Updated On: 2021-11-16
Referred to as: Back Link, Link, IBL
Category: Off Page SEO
Correct Use: Link to relevant content with appropriate and relevant anchor text
Links are what make the web go round and backlinks are the best kind of all!
Backlinks formed the basis of Google’s PR (Page Rank) Algorithm which sees links as votes.
The classical definition is A link to Site B from Site A is seen as a vote for site B from site A. Google assigns weight and value aka link juice to a link and that value propagates throughout the web of links.
Backlinks are incredibly powerful. The number of referring domains has a strong influence on search engine rankings. The number of overall backlinks matters a lot less compared to linking domains.
Many people get hung up on PR, DA, AS and other metrics that the search engine tools provide however that somewhat misses the point. If links are useful for people and your site users then they are useful and valuable links.
Relevance of the content and site linking also matters a lot. A link from a pet blog to a computer store e-commerce page has very little relevance and therefore is unlikely to make much of an impact, even if the pet blog had really high PR, DA, AS etc – you get the point, relevance matters … a lot!
Links are one of the most manipulated areas of SEO (and that is saying something). There is a huge ecosystem of PBNs, link schemes, networks, and link trading, tactics that typically fall under the black hat SEO category. It’s hard for Google to catch everything, even though their NLP technology is excellent and they are able to detect a large amount of these.
Do: Link to relevant useful sites, from within relevant content.
Don’t: Place links just to get a link
Don’t use repetitive anchor text, there is no reason 90% of your backlinks all contain the same anchor text.
Tip: Find sites that talk about related topics that would find your content useful and reach out to them for a link.
Introduced: This is an SEO dinosaur, this came along for the ride with the original implementation of HTML and the web.
What Google Says:
Google on unnatural links to your site – see we chose that anchor text on purpose since this is the section that talks about what Google says about this category of backlinks. The anchor text is appropriate and the site we are linking to is relevant, useful, and should be helpful for you. We are not concerned about losing PR with this link because it’s helpful for you.