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Quality backlinks or backfire?

You’ve probably heard that quality backlinks are essential for SEO, and that they can help raise your website to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). But what are backlinks, and how do you get them?

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are a kind of endorsement: a referral to a product, service or resource found on a website. 

They are created when a website refers its users to another website, for instance via a clickable link or the alternative text (alt text) which describes an image or video. 

Quality backlinks are akin to citations

Ideally, backlinks should be earned in the same organic way as book or article citations. 

A researching author will have their work read and cited by other researchers. After that, further researchers will learn of the original author’s work through quotations or references and read it then and cite it, too. 

Before long, the original author becomes recognised as an authority on their subject. As a result, they are often asked to present at conferences or appear in media. They effectively rank top in their field. 

Websites also become recognised ‘authorities’ by receiving authentic referrals via backlinks. Creating quality content that another site may like to link to is one way to become an authority. Therefore, using a blog or resource feed is a great opportunity to begin to gain credibility in your field.

search engine results page

SERPs

Internet users want to enter a search query and receive an immediately useful response from a search engine. So, Google uses algorithms to apply hundreds of criteria to potential websites to satisfy users’ requests. It finds good matches, ranks them, and delivers a list to the user on the search engine results page or SERP.

One important algorithm searches your website for backlinks from other websites. In other words, these backlinks signal that human users have found your content valuable. The more genuine, quality backlinks that your site has, the higher it will rank in the search results. It will then be likely to earn even more backlinks.

Link juice for your website

Backlinks give value, or ‘link juice’, by raising a website’s rank in the SERPs. As well as that, they drive traffic directly to your website which enhances the exposure of your brand and reputation.  

The best link juice comes from high-ranking websites that are considered authorities in their field, and yours. In other words, the most valuable backlinks come from sites with topics relevant to your own.

A strong internal linking strategy is also great link juice.

quality backlinking strategy

Earning authentic backlinks

When it comes to attracting valuable backlink referrals, great content is king. The more relevant, informative, useful, comprehensive, unique, and reliable the content on your website is, the more satisfied your visitors will be. In addition, the more attractive, well-organised and navigable your site is, the longer users will stay. If they engage with your content longer, they will also be more likely to revisit, and importantly, be more likely to endorse your site with backlinks. 

Quality backlinks 

While a large number of backlinks helps with your page rankings, not all of them are created equal. The quality of your links is very important. They should be naturally generated by webmasters of related high-quality websites who want to be associated with your content and endorse your website. 

For instance, a valuable authentic backlink might be a recommendation from an Auckland vintage car website to an Auckland automotive upholsterer’s website. Whereas a ‘bad’ or suspicious backlink might come from a foreign vegan recipe website to an Auckland automotive upholsterer’s site.

Algorithms look at how many authoritative websites (which are relevant to your business or topic) link to your site with natural anchor text. 

A website’s domain authority is ranked from 0 to 100 (with 100 being the optimum). The higher the domain ranking you are backlinked from, the better.

creating quality backlinks

A word about anchor text

Often backlinks will use your website name or business name as their anchor or linked text. 

Anchor or linked text is a visible snippet of text which links to another page or website. Furthermore, it is usually distinguished from surrounding words by being a different colour (like the blue text in this article), underlined or bold. Its keywords should indicate the subject of the page content it refers to, and it should be written in context. 

For our business, we would expect Woodswork Web, or Woodswork, to be the most common anchor text used in backlinks pointing to our site. 

Now, if you’re thinking all you need to do is get as many backlinks as possible, in any way possible, to lift your website in the page rankings, think again. Get ready to find out more about the dos and don’ts of backlinking in our next article, Backlinks 2.

Woodswork can help you build a great backlink profile making your site more visible on the web. Talk to us.