Backlinks are external hyperlinks used to link from one website to another. They form an integral part of search-engine optimization, often touted as the main ranking factor search engines use to rank pages.
Types of Backlinks
There are two main types of SEO backlinks; nofollow backlinks and dofollow backlinks.
Nofollow tags tell search engines not to consider that particular link as part of the ranking factors.
Dofollow backlinks, on the other hand, are the preferred backlink type because they can help improve your rankings.
Search engines consider them to be a vote of confidence.
However, a ‘dofollow’ tag doesn’t automatically make a quality link.
A quality backlink is one that comes from an authoritative website and is relevant to the page being linked to.
Are Backlinks Still Important?
Backlinks are still important because they are still considered among the most important factors search engines look at when ranking a page.
A backlink is an endorsement of your page. If other pages consider your page good enough to link to, then it means your page has something valuable.
The more backlinks a page has, the more trustworthy search engines consider it to be.
The screenshot above is a backlink profile of Medium. They have over 400M backlinks to their website.
As a result, search engines trust their website so much that they send over 34M visitors monthly. That is the power of backlinks.
However, backlinks are only one of many ranking factors that search engines look out for.
How to Build Backlinks
Building backlinks takes time and effort but it’s worth it in the end. Here are a few ways to build backlinks to your website.
1. Create Linkable Content
One of the ways to build high quality backlinks to your website is to create linkable content.
Some content is more likely to be linked to than others so keyword research can help you to figure out what topics you should focus on.
But when it comes down to it, any content you create needs to be aesthetically pleasing and rich in original writing.
Great linkable content might also include infographics, case studies, original research, and expert opinions.
2. Scout for Broken Links
Broken link building is another effective way to build backlinks to your website. This tactic works in three simple steps:
Find authoritative websites in your niche with broken links
Create relevant content for this broken link or use your existing content if you have any
Reach out to the websites, inform them about the broken links and suggest they replace them with your resource
3. Build Relationships
Another way to build backlinks is to build relationships with other people in your niche.
By having a good relationship with other website owners in your niche, they are more likely to link to your content.
The key is to build a genuine lasting relationship where you can offer (and hopefully receive) value.
4. Guest Post On Reputable Websites
Guest posting means publishing an article or creating a resource for a blog or website that you don’t own.
A lot of authoritative websites and blogs accept guest posts and they generally allow backlinks to your content as long as it is relevant, though be sure to ask.
Again, the key to getting guest posts accepted is to create content that provides value and not one that is solely for the purpose of getting a backlink.
Nightwatch is a browser-based SEO tracker designed to help you monitor, analyze and improve the performance of your website.
Nightwatch’s backlink monitoring tool lets you track your backlinks and assess how strong your backlink profile is easily. The backlink dashboard shows you the number of backlinks you have, the pages they link to, and the quality of each backlink.
This helps you recognize harmful backlinks, so you can improve your link-building strategy. In addition, you’ll receive notifications whenever a backlink is newly discovered or lost.
SE Ranking’s backlink checker provides in-depth information about the backlinks on any website. You can use this information to find the top performing pages on your competitors’ sites in terms of backlinks, and know what type of content will perform best on your website.
Additionally, you can automatically or manually import your list of backlinks, which you can filter in case there are any backlinks you don’t need. You can also disavow any harmful backlinks with a couple of clicks.
It lets you assign a cost to each backlink, so that you can easily estimate the total cost of your link-building campaign.
SEO SpyGlass is the competitive analysis tool featured in SEO PowerSuite, a desktop-based software that helps website owners improve their online search visibility.
This tool helps you identify link-building opportunities based on your competitors’ backlink profiles. It also analyses newly-discovered backlinks for spam signals and lets you clean up spammy backlinks that carry the risk of a Google penalty.
With this tool, you’ll be able to quickly identify all the areas you need to improve on to get an edge over your competitors.
SEMrush Backlink Audit Tool is the backlink analysis tool provided by SEMrush. This tool can help you get a great backlink profile in four simple steps.
First, it will audit all your backlinks against its extensive database that contains 22 trillion backlinks.
While auditing, the backlink audit tool will pit your backlinks against over 45 toxicity markers, which will detect potentially harmful or toxic backlinks. The tool creates a disavow file you can send to Google for all the toxic backlinks you have.
You can also reach out to the owner of the website to remove the link to your domain. However, if you don’t think a backlink is actually harmful, you have the option to whitelist it in one click.
In addition, this tool will automatically track any changes in your backlinks and send you email updates regularly.
Other tools include: Moz Pro Link Explorer, BuzzSumo, OpenLinkProfiler etc.
How Can We Help?
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