A referring domain and a backlink are related concepts that people typically utilize in search engine optimization. While these two concepts are related, they each represent distinguishing characteristics in website linking and connectivity.

As the name implies, a referring domain describes a website’s domain with a backlink linking to a different website. Simply put, it is the domain or website from which the backlink originates.

For instance, if a website has a backlink from another website, the second website is the referring domain for the backlink.

In this example, a backlink refers to the link featured on a webpage of one website that guides a user to the other website and functions as an inbound link from a referring domain to the target website.

In summary, the referring domain represents the source of the backlink, while the backlink is the link that connects the websites. 

The Two Types of Backlinks and Their Impact on SEO Strategies

Now that you understand how backlinks work, it is crucial to understand how nofollow and dofollow backlinks differ and function.

Not all backlinks are the same, and comprehending the concepts of nofollow and dofollow backlinks is crucial to optimizing the performance of your website.

Nofollow and dofollow are attributes you can assign to HTML links. They instruct search engine crawlers how to follow and treat these links. These attributes control the flow of link authority and influence search engine ranking factors.

That is why understanding the fundamental differences between nofollow and dofollow backlinks and their impact on SEO is crucial for any website owner.

Nofollow backlinks

A nofollow backlink is an HTML link tagged with the “rel=nofollow” attribute. This attribute instructs search engine crawlers not to pass or follow any authority to the linked page from the linking page.

The design of a nofollow backlink is to specify to the search engine that the linked webpage must not receive any improvement in search rankings based on the specified link.

When a search engine runs into a nofollow link, it understands that the link is not necessarily a referral or endorsement from the linking site. As a result, nofollow backlinks generally bear no direct contributions to the search engine rankings or influence visibility and referral traffic in search results of the linked page.

While nofollow backlinks lack the same impact on search engine optimization as dofollow backlinks, they still play a critical role.

Nofollow backlinks can assist in controlling the flow of link juice, which prevents the dilution of high authority from the valuable content of a website. They are often utilized in user-generated content platforms, paid advertisements, blogger comments, and sponsored content, where search engines require direction in distinguishing potentially untrustworthy links from organic ones.

While nofollow backlinks do not directly impact search engine rankings, they can still generate referral traffic, provided users click on them. The most common nofollow links include social media links, press releases, certain news sites and blogs, links in forum posts, links from widgets, and blog comments.

Dofollow backlinks

A follow backlink, sometimes called follow links, refers to an HTML link that does not contain the “rel=nofollow” attribute. This tells search engine crawlers to follow the link and pass authority to the linked page from the linking page. These backlinks function as votes of confidence or endorsements from one website to another, which tell search engines that the linked page is authoritative and trusted.

Dofollow backlinks hold significant value for search engine optimization due to their ability to influence a website’s rankings and visibility positively. When search engines run into a dofollow backlink, they consider it an indication of popularity, relevance, and credibility.

The more high-quality dofollow backlinks a website has from trusted sources, the better the potential impact will be on its search engine rankings.

Website owners typically acquire follow backlinks through various means, including guest blogging, natural editorial mentions, influencer partnerships, and organic content creation. They serve as a means for other websites to refer to and endorse valuable products, services, or content.

These backlinks contribute to establishing a website’s trustworthiness and authority in search engines’ eyes, which ultimately enhances its chances of ranking higher in search results.

The relevance and quality of the linking site also play a critical role in the impact of dofollow backlinks. Links from reputable and authoritative websites within the same niche or industry often carry more influence and weight than links from unrelated or low-quality sources.

Overall, dofollow backlinks are a critical component of an effective SEO strategy due to their significant contributions to boosting search engine rankings, establishing domain authority, and driving organic traffic.

The Impact of SEO Backlinks on the Success of Your Strategy

The impact of backlinks on search engine optimization is multi-faceted and has several significant advantages. Backlinks assist search engines in discovering and indexing new content with greater efficiency.

When a search engine’s bots crawl through a website, they follow the backlinks to explore and comprehend the interconnected web of data. High-quality backlinks that trace back to your website boost the likelihood of search engines finding and indexing your content more promptly.

Backlinks also function as a measure of trustworthiness and authority.

When trusted websites with established credibility link to your pages, it indicates to search engines that your content is reliable and valuable. That results in the positive elevation of the influence and reputation of your website in search engine rankings.

Furthermore, backlinks generate referral visits and organic traffic. When a user bumps into a backlink on another website and clicks on it, the backlink will direct the user to your website, potentially increasing engagement and conversions.

Helps your page gain higher rankings in Google SERPs

As mentioned, good backlinks serve as votes of confidence for search engines like Google Search. The more quality links or backlinks a web page receives, the better its chances of receiving a high ranking among quality websites in searches.

Organic search traffic closely follows the total number of backlinks from various websites. SEO tools can enhance the rank of your website in search engines, making it easier to find for people looking for specific terms.

Building backlinks from quality websites with high metrics from the Google search console, whether through search engines or referrals, can drive more organic traffic to your website.

Boosts discoverability

Search engines often discover new content by searching for links and revisiting pages. They can find your content faster when your website receives backlinks from established and trusted pages.

Having more backlinks boosts your website’s chances of appearing in the top search results, which leads to targeted traffic for that website.

Increases referral traffic

Backlinks are clickable links that guide users to relevant websites, which generate referral traffic. When a business receives good backlinks, they also provide consistent sources of additional traffic to its website.

These links are often passed from one social community to another and promote an organization by building trust through reputable blogs or quality websites. Backlinks also function as a means of advertising for a business by leveraging the influence of others.

How To Get Ideal Backlinks

Receiving high-quality backlinks is one of the most challenging aspects of search engine optimization since the desired links must be relevant, authoritative, and have a specific anchor text. By following the correct formula to get quality backlinks, you enable yourself to boost the rankings and authority of your website massively.

Here are the top 3 ways to get quality backlinks.

1. Resource page link building

Resource page link-building refers to the link-building strategy in SEO that involves obtaining backlinks from relevant resource pages on other websites. A resource page lists and curates viable tools, information, references, and links related to a specific industry or topic.

The resource page link-building process often involves identifying high-quality resource pages relevant to the target piece of content or website. The next step is to reach out to the webmasters or owners of those pages and request link placement.

The objective is to have the target content or website included as a reputable resource on their page, which can improve search engine rankings and drive referral traffic.

2. Linkable assets

A linkable asset, also called link-worthy content or linkable content, refers to a piece of content on a website that is unique, informative, and valuable enough to attract backlinks from other websites.

These assets are link-worthy and highly shareable by design, which makes them attractive to other online publishers, webmasters, and bloggers who might link to them as a viable resource.

Prime examples of linkable assets include original studies, comprehensive tutorials, infographics, unique tools, engaging and shareable content, and expert interviews.

The key to generating a linkable asset is to focus on addressing a specific interest of your target audience, ensuring the creation of well-researched content, and providing unique value.

3.  Broken link building

Broken link building is a strategy that entails finding dead or broken links on another website. After finding a broken link, the next step is to contact webmasters or website owners to recommend replacing those broken links with links to your content.

This strategy leverages the fact that dead links are not advantageous for the user experience, and the site owners are typically open to replacing them with relevant and functioning links.

Broken link building can be an excellent strategy for obtaining high-quality backlinks since you solve a problem on your target website. However, ensuring that your content seamlessly replaces the broken links while being valuable and relevant is essential.

  Pro Tip

Guest blogging is also an excellent way to earn backlinks. Craft high-quality, valuable guest posts for authoritative websites in your niche to boost your website’s SEO and earn valuable backlinks.

Drive More Traffic With SearchEye’s Backlink Optimization Tools

Backlinks form an integral part of an effective search engine optimization strategy and can significantly affect your website’s authority, rankings, and visibility. Understanding the importance of backlinks and incorporating an effective link-building strategy can boost your website’s organic traffic, give you a competitive edge in search engine results, and establish authority in your niche.

Building a strong backlink profile will require effort, time, and a focus on quality over quantity. If you are new to search engine optimization and link-building strategies, you can always collaborate with reliable SEO experts like SearchEye.

By consistently creating relevant content and earning valuable backlinks from trusted sources, anyone can strengthen their online presence and drive sustainable organic growth for their website.

Take your online presence to new heights with high-quality backlinks. Contact SearchEye today!

FAQs on Learning about Backlinks

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