What Is A Backlink To A Website And Why Are They Important 

 What Is A Backlink To Your Website Diagram  

Assuming you either have read all of our previous seo lessons or have a previous knowledge of basic search engine optimization then you should have a good idea why we are talking about backlinks and why they are important to a website. The importance of links from various types of websites to your website change from time to time, but one thing that stays consistent is the importance of high quality natural backlinks from popular websites or sources. When we refer to the term “backlink” we are actually talking about an inbound link that points to your website from another website. 

In the recent years Google has started to adjust their algorithm to change the way search engines value these backlinks. Google is no longer looking at just the volume of backlinks pointing to your website, but the quality of those links. Google likes to see natural links pointing to your website, rather than thousands of low quality links created by robots like blog comments and forum links. So…What is a backlink to a website? It is nothing more than a link on another website pointing to your website. Let’s take this a step further and look at how search engines evaluate links and what type of links are best. 

 Factors that search engines look at when analyzing links

  • Popularity of the linking website
  • Topic or website theme
  • Locality – Is the linking website about a specific region?
  • Freshness of inbound links – When is the last time a website linked to your website? It is good to have a consistent flow of natural links to your website. 
  • Trustworthiness of the linking website – According to Google  about 1 million spam web pages are created an hour and they want to find the web pages that have true value. Getting links to your website from high authority trusted websites is very important. 
  • Anchor text of the link – Search engines look at the words that a website used to link to your website. For example, did the linking website use anchor text like “click here” or “Blue Widgets”? It is best to have a link profile of branded keywords and strategic keywords linking back to your website, but be careful if you have to many strategic keywords Google might assume you are doing some sort of automatic link spam 

The Truth About Modern Link Building

The best way to approach modern day SEO as a whole is from the visitors viewpoint. Google wants to rank websites that have value to the user higher than those that do not and optimizing for the user and their experience is a long-term foolproof system. 

Link building is perhaps the most important aspect of driving traffic and increasing rankings in the search engines.

Link building differs in strategy from the other SEO ranking factors because you are actually optimizing for what the search engines want to see. The reason this is so complex is because ultimately the user benefits from the changes Google is forcing on SEO’s when they perform link building campaigns. Search engines want to penalize websites who are automatically creating links to their website in the mass numbers in order to push their website up in the rankings artificially. 

While those links may not “harm” the users experience once they land on the website it did at one time give the ability for spam webpages to rank higher than better quality legitimate pages, which in theory would hurt the users search experience. As blackhat SEO’s continue to learn and find new ways to create mass artificial links Google will continue to change their algorithm to combat these link spam activities. 

Three Basic Ways To Acquire Links To Your Website

We answered your question about “What is a backlink to a website?”, but we did not explain how to acquire such high value links to your website. 

  1. Natural Backlinks
    • These types of links are links that are created when someone visits your website and engages with high quality unique content that you created. The user  found enough value in that content to link back to that content within their own website. These types of links are extremely valuable and are also the hardest to build.
  2. Manual Link “Building”
    • In the first example the SEO has no real job in creating the link or persuading the webmaster to link back to their website, but in this case the SEO is trying to manually build links by outreach efforts. For example, let’s say you are targeting a blog that has a lot of content that is aligned with your business and getting a link on that blog would be beneficial. You could manually reach out to the owner of that blog and request a link to your website from a specific article already written or a link from an article you would write for them that would be beneficial to their audience.
  3. Automated or “self-created” links
    • These type of links are usually created by a software program that spams the web by posting comments on blogs and forums with a link pointing back to your website. Google continues to discount this type of link and you can actually be penalized for this type of behavior. We highly recommend only targeting the first two types of links. 

Below are a few more resources I recommend checking out to further educate yourself on backlinks


Check Out Lesson 11 – How To Build A SEO Friendly Website