What are backlinks? | Key criteria for quality backlinks

Posted by Tiger Marketing on 02 August 2021

What are backlinks

Have you heard people saying that to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) you should build up your backlinks and just nodded in agreement unsure of what they actually meant? Well, if that was you, here is an easy to digest blog on what they are and how they work…

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from different websites that lead back to another website. It’s a form of citation, where someone talking about a topic, service or product related to you wants to refer to your website.
They are also known as ‘inbound links’ or ‘incoming links’ and are hugely important to SEO as pages with a high number of website backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.

Why are backlinks important?

They act as a vote of confidence from another website, so the more ‘votes’ you have the more notice search engines will take of you as they will see your website as having content that is relevant, useful and valuable to the user. This means your website will rank higher with search engines and be shown more.

In fact, link building is so important, Google has confirmed that website backlinks remain one of their three most important search engine ranking factors.

What is an example of a website backlink?

They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can be creative and develop really valuable content that other websites will want to refer and link back to.

Forms of website backlinks include:

  • An image, banner or badge
  • Hyperlinked text
  • Embedded in a video
  • Embedded in an infographic
  • A URL

How to get backlinks

The process of building links back to a website has changed significantly over the past 5-10 years. It used to be common practice to build backlinks to websites regardless of their suitability or even if the website had a questionable reputation. In fact, before Google and other search engines changed the rules, many online businesses paid websites for backlinks.

“Backlinks to your domain or specific web pages are important. The more inbound links you have, the higher your overall Google Page Rank, right? Close, but not quite… Google, and other search engines that matter, reward quality over quantity. Natural backlinks are preferred over paid backlinks, Google penalises business for paid backlinks” Source

The best possible strategy for how to get links back to your website would be to attain a high quantity of quality website links from reputable sources. There is no simple definition for a quality backlink as links back to a website can be achieved in a large number of different ways.

What is clear is that there seems to be a hierarchy of backlink criteria which Google and other search engines approve. The more of this criteria you meet with the links that you create, the more likely it will improve your SEO.

Below we have listed some of the key criteria that makes a ‘quality website backlink’.

  • Natural backlinks – this is when someone has placed a link on their website imbedded in an article (blog or post etc.) about original content on your website.
  • Backlinks with a brand – the more reputable, prevalent, trustworthy and relevant the brand the better.
  • Backlinks with local companies – for example if your business is situated in Brighton and your target market is people who live in Brighton, it’s beneficial to have links from other businesses in this area.
  • Backlinks with a company in the same industry as you. Have a variety of links with different businesses, not just one or two businesses linking back to you.
  • Backlinks that link back to different pages and content on your website.
  • Backlinks need to display the same business contact details across the web. Search engines have been known to penalise businesses who have contradicting information about them on the internet.
  • Backlinks need to be built at a steady pace, search engines will penalise a businesses, if for example a business goes from having 100 links to 1000 overnight.

It’s important to remember that once your links are set up, you will need to keep on top of them and track them on a regular basis. After all your hard work and effort, you want to maintain those high rankings.

We appreciate that moving through the link building process can seem a little daunting and overwhelming if you’ve never done anything like this before. If you are unsure of where to start, we will happily handle this process for you. We’ll assess which backlinks and business listings would be the most beneficial for your business as well as produce a report on your competitor’s backlinks.

The report will include:

  • A spreadsheet of your top 3 competitors (based on specific keyword searches) showing their live website backlinks.
  • From our findings we’ll list proposed links to work on for that month and which ones we will work on each month thereafter.
  • Produce the suggested bios for your business for each backlink, each one being relevant and most importantly with unique content.
  • Upload and publish the listings / links with relevant, up-to-date information.

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