Backlinks; are links from one site to another. Backlinks are called "inbound links" or "incoming links". In other words, they are links that are earned outside the owned domain. With this method, sites become references to each other, and the site in the link is recommended to users and search engine bots. Thus, we signal to users and search engine bots not only the performance of the website, but also that this is a recommended website outside the site as well. We gain a vote of confidence consequently.
- Thanks to backlink and off-page SEO,
of a website is developed in the eyes of users and search engines.
Down below the effects and importance of backlinks to websites are listed.
When a website is vouched for by different websites, search engine bots think that “this page that has a link from a different domain is worthy of being displayed higher in the SERP” (Search Engine Result Page). Thus, backlinks have a positive impact on a page's ranking position and visibility.
Although the traffic earned to a website is a messy metric, and the visitors to the site are embedded in the logs of the private servers it is easier to analyze the traffic earned to the site because the external links are more stable (The source from which users are acquired can be analyzed more easily.) Therefore, backlinks can easily measure the popularity of a page.
Links provide clues to search engine bots about the relevance of pages. Anchor text reflects the content of the linked page. And it contributes to the more efficient indexability of the relevant page by search engine bots.
Backlink Perception and Algorithm Updates from Past to Present
Google has announced the PageRank algorithm about the links it sees as a ranking factor. The PageRank algorithm, in general terms, calculates the number of links (hyperlinks) a page has earned. With this algorithm, the websites with the most links are ranked higher. PageRank is a value from 0 to 10. This value is calculated by the following items in general terms;
- Quantity and quality of inbound link pages
- Number of outbound links on each link page
- Page order of each linking page
Although this algorithm is much more complex today, since the number of links is at the forefront and it creates a link market, Google has withdrawn itself in this regard and has not made any PageRank updates.
Backlink & Off - Page SEO
Search engine bots links are used as a quality indicator of the linked content. It is often listed higher than sites with poor quality backlinks. Only getting references from high-quality websites contributes to the website.
Backlink types are divided into two as earning and giving.
Natural Links: These are the links earned editorially without any action by the page/domain owner. E.g; food blogger linking to her favorite organic products in a recipe.
Manually Built Links: These are the links earned for the purpose of planned link building. E.g; Like asking influencers to share links, making your users visit your site by clicking the link.
Self Created Links: These are links that do not look natural, such as forums and blog comments, and are entirely earned by the website owner. Comment backlinks do not contribute to off-page SEO performance.
These are the backlinks gained from irrelevant sites without the knowledge of the website.
Factors that Determine the Value of Backlink
In order for the earned link to contribute to ranking performance and organic traffic, this external link must have the following values.
- Popularity of the linking site
- The relevance of the linking site, to the site
- Freshness of the link
- Anchor text used in the linking site (whether it is a keyword that is compatible with the content and targeted for development, variety should be considered in anchor texts, since a page's link gain with the same keyword can be perceived as spam.)
- The credibility of the linking site
- Number of other links on the linking page
- Authority of the linking domain
What Are Backlink Metrics?
Domain Rating (DR): Shows the strength (in terms of size and quality) of the overall backlink profile of the target website. It is scaled according to the value of incoming connections to the domain. Link strength is a metric that is calculated in relation to the visibility and traffic of the target website by search engine bots, as it is considered a vote of confidence.
The DR rate can increase by gaining quality and more quantity backlinks from domains with high DR rate. Because the content shared by a website with a high domain authority is quickly indexed by search engines and the quality of the links it gives is higher than other websites.
URL Rating (UR): Shows the strength (in terms of size and quality) of the overall backlink profile of the target URL. It scales based on the value of inbound links to the page.
Anchor Text: It is the anchor text that the link points to.
NoFollow: Tags added for links that are not wanted to be followed by search engine bots in a domain. The use of nofollow in links is a tag that ensures that the bots do not follow the page and therefore the reference & authority value is not passed on.
DoFollow: These are the reference links that allow the page and domain value of the link given from one domain to another domain to be shared with the site to which the link is given.
Reaching a domain with the redirection of a different domain increases the value of that domain, while the reached domain may harm the value of the domain for which the connection is gained. These damages can be technical as well as affect the image of the external linking domain. E.g; Let's assume that a link is given from domain A to domain B, possible errors in domain B (404, 500 errors) or possible link attacks from domain B will damage domain A. In order to prevent such damages, link output can be provided with nofollow tags in order not to be a reference to the relevant domain. These links will not contribute anything to the link profile of the site. Backlink strategy should be based on dofollow link acquisition.
Hacklink Link: Links from a website to another website using illegal methods without the knowledge of the website owner. It is a prohibited link acquisition method, both legally and in terms of search engine guidelines.
Harmful Link: It is the situation where a website gets links from irrelevant domains. Such malicious links are usually earned from domains that only exit links and have no purpose or content. Such malicious links must be detected and rejected via Search Console by creating a disavow file (backlink rejection file).
What are the Points to Consider While Getting Backlinks?
- Your backlink should be editorial. Footer, harmful and comment backlinks should be avoided. Natural and quality backlink acquisition should be inclined.
- It will be more beneficial if the linked site is relevant to the site. It will be both a useful reference and focused users will visit the site because it appeals to a similar target audience. Harmful and irrelevant sites should be avoided.
- A single anchor text should not be linked.
- The reliability of the site to be linked will give our site a healthier vote of confidence. The DR rate of the linked site should be checked.
- The traffic volume of the site to be linked should be checked so that you aim to attract traffic to your page.
- Getting dofollow backlinks and the number of other links on the linking page should be checked.
- The continuity and freshness of the received link is important.
Commonly used SEO tools while performing backlink work are as follows.
Where to Get Backlinks and How to Research?
Among the alternative link acquisition methods, natural and free backlink acquisition should be ensured with unique and different applications on the site before purchasing backlinks.
- Quality content
- Widget and calculation tools
- Event calendars
- Competition and testing
- Site-specific original content and events
can be designed.
First things first, in order to purchase editorial links, the referring domains report in the SEO tool called Ahrefs determines the domains with the highest quality DR ratio that link to a website. If these domains are compatible with your site, links can be purchased. With the backlinks report in the same tool, it can be determined which domains provide the most referral traffic to the website. If these domains are compatible with the site, we can make purchases. It is also possible to determine which pages can be linked to with the same report.
Secondly, competitor research should be done, the competitors of the URL to be linked are analyzed so that backlink purchase can lead to development for the target keyword and page. For this, the first 5 competitors listed in the keywords targeted by the page can be considered. In the Ahrefs tool, the page to buy the link is added to the Site Explorer section, and competing sites are added to the Link Intersect section. On the result screen, the domains where the target URL does not gain links, but where the competitors gain links, will be listed. Trusted sites can be analyzed by listing the DR ratio from largest to smallest. From here, sites with high organic traffic that may be relevant to the site are detected.
Finally, websites related to the site to be purchased are searched.
E.g; A link to the thermal underwear category page can be purchased from a site targeting the camper/outdoor audience. For a website that sells design and luxury products, a link can be purchased from a website that shares luxury and lifestyle content. Before buying a link, attention should be paid to the DR rate of the sites, the up-to-dateness of their content, their organic traffic, and whether the link will be dofollow.
It is also significant to conduct a competitor analysis before determining the website's backlink strategy as well. You can check how to do an SEO competitor analysis please have a look at our relevant content.
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