Understanding Backlinks: Why They Are Important

Technical SEO

Written byFirst

June 17, 2023

The Single Most Important Factor in Ranking Algorithms

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), one of the most fundamental aspects to consider is backlinks. They are one of the most important factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. But what exactly are backlinks and why are they so important? In this article, you will probably learn more than you ever wanted to know about the concept of backlinks and why they are crucial for your website’s success.

Backlinks are essential links that connect one website to another. They are also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links.” In simpler terms, backlinks refer to the links that other websites directly to your website. These backlinks serve as a way for Google and other search engines to understand how popular, reputable, and authoritative your website is. Backlinks are a way for other sites to vote for your website’s content. The more votes you have, the higher the chances of your website appearing at the top of Google’s search results.

When it comes to building backlinks, quality is crucial. Many years ago, the number of backlinks you have mattered more than the quality of the links. However, Google has evolved and become sophisticated enough to differentiate between good and bad links. Bad links can hurt your website’s reputation and even get you penalized by Google. High-quality links, on the other hand, are relevant, authoritative, and natural. They provide genuine value and are links that Google trusts. High-quality backlinks are not easily obtained, they are earned through great content, networking, and relationships.

The importance of backlinks extends beyond better rankings on search engines. Backlinks also provide a steady stream of referral traffic to your site, allowing you to reach a broader audience. The more backlinks you have from high Domain Authority websites, the more traffic you are likely to get. Additionally, backlinks can enhance brand reputation, increase trustworthiness, and offer social proof that your content is high-quality and informative.


Google RankBrain

Over the years Google has been making it harder for site owners and bloggers to get quality incoming links. Through its many new algorithms and update, Google has eliminated most spammy techniques and has developed considerable expertise in smoking our purchases links.

Panda Algorithm

Released in February 2011 this algorithm assigns a quality score to websites based on content and backlinks. Panda targeted black hat practices such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content.

Websites with high-quality content and lots of links from other reputable websites are rewarded with higher rankings. It is important to note that Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated, so staying up-to-date on the latest changes is essential.

Here is a great article on Panda by Michael Martinez of SEO Theory.

Penguin Algorithm

Google’s Penguin algorithm was released in 2012 and is designed to target websites that are engaged in so-called black hat link schemes or have unnatural backlink profiles. Websites that are found to be engaging in spammy practices will be penalized by Google, resulting in a significant drop in rankings. The objective was to move away from the emphasis on link volume and rather, move instead towards high-quality content with valuable, contextual links.

Hummingbird Algorithm

Google’s Hummingbird algorithm was released in 2013 and is focused on improving the accuracy of search results. It considers the context of a query along with backlinks. This means that websites with quality content and lots of natural backlinks are more likely to be ranked higher than websites with low-quality content and few links.



Google’s RankBrain algorithm was released in 2015 and is a machine learning system that uses artificial intelligence to understand search queries better. It combines backlinks, content quality, and other ranking signals to determine the relevance of web pages to a query. The more relevant and accurate your website is, the higher it will be ranked by Google.

See our article on How Google’s Bard AI Will Change SERP.

Nofollow and Dofollow Links

You will hear the terms, “nofollow” and “dofollow” to describe certain types of backlinks.

Nofollow links are links that are coded by webmasters to tell search engine robots not to follow them. This means that the link will not be counted as a vote of authority for your website.

Dofollow links, on the other hand, are followed by search engine robots and are used to count as a vote of authority for your website. Dofollow links are the most valuable links to have, as they help your website gain visibility in search engine results pages.

How To Acquire Good Backlinks

There are various ways to acquire good backlinks, including guest posts, social media, directory listings, broken link building, and infographics. But it is worth noting that Google values the relevancy of the link, known as contextual links. Ensure that all the links coming to your website are relevant. For example, If you have a website about personal finance, and you acquire a backlink from a website that sells car parts, Google may not view that link as valuable as if the same link came from a website that talks about investment or financial advice.

Types of contextual links:

  • Editorial Links: These are organic links that result from an editor or blogger finding your website and linking to it with appropriate anchor text.
  • Resource Page Links: Resource pages list a wide variety of websites related to a particular topic. You can get your website listed on these types of pages by providing useful content.
  • Outreach Links: Reach out to other bloggers or website owners and ask them to link back to your website.
  • Infographics: Infographics are eye-catching visuals that contain valuable information. They can be used as a linkable asset to attract backlinks from other websites.

Check out our article on Contextual Backlinks: Understanding Their Importance And How to Get Them

Guest Post backlinks

Guest post backlinks are links that you get from other websites when you write a guest post on their site. Guest posts are one of the most effective ways to get quality backlinks, as they provide additional content and value for both your website and the website on which it’s posted. Additionally, by writing content for another website, you can build relationships with webmasters in your industry and show that you are an authority in the field. This can help you acquire more backlinks from other websites in the future. Quality guest post backlinks also tend to have higher rankings on search engine results pages, as they come from high Domain Authority sites and provide valuable content for readers.

Directory Listings

Directory listings are a great way to get backlinks, as they provide an additional listing for your website. When you submit your website to a directory, it is usually listed in its “resources” section with a link pointing back to your site. This adds value and helps increase the visibility of your website, while also boosting its SEO ranking by providing more high-quality backlinks.

Broken Link Building

Broken link building is the process of finding broken links on other websites and providing them with a replacement resource. By doing this, you can increase your website’s backlinks and boost its SEO value. The key to successful broken link building is to find quality links that lead to relevant content on your website. It takes time and effort, but it can be really effective.


Infographics are a great way to get backlinks, as they provide valuable visual content that people want to link to and share. Infographics should be informative, visually engaging, and on-topic with your website’s niche. They can be used to explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner. When creating infographics for backlink acquisition, make sure to include a link back to your website.

Should I Buy Backlinks?

It is important to note that buying and selling backlinks is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google has become very sophisticated and can easily detect many types of bought links. This could lead to your website being penalized or even banned from search engine results. While It is best to focus your efforts on building natural, high-quality backlinks through content creation, networking, and relationship building there is no reason that you cannot hire someone to do this for you so long as they use white hat techniques. The truth of the matter is that there is a thriving market in white hat backlinks including many high-domain authority participants.

White Label Text Backlinks

White-label text backlinks are links from other websites that use a brand name or URL in the anchor text. This is different from generic backlinks, which just use keywords in the anchor text without any reference to a website. White-label backlinks can help boost your SEO rankings as they provide additional context and relevance for your website and its content. They also make it easier for search engines to understand the relevancy of your website and its content. White-label backlinks are great for building relationships with other websites in your industry, as they show that you have taken the time to create a more personalized link.

Anchor text is the visible clickable text of a hyperlink. It is important to focus on using natural anchor texts that accurately represent your website instead of too many exact-match anchors which may be seen as overoptimization.

There are three main types of link texts: Exact Match, Partial Match, and Brand Name. Exact match anchor text is when the exact keyword for which you want to rank is used as the anchor text. Partial match anchor text includes variations of the main keyword such as synonyms or related terms. Finally, brand name links use your brand name as the anchor text.

Product Reviews

Product reviews backlinks are links from websites that review products in a specific niche. Product reviews offer valuable insight into how the product operates and its features, giving potential customers a better understanding of what they’re getting. These reviews can also help to increase your website’s visibility on search engine results pages, as they provide additional context for your website and its content. Additionally, product review backlinks provide a way to build relationships with other websites in your industry, as the reviews offer more value than generic link-building methods.

Niche Edits

Niche edits backlinks are links from other websites that you get when you edit existing content on their website. This type of link building is often used by webmasters to get good quality, relevant backlinks as it shows that the content has been edited and updated with new information. Niche edits also help improve the SEO rankings of your website as they provide additional context and relevance for your website’s content. Additionally, they can help to build relationships with other webmasters in your industry by showing that you are able to provide valuable content or information for their websites. An example of niche edits backlinks might be small spelling and grammar corrections or more substantial changes to content such as adding new information.

Private Blog Networks (PBN)

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are networks of websites that link to each other to boost their SEO rankings. PBNs consist of high-quality websites with relevant content and are typically used by webmasters to pass link juice from one website to another. However, due to Google’s recent algorithm changes, PBNs can be identified and penalized, so it’s important to use caution when implementing them. Additionally, buying backlinks from PBNs is generally not recommended as this can get your website flagged by Google and result in a penalty. Instead, focus on creating quality content and building relationships with other webmasters in your industry to acquire legitimate, high-quality backlinks.

To sum up, backlinks are an essential part of SEO and are necessary for improved rankings on search engine result pages. Building quality backlinks from relevant sources is important, as low-quality links can hurt SEO efforts. With a good strategy and persistence, you can acquire high-quality backlinks that will help to improve your website’s ranking on search engine result pages.

Check out our Backlinks Building services.

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