Importance of Backlinks for SEO!
Understanding Backlinks & the Importance for SEO!
If you are familiar with the word Search Engine Optimization, then you most likely have come across the word BackLinks before. If you are new to SEO, then you may be wondering what a backlink is, and why it’s important for search engine optimization. In this article, I will explain what a back link is and why it’s important for the optimizing of your site to gain higher search rankings.
Let’s get started… what are Backlinks? A backlink is a link that is directed to your site from another site on the web. These links are also known as inbound links. The number of backlinks to your website is an indicator to the search engine’s algorithm that your site is of importance.
If you have these inbound links from established, high quality websites with a high Google PageRank, the more merit your backlink will hold. Google will credit your website more if you have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider your website more relevant than others in their search results pages.
A WORD OF WARNING! You don’t just want a large quantity of links from any old site, in fact that can actually hurt your rankings more to have a large amount of backlinks from low quality sites.
To break it down a little further, when the search engines calculate the relevance of a website for any given keyword, they consider the number of quality inbound links to that site. A search engine will take into consideration the content of the inbound link’s site to determine the quality of the back link.
In a nutshell, if the inbound links have related content to your site, it is more relevant. Just the opposite for sites that are linked to yours with non-relevant content… the higher relevance of the inbound link, the greater their quality.
For example, if you have a site about Weight loss, and you have a backlink from a site that has content about Working Out to Lose Weight, then this site is much more relevant than the site that covers Toys for Toddlers.
Search engines have wanted to level the playing field for all the sites out there, so they look for natural link building over time. There are many ways to manipulate websites to achieve higher rankings, but it’s much more difficult to influence search engines with external backlinks from other sites. This is one reason why backlinks factor high in the search engine algorithm.
Backlinks with the NoFollow Tag
There are links that carry little to no weight at all with search engines. These links are tagged with the “nofollow” attribute, and tells the search engine spiders that the site that uses the nofollow tag, is not endorsing the site that the link leads to (Google appears to follow this rule more strictly than the Yahoo and MSN search engines).
Just because a site uses the nofollow tag, does not mean that there isn’t value to that link… you will still receive traffic from that site, and isn’t receiving traffic to your website what it’s all about?
Backlinks vs. the Reciprocal Link
If you are not familiar with the reciprocal link, it is a link exchange between two sites to boost their site’s rankings. The problem with this is that many of the exchanges were not relevant, so the irrelevant inbound link was ignored, but the outbound links were still counted, which reduced the relevancy score of many websites. In a recent Google update, the reciprocal link was one of the targets for the search engine’s filter.
There is a Google patent being worked on that will deal with the popularity of the sites being linked to, and also the trustworthiness of a site that you link to from your own website. This could mean that you can be penalized for linking to a bad site. To keep up with the ever changing algorithm, you can protect your invested time in your site by reciprocating only to a trusted site that holds relevance to yours.
Closing Comments about Backlinks
Building backlinks is a time consuming effort, but it is extremely important to Search Engine Optimization, and should be of high priority in your SEO efforts. I hope I have made clear the importance of building good quality inbound links!
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About the Author (Author Profile)
John Engle, known as ‘The Blog Optimizer’, is a Search Engine Optimization Blogging Specialist Taking SEO by Storm! He Specializes in Keyword Research and On Page Optimization. If You are a Busy Entrepreneur that Would Rather Concentrate on What You Do Best, Leave the Keyword Research and Optimization to an SEO Specialist, Hire John as Your SEO Blog Post, On Page Optimizing Specialist.