Backlinks sometimes referred to as inbound or external links, are hyperlinks that lead from one website to another.

Backlinks are considered evidence of high-quality content that has the backing of other websites by search engines like Google or Bing. Search engine results pages, or SERPs, favor pages with more backlinks.

Why Are Backlinks So Important?

Backlinks essentially serve as website votes. Each of these votes informs search engines that the content is worthwhile, reliable, and practical. Therefore, the more of these “votes” you have, the higher Google and other search engines will rank your website.

Links have long been a part of search engine algorithms. In reality, the initial Google algorithm (known as “PageRank”) was built on the basis of backlinks. Even though Google has changed its algorithm tens of thousands of times since then, backlinks are still an important ranking factor.

What’s Backlink Authority?

Backlinks are not created equally. Imagine that one of your website’s pages has a backlink from two external web pages on distinct domains:

  • 200 backlinks point to Page A
  • 20 backlinks point to Page B

Page A would probably appear higher in search results than Page B if the two pages were on the same subject. Page A, which has ten times as many links, would be considered more authoritative.

The link from Page A is more important than the one from Page B in terms of these 2 backlinks to your website because it has a greater authority.

In essence, the PageRank algorithm determines each webpage’s authority rating based on the number and caliber of incoming links.

Types of Backlinks

Nofollow: These links use the rel=” nofollow” attribute to tell Google or other search engines that they should not pass trust to the linked site.

Follow: These links do not use the nofollow attribute and pass trust to the linked site.

Sponsored: If a company pays you to link to their site, you need to use the attribute rel=”sponsored” to let Google know the traffic was purchased.

UGC: Links added by users (user-generated content) and not the webmaster will get the attribute rel= “ugc” to let Google know who has added the link to the site.

Quality vs. Quantity

Although determining the precise value of link authority is a hazy and challenging issue, understanding how PageRank functions offers some fundamental guidelines.

  • Obtain as many backlinks as you can
  • Obtain backlinks from reliable websites
  • Your entire website will benefit from acquiring more backlinks

As you can see, when building backlinks, you want both quality and quantity.