Backlinks are inbound hyperlinks on a webpage that direct a reader to your site. Outbound links originate on your page and direct the visitor to a different website. Inbound links are a significant factor in determining the search engine ranking for your page.

Search Engine Ranking

Search engines view these redirecting links as website endorsements. They convey that others vouch for your site’s content. When many online places link to yours, it creates credibility for your site, which is likely to increase your page’s rank. However, it is not quantity only that matters. Google considers some links more influential than others.

Adding a Backlink

The page creator does not type the URL address in the text. Instead, a person connects the desired URL to a related word, phrase or image via HTML or JavaScript. When visitors click on the linked portion, it redirects them to your page.

Influential Links

When evaluating links, Google checks the following factors:

  • Relevance – Google looks at the referring site’s content to see if it is topically similar. Links from unrelated pages create confusion regarding your website’s information, lowering your ranking.
  • Authority – Links from sites that are authorities on your subject are more valuable than others.
  • Trustworthiness – Google will evaluate whether the directing site is credible. Spammy websites will hurt your search ranking.
  • Anchor Text – In general, you want links that have anchor text that includes your target keyword.

Link Equity

Specific backlinks carry more weight than others in ranking determination.

  • Number – If hundreds of links are on a page, a search engine finds your particular link less valuable.
  • Location – Links placed higher up on a page are more beneficial to your ranking than those found in a sidebar or footer.

Link Profile

Examine the links you have coming to your site for the following things:

  • Quality – Authoritative, credible sites mentioning your page give weight to the importance of your information.
  • Quantity – Numerous external links taking people to your website increases your place in search results. 
  • Diversity – Many links from a single place tells Google that one page finds your content valuable. You establish credibility when many sites endorse your content.

Create Link-Worthy Content

People tend to share helpful content like infographics, videos, surveys, data and games. Try to make your information unique, valuable and visually appealing. Ideally, websites earn links organically with great content.

Backlinks are a key ranking signal for Google and help connect potential clients to your services.