Are backlinks still an important part of SEO?
If you’re learning about SEO right now, well, you’ve probably already noticed that on most digital marketing agencies websites, in their blog posts “backlinks” are mentioned.
Yet, you might be scratching your head, thinking, well what are backlinks? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as in this article, we are going to talk about what backlinks are, and are they still important?
So, what are backlinks?
In a nutshell, backlinks are simply a link between one website and another, so for example, let’s say you are looking to purchase a new car, so you use a car comparison tool to find the cheapest price, you then have a list of dealers who stock that make and model car.
Then, when you start to click on the car dealer’s logo, you are taken directly to their website to see if you wish to make a purchase, this is an example of following a backlink.
So, now we know what a backlink is, but how do they improve a businesses seo, how are they obtained, and what does “do-follow” mean?
Well, hold your horses for just a second, and we will come to all of those points later.
So, why are backlinks important to the SEO process?
Well, let’s say you run a plumbing business, and in your area, for simplicities sake, let’s say there are 100 businesses, all of which are paying for seo.
So, if their paying an SEO agency every single month their going to want to be ranked on the first page of Google, so how does Google’s algorithm decide on which companies are put on the first page of the organic results, and which ones are say all the way back on page 10?
How does Google make such a decision?
Well, it boils down to how strong a businesses “ranking factors” are, and if you don’t know what this means, what it simply mean is that there are over 200 different areas of SEO to improve, and not to improve just once, and that’s it job done, no, if your serious about SEO, you need to keeping improving these, as otherwise another business might beat you.
So this is why SEO is a non-stop process, its about improving your companies organic seo as best you can, using white hat methods, and not stopping even when you reach the top, as otherwise another business might take that as direct opportunity to overtake you.
So, you often need a first class seo agency, then they need to get to work on improving your “ranking factors”- and what happens to be one of the most important ranking factors there is?
So, why are backlinks such an important ranking factor?
There are over 200 ranking factors, yet not all of these are worth the same.
So, what we mean by this is some ranking factors, such as backlinks can really help to improve your organic seo. However, here’s the main thing you must remember, not all links are worth the same.
So, there are backlinks which are super high-quality, that will send “link-equity” to a page, and which come from a relevant website, so by relevant we mean, if you run a car dealership for example, a relevant link would be from another automotive website.
But the links must be quality!
So quality links, they can help to improve your search engine optimisation, and as Googlebot indexes them, and notices that your website has really high-quality links, built in a white hat way, and the backlinks are relevant, this can help to really improve your SEO.
However, there are also masses of agencies which don’t do a good job, and what do we mean by this?
Well, so many businesses, or indeed who they hire to do their SEO for them on their behalf, if they build spam of low-quality links then these will not help to improve your seo, but what there actually doing is damaging your search engine optimisation.
So, a word to the wise, only build top-quality links.
So, you’ve mentioned that there are over 200 ranking factors, how important are backlinks?
A lot of agencies, do think that backlinks are still considered one of the most important ranking factors. Ever since Google’s PageRank, a lot of seo businesses have understood that backlinks are important, but only if their quality and built using white hat methods, in accordance with Google’s WebMaster Guidelines.
So, how important?
Well, many people think in the top 3 ranking factors.
Do quality backlinks mean that you will also be helping to improve your businesses Trustworthiness as part of Google’s EAT guidelines
Those that know a thing about SEO will know this, and that is Google also weigh’s up how good a company’s website is, using it EAT guidelines. So, you may read various SEO articles about Google’s E-A-T guidelines.
So, in a nutshell, your businesses website needs to show expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
And one way you can improve your “trustworthiness”, as part of Google’s EAT guidelines, is to build quality backlinks.
That’s because when you have a lot of quality backlinks, coming from relevant websites, this can improve your seo.
So, for example, lets say you run a solicitors practice, and one lawyers website lets say has one hundred links from quality websites, these include winning various business awards, links from training the business has undertaken, and links from various law websites, so this business has a lot of quality backlinks.
This is obviously a clear signal that the business is trusted by these other companies, as they’ve won awards, they have undertaken training, they have links from other law websites. So, they have been linked to because other companies have wanted to mention them as a business, and because the websites linking are quality themselves, this is a clear indicator, because there a hundred quality links, that is business is connected, via a backlink to other quality company websites.
So, now when you compare this with another company, that has no backlinks at all, so there’s not another business that links to it, well, you can see why Google may favour the first business that has 100 quality links instead, as business number one had links from quality and relevant websites.
So backlinks are still important, but how do you earn them?
Earning backlinks is not easy, its no walk in the park, that’s because to earn a link, you need to give a quality business a reason to want to link.
So, the best reason is simply because your business offers useful information, so lets take the example once again of running a solicitors practice. If your lawyers were to dedicate time every single month to offering quality advice on your website, via say your blog, and this covers lets say commonly asked questions, or something that’s newsworthy in your area of business, or just covers something that clearly shows you have a lot of expertise, then another company may link to you.
You might find that even another law practice links to you, and you might think, well why would they do that?
Well, they may have covered the same topic, and found your perspective interesting, so have quoted your work, and offered a link.
So, for example, you may have written an article, “how to cope when going through a divorce”- that might have received a lot of backlinks from other law firms, because they have read it, and think that its good quality work.
If your business needs help to improve its SEO, they why not call us?