What is an SEO Backlink?


Backlinking is an integral part of any website. Despite its importance, you might be ignorant of what backlinking means – or you do know it but don’t understand how to use it to your advantage.

The most superficial definition of backlinking would be “incoming links to a page”. Delving deeper you can see how this only touches the surface of what backlinking is as there are several different metrics that are used to measure it.

Here I will go over a few of these metrics – along with a couple of tips on how to improve backlinking to your own websites.

Domain Authority – What is it?

Moz created Domain Authority as a ranking score for websites that is based on how high up they will show on a search engine. Domain Authority is influenced by multiple rubrics, the most important being the number of websites linked to and from your own.

That doesn’t mean you can just fill your pages up with a bunch of hyperlinks to improve your Domain Authority. Many search engines, Google, in particular, prefer quality over quantity. Linking to spam websites will actually hurt your overall Domain Authority ranking.

Domain Authority is ranked on a 100 point logarithmic scale – this means that each successive point is more difficult to obtain than the last. Only the elite rank 90 or higher.

How to Maximize Domain Authority

There are a couple other terms that you need to understand before you can raise your website’s ranking. The first is global popularity – this simply rates the number of diverse links to and from your website.

A website with high global popularity will often be at the top of search engine results. A perfect example of this is Wikipedia – Google will give priority to their articles over many others because of the plethora of different links going in and out of it.

Topic-specific popularity is also an important metric you need to keep in mind. Purple Mouse Digital Marketing, who specializes in Internet Marketing in Perth, describes this metric as a way to improve the overall quality of your backlinking which is done by linking to relevant websites. Unrelated websites will only hurt your ranking.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind…

A website that backlinks to your website is called the root domain. Multiple root domains improve many of the backlinking metrics, while the same website linking multiple times to yours does not. You want diversity on your root domain list.

Some websites are forced to use no-follow links when it comes to untrusted websites. While useful in protecting people, just keep in mind this type of backlinking does not improve your Domain Authority score.

Anchor text is specific keywords that increase your likelihood of being on top of search engine lists. These can be entire phrases or just single words.

Finally, there is interlinking. This is links between different parts of your own website. While this doesn’t directly improve your Domain Authority, it does improve access to your website for users, and thus the potential for backlinking.

Underhanded Backlinking

Google is already in the works in creating algorithms to combat spam infested websites that manipulate many of the above metrics. Nonetheless, there are many ways some more unsavory types find ways to game Domain Authority rankings.

One such way is backlinking dozens of outbound links to other websites. Short term, this can work, but after a while, the ranking of your own website will actually suffer. Remember when it comes to backlinking it is quality, not quantity, that matters.

Because many webmasters have more than one website, some of them try to link to their own website. While this may seem clever this can actually be disastrous to the overall Domain Authority score as it is likely these websites will have the same IP address.

What you can do to Increase Backlinking

Simply put, having high caliber content is what will surge you forward on domain lists. This comes from creating content specific articles that are written in engaging ways. The backlinking should fit the content, not the other way around.

Freshness also is important. Keeping your website in a constant state of change is great for views, but also greatly improves the number of root domains you have. Interlinking several sets of articles together can create a long line of potential backlinking opportunities.

You can make sure you have your website structured in such a way that it fits your audience. More detailed minded readers will want longer articles with maybe just a couple of infographics – while more casual types will want short paragraphs and bullet lists.

Make sure to promote! Try not to be hamfisted about it, but don’t be afraid of plugging your website into other websites. This can be done by writing comments and reviews backlinking to your own website.

The most important thing you can do is to stay on top of current trends. Understanding what the competition is doing along with how search engine algorithms are changing will make sure you aren’t ever left with a dead end website.

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