What is the truth about backlinks? Are backlinks obsolete? We all know that Google has been cagey when it comes to revealing the ultimate secret. That is, what its 200+ ranking factors are.
So, the weight each of Google’s 200+ ranking factors carries is one deep secrete only Google itself knows. Thus, it’s easy for webmasters to conclude that a specific factor is less important or more important than another.
Backlinks have been a major ranking factor for years. It was even valuable when keyword stuffing was a valid way to rank.
But now that keyword stuffing is obsolete, are you thinking the same thing of backlinks? Surprisingly, most people may be thinking that backlink is no longer valuable. You only need good-quality content to rank, since content is king.
Alright, check out John Mueller’s comment below. After that, we’ll reveal the truth about backlink.
Let’s judge by the comment above.
What values do think backlinks have in SEO? Is it one of Google’s major unnamed ranking factors?
Let’s unravel the truth about SEO backlink.
What Is The Truth About Backlinks?
The truth is backlinks are still relevant. Google still considers them an important search engine ranking factor.
Look at the question Sanjay Joshi asked John Mueller from Google. You can easily deduce from the question that backlinks are still relevant for SEO.
But here’s what many don’t know about backlinks: quality is more important than quantity. You can also deduce this from John Mueller’s response.
What do I mean by quality and quantity? It is simple.
One backlink from a high authority website (a website with good domain and page ranking) is better than hundreds of backlinks from websites many people are yet to identify on the web.
So, follow the best SEO practice to rank high on the Google search engine. And when it comes to acquiring backlinks, aim for quality ones.
The truth is that Google can smell good and bad backlinks from a mile. You can’t hide it from the search engine giant.
You must understand that when you acquire good (quality) backlinks, your website will enjoy an appropriate amount of “link juices. But, on the other hand, if the backlinks are bad (poor quality or from a low DA website), you’ll get meager or even zero benefits.
Red Flags You Should Watch Out for When Hiring Backlink Providers
We have been in this industry for many years. We have also been in the position of those seeking SEO services. Anyway, now, we help businesses grow online.
Every SEO provider wants to be the good guy. So that is why they’ll promise you heaven on earth and let you understand that they can offer you XYZ amount of backlinks within ZYX amount of time.
Please, don’t fall for their tricks. Remember, it’s not the volume or quantity of backlinks that matter. What matters most is the quality.
So, if you come across an SEO service provider that claims they can offer you dozens of backlinks, run away from such an agency. You’ll only end up wasting your time and resources.
Getting quality backlinks is a lot of work. And when I say backlink, I mean good quality backlinks. Sometimes, you don’t have much work besides drafting killer content that top-rated websites want to link to.
On the other hand, if an SEO service, or agency claims they can provide backlinks, please inquire about the DA (domain authority) and PA (Page Authority) of the website they’ll be getting the links from.
There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to a certain DA before the project commences. So aim for websites with a good DA and PA and let the SEO agency you’re hiring stick to your demand.
A Handy Tip: A good DA to consider on a DA scale is 50 – 60. With this sort of backlinks, your website’s domain authority will improve, particularly if the linkage page boasts high page authority.
We have been using the terms backlink, domain authority, etc. What is the meaning of these terms? Let’s define what each term means.
What SEO Backlinks Means
Backlink is a term you have heard thousands of times. However, I would like to define it so everyone (all my wonderful readers) will be on the same page.
The simple meaning of backlink is when a website links to another with an anchor text.
For instance, let’s say you have a website, and I want a backlink from your site. With your permission, I can get a backlink in two ways.
The first method is to write an article, publish it on your website, and then embed a link pointing to my website or the site for which I am building the backlink.
The anchor text would be a keyword. However, it will make sense to use a relevant keyword.
A Handy Tip: Anchor text is important. A descriptive and relevant anchor text can improve your site’s ranking on the Google search engine.
Anchor text can also boost user experience. How? Your readers and search engines use anchor text to determine what the linked page is about.
Now, what is an anchor text? It’s a clickable text you’ll find hyperlinked.
Another thing you should know is that SEO Backlinks and Backlinks mean the same thing.
What Risks Are Associated With Backlinks?
We all know that backlink are valuable at this point. They’re still very relevant for SEO.
However, not all backlinks are worth getting. Most of them may cause more harm than good.
Deploying a good backlink strategy can improve your SEO engine ranking. But there are risks you need to know.
So, what are the risks associated with backlinks?
The first is that the website you’re linking to eventually be penalized by Google for other reasons, not because you linked to it anyway.
Another risk factor associated with backlinks is that the links may be considered spam, and you know what that means.
So, how can you prevent or eliminate the risks associated with backlink acquisition?
It is a simple thing to do. First, ensure all your backlinks are from high-authority websites. We gave an idea of what a good backlink is. The domain authority (DA) of the website you’re getting the links from should be at least 50 – 60. And the higher the authority the better!
Avoid getting links from low-quality websites. If you do, search engines might consider them spam, and you know they hate spam.
Just remember that adding too many low-quality links will adversely affect your website. In addition, it will hurt your reputation and marketing efforts.
You’ll also receive manual spam action messages from Google Search Console if you have multiple low-quality backlinks.
The best thing to do is to evaluate websites before acquiring backlinks from them. Observe each website for any possible sign of SEO practices that might get them in trouble.
Avoid websites that look shady. Remember, a high-quality backlink from a high DA website is better than dozens of links from low-quality websites.
A Handy Tip: Backlink acquisition is a fundamental strategy in SEO. Google uses the quality and not the amount of backlinks a site has as ranking signals.
8 Things About Backlinks You Should Never Forget
Below are factors you should never forget when building backlinks.
1: Content remains king:
Is the quality of content important when building backlinks? Yes, it is. No reputable blog or website will want to do anything with you if you cannot produce killer content.
In link building, you’ll be contacting various websites for backlink opportunities. In other words, you’ll have to pitch to websites to seek guest post opportunities and wait for their approval.
If your content is top-notch, it will be published, and your anchor text (including your proposed link) will be embedded in the article.
However, if you send poorly-researched and written content, you might not even get a response from the websites you pitched to.
Many top-ranking and reputable websites you’re seeking backlinks from have paid their dues. They have worked hard and built a solid reputation by consistently delivering quality content.
So, they wouldn’t want to throw that away just because they want to make you happy. They understand that publishing poorly written article might affect their website negatively.
On the other hand, when you produce quality content, many top-ranking websites may want to link it. So you see, content is still king in backlink building.
2: Poor quality backlinks no longer hurt search rankings: The LATEST UPDATE!
The latest Google update on backlinks is that poor-quality backlinks no longer hurt ranking. In other words, your ranking won’t drop automatically. But, unfortunately, it won’t improve.
Google will also not penalize you when you acquire poor-quality backlinks. Instead, Google will devalue those poor-quality backlinks.
So, acquire only high-quality backlinks if you want your website’s ranking to improve. We all know that high-quality backlinks take time to acquire. But when you do, the impact on your website will be massive.
So, be patient and get the right links. It is far better than acquiring poor-quality backlinks that may not add value to your website.
3: The number of backlinks you have doesn’t count:
Having thousands of backlinks from low authority websites has no value. In other words, your website’s ranking won’t experience any impact from such links.
Most webmasters focus on the number of backlinks rather than the quality. But the truth is, the quality of your backlinks is what matters.
As we previously explained, one quality backlink is better than dozens of poor-quality ones. And when we say quality backlinks, we mean links from websites with a DA of 50 and above.
So, push for quality backlinks that will help your website rank higher. Let the link-building service you’re using understand that you want quality backlinks.
However, if you’re handling the link-building project yourself, endeavor to check on every website’s domain authority and page authority before using them.
4: Dofollow and Nofollow links are important:
Let’s discuss what do-follow and no-follow links are before stating how both types of links are important.
Your backlinks can either be a Dofollow or Nofollow. But what does both terms mean? Here’s what they mean.
A Dofollow link passes “link juice,” called PageRank signal or SEO. Unfortunately, the Nofollow link doesn’t.
What differentiates a Dofollow from a Nofollow link is how Google algorithm treats both.
Technically speaking, when you look at the Nofollow code, you’ll find a small tag written (rel” =nofollow”). This code tells search crawlers that the link shouldn’t impact PageRank score.
However, note that this code doesn’t prevent online visitors from interacting with the link. Instead, it only affects search crawlers.
For instance, a visitor can click on the link and land on your page. In other words, you can still generate traffic from a Nofollow link. But let’s face the fact. But the truth is, the Dofollow link has more value.
The reason Dofollow has a higher value is that it impacts PageRank score. When you rank on the first page, everything else will fall into place. That is, your website’s chance of getting higher traffic increases.
A Handy Tip: PageRank refers to a website’s value in Google’s view. It tells Google, including other search engines, that the page your website is linked to boasts valuable information or is valuable.
Now, note this. Nofollow links may not impact PageRank score, but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. For the record, Google crawlers still notice these links.
Another thing you need to know is this: having several high-quality Dofollow links and no single Nofollow link is a red flag to Google. It suggests that something fishy or spammy is taking place on the website.
So, don’t acquire only Dofollow links. Instead, try to mix it up with Nofollow as well.
5: Avoid Blackhat SEO techniques:
Every website owner wants to accumulate as many backlinks as possible within a short period. And they want to start seeing the results almost immediately.
The truth is black hat SEO isn’t worth it. Google has advanced to a point where black hat techniques are detected immediately.
So, watch your link velocity. Don’t try to increase it too suddenly, creating room for suspicion.
Focus on acquiring quality backlinks that will impact your PageRank score positively. In other words, they’ll cause your website to rank high faster.
6: Anchor text can impact your result:
Are the anchor texts you’re using for your backlinks descriptive and relevant? If they aren’t, you should start making them so.
Using relevant and descriptive anchor texts can improve your site’s ranking on Google faster. They can also help improve user experience.
Let me put it this way. Google and your readers think the same way regarding how both view anchor texts. So understand that Google and your readers will use the anchor text to determine what the linked page is about.
Hyperlink Anatomy By HubSpot
Let’s share some tips on optimizing your anchor text that will have a lasting impact on your website.
Here are the things you have to do.
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Stick by your promise – Don’t trick your readers by using anchor text that doesn’t relate to the page. For example, if the anchor text is “Best Drone Mapping Software,” endeavor to stick with the anchor text. Your readers are hoping to see content on top drone mapping software. Don’t break their hearts by writing on something else.
- Make your anchor text profile diverse – Variety makes natural links valuable in Google’s eyes. So make your anchor texts diverse. Don’t continue to use the same anchor text over again.
- Maintain an inventory of your anchor texts and links.
- Always account for search intent
- Maintain the relevance of every link
Why Quality Matters When Building Backlinks
When the internet was very much at an early phase, most search engines only ranked web pages with quality content. But, as time progressed, search engines started developing. Back then, the number of links websites had was important.
For example, back then, a link from a website with DA 20 was considered good enough. Many people even obtained dozens of links from low-ranking websites.
Today, things have changed. Google has signaled that it will only promote hard-working websites. The “hard work” includes websites that generate quality content, obtain high-quality backlinks, etc.
Google is aware that obtaining quality links from high-authority websites isn’t an easy thing to do. Remember, if a website gives yours a Dofollow, it will automatically share its link juice with your website.
Any high authority website that wants to give another backlink will certainly consider the quality of content provided. Thus, the website you hope to obtain a backlink from might not accept your request if you provide poor-quality content.
So, if you can acquire quality backlinks from high-authority websites (it does not matter the number of links you have), your website ranking will feel the impact.
Here are the two factors that help determine link quality.
The two factors are Domain Authority and Page Authority. Let’s discuss both.
Domain Authority (DA): This is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz. It helps predict how likely a website is to rank in SERPs (search engine result pages).
In other words, DA predicts a site’s ability to rank on search engine result pages on a scale of 1 to 100.
A good link functions as a seal of approval to Google. It tells Google that the webpage is valuable and deserves its attention.
It is important to check the DA of websites before acquiring backlinks. Remember, links from well-known sources are more powerful than the ones from websites no one knows about.
However, note that Google doesn’t consider DA a ranking factor and won’t rank your website based on its DA.
Domain Authority (DA) is just a tool that’ll help you analyze your website and compare it to others. When you know a website’s DA, you’ll know the value of the link you’re getting from them.
Page Authority (PA): This refers to a score developed by MOZ, a marketing analytics company, to determine where a particular webpage will rank on SERPs.
PA is the primary determinant of quality. Thus, if you want your website to rank online, allow high-authority websites to pass link juice to yours.
What Is The Difference Between Domain Authority And Page Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) measures the probability of an entire site’s domain ranking on search engine result pages.
On the other hand, Page Authority (PA) measures the probability of ranking the website page individually.
Now you know the truth about backlinks. First, backlinks are still relevant when it comes to search engine optimization. Additionally, quality matters more than quantity when it comes to backlinks.
In other words, one quality backlink from a high-authority website is better than a hundred backlinks from a low-quality website. But, of course, when we use the word “low-quality” website, we mean a website with a low PA and DA.
So, if you’ve yet to see the impact of your link-building strategy on your website, get a professional link builder to help you get it right.
Link building is highly demanding. But the reward is great when done appropriately. Getting high-quality backlinks should be the ultimate target. With such links, your website’s ranking will improve.
BitChip Digital is a full-service digital marketing company dedicated to helping new and existing businesses grow online. We provide content writing, website design, SEO, link building, and other services to make your business succeed online.