Do Backlinks Still Work In SEO [Complete Guide]

Do Backlinks Still Work In SEO

Table of Contents

Backlink’s significance to Google has been flagged over the years, but earning natural links via high-quality content is a significant factor for SEO rankings. A Backlink profile is a collection of inbound links indicating the domain. They help websites to boost their traffic, revenue, and visibility. 

The stronger and more diverse your backlink profile, the higher the site will rank on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). This is because there is an ultimate correlation between a website’s visibility and organic traffic in the search engine ranking and Quality Links pointing towards it from authoritative websites. 

When you search a query on the Google search bar, the search engine tries to find the most relevant web pages to increase the user experience. And Google’s strategy to deem a web page relevant to a query is through the quality of keywords, backlinks, content, and authority of a site. Therefore, to be ranked on the SERP, you must create a backlink portfolio that search engines deem worthy. 

Backlinks to your business or blogger website act as strings of confidence from different domains and present to Google that your site is credible, authoritative, retain quality content and has potential merits to get ranked in the SERP. The best website with all the right aspects is propelled to the top of the first page.

Since the backlinks in SEO greatly impact visibility and search rankings, it makes perfect sense to have a thorough knowledge of how backlinks work and whether they are still useful in improving your rankings in the eyes of Google.

Read | Benefits Of Blogger Outreach For Your Business

What Is A Backlink In SEO?

What Is A Backlink In SEO

A Backlink, also termed “inbound” or “incoming” link, is a web URL link that connects web pages from various domains. To put it in simple words, the site or page whose backlinks are placed on another reputable website receives the inbound links from that website’s domain.

You can also understand it this way, if you are linking out to another site, it is gaining a backlink from your site, and thus you act as its referring domain. Backlinks are integral factors of search engine results.

If you want to connect to another website or web page, your website serves as the referring domain, and that website receives a backlink from you. Because they streamline referral traffic and direct users to the pages they are interested in, backlinks are a crucial part of web search.

It is suggested that a domain gets backlinks from many sources. To do that, you must first understand the types of backlinks and whether backlinks can hurt your site. When you have a thorough knowledge of gaining backlinks deemed worthy by the Google search engine, only than can you expect to rise in the ranks. 

Search engines these days use complex algorithms to evaluate the trustworthiness and relevance of backlinks to rule out the ranking chances of black hat or low-quality backlinks. Backlinks are still important even now, but you must ensure that they follow the guidelines of Google. The search engine now takes into account some of the following factors that you must be aware of:

  • Relevance of anchor text attached with the link
  • The authority of the linking website
  • Relevance of linking website

This indicates that having a large number of backlinks is no longer enough to propel a website’s ranking toward the top. 

Read | Is Blogger Outreach Backlinks Safe?

Why are backlinks important?

In general, backlinks are important, independent of SEO efforts, as they direct users to supplementary resources that contain relevant data on a certain product or topic.

Individual backlinks can be effective on their own, but a domain’s link profile is the wider structure that mandates care and endless development. An assortment of backlinks directing to a domain or site make up a link profile. Backlinks are the footprints that lead a consumer to you when Google algorithms assess the value and relevancy of your website.

Remember, you must keep your link profile as natural as possible to gain the most out of it. The number of backlinks won’t matter unless search engines deem them genuine and quality links. So, work on creating a diverse set of quality backlinks to perform better in the search engines and gain the target audience’s attention, respectively. 

How Do Backlinks Affect SEO?

How Do Backlinks Affect SEO

An important ranking criterion in the past, when the ranking was much simpler and search engine algorithms were considerably simpler, was the sheer number of backlinks leading to a domain. 

Algorithms can now analyze hundreds of variables to determine the overall quality of a link owing to their increased sophistication. SEO tactics have been repeatedly tried and improved to stay up with and outwit these algorithmic modifications. 

In reality, research has proven that there is a direct relationship between a site’s overall number of backlinks and referring domains and its organic traffic and ranking.

Digital marketers and SEO experts need high-quality backlinks to increase their domain ranking in the Google Search Engine and compel traffic to their websites since backlinks are the most significant ranking factor for websites. 

Since increasing a website or page visibility in search results and increasing site revenue and traffic is the main goal of SEO, Backlinks play a key role in this facet. 

If you want your keyword or topic to appear in the search results, link-building with authoritative websites is necessary. Backlinks are a way for other websites to promote and drive more traffic toward your website. Search engines use this procedure to judge whether your site is actually authoritative or relevant for particular keywords or themes that other websites share with yours. 

In its search results, Google seeks to provide the highest, most trustworthy, and most relevant material for a certain topic. Backlinks and keywords aid this judgment. A website will appear more valuable to search engines and have a higher chance of skyrocketing in the SERPs if more high-quality backlinks are established. 

When Google considers your keyword or backlinks relevant and worthy, it will promote your material to the SERPs, where it will enjoy the visibility and organic traffic that web admins, business/site owners, and marketers alike are aiming for.

Quality is more crucial than ever, whether it be the design or content of a website. Quality backlinks are also included in this; these unforced links lead visitors to the most pertinent and helpful content or help a page rank higher. 

Read | Amazing Benefits Of Linkedin To Grow Your Business

What are Quality Links and Spam Links?

Now you know the backlinks are still the major ranking factors for the whole search engine game. But, the knowledge of how to create the backlinks step by step that will promise Google recognition is still unknown to many. 

It is a common interest of thinking brains what type of backlinks help improve their rankings and how to get backlinks that will increase the conversion and overall ROI. With the upsurge of technology, AI, and machine learning, search engines can easily identify low-quality backlinks. So, instead of adapting unethical means, you must focus on creating high-quality links. 

We will guide you through a practical framework on how to assess the quality of links and what are their types and examples. 

All you need to keep in mind is that high-quality links help you to gain the authority boost in the Google search engine over time. The more reputable backlinks point to your domain, the more beneficial it gets for you.

This domain authority revolves around the circle of terms called The Holy Trinity. It is a collection of important traits/metrics determining a backlink’s overall strength and quality.

Holy Trinity of Backlink Quality

Holy Trinity of Backlink Quality

The Holy Trinity comprises three metrics

  • Authority
  • Relevance
  • Power.

These attributes provide a backlink the strength to become a valuable asset to your website. Whether your backlinks have one or more metrics depends upon the right strategies you implement for gaining them. The more factors your backlink has, the more valuable that backlink is to your domain. 

But the question arises, how will you pour all these metrics into a backlink?

Breathe in and Breathe out! It is not that hard!

First of all, you don’t need to maintain a large amount of all three metrics. You can follow some combinations and still make your backlink stand out among the tight competition. For instance, you can generate a backlink with high relevance but low power and authority. Its heightened relevance still makes it a quality link.

Similarly, a backlink can be very authoritative since it comes from one of the most reputable websites but is relatively deficient in power and relevance. This strategy works like a lever, with one side being heavy while the other one has lesser weight. But it still somewhat fights the battle of ranking with its full might.

Although the ideal situation will be to have all your backlinks integrated with all three metrics in a relatively high amount, that isn’t easy to achieve. Most of the authoritative websites also have large variations of the metrics in their backlinks and profile. All you need to ensure is what you want from each of your backlinks and which metric will prove to be the most beneficial to the link.

It is not an easy task to earn a large amount of authoritative, relevant, and powerful links from the beginning. So, take your time and grow towards success gradually but surely. 

Read | What Are Profile Backlinks – Are They Useful?

Let’s go through the Holy Trinity in greater detail one by one:

Authority

The domain’s authority is the total strength of a domain’s array of backlinks and the strength and quality of its link profile. 

Example: Backlink from a reputable website like The Wall Street Journal is the ideal illustration. WSJ.com has a massive link profile that is a dream of many beginner websites. These backlinks indicate all of the web pages in the WSJ.com domain. 

You can use some online tools like Ahrefs to know the quantitative metrics like “Domain Rating” (DR) to forecast how authoritarian a domain is. Many other AI tools, like Moz and Majestic, CF/TF, or Call it DA, also let you see what sorts of backlinks are pointing to each page in a domain.

The major reason this wall street Journal has such a high Domain Authority is that Google deems it a very trustworthy source of information and a center for many websites linking to it. Therefore, this website is consistently rated at the top of the SERPs.

If you manage to get a link from WSJ.com, it will prove to be a high-quality backlink that promises a rise in your domain authority. But since there is high competition to get links from such a gigantic website, there are other platforms you can connect to share their authority by creating quality backlinks. 

Relevance

Relevance of the links and content also plays a major role in creating the quality of your backlinks. A backlink is related to your site if the content and factors of the linking page are in consensus with what the backlink is pointing towards. It is a vital question in terms of SEO that is the page with your backlink relevant to your receiving page? 

The higher the relevance of your linked on-page content to the referring website, the more chances for your relevance metric to rise. Content is among the most critical factors in ranking in the Google search engine. Placing your relevant backlink in the domain, meta description, SEO title, anchor text, and h tags of the connecting page boost the relevance of your backlink.

If the keywords relate to both your on-page content and the referring page content, your page is considered relevant to the authoritative page making your backlink of high quality.

Example: A simple example of relevance is A page that’s optimized for investment plans in a specific area linked to a page that is selling some local property in the same area. 

Here is a point for you to remember that relevance is not the most critical factor of the Holy Trinity. A non-relevant backlink can still be invaluable if it is authoritative and powerful.

Power

The power of a backlink is a simple representation of the total amount of backlinks that point to a single page being hyperlinked. The power applies the same ideas to that of authority with the difference that it only refers to a single page as opposed to a whole domain.

Think about all the different kinds of backlinks that point towards a certain web page on a site. A single backlink from one website -an outbound link- may be believed as potent and pass that power to your site if it has an assertive and diversified link profile.

This is due to the fact that not all pages on a single website are equally authoritative. Some are naturally more powerful than the rest and gain a wider range of backlinks. A page will become more powerful when it has more relevant and high-quality content; thus, gaining the backlinks from such pages leads to more powerful backlinks. 

An effective linking page may periodically have a considerable number of outbound links to other websites. Although the exact distribution of that power among all of the page’s outbound links is novel, it is safe to believe that as the number of total outbound links expands, the relative power of each individual link decreases.

Example: A domain that publishes a wide range of blog posts may contain a specific piece that obtains many high-quality links from several referring domains. It might be because the subject is popular or the information is insightful. 

There are times when the blog website may not be well-liked or reputable overall, but it just happened to publish a highly regarded article. A single effective link from that blog article may significantly improve the power of your website. 

Remember that a natural website has an overall balance of all three metrics that decide the quality of links, as mentioned above. 

Read | What Are Acknowledgement Backlinks?

Ranking and Traffic 

Ranking and Traffic 

Apart from the Holy Trinity, there are two other related metrics that are worth mentioning like

  • Ranking: It is the position on the SERP of the linked page or website.
  • Traffic: The organic traffic of a linked page or referring site is termed as traffic.

A connecting page or website that is performing well in both ranking and traffic will benefit you for sure. Therefore, always favor links from popular or highly ranked websites over those with less traffic.

Link Diversity

The notion of link diversity is a similar subject that truly deserves its own dedicated piece. For additional information, we strongly suggest reading the following information comprehensively.

Link diversity is closely connected to The Holy Trinity since it involves using a range of distinct backlinks to create a diversified link profile for Google engines to refer to.

Link diversity also plays a role in the concept of natural appearance, which indicates that a website that is behaving normally and in an ethical manner that Google can’t penalize. The basic idea behind this whole concept is to ensure that a website does not contain spam or low-quality links, poor content, and attempts to manipulate the search engines. 

Regarding link diversity, it is assumed that natural link-worthy material would organically lead to natural sites with a range of backlinks from various sorts of domains. Obtaining links from diverse sources, domain ages, power/authority levels, etc., is a well-devised practice.

It is fairly simple for Google search algorithms to detect that the bulk of your links come from PBNs or user-generated material that it deems as spam and unacceptable. 

Categories of Quality Links

Categories of Quality Links

Generally, there are two main categories in which the quality backlinks can further be classified, namely:

  • Pillow Links
  • Pushing Links

Pillow Links

Pillow links are the foundational connections that are used to build, shield, and safeguard a website. At the absolute least, they are high-quality white-hat backlinks that develop their trust with Google. Generating or purchasing pillow links is a wise starting point if you are a new business and your site is fresh with no backlinks. 

These links cover all the fronts like citations, specialized directories, social profiles, social signals, forum profiles, Web 2.0s, and more. Although they don’t have much of a hand in boosting your Google, they perform a decent job in diversifying your link profile.

Pushing Links

One of the most important backlinks that propel your pages to the top of SERPs is known as Pushing Links. They are the backlinks that really influence rankings and are generally more expensive and difficult to generate as compared to pillow links. 

Pushing links consist of guest posts, Authority links, specialty modifications, and also PBN connections. Each has its own unique features and is exceptionally helpful.

Spam or Low-Quality Links

Spam or Low-Quality Links

Unimaginable as it may seem, there are particular unsafe connections that you must avoid at all costs or only use tactically. 

Unless you’re an experienced SEO who understands exactly how to use them, you shouldn’t deal with such spam backlinks by yourself. 

Massive Number Of Outbound Links From A Single Linking Page

If your link is among hundreds of other backlinks coming from a single referring website, that is not a favourable indicator for Google. How spammy would content be if it frequently cited other websites? Receiving a backlink from a connecting page in the manner indicated above may not be entirely bad, but it does look manipulative and should be avoided. It is good to prevent websites that excessively spam links.

Links From Shady or Obsolete Websites

Google search engines and bots can not exactly detect whether a site is shady or not. However, it is easier for you to distinguish between authoritative websites and outdated, shady, or unreliable ones. 

It might not be much of an issue to get backlinks from such sites, but you should not risk wasting your efforts, time, and SEO ranking. There may be some unseen factors that might harm your domain ranking in the future. So, if you have other options, prefer those over obsolete websites. Why take the chance of being impacted by unknown variables when you can just select a different, high-quality website instead? 

Auto-Generated Links

Auto-generated links are hyperlinks either generated by individuals or automatically by the software. Save such URL generation for black hat SEO experts, and don’t participate in them yourself. It is quite simple to construct auto-generated links with keyword-rich anchor text that have minor changes, but they can also harm your rankings and link profile.

Irrelevant Links

Over time, having too many backlinks from unrelated websites will hurt your results. Links connected to your topic are necessary if your objective is to be highly relevant in that area. 

If you simply want arbitrary link juice from any sort of website, aim for non-niche links. A technical site receiving a ton of connections from completely unrelated websites is just artificial or manipulative, and you should avoid it. 

Types of Backlinks in SEO

Types of Backlinks in SEO

Now that you know that backlinks can both be helpful and dreadful to your website. It all boils down to your understanding of backlinks and how to use the right backlinks for the right purpose. 

There are various types of backlinks that are extremely valuable both in terms of link diversity and ranking. Let’s quickly review them one after the other.

DoFollow Links

A DoFollow link is any link that has UGC, NoFollow, or sponsored attributes. It is a URL’s SEO attribute that informs search engines to measure the link towards any search ranking estimation. Dofollow links pass along the link juice. 

By default, most of the links are do-follow links unless you modify them. A website requires these links in order to be taken into account for ranking purposes. DoFollow links are traceable and help Google to track your content easily, which makes DoFollow links very vital for SEO.

NoFollow Links

NoFollow tag was developed to cope with links that are of no worth, like the spam and self-promotion ones. By tagging a hyperlink with an HTML, you can make it NoFollow. By doing this, you are instructing Google to disregard the link and not give it any ranking significance.

The NoFollow links are as important for a website as the DoFollow links. A site should naturally have a balanced blend of NoFollow and DoFollow links.

Contextual Links

Contextual links are simply the links placed on content that might be a blog, paragraph, or any other written content with relevant information. They are the most common type of links that you can find almost everywhere on the internet. 

Authority Links

Strong DoFollow backlinks, called Authority Links, are used to increase a website’s ranking power, authority, and relevancy to move it up the Search Engine Result Pages.

The authority links include a number of other links mentioned in this list, such as editorial links, PBNs, guest posts, and niche edits.

  • Guest Posts

High-quality contextual links from guest articles are called guest post links that can significantly improve your results. They are among the well-liked, informative, and efficient link-building strategies. 

They are made when a writer and a web admin agree that the writer may submit a helpful article to the web admin’s blog in return for a contextual backlink from a blog, article, or other published material. You can check out the best guest post services.

  • Niche Edits

Niche edits are closely related to guest posts with a minor difference. These are curated Authority backlinks that are placed in a pre-existing article by using SEO-driven anchor texts. These contextual texts have been present for ages, and you can just make a few changes to install the links to some anchors to enhance their value. 

  • PBNs

Private Blog Network links are the contextual authority links present on the main page of websites. These links are designed to pass the link juice to other domains. PBNs are powerful links if you know how to take advantage of them.

  • Editorial Links

The Editorial Links are another type of Authority Link that resembles closely to the guest posts but are much more challenging to obtain. They are also more expensive as they are gained from the commissioned content from high authority websites. News publishing websites are one of the most common examples where editorial links are involved. 

Directory Links

The pillow links used in web directories, including catalogues, online directories, discount websites, and company directories, are the Directory Links. These links from directories might help you promote your business in specific niches and leverage content marketing. 

Citations – Best for the SEO of Local Businesses

These pillow links are excellent since they are unpaid, organic, and pertinent to the target markets or areas. That pretty much includes all of the high-quality links you’ll ever require. 

Citations are similar to directory links, except in addition to the website link, they also provide a (NAP) name, address, and phone number. 

Read | Benefits Of Local SEO For Small Businesses

Social Signals

Social media measurements called social signals indicate how popular or relevant content of specialized, shareable material is. Likes, shares, comments, and views are common examples. 

Link building using social signals is about establishing trust and greenness because it is extremely usual for reputable domains to be discussed and shared.

Blog Comments

Your backlink profile might be more diverse thanks to these blog comment pillow links. All you need to do is add your link in the meta description, details, or content body of a blog post when leaving a comment. If at all feasible, utilize your profile name as the link’s anchor text. 

How To Get Backlinks?

How To Get Backlinks

Keep in mind that when it comes to obtaining backlinks, quality is almost always preferable to quantity. You can’t expect to succeed in a cutthroat niche by simply focusing on the number of backlinks while ignoring quality.

Building a diversified range of natural links with high-quality anchor text that relate to reliable, relevant websites with excellent content is best practice.

This section will offer you a clear and concise ‘how-to’ for beginning the process of establishing excellent links. There are four basic processes for getting backlinks for your website:

Create

Link creation is the process of manually creating external links to other websites, such as blog comments, forums, online directories, etc. Since there is no easy or inexpensive way to add powerful authority links anywhere you want without developing relationships, producing high-quality content, possessing existing assets, or purchasing them, this process typically has low-impact pillow links.

Earn

The most organic or natural approach to obtaining backlinks is via earning links. It describes other users or web admins who come across your material via a search engine, hyperlink, recommendation, or social media mention. They voluntarily link to your website because they appreciate the content or see it worthwhile. 

Build

This strategy requires the greatest work because it entails contacting web admins, editors, or owners of companies or websites and inviting them to link to your website. The objective is to illustrate that you can enhance their digital assets and that linking to your domain or pages is fruitful. You can build backlinks through guest posts, meaningful and relatable material, broken link building, and unlinked mentions.

Buy

If you don’t have the time or inspiration to build, create or earn links yourself, purchasing backlinks may be your best option for link building. The link-building specialists at Dlinx Outreach can construct a plan that is tailored to your requirements and do all the grunt work on your behalf.

In the SEO world, finding strategies to get high-quality links without spending a fortune is a popular topic. Although it’s true that authority links like PBNs, guest posts, niche edits, and editorial links can be expensive or take years to build, there is a tonne of free backlinks that can be very beneficial to you.

Examples of Backlinks:

Post Your Blogs

The blog part of your website is a terrific location to publish an interesting and useful link-worthy piece of material. You may showcase your knowledge in a particular niche or advertise your goods and services here.

Engage in Guest Posts

One of the finest techniques to drive link popularity to your website is to write guest posts on well-known specialized websites or content blogs.

Make infographics and other shareable content.

Images, memes, and videos are some of the web material that is shared the most. If any of them manage to strike people’s hearts widely, you may receive dozens of backlinks to your website.

Use FAQs

People search the internet for their queries and information. If you can offer helpful content and resources, other websites looking to share expertise in specialized niches or items may connect to you.

Engage in the Comment Section

It’s common to leave insightful or timely comments or information on blog entries. It’s also a free and simple way to link to your website.

Precautions While Generating Backlink Profile

Precautions While Generating Backlink Profile

To begin with, it’s critical to be realistic about your time and budget. As a beginner, you should plan out your link-building activities for the long run unless you intend to purchase backlinks from a third-party organization. 

Building a solid link profile from scratch can take months or even years, and it’s common to burn through your investment money and quit too soon.

Since the creation of search engines, people have been attempting to manipulate search engine rankings since the creation of search engines, and this unspoken war continues. Google’s algorithms are getting better at spotting them and punishing them. So the first piece of advice for newcomers is to refrain from approaching the situation with the intention of trying to game or manipulate the system.

For instance, spamming unrelated links raises a major red signal when backlinking. Even though creating them is very simple, it’s not a good idea to repeatedly post links (on forums, for instance) that are intended only to persuade users to make purchases or visit irrelevant websites.

Auto-generated links are spam links that don’t provide any value and worsen the user experience for online users. Reusing material across other websites while using the same backlinks is also not a good idea.

Be careful not to obtain an excessive number of connections from dubious niches and weak sites. Getting high-quality links from reputable, high-authority websites should be your aim.

The advised approaches are building a top-notch website from the ground up and investing in links that will last the test of time. Playing smart from the start will help you avoid many expensive penalties that will set you back.

Today, content reigns supreme, So concentrate on producing fantastic and unique material! 

It is advised strictly to do routine SEO audits to prevent fines. Google has a plethora of reasons to penalize your website. However, don’t stress out too much because you’re not required to identify them all, and your website doesn’t need to be perfect to rank. Simply deal with the consequences as soon as they arise.

Remember that a website’s SERP performance is frequently compared to its immediate rivals. The fact that so few websites are ideal means that your niche competitors could also be suffering penalties. Analyzing your competition should be your first priority. Consider copying the link profiles and website designs of the best-performing websites in your niche.

When a site receives automatic penalties, there are several things to examine. It will help much if you take precautions in advance to prevent any of these hazards.

Final Thoughts

Quality backlinks and link building is still very much a part of Search Engine Optimization, but the techniques used have seen humongous evolution since the beginning. With the advancements of Google search engines, understanding the link-building game has become much trickier. 

Although link building is not the golden bullet for propelling your site up toward the top, they play a pretty vital role in boosting your website’s authority, building value, and gaining trust from the referral traffic.

If you are stuck and don’t know how to make your business prosper, link building and getting powerful backlinks might help you break through the bottleneck. 

All you need to do is follow the Google guidelines and refrain from engaging in black hat techniques that seem harmless and appealing initially but might backfire in the long run. 

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