A backlink is a link from a foreign, external page to another website. Search engines like Google use the backlink profile as an indicator to classify the website in the ranking. The more high-quality backlinks, the more popular a page seems to be on the Internet.
Links are essential to navigate the Internet. Before the spread of search engines, backlinks were the most important way to get from one page to the next. Ultimately, the WWW consists of pages that are linked from one page to the other.
What are backlinks and why are they important to SEO?
According to psyknowhow, the number of backlinks is a factor for search engines in order to place a website in the ranking. The idea behind this is simple: the more often a website is referred to by external pages via a backlink, the better, more helpful or more interesting this page has to be. After all, a backlink is nothing more than a recommendation. Search engine optimizers (SEOs) therefore use this mechanism in link building to make a website rank better in the Google ranking by building backlinks. This can sometimes be done artificially and in some cases even turn into spam if as many links as possible are created. Article directories, link farms or link buying are some attempts to influence the search engine.
Natural link building, on the other hand, creates high-quality backlinks by, for example, informing website operators of their own content that contains relevant information. Backlinks are also created automatically by creating and offering content that is recommended by others.
In addition, your own backlink profile should be checked regularly, for example to devalue harmful links.
How do I determine the value of a backlink?
The same applies to backlinks: quality over quantity. Google is also working on better assessing backlinks and, for example, better recognizing link spam. Since the Penguin update at the latest, bad links should be devalued, otherwise the entire website will be negatively affected. In the worst case, an artificial link will result in a Google penalty and the website will be deleted from the search results.
The more trustworthy a website appears to Google, the more positive a backlink from such a page has on your own website. Links with quality from such trusted domains not only have a positive effect on the Google ranking, but also often valuable traffic through the link.
If the best treatise on a certain topic in the entire Internet can be found on a website, the likelihood increases that other websites will link to it and that backlinks will arise. Such backlinks are natural, in the interests of Google, and both sides benefit from it.
The division into nofollow or dofollow is also important for the backlink profile.
The anchor text
Each link is identified by an anchor text or anchor text or link text. The anchor text is the text that is clickable on a website. Usually this is highlighted or underlined in color so that the user recognizes this as a link. The Google search engine also reads the anchor text and uses it to evaluate how relevant a backlink is. It is therefore advisable to choose names that are as suitable as possible for the anchor text and that clearly show where they are linking to.
Backlinks and the Google algorithm
When Google started in 1999, backlinks were still the most important factor in placing a website in the Google ranking. The more links there were on a page, the more important it seemed. This led to SEO tactics such as link spam and, as a backlash, to various updates and Google penalties. In the course of this, the importance of backlinks for Google has decreased, but they are still an important indicator for the Google ranking and an elementary part of the Google algorithm. A good example is Wikipedia: The large amount of detailed content means that an extremely large number of websites link to Wikipedia. For Google a sign that Wikipedia is the number 1 source of information. Conversely, a backlink from Wikipedia is positive, as the trust and relevance of Wikipedia are correspondingly high.