Backlinks: what is the definition and why it is so important?
A backlink is a hyperlink put on an external website pointing on a page of your website. In the code, it is just written like that:
There is several information on the code: the URL, the possibility of opening the link on a new tab, and also the anchor text which is the word on which the link is placed.
Backlinks are really important for an indispensable element of digital marketing: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Backlinks will help you to increase your visibility, and also your popularity. So, a web page with a lot of external links will have a better rank on search engines than a web page without backlinks. That is why backlinks are such an important element for SEO.
How do I obtain backlinks?
Obtain backlinks can be done in two different ways. The first and recommended option is to do it naturally. It is when an Internet user liked your content and chose to share it on a page of his website. A natural link does not involve a link in return. A positive point, especially when you know that Google loves what is natural.
Backlinks research can also be done voluntary with a well-defined net-linking strategy. This method requires the research of quality backlinks. But be careful, quality has to be measured. You have to check the:
- Trust Flow: it is a mark of confidence given to a website or web page.
- Citation Flow: it concerns the popularity of the website and it goes with the Trust Flow.
- Domain Rating: it is a mark for your domain.
Higher these indicators are, better it is. Before choosing a backlink, you have to analyze the page and the website on which you want to put your link to know its quality. Several tools can be used as Majestic for the Trust Flow and Citation Flow and Ahrefs for the Domain Rating. Then, it is the moment to negotiate with your contact.
Be careful! If you choose to organize a net-linking strategy, be as natural as possible. Google penalizes strategies that have not been well thought out, as a simple exchange of links from a A website to a B website. So, you will need to think about a trilaterally exchange of links being careful and checking the marks of all the websites concerned.
Think to optimize your anchor text
A backlinks definition won’t be complete without speaking of the anchor text. The anchor text is the text on which is the link. In an ideal world, this anchor text is different from the URL of the link. It has to encourage the Internet user to click on it, but it also has to be optimized for Search Engine Optimization with keywords. But do not optimize too much your anchor text with keywords or you could be penalized by Google Penguin.
Find the equality between DoFollow and NoFollow
Your hyperlinks can have other attributes in the code. The DoFollow attribute explains to search engines that the indicated link can be analyzed. It is a practical code by default. The link will be used by search engines to calculate the popularity of the website.
But sometimes, you can also have a NoFollow attribute. It indicates to search engines that they must not follow the link and use it to calculate the popularity. A NoFollow attribute will be used for commercial links or links to websites with a poor popularity which could have a bad impact on ours if they were in DoFollow. It is recommended to find equality between these attributes.
Finally, it is evident that the website chosen for a backlink must be on the same field that yours. If it is not, you could be penalized by search engines which will think that you are trying to improve your popularity in an unnatural way.
How can I monitor my backlinks?
Obtain backlinks is a thing, but monitor it is another. It is an indispensable step in every net-linking strategy. You have to check regularly the new links, the lost links and the broken links.
So, you can see if your strategy works, if there is links bad for your website, and take measures to improve it. Some tools can help you to monitor your backlinks. Google Search Console is a free tool which allows you to have a first look on backlinks, but it stays superficial if you want to make a detailed analysis.
That is why, we use Ahrefs at Esokia, which is more complete. It will give you precisely the backlinks obtained or lost and also the elements about your domain. It has the advantages to allow the loading of your data and to give you a graphic overview.
To conclude this backlinks definition, we just have to make clear that it is a really positive element for your SEO strategy. Just be careful, well define it and use elements from this article to help you! And if you are interested, do not hesitated to create a backlink.