What are backlinks?
Backlinks or inbound links are links from a page on one website to another website. These are essentially popularity votes for search engines like Google that indicate a websites popularity, credibility and authority.
For SEO purposes, backlinks are crucial and valuable for your SEO strategy, therefore, it is important to regularly maintain and monitor the inbound links of your website and to ensure that your website has a healthy backlink profile.
How to check backlinks?
A great free tool to check your website’s backlinks is Google Search Console. To do this, your website must be linked to Google Search Console.
Once you’re logged in, to Google Search Console, you’ll have a menu on the left side of the dashboard with several options. Look for the ‘Links’ option. Then click on the ‘Sites with the most links to your site’ option. Here, you will see the backlinks referring to your website.
Besides Google Search Console, you can also use Ahrefs, SE Ranking, Moz, Majestic and SEMrush to check backlinks. These are third-party tools that can simulate Google’s algorithm. All the aforementioned tools have backlink checkers, but they do come at a cost. Here at Seeders, we use Ahrefs for our clients to check backlinks, because the data regarding new and lost backlinks is the most recent.
Value of your backlinks
Not all links are equal. For Google, a backlink from a page with high authority, high relevance to your website and quality content is more valuable compared to a link from a low-quality site on which there are many other external links.
A backlink from a press release with lots of informative content on a website like NOW or Metro (media platforms with very high authority) provides much more value than a link on a business directory page, where practically any business can be listed.
John Mueller of Google agrees that relevance in particular is an important factor in getting backlinks. The number of backlinks to your website is less important, according to Google. So quality over quantity always!
How to gain backlinks?
There are many routes you can take to gain backlinks for your website. However as not all backlinks are equal, it is important to consider the quality, consistency, and relevance of backlinks of your website. When acquiring in bound links, you want to ensure that your website’s backlink profile looks as natural as possible. This way, you’ll establish sustainable and consistent growth. Creating good engaging content is one way of boosting your website’s link profile. However, this can be time consuming and require copywriters to create this content. Thankfully, there are other effective methods to try out including:
- Buying links on home pages and blog websites.
- Swapping by doing the ABCD-method. Two parties use a list of self-managed websites on which to place a backlink.
- Looking for blogs where an incorrect, or broken link, is listed. After you have done this, you approach and alert the webmaster to the incorrect link. You ask the webmaster to replace the incorrect backlink with a link to your own website.
- Detecting business mentions in articles/pages using Google Alerts. This involves approaching websites admins, who have posted your company name without an outbound link to your website. This way, you can ask if they are willing to post a backlink.
The first two techniques from the list above are not focused on natural growth. In fact, you control the process yourself and pay for a backlink.
However, there is another method of earning quality backlinks! A fairly new method of obtaining natural backlinks is through Digital PR. With digital PR, you do prior research on a particular topic. You share the research results with news sites in the form of a blog. A good PR strategy is one that creates objective, informative, and inspiring content!
Tiemen is an SEO Consultant at Seeders Zwolle, where he combines his love for technology with a passion for problem-solving. He has a knack for diving deep into SEO algorithms, understanding the nuances, and applying them to improve client rankings. Tiemen’s expertise lies in his ability to transform complex SEO principles into understandable and actionable strategies for businesses of all sizes.