Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. A link from a foreign domain sends a significant signal about the importance of the page. In this guide, we would like to show you how you can increase the number of backlinks gradually and in a healthy measure.
Backlinks are links that point from an external website to your own website. They are an important ranking factor for search engines, as they indicate how good and relevant the content of a page is to the public. At the same time, users can access the content of the other domain directly via these links and thus obtain in-depth or otherwise relevant information.
The weighting of a backlink is measured by how strong the linking site itself is. For example, a link from www.spiegel.de to my site is rated as stronger than a link from my home sports team, for example. jinxultimate.wordpress.com.
Therefore, the statement “The more backlinks you have, the better” is not correct without limitations. Fewer links from strong domains are usually more effective than many links from small private blogs.
In addition, attention must be paid to the attribute “follow” / “nofollow”, which we will talk about below.
Attention: The purchase of backlinks is always not advisable and purchased links should be declared as such. Otherwise, the risk of being penalized by Google and losing your existing rankings increases. This puts you in the realm of Blackhat SEO.
When we talk about the “natural growth” of external links in this article, it explicitly means that people “voluntarily” link to your site. The more informative, intuitive or exciting you present your content, the more likely users are to decide to link to your content through their channels (website, social media, …).
The following list shows which content can support natural link building.
Ideally, the link should always be as specific as possible, so it’s best not to always just link to the home page. For example, if you offer three different services and a partner reports on the second service on his page, then the corresponding subpage should be referred to.
On the one hand, this is important to make the subpages more visible for the Google Bot, but at the same time, of course, for users who land directly on the appropriate information via a click.
In connection with backlinks, the question “follow or nofollow” quickly arises among SEOs. These are attributes that should further specify the link. However, the users of the website do not notice whether a nofollow or follow tag is set. This does not limit the function of the link.
For the search engine ranking, however, it is of great importance whether a link is marked as nofollow or not (=follow). Extending a link with a nofollow attribute shows Google that this link should not be followed and thus the power of the domain is not passed on to the target page. We are thus telling Google not to give weight to the backlink. Typically, one does this when a page can get “out of control” and links can be generated via foreign users. This is e.g. the case in forums or articles with comment function. Here you can and should set that the deposited links are automatically marked as “nofollow”. Such a link looks like this in HTML:
Somewhat newer markups are “rel=sponsored” and “rel=ugc”. These attributes specify the type of links for Google. This allows you to indicate that a particular link is considered advertising (sponsored), or was created by someone else (ugc=user generated content) and is therefore out of your control.
The specification can be combined with the nofollow attribute in each case. So the link above could also look like this:
rel=”nofollow ugc”>WEVENTURE Team</a>
Various tools give you the possibility to analyze your backlinks. Common tools are for example ahrefs or Majestics. With ahrefs you get a list of all links incl..:
Using the domain rank, you can determine how strong the page is that gives you a link. In addition, you can detect pages whose links may even be toxic for your site, because they are spammy pages.
It is always good to regularly take a look at your backlinks and collect URLs whose links are undesirable. You can then load these URLs in a so-called disavow file and upload them via Google Search Console. Google will then not take these links into account when evaluating your page.
Conclusion: If you want to optimize your site for search engines, you can’t do without backlinks. Try to get successive backlinks by creating good – and above all unique – content. Keep an eye on the backlinks you set and devalue backlinks from unprofessional sites if necessary.
You still have questions about the backlink strategy? Then contact us!