Why are backlinks so important ?

Backlinks are links that point to your website or pages, from other websites on the internet. These are quite different from normal outbound links from your site as they are only the links that are coming in from other sources. For example, somebody may mention your website or article in a post on their blog and create a link to it.  Googles’ interpretation and handling of backlinks has evolved over time. There was a time not so long ago that the site that had the most backlinks was generally ranked the highest. However, this gave rise to techniques of using automated software that published thousands of spammy articles and comments all over the web, simultaneously creating backlinks to a website, in order to rank the site. So, Google introduced its “Penguin” algorithm change. Penguin focuses on weeding out these websites with large quantities of low quality backlinks.

So what’s the difference between a good quality backlink, and a low quality backlink ? A good quality backlink is one that comes from a trusted website with decent authority. There are different units of measurement used by various companies, such as domain authority, page authority, trust flow, citation flow etc, but simply put, the more trustworthy the source of your backlink is, the more weight it will carry. On the other hand, a backlink placed on a blog where there are spammy articles about online pharmacies, gambling and adult websites will carry much less weight. Relevance is important. A backlink to your website placed on a page like this could potentially harm your own website’s ranking and trust. A professional SEO company will be able to assist you with identifying harmful backlinks and building high quality, authority backlinks to your website.

There are some great tools out there that you can use to check the backlinks to your own website. One I personally recommend is Ahrefs, which allows you to signup for a two week free trial.

Best Regards

Carl Heyns