how do backlinks work

SEO is a hugely integral part of growing your website online. With 76% of business to business marketers blogging, content marketing is a big part of building up a sites SEO.

But producing high-quality content isn't the only important aspect of building up your site's SEO. Backlinks alongside high-quality content are the two biggest signals that Google uses to rank your pages in their search engine.

That means that high-quality backlinks and high-quality content should be your number one priority for your websites SEO.

But how do backlinks work? Many people have no idea how a backlink works, how to get more to their site or how to improve their content.

To help you improve your websites SEO, this article will delve into understanding backlinks and how they work, and why they are important for your websites SEO.

What Is a Backlink?

There are a lot of benefits of SEO and backlinks are an important part of building up your site's SEO. You create backlinks also known as 'inbound links' or 'incoming links' when a website links to another site. We call a link that goes to an external website a backlink.

We know the importance of backlinks thanks to Google, they have told us that they are one of the biggest factors that Google uses to establish the relevance of a website in its search results.

How Do Backlinks Work?

Backlinks are fairly simple, you can think of them as a website recommendation. Google looks at websites based on authority, or domain authority (DA).

In the eyes of Google, high-authority websites with a high DA are important, relevant and a good judge of character. That means that when a high-authority website sends a link to your site, they are saying to Google 'This site is relevant and useful, that's why I am linking to it.'

Google takes this signal from the high-authority site, and trusts its recommendation and will then rank your website higher in search engine results because of this.

That's why when acquiring backlinks it's important to not just try for volume, but on the quality of the sites sending you backlinks. When a site has a very high authority, it has a lot of link juice.

Link Juice

Link juice is a non-technical term that portrays the SEO value of a link to a particular website. If your website has high DA, then you have a lot of 'link juice' to give out.

That means that when that high authority site links to your site, they are passing on some of their link juice to your site.

Just bear in mind that the term link juice is SEO jargon, it's a term used when talking about SEO.

Why Are Backlinks Important For SEO?

Backlinks are an important part of SEO because of the two sides of SEO. You have on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

On-page optimization refers to the practice of preparing your site for SEO. It includes optimizing images, title and header tags, meta descriptions, improving page load time and using relevant keywords for different pages.

Off-page optimization refers to the practice of driving authority to your website. This is where backlinks come in.

You can have the best-optimized website there is out there, and build your site around speed, relevant keywords and everything else, but without backlinks from authority sites, you won't rank well in Google.

This is because you have nobody giving you their vote of confidence, nobody is linking to you.

Without backlinks, your website won't be able to rank for your keywords you have set your site up for and will remain low down in search rankings. In essence, backlinks to your website are signals to Google that other people think your content is good.

If you find lots of different sites are linking to the same page or website, search engines can calculate that your content is worth linking to, is high-quality and therefore wants to show it to their users.

Important Backlinking Factors

To help you understand the best ways to build quality SEO backlinks for your site, here are some important factors to consider for your backlinks.

1. Relevance

When you are building links to your website, it's important to have links coming from relevant authority figures to your particular niche.

If for example, your website is a gardening website, if you had lots of links from car repair websites, marketing websites, and coffee shop websites, those types of sites aren't linked to the content of your website.

Instead, links that come from relevant industries related to your niche and keywords will help your SEO in a much better way. Using websites who aren't linked to your niche can also look suspicious in the eyes of Google.

2. Quality

It's not only important to have backlinks coming from websites that are relevant to your niche, but it's also important that these websites are high-authority.

The more popular a site is within Google, the more Google trusts it's recommendation by linking to your site. So going back to the gardening example, you should try and gain high-authority backlinks from a website connected with the gardening niche.

3. Variety of Websites

Variety is the spice of life, and Google considers this important too. If you have backlinks just from one particular style of the site, it can look suspicious.

Google rewards websites with more variety so consider everything from blogs, directories, review sites, forums and commercial sites.

4. Speed of Acquisition

If overnight you suddenly have thousands of backlinks flying towards your website, that looks suspicious in the eyes of Google. Lots of links appearing all at once can make it seem like you either bought the backlinks or used black hat techniques to acquire them.

Moderation and consistency are key, try to spread out your acquisition of backlinks and follow Google's terms of service while doing it.

Time to Build Your Websites Backlinks

Now we have answered the question of how do backlinks work; it's time to start implementing your own link building campaigns. Remember only to use white hat techniques which follow Google's terms of service.

If you'd like more help in tackling and improving your websites SEO, get in touch with us today.