What are backlinks? How can you use them to improve your website content? Can backlinks be used to help businesses acquire more online traffic? This comprehensive guide is here to answer all of these questions and more.
While many people use the internet regularly, few are aware of how it actually functions. However, what goes on behind the scenes online is not as mysterious as most would think. Anyone who wants to improve their website traffic can greatly benefit from learning about the inner workings of the online world.
Comprehending what backlinks are and how they can be used to the advantage of a business is a wise place to start. In this comprehensive article, the complexities of the internet and where backlinks fit in will be explored in-depth.
What You’ll Need to Know…
To explore this topic, we must first discuss how search engines work and why they tend to impact online traffic so greatly. Then, we’ll explain what backlinks are and how to use them. Also, we’ll discuss how backlinks can impact e-commerce businesses, online page rank, and search engine optimization as a whole. Finally, we’ll talk about how businesses can build their own highly effective backlinking strategies. In this way, readers will be left with a complete picture of why backlinks truly matter and how to make them work effectively.
Understanding The Role of Backlinks on the Internet
First off, we’ll need to discuss where backlinks factor into the wonderful world wide web. The internet is a modern miracle that lets essentially anyone access anything from anywhere. All internet users have to do is choose a search engine, type in a few words, and they can find what they desire. People can shop, read, connect socially, and so much more, all from the comfort of their homes.
In today’s age of lightning-fast technology and unbridled knowledge, we would be nowhere without the internet. Of course, most people are already well aware of what the internet is and how it works. However, did you know that the internet would be nearly impossible to navigate without backlinks? At the very least, it would be random, frustrating to comb through, and chaotic. Backlinks let internet users find relevant content quickly and efficiently.
Not only do backlinks help tie relevant online content together, but they also help keep websites ranked in a structured order. They allow search engines to keep websites organized, ranked, and in an understandable search page layout. In reality, backlinks are like the unbreakable threads that tie the world wide web together. Without them, the whole thing would be a knotted and confusing mess of websites and information.
An Overview of Backlinks and Online Search Engine Structure
Before you can understand backlinks, you have to understand a little bit about how the internet is logistically structured. Specifically, you will want to understand how search engines navigate and display the structured data and web pages found on the internet.
In simple terms, the internet is an enormous collection of digital information. This digital data can be added to, subtracted from, edited, and adjusted from pretty much anywhere. It’s like a massive digital library of catalogs, encyclopedias, images, videos, and so much more! Searching through it all would be pretty much impossible without specific programming of some kind. We tell you this, so you can easily understand where search engines factor in.
A Little Bit About Search Engines and What They Do
The gigantic random collection of data available online presented a fairly legitimate problem in the 1990s. What programs could be used to search through this enormous pool of websites, webpages, and online domains? The answer to this was, you guessed it, the search engine.
Search Engine Progress: 1990s – 2020
Do you remember Ask Jeeves? That was one of the very first freely accessible mainstream search engines. It was quickly replaced with other, more competent options, that worked with online browsers more efficiently. Does anyone remember Internet Explorer? MSN? Yahoo? Firefox? These were early search engine browser combos. Ultimately, one web browser and search engine combination came to rule them all: Google. Nowadays, Google is the number one search engine option for internet users around the world and it doesn’t look like they’ll be falling off anytime soon, so it’s probably best to get familiar with their ways, especially if you’re planning to get deep into online, digital marketing.
Search Engines Today
So how does it all work? How do these search engines comb through and organize data? What does this have to do with search engines? Well, search engines use algorithms to decode online information and filter it based on keywords, website rankings, and other useful factors. One of the factors that search engines take into consideration is backlink quality and relevance. Next, we’ll take a look at how exactly that works.
How Search Engines Use Backlinks to Rank Websites
A website’s rank will determine where it’ll show up on a search engine page. This is the page you arrive at after you type in words and hit enter in the search bar. It’s the one with all of the results.
Many people fail to realize that there are actually ways to ensure that you’ll be at the top of this search engine page. The process of getting to the top of these search pages is known as Search Engine Result Page optimization (SERP). Let’s go over this a bit more in-depth, shall we?
How Backlinks and SERP Optimization Work Together
To structure search results, online search engines track backlinks, and keywords. In this way, they can organize websites properly so that they match search queries. With these structures in place, when you search a phrase or combination of keywords online, the results are relevant.
Backlink quality helps search engines weed out irrelevant webpages. Backlinks also help search engines rank websites based on quality. Coupled with this, keywords help filter and organize the relevant and properly ranked content.
A Technical Overview of Backlinks
Now that we have gone over how the internet is structured and how search engines generally work, we can now get into backlinking. This way, you’ll have a really good understanding of how it all correlates.
To begin with, the internet is a collection of data. This data is often read and organized for online users through search engines (like Google). Search engines use backlinks to organize online content and rank it accurately. Backlinks aren’t the only factors that search engines account for. However, they do have a very large impact on Search Engine Optimization.
So What are backlinks, exactly? Well, backlinks are literally links online. Just like a link in a chain, they hold digital data together. They take you from point A to point B. A backlink for a specific website takes an online user to a designated resource page. This is known as the referrer and referent process.
Referrer and Referent Pages
The page with the backlink (Page A) is the referrer page. The page that the link takes a person to (Page B) is the referent page. A backlink for a specific web resource is a link from some other website, to that designated place.
A backlink reference is essentially identical to a citation. The quality, quantity, and relevancy of a backlink help a search engine (like Google) evaluate the importance and relevance of a page. PageRank is an example of an online program that calculates the total score and estimates how useful or important a web page is. It then ranks it based on the pages connected to or backlinked to it.
Here’s an Example to Help Explain the Backlinking Process:
If Page A is about horses, and Page B is about horse shampoo, Page A may want to create a backlink to page B. Now, let’s say that Page B, the horse shampoo page, is also linked to Page C, a veterinary journal about the effectiveness of horse shampoo. If pages B and C are credible and rank high on Google’s PageRank system, Page A will now rank a bit higher itself.
However, let’s say that Page A is about horses, and Page B is some random low-ranking website that’s full of spam and Blackhat SEO content. Let’s go as far as to say that page B is actually known for breaking Google’s terms of service agreement. It may even be flagged as poor website content. If Page A links to this spammy page, it is now liable to rank more poorly.
There Are Many Helpful Tools Available to Help You Improve Your Page Ranking
Using a website like PageRank can help you build better backlinks and see how your website is currently ranking online. We will go over this more in-depth later in our Blackhat Whitehat SEO tactic explanation.
The calculating of backlink relevance also directly impacts how citations, scholarly papers, and academic journals rank online. For users shopping online, backlink relevance will determine what products are easily discoverable with a search engine. This is another reason that using only high-quality backlinks is wise.
Exactly What Are Backlinks?
First things first: what are backlinks? Simply put, backlinks take you from one webpage to another. They let you travel to different places online with one simple click. Furthermore, they allow you to link online content with similar content simply and efficiently.
Backlinks work in two ways. First, if you link your website to another place online, you’ve created a backlink. Additionally, if someone links their web content to your page, they have backlinked to you. Backlinks work both ways to link different internet content together, which is why we call it the web.
What are Backlinks Known As?
As odd as it may seem, the internet is a fairly new invention. It has only been around for 50 years and mainstream for 25. As such, online terminology can vary, gets used vaguely, and is occasionally difficult to decode. Interestingly enough, you may have heard about backlinking before without realizing it. This is because, like so many online terms, backlinks have more than one name. We have included a brief list of names used for the common backlink:
Backlinks are also called:
- Incoming links
- Inbound links
- Inward links
What are Backlinks Used For?
Now that you understand what backlinks are, you’re probably wondering what backlinks are used for. After all, it doesn’t do you much good to understand backlinking if you can’t apply the information.
Backlinking is a way to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), increase your online web page ranking (SERP), receive high-quality traffic, and more. When applied properly, backlinks can be a great tool for just about anyone to use.
Benefits of Using Backlinks:
- Backlinks improve search engine page ranking.
- Backlinks make web content more credible.
- Backlinks help users navigate websites more easily.
- Backlinks allow individuals to jump quickly between similar websites & pages
- Backlinks are a great SEO tool for online businesses or growing websites.
What are backlinks?
They are links (almost always clickable links) that allow internet users to travel between different web pages conveniently.
What are backlinks used for?
Apart from letting people travel online from one place to another, these links help improve search engine function. They tie online content together to help improve search engine page rank as well. Finally, they can be used to add authority and resources to online content.
What are backlinks used for in terms of e-commerce?
Backlinks can be used by e-commerce websites and other businesses that operate online to help grow their overall visitor traffic. This is directly tied to search engine page ranking and overall page content (SEO).
First of all, you must understand that when internet users are searching for a product online, they have thousands of websites to choose from. Not to mention, these are websites usually selling the product(s) that they want. There are actually over 1 billion active websites online today!
This means that the average consumer can usually find the product they want to buy in over 1,000 places. So how do you make them visit your website? This is where backlinking and SEO comes in.
Backlinks Improve Online Ranking Quickly and Efficiently
When an e-commerce business uses an adequate amount of relevant backlinks, they will automatically be ranked better on Google. Now, Google isn’t the only search engine out there, but it’s pretty much the industry search engine standard.
So, with that in mind, the more relevant and high-quality your backlinks are, the more likely your website will be to show up on page one. This means more customers, more sales, and more overall profitability. Shoppers who are already interested in purchasing a product or service offered by a specific website are known as intelligent traffic. We will go over that next.
How Acquiring Intelligent Web Traffic can Impact Ecommerce Functionality
Salespeople refer to customers who are already interested in their products as warm calls. When a salesperson schedules an appointment to sell a product to someone who has already expressed a liking for said product, a sale is likely. Intelligent online traffic is akin to a warm call in the sales business.
You can see how this makes sense. A customer who sees your website at the top of their search page is much more likely to actually purchase something from your site. So, the better your SEO, the higher you rank on a search page. The higher you rank, the more likely you are to receive intelligent traffic. Thus, the more likely you are to improve your e-commerce sales.
How to Create Quality Backlinks for Your Website to Improve SEO
Quality backlinking lets you easily connect with individuals who are likely to become fans, customers, or followers of your online content.
In this section, we’ll go over how you can create impressive backlinks that’ll improve your search engine optimization. Remember, the better your SEO, the better your online traffic.
The Types of Backlinks
You may be wondering what are backlinks differentiated by. That’s what we will discuss here. After all, before you can create quality backlinks, you’ll want to know what types of backlinks are out there.
When you include a link on your page, it will be examined by the algorithms of the search engines that review your online content. Dofollow backlinks let search engines like Google follow and reach your website. Essentially, these links pass on information that’s used to improve your SEO. This can help to significantly improve your SEO ranking. The more Dofollow links you use, the better your SEO. Keep in mind that this only applies to a certain extent. Too many Dofollow links may be considered Blackhat SEO, which is explained in detail below.
Nofollow links are backlinks that are tagged in a way that excludes them from a search engine’s ranking. These Nofollow tags (rel=nofollow) ensure that your links will not count against you if they aren’t meant to be relevant to your website. For example, if users are allowed to comment on your website, if you have a blog that goes off-topic, or if any other content is included that could damage your page ranking, Nofollow links should be used.
In summary, if you want backlinks to count toward your SEO, you’ll use Dofollow links. If you want links to be excluded from your page ranking score, you’ll need to integrate Nofollow settings. Below, we will explain this in further detail.
Backlink SEO Strategies
There are a few different types of SEO. These are Blackhat, Whitehat, and Greyhat SEO. With millions of websites out there, proper SEO is crucial to online success. Considering that so many critical factors are influenced by search engine rank, many websites strive for optimal SEO. Typically, a system of SEO will be launched. Let’s go over the SEO strategies that use backlinks.
This is the SEO tactic that we advise you to avoid. Blackhat SEO uses spammy keywords and numerous irrelevant backlinks in an attempt to trick the algorithms used by search engines. In many cases, websites that integrate Blackhat SEO tactics find themselves banned or removed from search engines entirely. They pop up in the short term, but as they sit there on a search page, the search engine algorithms often recognize and remove them. Blackhat SEO is a buckshot SEO tactic that only works in the short term. Even then, it’s rarely all that successful.
The most successful approach, Whitehat SEO uses keywords and backlinks that are relevant and of good quality. Additionally, Whitehat SEO helps make an online page of higher quality. Whitehat SEO is a great long term approach. To integrate Whitehat backlinking, simply be sure to only include high-quality relevant links on your page. You may also want to try to get other high-quality websites to link themselves back to your main pages and subpages.
As we mentioned before, web tools like PageRank can help you find high ranking pages to link to. You’ll also be able to track your website rank and work toward improving it in an entirely legitimate way.
This form of SEO is more successful in the long-run than blackhat SEO. It’s a mixture of Blackhat and Whitehat SEO. You see, since search engine algorithms and policies are always changing, websites can stay ahead of the game by walking the fine line between what’s permitted and what is not. An example of Greyhat backlinking would be including every single relevant link to pages that somewhat ties into what the main page references. Greyhat SEO is sometimes unavoidable, as Google is constantly updating its search page terms and conditions.
Getting Other Pages to Link to Your Website
While it’s important to create quality, relevant links of your own, you’ll also want to be linked back to. The goal here is to create a webpage or website that other quality sources will want to connect with. This can take a while and may require considerable collaboration between multiple websites or businesses. However, in the long-run, this can be a highly successful backlinking strategy. Building up the credibility of your website will be the first step to take toward getting others to link back to your pages. Working with a reputable SEO marketing company may also be helpful.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
So what are backlinks? In simple terms, they’re links to other websites. What are backlinks for SEO? They are backlinks that have been specifically made to improve your search engine page rank. As you can see, the backlinking process is not as complex as many would believe. Understanding how online search engine optimization works in practice is a great place to start. Armed with this knowledge of backlinks, you’ll be able to increase online traffic to your website, e-commerce store, and the like. The more you know, the more effective and helpful your backlinks will be.
In conclusion, anyone looking to improve their SEO should consider embarking on a backlinking campaign. Creating high-quality backlinks can significantly improve your search engine page rank. All in all, proper backlink use helps websites attain greater overall online success. And at SEO PRO Consulting, your success is our success!