When we are looking at different strategies for SEO on websites, backlinks are often discussed. The problem is, lots of people don’t really know what they are, or the function they servce within SEO as a whole. Here’s our beginner’s guide to backlinks, and why you certainly need them on your website!
What are Backlinks?
There are different types of links on websites; outbound links are those you put on your site directing people to other websites they might find useful or interesting. Backlinks are the links which OTHER websites use to direct people to YOUR website.
Why are Backlinks important exactly?
When other websites refer to your website, you become an ‘authority’ on the topic covered. They sort of serve as a ‘vote’ to show Google (and other search engines) that your website is useful for a particular topic. Google essentially exists to serve up a list of relevant websites when a user types in a search term, so by ‘voting’ for your site in respect of your topic, Google sees your website as a useful site to show. Search engines also check up on how many visitors your site gets every month, and backlinks are a quick and easy way for people to get to your site!
Important to know
It’s not just the number of backlinks you should think about. In fact, the number isn’t that important at all! The other factors you should think about are:
- Relevancy : if you have a website all about automotive services and auto repairs, there’s not much use having backlinks from websites about vegan diets, or perfume shops. This will not help boost your SEO! It actually might go the other way, and cause suspicion about how you got that link…Google might think you bought that link, and you might end up with a penalty.
- Quality: Ok, so you have a high relevancy website to link to you, but it is also important that the sites linking to you are of good quality. Well established websites will be of higher quality in Google’s eyes than brand new websites.
- Speed of gaining links: if you go from having no backlinks, to suddenly having hundreds or even thousands overnight, search engines will be highly suspicious of you. Getting this many links quickly is only possible if you buy them and Google will certainly penalise you for trying to pull the wool over their eyes!
The main message is that the better quality backlinks you have, and with high relevancy to your topic, the better your chances are at improving your rankings with search engines. Make sure you do this the right way though, as Google know all the tricks! The best thing to do would be to seek the advice of a professional SEO agency who can ensure you comply with the rules, helping you to build backlinks in a safe and ethical way!