In search engine optimization (SEO), a backlink is defined as an incoming link to a website. A backlink is a tool that is used to improve the SEO ranking of a website. When you are a visiting a webpage, and it links you to another, then that has been made possible by backlinks.
When search engines rank websites, a webpage that has many backlinks tend to be ranked higher. Commonly used words when you are looking at backlinks are anchor text (this is text used when hyperlinking, and they are the keywords), low-quality links, linking root domains, Do-follow links, No-follow tag and link juice.
Example of how Backlinks
Let us look at the following two hypothetical examples in understanding how backlinks work.
Website X is a high-end beauty parlor, and it develops a backlink from the website Y that has been set up by a renowned fashionista analyst. This backlink is relevant and valuable to Website X since it will get some traffic from website Y. Website X is also able to get other backlinks created by website Y.
Annette is a fitness enthusiast. She runs a blog that talks about fitness and are also a contributing writer in one of the daily newspapers. Hillary runs a shop that sells fitness equipment. Hillary links his website to that of Annette, and he can get a precious link. While Hillary only got a single backlink, Annette’s articles and posts are very popular, and in turn, Hillary gets many more backlinks.
Why Backlinks are Important in SEO
Always ensure that you have backlinks from sites that are not only quality but also relevant to your line of business. The backlinks need to be appropriate. If you are in the cake making business, you can then have a backlink from a restaurant website and not a website of a doctor who specializes in gynecology. It will not add value.
Improves the Search Ranking
Backlinks are very useful in improving the rankings of your search engine. Once your content gets organic links from other websites, it will rank much higher. It is, therefore, advised to be creating links that lead to web pages that have the same content as yours.
Indexing is Done Faster
Backlinks will assist your search engine bots in discovering links that lead to your site and assist in crawling your site. This is very useful for a site that is new since backlinks are a good tool for faster location and subsequent indexing of your web pages.
Backlinks can help your website benefit from referral traffic which has a very low bounce rate since they are targeted.
In conclusion, while backlinks are very important, there are unethical practices that are creeping in. These practices are normally perpetrated by owners of the websites to increase the backlinks that they have. The following practices are increasingly becoming rampant: purchase and sale of backlinks, creating networks for exchanging backlinks, etc. Many search engines are formulating policies that are aimed at curbing these practices. When caught, expect to be deindexed and in extreme cases penalized.