How backlinks can boost your SEO
Let’s start with the basics – what is a backlink?
A backlink is a link that is directed from one site back to your site. It’s also known as an inbound link. The number of backlinks to your website is an indicator to the search engine’s algorithm that your site is of importance, so in theory, the more you have, the better. Or is it…
If you have inbound links from established, high quality websites with a high Google PageRank, the more merit your backlink will hold. Google will credit your website more if you have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider your website more relevant than others in their search results pages.
Can you have too many backlinks?
However, remember the Google Penguin update we blogged about recently? Sites that got ‘slapped’ are those who exchanged too many links, possibly through link farming in order to improve their SEO. So whilst you want to have lots of inbound links, too many links from any old site can be detrimental to your site. It’s important to choose quality over quantity.
The other key factor when establishing backlinks is relevancy and the importance of the content on the site that is linking to you: the higher the relevance, the greater their quality. If you have a site about dog training and grooming, and you have a backlink from a site that has content about how to keep your dog in top condition, then this site is more relevant than a site that has information on games for children.
To break it down a little further, when search engines calculate the relevance of a website for any given keyword, they consider the number of quality inbound links to that site. A search engine will take into consideration the content of the inbound link’s site to determine the quality of the back link.
How reciprocal links can boost a site’s ranking
A number of websites engage in reciprocal linking in order to boost their site’s ranking. Just be careful that you are not linking to a “bad” site. Only reciprocate a link to a trusted site that holds relevance to your own.
Other ways backlinks can boost your SEO…
Do you read blogs? After you’ve read a blog post, do you leave a comment? Did you know that when you leave a comment, you can include a link to your website thus creating a backlink? This is great I hear you say but it’s important that the comment you leave is relevant and offers something productive to ensure your link stays and isn’t seen as spam.
And when writing your comment, don’t be frightened to include keywords within it as this is another way to boost your SEO. Be wary of overusing keywords as this can be seen as spam – stay on topic and write for your readers.
So will I get backlinks from every comment I leave on every blog I come across?
It may seem that all you have to do is leave a few great comments, include your link and voila, you have hundreds of backlinks. Not so. The reason is you MUST be selective on which blogs you leave comments on. Most of the high ranking blogs add a “no follow” tag to your website link. This tag tells the search engine not to count this link which means you do not get credit for the backlink. Sometimes it’s worth checking out the lesser known or ranked blogs that don’t have the “no follow’ tag as they are trying to build up their blog and encourage comments.
Follow the above steps and you’ll be on your way to boosting your SEO. Questions? Send them via our Contact form!