Backlinks – Good or Bad for SEO?
Before diving into this topic lets take a minute to understand what a backlink or if you prefer, in-bound link is. A backlink or in-bound link is a hyperlink from one website that points/redirects a visitor to your website.
In a nutshell, you can think of a backlink as one website vouching for the trustworthiness of another website regarding specific content which is why in the early days of the internet, these carried heavy weight with search engines when determining which websites were trustworthy and quality verses those that were not. It also helped greatly with boosting keyword weight.
The search engine industry now days is not so focused on backlinking however it still carries some weight with your websites overall reputation or weight with keywords provided they are not junk or spam linking which is a common problem these days and will actually hurt your websites reputation with search engines should you be found participating in such activity.
The value of a link is determined partly by the content on the web page the link is found, also by the reputation of the website the link is found on and partly by the anchor text used within the link. It also maters which page and content the link points to and how relevant to the referring pages content the destination page is.
When one website links to another website, it transfers some of its page/keyword weight from itself to the other which gives the recipient of the backlink a small boost in reputation for the given keywords and content.
The exact formula utilized by search engines when assessing keyword weight and page boosts from a backlink is a closely guarded secret by them to prevent abuse or deceptive tactics in order to unnaturally boost a website page rank.
Although we cannot know for sure how much an individual link will help, we can certainly determine a good backlink verses a poor or spam backlink.
A good backlink is earned. Its not something you shell out a few pennies for but rather one earned because your content, page or website has relevant data that is deemed useful to website traffic. For instance when discussing backlinking I would refer you the reader/web visitor to Google who has great additional information on backlinks found here.
In the above link I have given Google a backlink (link from my site to theirs) and by doing so I attest to the fact that they have quality and relevant content with regards to the content on this page which has to do with backlinks.
Another example of a quality backlink is setting up profiles on 3rd party websites that showcase your products or services. Still another would be social media accounts which showcase your business and offer a backlink to your website for more information. These links are all great ways to boost your backlink count in a positive and acceptable way. Still others can come from quality article submissions to sites that help make the internet an informative and positive place for everyone.
Bad backlinks are harmful to your websites reputation and are generally cheap to buy in bulk of 1000, 10,000 or greater off bidding sites and dishonest SEO companies. The problem with these types of backlinks are they all end up on low page rank websites, link deposit sites or other bogus junk websites which are all known by search engine companies and monitored. When suddenly your websites backlink count goes from a handful to 1000’s and on poorly ranked websites, this shows these search engine companies like Google and Bing that you are attempting to circumvent their page rank formula and gain weight that is neither earned or supported. Thus, you end up on their naughty list and instead of your website gaining weight for the links, you are spanked!
When hiring us to help promote your websites ranking or search engine optimization, we do utilize backlinking to a degree however its limited to helping you establish the links you earn and naturally so. Areas we help you achieve link success are by establishing business profiles on 3rd party sites, social media outreach and if deemed worthwhile by helping with articles highlighting knowledge in your profession to help others seeking to learn.
Now if you took the time to read googles linking guidelines you may be thinking our services are then in violation of their terms however it’s not. What we are providing in this service is not the link itself as you already earned it via your business, services or products. What we do is take the time to find valid opportunities that you already qualify for. In other words, what we charge for is the time and experience to locate opportunities, not for the link itself.
In closing, quality backlinks offer a unique ability for not only advertising traffic to your website but also promotion of your websites page rank and keyword weight provided it is within the guidelines set forth by search engines. Avoid backlink campaigns from businesses that offer backlinks in quantity for a set price. In general, if the link makes no sense or provides no real value to a visitor it is most likely not a worthwhile link to have and provides no real benefit to you in the end.