The Importance of High-Quality Backlinks

Basically, there are two ways that the search engines use links: to discover new web pages and to help determine how well a page should rank in the search results.  Backlinks, also referred to as inbound links or incoming links, are from outside domains that point to your domain or when one website links to another. For search engines, backlinks help to determine the importance and value or “authority” of a page. You can think of backlinks like “votes of confidence” that can pass link equity and referrals to your website from other pages on the web.

Quality Backlinks VS Quantity

Backlinks are known to influence your rankings and are an important part of off-site SEO. The total number of backlinks you have can often include links from the same referring domain or from multiple referring domains. It’s a common practice for referring domains to link back to your site more than once if your content is relevant or useful in some way to their own domain. Incoming links are a signal to search engines that others find your content worth linking to.

If many sites link to the same web page or domain, search engines can infer that your content is worth surfacing on a results page. That being said, the value that is passed from backlinks has more to do with the quality of the domains from which the links are pointing from and less about quantity. A domain’s backlink profile is made up of referring domains or outside sources that contribute to the overall relevance, strength, and diversity of its backlink profile.

Too many backlinks from unreliable, spammy, or low ranking domains can have a negative influence on the authority signals of your domain. Conversely, the more popular and important a domain is, the more value is passed on. In essence, high-quality backlinks can positively influence your backlink profile, help you rank better, and ultimately drive more traffic your way.   

Backlink Value

The focus on quality or high-value backlinks is increasing as search engines become better at filtering out low-quality referring links. The general consensus regarding link value is as follows: incoming links from unique domains pass more value than links from sites already linking to your domain; incoming links from within unique content on a page pass more value than links within footers, sidebars, images, and navigation; incoming links from popular, important, and trusted sites pass more value; and incoming links from sites within a specific industry or topic-specific community pass more value than links from sites that are not relevant to your content/domain.

Fresh Signals & Fesh Content

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how many incoming links you have already acquired, link signals can become stale over time. Websites that were once popular can often become stale, especially when they’re not regularly updated with fresh content and not earning new incoming links. Search engines use freshness signals of incoming links to judge a domain’s current popularity and relevance. By regularly creating new useful content that will encourage inbound links on your site, you’ll ensure that your site continues to earn additional incoming links.  

Dofollow & Nofollow Value

Dofollow and nofollow links are important when it comes to backlinks. Dofollow links pass trust to search engines and allow them to see SEO value to help rank a site. Nofollow links (<rel=”nofollow”>) are basically invisible to search engines and therefore using a nofollow means that link won’t pass PageRank value. It also means that Google can’t penalize you for linking to a domain that’s known to be a low-quality site.

Many of the largest sites like MSN, CNN, and NFL place nofollow on all their outbound links. Although a link from one of these sites has no PageRank value per se, incoming links from these sites have high value because of the quality and size of their user base and the potential traffic to your domain that’s generated from the referring link.

Social Sites & Nofollow Links

Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ are great for referral traffic but not so much for acquiring backlinks as they don’t allow dofollow links. Google does index your Twitter updates and your social networking profiles. Although social sites may not pass PageRank value, people are clicking links on those sites all the time. If you ignore social media links, you’re ignoring a great source of referral traffic.

The Backlink, Quality Content & PageRank Takeaway

PageRank is what Google uses to determine the importance of a web page. It’s one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results. If you want to increase your PageRank, you need high-value backlinks or other quality domains linking to your website. The best way to get high-value backlinks is to provide high-quality content on your site that other people want to link to.

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If you’re curious about how we can help you create a more successful blog post or content for your site or write your content for you — thus ensuring organic, quality backlinks, please give us a call at 813-312-5606 or send us an email today!  We offer ongoing blogging and content services along with value-package-pricing.

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