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Backlinks

This information is provided by Sriniketh Srinath, Local SEO Analyst

Group: Brand Authority

What Are Backlinks?

Backlink: Incoming links to a webpage. from a different website

A backlink is an inbound hyperlink to your site (Site A) from an external website (Site B). In this case, Site A is said to have obtained a backlink from Site B (either wantonly or unwillingly).

The items/objects that are linking back could be text pages, images, documents, audio files, video files, sheets, or icons. When the user clicks on this link, they are transported to your website if your site is the beneficiary of that link.

Backlinks can come from various sites, including forums, directories, social media, guest posts, private blog networks (PBNs), and web 2.0 sites.

The HTML code for a backlink would look something like this:

<a href=”https://www.yourwebsitehere”>Your Anchor Text</a>

Not every backlink is the same. Backlinks vary between domains, pages on a domain, and the IP address of the domain. A unique backlink is a link from a unique domain. 5 backlinks from xyz.com only count as one unique link.

The link ratio is the ratio of domains to linking pages. If 20 domains link to you from 50 different pages, then the link ratio is 2:5.

Authority of a backlink, specifically the domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) of the linking site and page is often used as a metric in SEO circles to quantify the value of the backlink. While DA and PA were coined by Moz, other sites use Domain Rating (DR) and Trust Flow (TF) to rate backlink quality. This was covered in-depth earlier when we discussed Authority.

The text used as a backlink to another page is known as ‘anchor text‘. If the anchor text contains just the keyword with nothing extra, then it is known as an exact match backlink. However, it doesn’t need to have anchor text and can just be the entire URL of the page, also known as a naked URL.

Linking to a page passes on some SEO equity or SEO juice to that page.

Pages that receive a lot of quality backlinks (links from high authority sites) tend to perform better than those with a low number of backlinks. Websites such as Twitter and Reddit receive thousands of backlinks every day, which is one reason why they rank so well.

Backlink ‘SEO juice’ is primarily of two well-known types and two newly introduced lesser-known types:

  • Follow
  • Nofollow
  • Sponsored
  • UGC

Follow backlinks, also called ‘dofollow backlinks’, provide SEO equity or juice to the referred site. On the other hand, nofollow links stop a majority of the equity from being transferred. All backlinks are considered as follow backlinks by default.

The two backlink attributes newly introduced as of September 2019 are:

  • rel=“sponsored”: This helps to identify paid, advertising, sponsorships, or similar links 
  • rel=“ugc”: This helps to identify user-generated content, such as comments and forum post links.

Ahrefs and Majestic are 2 of the best tools for finding out more details about where your backlinks are coming from.

With backlinks, ‘variance’ is the name of the game. 1 link from 10 different domains and IPs is worth more than 10 links from the same domain (assuming no spam). 

Also, focus on getting local links from sites near your service area as they are more valuable for local rankings.

DigitalBull GO Tip: Do a link audit of your site and competitor sites regularly using Google Search Console or tools such as Ahrefs or Majestic to find out what links you are missing or to unearth toxic (bad) links that have sneaked into your backlink portfolio. Never purchase low-quality links from dubious sites since they can cause more harm than good. 

Backlinks Audit Parameters in DigitalBull GO

Here are the subfactors/parameters for Backlinks that are analyzed in the DigitalBull GO Local SEO Audit Tool:

Backlinks

Further Reading

Link Schemes – Quality guidelines from Google

Backlink – Page on Wikipedia

What Links Can You Get That Comply With Google’s Guidelines? – Blog post by Moz

What are Backlinks & Their Advantages? – Blog post by Shout Me Loud

How Can You Analyze Competitive Backlinks? – Blog post by Opteamize

Strategies & Techniques to Build High-Powered Backlinks – Blog post by SERP Co

For further reading on topics related to Backlinks on DigitalBull Expert System, check out our information for Internal Links as well as Authority.

Backlinks in DigitalBull GO

22nd June 2020 Upgrade – Backlinks is currently #9 on the Ranking Factors standings.

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