“Backlink” – one of the commonly used terms in the Blogging and Online Marketing world. When you are stepping into the world of Blogging or Marketing you should be aware of Backlinks and their advantages. Let it be you are starting a blog or online business; building backlinks are essential to get higher rankings on search results.
Writing well-researched and Keyword-rich content is not enough to get higher rankings in search engines. Backlinks are equally important in measures of SEO for website content and as well as SEO for YouTube Videos.
If you want to be on the first page of Google, you should always care for backlink creation and optimizing them. So, let’s begin this in-depth Backlink Guide.
# Covered topics in this Backlink Guide are:
- Backlink Introduction
- Benefits of Backlinks
- Types of Backlinks
- Backlink acquisition techniques
- Things to keep in mind while creating Backlinks
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are the Inbound or Incoming Links to a website or web page that are coming from another website. These links can be from the same website between pages or from other websites. The links from the same website are called internal backlinks and from other websites called external backlinks.
Goggle and other search engines consider Backlinks as a “Thumbs Up” towards ranking a web page or website. According to a study published by Backlinko (read here); a website with a high number of backlinks gets higher ranking & organic traffic.
Benefits of Acquiring Backlinks
The core benefit of acquiring backlinks is getting higher rankings on the search engines to attract free organic traffic. The companies are paying a good chunk of money to get the first position on the search engines with the help of ads. However, one can get organic traffic with SEO & backlinks are one of the major factors in SEO.
As I said above, one of the major important benefits of off-page SEO by backlinks is the residual, targeted & free traffic to your website through search engines. Let me clear one thing here, if you do not yet leverage the power of backlinks, you’re ruining a huge chance. Further, going to lose a good chunk of money in paid marketing campaigns.
In addition to the fact that backlinks help you rank higher on Google and other search engines. However, backlinks can help you to get referral traffic to your site even without ranking on the first page. This is probably the fastest and easiest way to get traffic to your site.
Must Read: Google Keyword Planner
The three main benefits of acquiring backlinks are as follows:
1. Referral Traffic
A web page takes a significant time to reach on page one of Google or a search engine. However, a backlink helps you before that, by referring visitors to your site. Whenever a visitor clicks on your website’s link on the other website, he/she is redirected to your website. This is how you’ll start getting referral traffic even before ranking on the first page of Google.
2. Domain Authority
Domain authority is a search engine ranking matrix, initially developed by the MOZ to determine a website’s relevance towards ranking on search engines. Later, it was adopted by the other tools like Ahrefs as Domain Rating (DR) & Semrush as Semrush Authority Score.
Again, the backlinks are the essential tool to build the domain authority of your website. It is considered that the higher the domain authority, the higher the ranking in search engines. Ahref conducted a study on 218713 domains and found that Domain Rating (DR) and Organic keywords are correlated (see pic below).
Today a lot of tools are available to major your domain authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR) like Ahref, Moz, or Semrush. You can also utilize these tools to analyze your or your competitor’s backlinks to launch your link-building campaign.
A successful link-building campaign helps your build links alongside gives you exposure to readers and among other businesses or bloggers. They get a chance to get hands-on with your content and the readers land on your website through their backlink.
Moreover, if your link-building reach outs are legitimate and they found your content or website credible, authoritative & linkable; you’ll get backlinks. However, you build a reputation as a credible source of information and they may link back to your content in the future too.
Type of Backlinks
Basically, Backlinks are categorized into four types:
- DoFollow Links
- NoFollow Links
- Sponsored Links
- UGC Links
1. DoFollow Links
Follow or “DoFollow Links” are links that give maximum link juice to your site. They’re links that are considered as passing authority from the linking site to your own website in the eyes of Google & other search engines.
However, not all links are do-follow links. The source website is capable to mark the links with various tags. These tags help search engines like Google to identify whether; link juice or authority should be passed or not. Those juiceless links are called No-Follow Links.
2. NoFollow Links
NoFollow backlinks are opposite to the do-follow links as they don’t pass the authority or link juice to your site. No-Follow links are intended for specific types of content, for example, remarks, references, and discussions, and mostly “untrusted content.”
There might be stances that your site or page has backlinks from different sites but they are marked with a “no follow” tag. That means the other website that is linking to your site doesn’t want to pass link juice to your website for many reasons.
3. Sponsored Links
The Sponsored Backlinks are those links that are acquired by making a payment. These types of backlinks are commonly marked with “Sponsored” tags. The sponsored tag sends the signal to Google and other search engines that this link is given in exchange for monetary benefit.
If you paying for getting a backlink or getting paid for giving a backlink and do not mark it with the “Sponsered Link” attribute, it is against Google Webmaster Policies. Further, your website may be penalized and de-indexed by Google.
4. UGC Links
UGS Links or User Generated Links is a quite new attribute that was introduced by Google in 2019 along with the sponsored attribute. Generally, these attributes are used by the Forum and discussion sites to mark the outgoing links as most of the links generated in those kinds of websites are made by the users.
How to Get More Backlinks?
There are a lot of ways to get, create or build backlinks for your website. Guest Blogging, Brokern Link Building, Sky Scrapper Technique & Unlinked Mentions are the most effective ways to build backlinks. You can simply reach out to the other website owners via their contact page or Email to give a link to your site or page.
Let’s discuss the most effective link-building techniques in brief. The link-building strategies that I am mentioning here are totally white hat and free.
1. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging or Guest posting is one of the oldest link-building techniques via contributing to other websites with a Guest Post. It is a totally free way of getting backlinks to your website and is considered the most effective way to get backlinks.
You can prepare an article and pitch it to another website owner; if he agrees, you can publish it on his website and can insert one or two backlinks in that article to your own website. This way the other website will get content and you’ll get a link back to your site.
2. Broken Link Building
The broken link building technique is another best way to build backlinks to your website and totally for free. Here, you’ve to find a backlink that is leading to a non-existing web page and you have got a piece of content on your website related to that backlink. You found an opportunity to exercise the broken link-building strategy.
Let’s understand it with an example: One website “A” has a link to another website “B” but the destination page on website “B” is not available. Here you can ask the owner of website “A” to give a link to the relevant page on your website. That’s it.
This way you got a backlink for free and the source website “A”, got a reference that was not available earlier due to a broken link. This is a win-win situation for both the website “A” & you; as website “A” improved reader experience by proving a reference and you got a backlink.
3. Sky Scrapper Technique
This is a new and trending link-building technique invented by the founder of Backlinko.com “Brian Dean”. SkyScrapper link-building strategy is another free but effective way to get more backlinks to your website.
It is quite different from both the Guest Blogging & Broken Link Building techniques. In both ways, you are referring your content to link back but here is not the case. The Sky Scrapper Techniques target visual presentation (mostly an image) on your website to get a backlink.
You can make a comprehensive visual and ask another website to use it on their website with a backlink to your website or page. This visual can be a visual guide or summarized representation.
4. Unlinked Mentions
As the name suggests, the links that you get from mentions on other sites. It might happen that your website got discovered by a person and get a mention on their website. However, they did not link to you and simply mentioned the name of your site.
Here in this situation, you can simply ask the website owner to give a link to the mention. It totally depends on the website owner, whether to give the link or not, but chances are high to get backlinks from mentions.
Things to keep in mind while building Backlinks
Building backlinks to your website is good in terms of SEO and Domain Authority but that doesn’t mean to spam the practice. It is seen that new bloggers and website owners just keep building the backlinks for the sake of higher ranking in search engines & domain authority.
Just building unlimited backlinks, not going to help you as search engines become smarter than they were. Major search engines like Google can easily identify the backlinks, whether they were built for SEO gains or they are natural.
Google officially published several guidelines on backlink schemes (read here). If your link-building campaigns will violate Google guidelines, your website may be penalized. That’s why I am publishing a list of a few (but not limited to) key points that should be adhered to while exercising your backlink campaign.
1. Backlink from Relevant Website
Relevancy of a website that is giving your site a backlink is the first and most important factor for getting a higher ranking. If you are getting a backlink from a relevant website (same niche) that helps search engines to identify your website’s expertise field. Further, build trust & authority in the niche.
Let’s under it with an example; Your website is a marketing blog and it gets a backlink from a health blog or finance blog. There is no relevance in both the websites and this sends a signal to the search engines of suspicion rather than trusting it.
Search engines are smart enough to identify the quality & relevant links. So, build fewer links but always build from the same niche or niche category of websites.
2. Backlink from Authority Website
Getting backlinks from a big authority website has severalfold benefits over getting links from a new website. An authority website has trust in the eyes of search engines because of their quality of content & expertise in the field. Thus, search engines will treat your website as a similar quality website.
Also, building backlinks from an authority website has other benefits like referral traffic, exposure, trust among readers as well as search engines like google. Always consider high traffic & high domain authority websites to build links.
You can take the help of a backlink checker tool like SemRush or Ahrefs to analyze the quality of the website. These SEO tools will help you to ensure that you are getting a backlink from a high DA site and matching the google backlink guidelines.
3. Referral Traffic
As I mentioned above that getting backlinks from high DA & high traffic sites will land referral traffic to your site. The referral traffic helps you to get visitors on early stage, even before getting ranked on the first page of google.
Always make efforts to get backlinks that will send you referral traffic because domain authority alone is not going to help you. However, it is not bad at all to gain backlinks that only boost your website’s Domain authority without sending direct traffic.
4. Backlink Positioning
The backlink positioning or the way the links are made on a page is another key point that should be kept in mind while acquiring backlinks. Links can be positioned or inserted on a page in various ways. Every position of links on a page has its own significance in the eye of Google.
Let’s have a look at the link insertion or positioning opportunities on a page:
- Standalone Click-to-Action Links: These links are provided to pinch reader’s intent. Generally, these links are used for sell intent.
- In-Content Links: Everyone’s favourite backlinks as they are srounded by the block of content; so it’s a usefull data-point for google and not a stuffed link on a page.
- Header/Footer/Sidebar Links: Navigational or arbitary links.
You should always look for In-Content or In-Article links as they have the highest value for Google and other major search engines. The search engines consider such links a data hotspot as these are essentials to be there.
Backlink, Backlin & Backlink; the first choice of every marketer in the means of Search Engine Optimisation because it helps to rank higher in search results on Google. Backlinks give you referral traffic, exposure, organic traffic, and higher ranking in search results on Google and other search engines.
Building natural backlinks should be in every blogger, marketer, and business owner’s diary. The backlink is an essential ingredient to kick off your digital marketing campaign.
Your thoughts on Backlink acquisition and Off-page SEO with link building are invited through the comment section.
A backlink is a link back to a website or web page from another website. These links can be Dofollow, Nofollow, or sponsored. For example, one website is linking to your website through some keywords which means your website has backlinks from that website.
The backlinks can be created in various methods like guest blogging, guest posting, broken link strategy, sky scrapper technique, and unlined mentions on other websites.
Getting high-quality backlinks from high Domain authority websites helps a website to get a higher ranking on Google because high DA websites are trusted by the search engines. This trust factor gives a positive signal to Google to boost a website with quality backlinks.