Why backlinks Matter And How To Identify The Right Ones?
When it comes to ranking in Google, there are many factors such as topical relevancy, on-page, content authority, backlinks, etc. Among all these, we believe that the backlinks to your website as the most important factor.
Adding links to good quality sites from your website is pretty much straightforward. However, getting good websites to add links to your website is not that simple. This is what earning backlinks is all about. You need not just any backlinks but relevant ones, preferably from authoritative sites. Of course, many webmasters allow you to pay for backlinks to boost your rankings but you need to remember that Google catches paid backlinks at one point or the other.
Before we get to the concept of how authority matters when you get links to your website, let’s answer the fundamental question – Why do backlinks matter?
1. Building trust
Google trusts websites based on their authority and the quality of content. The recent EAT update in August 2018 is an example of that. When you are working on getting your website to the top of the SERPS, your website should definitely display that it has won the trust of many other webmasters. How would you do that? It’s simple. Just get the backlinks from them. Backlinks to your website from top-ranked (alternatively called google trusted sites) will make it easy to earn the trust of your audience as well as Google.
This is not entirely related to SERP but recognition of the brand and improvement in the visibility can all be strengthened by using efficient backlinks. Visitors often frame opinions about new businesses or websites based on the kind of websites that talk about them or recommend them. If these happen to be the names that already have a command over the market, then there is a good chance that your brand gets established strongly. In short, it can help with customer acquisition as well as customer retention.
Now that you know why backlinks are important, it is also important to know the different types of links that matter. Getting to know the types will know how and where to implement them all and get better with your linking strategies.
When you do an SEO analysis of a website using a tool like ahrefs, you will find that there are a few links that are ‘dofollow’ while there are many others tagged as ‘nofollow.’ If you don’t have access to paid tools like ahrefs, you can always identify the ‘nofollow’ links either by directly viewing the page source information or using a browser extension. This tag tells Google that it is a link that can be ignored. Many websites use ‘nofollow’ tag to most of their outbound links as this helps them to avoid being identified as a spammy link farm website in the eyes of Google.
In your website, ‘Nofollow’ tag is particularly useful for all those pages where you might have links to social media icons for sharing the page by your visitors. It is also useful in the case of those pages that allow visitor comments where any visitor can leave a comment along with a spammy outbound link.
Links that are not tagged as ‘nofollow’ links fall in the Dofollow category. It merely tells Google to follow the links or in other words, consider the links for ranking the website. When obtaining backlinks to your website, it’s good to know that the ratio of the dofollow links to the nofollow should be higher as this shows to google that many websites trust your website and are happy to link out to you. Though ‘dofollow’ links alone cannot drive the rank up but are one of the topmost factors to rank higher in search engines when compared to other factors such as on-page, domain authority, etc.
Now that we know that we should be after ‘dofollow’ links, let us discuss what kind of links should we need to rank our websites high in SERPS and how to identify them.
How to get good backlinks to your website?
There are many methods to get the right backlinks. We have discussed a few of the strategies below.
1. Link roundups – a no brainer!
One of the most commonly suggested methods by many marketers to earn backlinks is to write roundup posts. This can help build useful relationships with other websites in your niche. The content is a crucial element in this case. You need strong content, one that is of impeccable quality and worthy of being shared. This content should talk about the best articles available on different websites in the same niche.
You can include the high authority websites from which you would like to earn your backlinks. You can do roundup posts as weekly or monthly roundups to gain authority in your niche. Though roundup posts will help you get lots of links, merely adding a dofollow is not enough in this case.
You should also reach out to the linked website owners and get them to post a link to your roundup post on their site. When you give legitimate information about a blog which the blog owner would be proud to share, then you would get inbound traffic from that blog. There you have your much-needed backlink from a good quality website.
2. Stay competitive But With A Little Collaboration
Collaborating with websites and blogs in your niche will give you the push needed to boost your website’s rankings. There might be bloggers who are already doing well in the niche and they might already have their network in the field and a pool of loyal audience. Striking a good relationship with them will be beneficial for your blog or website.
This can be done by adding guest posts on their websites or also inviting a few well-known bloggers to add a guest post on your site and then they would add a link to this guest post that they had written on your website, thus sending people visiting their blog to your website. You can also do interview posts or even write-ups on success stories. Most bloggers and website owners would be happy to share posts that talk good about them in their site which will help you get a good quality backlink.
3. Broken Link Strategy
This is one of the oldest whitehat link building strategy. While most site owners do a thorough link analysis from time to time, there might be some parameters that they miss. One among them is broken links or links that point to a website that is no longer available online. So, how does it help you gain a backlink? You can use a broken link finder to see if any of the popular websites in your niche carry any broken links.
You then grab the chance and create a compelling content that is relevant to be linked there in the place of that broken link. Get in touch with the website owner to notify them about the broken link. Broken links are not going to help a website owner; therefore, they would look for ways to quickly fix the broken link and when you present a good replacement content, at such a time, you would most likely earn your backlink.
As we have discussed the most popular methods to get good quality backlinks to your website, let’s discuss how to identify and remove bad backlinks if your website has them due to bad strategies.
What Are Bad Backlinks?
It’s so easy to conclude that any link that’s not generated by using the methods discussed above are called bad backlinks. But, that’s not the case. So, what are bad backlinks? Though the list is exhaustive, we have tried to list them into three major categories.
How to Identify Bad Backlinks?
While talking about backlinks, the focus is primarily on the need for getting good quality links and avoiding bad quality links. The key here is to identify and eliminate irrelevant and bad backlinks. So, How can you identify the bad backlinks? To start with, you should look for links from illegal/spammy sites or those that fall in the sensitive category such as gambling, porn, etc which Google looks down upon. There are plenty of online tools that can help you with the job of listing down your backlinks and then categorizing the spammy ones among them.
How To Remove Bad Backlinks?
The best way to remove backlinks is to ask the website owners to remove it from their pages. But, if your request to the website for removal of the link gets turned down or ignored, then you can make use of the ‘Disavow Tool’. Though this is not a commonly used tool, you can use it “if you think there’s an issue with your backlink and if you need to clean it up” as Matt Cutts remarked while talking about the tool.
To sum it up, you would by now, know that, backlinks are not something which you can ignore when you are trying to rank your website. To rank your websites high in SERPS, You would need to obtain links with more link juice or ‘link equity.’ And, to do this, you should be able to identify the right backlink and a proper strategy to obtain them. We believe that our guide will definitely help you in doing it in a proper way.