Backlinks are an important part of SEO. One of the most significant factors that Google takes into account when ranking content is the acquisition of authoritative backlinks. Even though we may never fully understand Google's ranking criteria, here are some suggested best practices.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks sometimes referred to as inbound links or external links, are hyperlinks that lead from one website to another.
Backlinks are considered evidence of high-quality content that has the backing of other websites by search engines like Google or Bing. On SERPs, pages with more backlinks can appear higher (search engine results pages).
Backlinks' Importance in Your SEO Strategy
Popularity is one factor where a website receives a direct link between websites with lots of (quality) backlinks and better ranks since Google considers external links to be votes of popularity for a website or webpage.
Types of Backlinks
As already said, not all backlinks are created equal. Let's explore the various forms of backlinks your website can obtain:
Links are like votes for reliable sites, as we've already mentioned. But what if you don't want to endorse a website but yet need to link to it?
Use the rel="nofollow" property on nofollow links to tell Google and other search engines that they shouldn't pass trust through them (PageRank). A nofollow backlink appears as follows:
<a href="https://www.domain.com/" rel="nofollow">this is a nofollow link</a>
Nofollow links won't necessarily help you rank higher in the SERPs because they don't pass PageRank. Google, however, stated that they were updating the Nofollow attribute in September 2019.
When nofollow was first established, Google decided not to consider this type of link marking as a signal in our search engines. But not anymore. Each link characteristic is used as a signal to choose which links to include or omit when performing a search.
Some people think that since Nofollow links are now considered hints, Google will sometimes convey trust through nofollow links, such as when a reputable news outlet adds the attribute site-wide.
A followed link does not add the nofollow property and does pass the trust (PageRank) metric. There is no "follow" attribute because all links are regarded as "dofollow" regardless of the presence of an attribute.
A follow backlink appears as follows:
<a href="https://www.domain.com/">this is a follow link</a>
Paid or Sponsored Links
You might occasionally pay an influencer or affiliate to promote a particular piece of your content or to write a review of one of your items.
If something was given in exchange for the link, like cash, a good, or a service, a rel=" sponsored "To alert Google, an attribute needs to be added.
The sponsored link "attribute prevents these links from having a detrimental influence on your website. Therefore, you ought to employ the sponsored tag for this backlink if you're working with an affiliate.
A sponsored backlink appears as follows:
<a href="https://www.example.com/" rel="sponsored">this is a sponsored link</a>
UGC (user-generated content) connections are another of the new link qualities that were introduced in 2019. Links from UGC come from places like forums and blog comments. The attribute notifies Google that a user, not the webmaster, has inserted the link.
A UGC backlink appears as follows:
<a href="https://www.example.com/" rel="ugc">this is a UGC link</a>
High Authority Links
You may view your site's backlink count, the referring domains of those backlinks, the toxicity of those sites, and other information with the Backlink Audit tool.
Obtaining backlinks from authoritative websites that are related to your website is the objective. You can use the following criteria to determine whether your website is getting high-quality backlinks:
A good number of referring domains
Where it is located on the page (the higher up on the page, the better)
If the links are contextual (links surrounded by related content on the page)W
Whether the anchor text is relevant
Google uses its PageRank algorithm to evaluate authority, although this metric is no longer visible to the general public. Consider elements like credibility and whether the site distributes high-quality content that is truly valuable to users when determining whether a link is a high quality or not.
Toxic Links (Unnatural Links)
Inappropriate links can hurt your website's ability to rank or have a negative effect on any existing ranks. Links that are harmful or unnatural are frequently referred to as "bad" links.
The only purpose of toxic backlinks, which typically come from low-quality or dubious websites, is to attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. They are a direct violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
This could refer to links that are sponsored or nofollowed, connections from low-quality directories or bookmarking sites, or links with an excessive amount of exact match anchor text.
The Backlink Audit tool may also be used to examine your backlinks and spot any potentially harmful or artificial links. Once completion of the analysis, you have a number of options, including creating a disavow list and sending it to the Google Disavow Tool. If you want to manually contact a website to seek removal or approve any links you are sure are safe, save the links in your "delete" list. If you need to remove harmful links, you can do it immediately through the Backlink Audit tool.
Editorially Placed Links
Links that were added by the editor are essential links that you didn't request. As a resource to support their information, websites will naturally connect to other websites. These links are highly valued by Google. This is due to the fact that they are designed to improve user experience rather than trick search engine algorithms.
Trust is a key component. It's a terrific vote of confidence when a reputable, high-quality website links to yours. It's unlikely to be very helpful if all the websites connecting to your website are ones that Google considers spammy.