What are backlinks?

by | Oct 25, 2021

What are backlinks?

In a nutshell, links from another website that points to your website. On a scale of 1 to 5, how important are backlinks? They score a five. So, why are they important? How do you go about getting them? What types of links should you strive to build and avoid like the plague? It’s all covered in this post. 

Why are backlinks important? 

According to Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO, links carry the highest-ranking weight of 5, par with content, crawling, titles and Google My Business. It means links have a greater ability to influence your rankings compared to alternative text for images. 

However, not every link is equal; there are multiple metrics and types of links. Some of the key metrics include domain authority and spam scores, which vary depending on the software you use. Ideally, you strive to build links with a domain authority of 40/100; these are more powerful than many 10/100. This leads us to the next point: link schemes.

At first glance, 1000 links for £5 seems like a great deal. Well, it was 15 years ago. This would have lifted your website from anywhere to the first few positions. However, these types of backlinks are known as link schemes, which negatively impact your website’s organic performance. On a scale of 1 to 5, its negative impact is 4. So, avoid these at all costs.

Likewise, a link for £100 or less is likely part of a Private Blogging Network (PBN). These are usually operated by less reputable companies who, quite frankly, don’t care about your livelihood. Although you’re likely to see immediate ranking gains, when Google discovers that your links are from PBNs, your presence will be as if your business never existed.

How do you go about getting backlinks?

There are lots of ways of building backlinks—for example, guest posting. It is a process of searching for great blogs in your field and contacting them with blog post titles you think will add value to their readers. You write the content for the blogger with your keyword in text as a link back to your website. The blogger publishes it on their website. 

It seems simple, but it’s a long-winded, time-intensive process that requires continuous practice, even with the cost of various software to collect metrics and manage emails for negotiation costs significantly more than link building services. As a result, it’s often an inefficient use of business owners time to build themselves.

Nonetheless, there are ten super easy ways to build backlinks that any local business owner can do themselves, such as creating a listing on Google My Business. This carries a weight of 5/5. It’s worth investing some time to get right. 

What types of links should you strive to build and avoid like the plague?

You want to build backlinks from genuine blogs covering your field – for example, locks if you’re a locksmith. You can build them by searching online for “Locksmith Blogs”, for instance. Avoid creating a free website with Weebly and a fake blog, known as a web 2.0. These are ineffective today. In addition, avoid the temptation of buying links. 

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