What Are Backlinks? A Complete Guide

Hey, guys. We're going to be talking about backlinks in this post.
What Are Backlinks? A Complete Guide

What Are Backlinks?

So previously, we talked about external links or links when you link to a third-party website or a different domain.

Backlinks are basically the other side of the coin-- the opposite of that-- so when other websites or domains
link to your site.

Backlinks are incredibly important.

Sometimes, you may hear them referred to as inbound links or one-way links.

Everybody's talking about the same thing.

So why are backlinks so relevant?

So again, we always say that content is king for Google, and it's the most important thing when it comes to figuring out which sites to rank.

But it's important to note the best content is a little bit of a subjective term sometimes.

It's a little tough to analyze content as a robot and figure out which material is the best for the user.

So they rely on these other signals, and some of these signals include backlinks.

Page rank was the original algorithm upon which Google was founded, and it's entirely powered by backlinks.

So as you can imagine, backlinks still play a pretty important role in today's modern Google search algorithm.

So backlinks are essential. I think we'll all agree. But let's talk about what kind of backlinks are important and how you want those backlinks to look when they're pointed at your site.

So first, it's important to note it's about quality and not just quantity when it comes to backlinks.

So back to the original page rank kind of algorithm video that we did before.

Nall pages have the same page rank. Everyone starts with the same. But as you get more backlinks, you become more of an authority or more of an expert. So what you really want are links from people that have more backlinks themselves or people with more page rank.

Those are going to be more valuable than a new website that just started.

So, for example, a link from The New York Times is worth more than your friend that may have just started a blog last week.

Not all links are the same in Google's eyes.

Also, you want to make sure you get a diverse range of links.

So getting one from The New York Times might be excellent.

Getting 1,000 from The New York Times would be awesome.

But even more awesome would be 1,000 different people linking to you once each than a 1,000 times from a really fantastic expert.

And the reason why-- let's think to a real-life example.

When you're going to see-- do I want to see this movie?

Do you want one movie critic to tell you it was a good movie, or do you want to consensus of movie critics to tell you this was a great movie?

Again, this is why we use things like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

It's much better to get a range of authorities saying you were the expert on something rather than just one. So, obviously, you want authorities to link to you, and you want a large number of them.

But what you really also want are relevant authorities-- so authorities that are experts within just your subject.

So The New York Times, again, they're an authority on a lot of things but maybe not on your individual niche you're writing about.
If you're a food blogger, sometimes a link from a more relevant food blogger might be more important.

Maybe you want more of a travel expert to link to you. So you want relevant authorities within your topic to link to you.

And another important thing is deep links. So you may have noticed, and there's a lot of round-up posts on the internet, people will link to the home page and say, you can find this article basically here or article by and they'll put the name of the source of it.

This is not as good as what's called a deep link or a link to the specific article.

We talked a lot about this with a kind of internal linking and anchor text.

But when you're linking over to something, what's more, useful to the reader?

To link them to the direct source that you quoted or to link them to the home page?

Obviously, to the direct source, otherwise again, you're a jerk.

You're sending your user to that home page and making them go and find that individual link. It's not a great user experience. It's not good behavior. But unfortunately, a lot of the web does it.

So what can you do if someone points a backlink to your site and links to the home page rather than to a specific link? Not a big deal.

Try to email them. See if they can change it. A lot of times, they will. A lot of times, they won't because it might be their editorial practice to only link to the home page.

Bad editorial practice, but there's nothing you can do about it. Don't stress.

Anchor text is the same concept. You want them to link to the anchor text of what you're writing about.

So again, you don't want them to link on to your blog name.

You want them to link on the key phrase that your content's about.

Unfortunately, again, you might run into resistance when you email.

But it is always worth a shot say, hey, it might be more useful for your readers to link on teriyaki chicken recipe rather than the name of my blog because, it will be, again, to that reader, they would rather be able to quickly see, OK, this is where I can get the chicken teriyaki recipe rather than saying, oh, this is Food Fanatic. 

Give them the more useful anchor text. And again, we understand you don't control these things. I'm telling you what best practices are.

If you can't get a third party to change it for you, don't stress-- not that important.

So can bad backlinks hurt you? It's a common question we hear a lot, and a lot of people focus on this.

So let's say that maybe you may have purchased links in the past.
And if you have, don't ever do that again. Purchasing links is very bad.

There's nothing that's going to upset Google more.

But what you end up with is kind of like unnatural links to your site. Maybe you spammed a bunch of comments everywhere. You went into forums.
You went to some guy on Fiver, and he did all that for you.

The point is, don't do that.

But if it happens, it's not that big of a deal.

We talked about Googlebombing during the external links. Google is smart now.

They're not going to fall for a bunch of bad links pointing to something and let it harm a site because they know that's not always within your control.

There could always be malicious people that go around and do it on your behalf. Maybe they think they can hurt you by going into a bunch of forums and linking to you.

The good news is it won't.

There is a tool in the Google Search Console called Disavow Links. And it's used to be able to say, and I did not authorize these bad links to my site.

Don't worry about that tool.

The reason why I'm going to tell you is that if Google is penalizing you for having bad links to your site, they will let you know.

Make sure you register an account in Google Search Console.

And they will send you what's called a manual action. If you've never received a manual action, the bad links aren't hurting your site.

Don't worry about them.

I'll have a lot more on the Disavow tool in the future because, again, I think it's a pretty controversial topic. And I'd love to be able to encourage you more to not stress about it because I know a lot of third party audits and tools point to that.

So you're not going to stress about bad links.

That's fine.

The last thing to talk about is follow versus no-follow links. So when I'm talking about backlinks, I'm really talking about following links, not links that are marked as rel equals nofollow or UGC or sponsor-- any of new kind of tags that Google has.

These are ways of indicating to Google, don't follow these backlinks. I'm not giving this site a vote. So when someone's linking you with a nofollow tag, we don't think it counts.

Google explicitly says, in general, they won't follow it. There are, of course, exceptions.

So, for example, if you're cited as a source may be on Wikipedia, there's a chance Google is going to follow that because all Wikipedia external links are nofollow.

So again, there might be a chance, and a lot of SEOs will debate that. But, in general, it's easier to think in binary terms when it comes to this. 

If it's a follow link, it counts.
If it's nofollow, sponsor, or UGC, it does not count.

So don't run around commenting on a bunch of blogs trying to get a link, again, because those are all going to be nofollow.

You want good, valid links inside the content.

That's what we're referring to here.

So again, we'll have more to talk about with nofollow. 

But, in general, everything we've been talking about today is only about to follow links.

So now that you are all experts in backlinks, how do you get backlinks?

That is a whole other topic that I will have another post for. I cannot wait to talk about some of the strategies that we've used. See you soon Thank You.
What Are Backlinks? A Complete Guide What Are Backlinks? A Complete Guide Reviewed by Admin on March 21, 2020 Rating: 5

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