SEO Backlinks: The Most Powerful SEO Resources We Have
If you talk with any seasoned SEO professional, he or she will ensure you that having a substantial number of quality SEO backlinks can effectively upgrade the way your sites perform overnight.
Truth be told, no one knows for sure which one is the most relevant element for search engines, as algorithms remain secret. Nevertheless, after years of experimentation and patience, most experts agree on the backlinks’ effectiveness to generate very positive results.
In fact, during the early days of search engines, Black Hat operators focused almost exclusively on creating generic backlinks as this produced the wished results for clients’ websites. Of course, that has completely changed. Those exploits are long gone.
Nonetheless, search engines didn’t change their nature. Backlinks continue to be a determining factor when ranking a site. But how do we make the most of them?
At My IT Guy, we want you to understand this incredibly interesting subject of SEO Backlinks. In the following lines, we will address more than the basics about backlinks and how they affect SEO.
What is a Backlink?
In very simple words, a backlink is any hyperlink that is placed on a website and forwards to another. That’s it. While SEO is a very complex matter to understand, when it comes to backlinks, the basic definitions are straightforward.
Having a backlink pointing out towards your site means that another website is referring to you. This is what connects sites online. A huge network is created as websites get interconnected with each other, something that search engines are constantly scanning and interpreting.
Low-Quality Backlinks Do Exist
When learning for the first time the definition of backlinks, it’s easy to conclude that the only thing we need to do is to duplicate indefinitely our website’s URL online, no matter the means and methods we use to achieve it.
The truth is quite different than that. There are certain circumstances that transform a backlink into a negative, unproductive element. Low-quality backlinks are way more abundant as there is plenty of spam posted online.
Search engines cannot simply rank all backlinks available online as high-quality ones. Maybe they did that at first when all the Black Hat marketers made the most of the exploits. But with the progressive evolution of search engine algorithms, it’s known that backlinks are also studied in detail and ranked afterward.
Reputation and Relevance
So, what makes a backlink valuable, at least in the eyes of search engines like Google? Two of the main factors we handle in terms of SEO backlink quality are reputation and relevance of the origin site.
As we mentioned before, the Internet is plagued by spam. Web sites that don’t provide any form of value or worse, cause problems for visitors, are considered as spam and these receive severe treatment from search engines, which rarely give them exposure. Terrible SEO and user experience, for example, can diminish the website’s reputation.
Every single backlink that comes from sites like these, with very poor technical performance and negative content, will be rated as low-quality backlinks.
On the other hand, relevance is more about the website’s niche or nature. It’s impossible to say that a certain niche is “bad for SEO”. Instead, this factor is treated differently. For example, if a computer repair website posts a link about pet food, the backlinks become completely irrelevant.
At My IT Guy, just like for many other SEO experts, we are certain that when reputation and relevance standards aren’t met by backlinks, things will not work out positively for the client. Both conditions need to be treated with the right approach.
The Social Element
In the past few years, social networks have experienced a remarkable growth, one that is hard to compare with other cases in the tech industry. Millions continue to join sites like Facebook and Instagram.
At first, when the first social networks came out, search engines didn’t care about the links posted by users. In fact, even Google diminished the importance of these backlinks, making them almost invalid by the moment, as many SEO experts agree.
Truth be told, it seems like search engine companies didn’t think that the future of social media was bright. After a few years, we see a very different scenario. Almost every single person with an Internet connection is present on a social platform. At the same time, most users are actively sharing content with their contacts, exponentially expanding the reach of brands and content on an international scale.
With social media’s current situation, it’s clear that search engines were forced to include these factors into their algorithms, something that was unthinkable before. While billions of people are present in social networks, the huge relevance of what they are sharing on the daily basis is undisputed.
What this means for backlinks is that social media has probably become the most efficient channel to generate high-quality links for websites. As social networks continue to grow in relevance, it’s possible that their weight in search engines will keep growing in the future.
Leveraging SEO with Link Building Campaigns
Just like everything else in digital marketing, we can accomplish great things if we define a clear strategy and execute it restlessly. The same happens with backlinks.
While the term “link building” has a bad reputation due to Black Hat marketers who often use exploits and unfair practices to boost SEO, there also are good practices, also known as White Hat methods.
White Hat link building campaigns have an organic approach, one that aims to the healthy generation of backlinks. Two great examples of this are the following:
- Be Interesting Enough: Content is king for a very good reason. Most high-quality backlinks share something in common and that is that they link towards value-providing content. People want to share interesting and useful things they find online. This is the most organic way to generate quality backlinks.
- Be Persuasive Enough: Other effective link building campaigns have a very different approach, which is creating incentives for users to share the backlink online. While this is a daring thing to do, we still need to offer value. This kind of strategy is especially effective for e-commerce, what they do is to offer discounts in exchange for sharing the link on social media.