Backlinks have been the mainstay of search engine optimisation for years, but in a changing digital landscape are they still relevant? With routine algorithm changes and SEO methodologies, how much should you be relying on backlinks to get you to the top of the rankings? More importantly, should you modify your backlink strategy to increase its efficacy?
What are backlinks and why are they important?
Backlinks are simply links which connect your website to other sites online, but they’re extremely important when it comes to search engine optimisation. Your backlinks help search engines to determine how important, influential and reliable your website is, and this can boost your rankings.
Traditionally, websites benefitted from having lots of backlinks because this helped to establish the site and its content. In basic terms, the more backlinks you had, the more significant your site was. As a result, high numbers of backlinks were a good way to increase your SEO rankings.
Are backlinks still relevant to SEO?
Absolutely. Backlinks still help to establish your website’s authority, and they still play a considerable role in determining your rankings and how search engines view your site. As a form of off-page SEO, backlinks are still extremely important. However, the way backlinks are perceived by search engines has changed in recent years.
The number of backlinks on your site is no longer seen as an indicator of your website’s importance or authenticity. Whilst a healthy number of backlinks may be advantageous when it comes to your rankings, search engines, such as Google, now assess the quality of your backlinks as well.
What is a high-quality backlink?
High-quality backlinks are links high authority domains. Well-known, secure and popular websites are typically deemed high-quality, and they’re often recognisable names. Well-known sites, such as, Facebook, Forbes YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are all examples of high authority domains, and creating a link between your site and any of these websites would be extremely beneficial for your SEO rankings.
Conversely, lower quality backlinks are connections to websites which don’t necessarily have a high authority domain. These sites may not be as well-established or well-known, and they won’t automatically boost your rankings on search engines either. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid lower quality backlinks in their entirety.
Should you choose high-quality backlinks for SEO success?
The quality of your backlinks is crucial to your SEO success, but it’s important to remember that content matters too. If you want to link to a website which doesn’t have a particularly high domain authority but has original, informative and relevant content, then it could be worthwhile. Whilst you may not gain much from this type of link building in terms of SEO, connecting your users to content fresh and interesting content has its own rewards.
However, it is important to avoid low-quality backlinks, as these could actually have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. Traditionally, quantity reigned when it came to backlinks, and this lead to some unscrupulous tactics. With people eager to boost their rankings, sites were created simply to serve as backlink connections, rather than delivering relevant content.
To prevent falsely inflated rankings, search engines started to pay more attention to where your backlinks were going. Instead of focusing solely on the number of backlinks on your site, Google cares about their value. As a result, the quality of your backlinks became increasingly important, whilst the quantity of your backlinks became less influential.
Does it matter how many backlinks you have?
Yes. Quantity still matters when it comes to backlinks, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Hundreds of backlinks may have ranked you more highly on a SERP (search engine results page) in the past. Now, however, it could do just the opposite.
Having hundreds of backlinks won’t necessarily improve your SERP position. Furthermore, hundreds of low-quality will actually put you lower down on SERPs and damage your SEO strategy. Whilst a decent number of backlinks can be beneficial for your website and its rankings, quality matters. Backlinks will only have a positive impact if they’re high-quality. Of course, backlinks of moderate quality can be valuable too, providing they link to relevant and worthwhile content.
Most users want to know whether high quantity or high-quality backlinks will benefit their site, but it isn’t quite as simple as that. Whilst high-quality backlinks will place your site higher on SERPs, a high quantity of backlinks could actually lower your rankings, depending on their quality.
Like most digital marketing and SEO concepts, the use of backlinks has changed over time. Whereas quantity once reigned supreme, high quantities of backlinks are now only beneficial if they’re also high-quality. As low-quality backlinks could have a negative impact, it’s important to look at the value of each potential link. In fact, focusing on quality before quantity is essential if you want to use backlinks to boost your SEO rankings.
To learn more or to enhance your backlinks today, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.