So, what are backlinks?According to Moz, Backlinks, also called “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are created when one website links to another. The link to an external website is called a backlink.
Why are backlinks needed for SEO?Although not the only component of off-page SEO, Backlinks is a major ranking factor when it comes to Google’s algorithms. This is because the more website’s that are naturally linking to your website, you are deemed of higher importance in Google’s eyes. Put it this way; Think of backlinks as a voting or referral system. The more votes you have (or backlinks) from other trusted website’s, the more Google will trust your website. In addition to trusting your website, Google will begin favouring you in the organic SERP’s which will see your website’s traffic increase.
How do you get backlinks?The 3 main backlink strategies found in 2019 are:
1) Natural BacklinksThese natural links are editorial and provided without any proactive outreach from the owner. An example would be a food blogger that links directly to a product they use without affiliation or paid referrals. The best way to obtain these backlinks is by already having solid organic reach, and publishing great content on a website that others won’t have issues linking to.
2) Manually Built BacklinksManually built links are generally the quickest, moreover, a much safer option to generate high-quality backlinks that won’t get you punished by Google. These are deliberately acquired through link building activities such as content development, offering true value and active outreach.
3) Self-built BacklinksThese links are borderline black-hat, including such links as directory submissions, forum posts etc. They hold little to no value. What this means is the risk posed of being penalised by Google, greatly outweighs the potential growth of your traffic. These should be avoided in most cases, with a few exceptions.
The Unfortunate Truth:The quality of your backlinks is the main ranking factor. There is no point having thousands of links pointing to your website if they hold no value, consequently, a lot of businesses give up with backlink building as they struggle to get recognised in a flooded market. As you can imagine, this off-page strategy entails a bucket load of resources and is virtually impossible to do in-house without a dedicated marketing team and an on-going content strategy. This, unfortunately, steers business owners to off-shore freelancer’s and cheap SEO’s that, in a lot of cases, do much more harm than good. This leads to the next part of this article. Being penalised by Google.
Backlink Penalties:Over 95% of all Google penalties are related to backlinks. There are two different types of penalties, Manual, or Algorithmic. According to Matt Cutts, there are more than 400,000 monthly manual penalties being handed out, surprisingly, the majority of them aren’t being fixed. Without being too nerdy, Google is consistently releasing new algorithm updates that could potentially harm your website. This means we have to arm your website with a strong foundation of high-quality backlinks. Backlinks that aren’t paid for, or appear as spam in Google’s eyes. This way we can grow your organic traffic steadily, and more importantly, healthily.
Conclusion:If you haven’t yet implemented an off-page strategy including backlinks, you’re most likely going to have to catch up with competitors who’ve most likely been utilising these strategies for 5+ years. It’s not all bad news. We’ve been in the trenches ranking website’s and growing traffic for businesses of all sizes for the last 10 years and new website’s can certainly rank quickly. In today’s post we’ve covered the importance of building high volume backlinks, while also ensuring the quality of the link is high so you’re not penalised by Google. Remember, there’s no point in having 1,000’s of votes if they mean nothing.
9 times out of 10, this will do more harm than good!If you need any assistance implementing a safe backlink building strategy, that will get you website to #1 of Google quickly, don’t hesitate to reach out and lock in some time to speak to an SEO Brisbane Expert.