Backlinks Explained

Before the search engines emerged, and before we saw a growing relevance of these, website operators used hyperlinks only to make navigation on the Internet easier for users. However, the ability to find websites on Google and other search engines is crucial, keeping in mind the fact that the amount of information on the Internet is getting bigger and bigger with each passing day. This is why the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) is growing rapidly. The SEO ranking factors are decisive for a website to get top placement in the search results. These factors are subject to constant adjustment and diversification. Backlinks are also an important ranking factor; they have been here since the beginning of search engines. But their requirements have changed over time. This article will reveal what backlinks are, their structure, and what importance backlinks carry for SEO.


Backlinks Explained

What are Backlinks

The term “backlink” can be described as a link that originates from one specific domain and leads to another. These hyperlinks allow users to navigate the Internet easily and discover new websites. The Google crawler also reaches the websites in the same way, and, by doing so, expands its capacity.

In search engines, the existing backlinks are an indication that a website and its content are relevant for readers. The more backlinks are linked to a page, the more popular and relevant its contents are. Google rewards these websites with a better ranking in their search results. 

The linking process is done through the so-called anchor text. This is the word that you click on a particular website that redirects you to another website. Usually, that word is color-coded (the color usually being blue). In the HTML source code, a backlink can be easily noticed with the structure as follows:

<a href=“”>Example</a>

This source code can be expanded with many attributes;  thus, it is advisable to add the addition “target =” _ blank “. This enables the user to open a link in a new tab without leaving the website. The source code for this may look as follows:

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>Example</a>

Why are Backlinks Important

Backlinks are important for measuring the quality of a website. The quantity of the links does not matter as much as their quality. The search engines such as Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. determine the quality of backlinks on the basis of various properties. This helps prevent the websites from achieving a high rank by buying backlinks in those cases when they have inferior content.

What makes a good backlink

When we build backlinks (also known as OffPage SEO), qualitative and quantitative aspects must be predetermined and taken into account. As discussed, Google determines the ranking of a website on various parameters, one of these parameters is the quality of the backlinks. Factors such as topic relevance, link text, link title, link placement and the quality of the linked website are considered crucial for the evaluation of the quality of a backlink by search engines. 


The backlink environment includes the topic relevance and the geometric area on a website on which a link is placed. To put a topic-related link, as far up as possible in the main content of a website, has more influence on the ranking than any non-topic link. This is because it is more likely to capture more visitors and is likely to be clicked on more often. This said, it is a crucial thing to place relevant links into the content, so that the website can gain better ranking, placement on Google, and, generally, be regarded as more competent by the readers. 


The PageRank algorithm is based on the well-known random surfer model, which has been the best known ranking criterium from Google so far, on which the original search algorithm was based. This explanation is based on the principle that the more backlinks refer to a website, the higher the ranking (the authority of the website) will be, following the PageRank method. 


Backlinks are considered a significant part of SEO. They are effective in terms of producing ways to boost a website’s organic traffic. A website’s organic traffic dictates the level of authority it possesses. More simply, websites with high organic traffic are more likely to be listed on and ranked higher in SERPs, something which can be achieved thanks to the use of backlinks.

Traffic backlinks explained


As discussed earlier, Backlinks serve a very important role in the placement of websites.

Better quality of backlinks = Better placement of a website in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). 

Even though backlinks alone are not responsible for better placement in search engine results; regardless of that, they are considered to be a major factor which affects the final placement of a website. 

 Anchor text

The anchor text is a ‘’clickable’’ part of the text containing a hyperlink within a content published on a website. It is usually color-coded in the blue color. This can be found in the source text between the opening and closing ‘<a>’ tag. 

For search engines, the anchor text provides information about the linked page. To make sure that a natural backlink structure is formed, anchor texts must be varied. If a large number of backlinks has the same keyword anchor texts, then search engine operators may “suspect” it as manipulated link building and devalue the domain in the SERPs or remove it out of the index in totality.

Followed vs. ‘’no-followed’’

Before 2005, link spam was wreaking havoc, so in 2005 Google introduced the “nofollow” attribute to combat link spam. With the no-follow attribute, search engines are informed when a particular link should not be followed, nor taken into consideration regarding trustworthiness. No-follow links, expectedly,  have less value in the online environment.

This is what a do-follow or no-follow links look like in the source code of a page:

     “Dofollow” – <a href=example rel=”dofollow “> Linktext </a>

(This page inherits part of the page rank itself, and links to a particular  target).

     “Nofollow” – <a href=example rel=”nofollow “> Linktext </a>

(This page doesn’t leave any values to the link target).

followed vs no-followed tag

How Do Backlinks Work?

Backlinks between websites work as a trust signal for search engines. A linking website passes the value to the website it links to, which is known as PageRank. The working process of backlinks can also be described as receiving “a vote” for a webpage. This means the more votes you get from the websites with authority, the more positive an effect you will receive on a site’s SEO for rankings and search visibility.

Google’s view on backlinks

As a search engine, Google views your backlinks as a way to judge your page for quality and how to rank your page in Google searches. To overcome the trial thrown at you by Google, your website needs to display high domain authority. Ranking at Google SERPs is not a joke, because Google shows no mercy when it comes down to backlinking. If your website doesn’t provide any relatable and relevant information, it is possible that they will ban you from site ranking and put you out of the index. 

Different Types of Backlinks

Essentially there are a total of 14 types of backlinks to advanced SEO, these are as follows:

  1. Editorial backlinks.
  2. Guest blogging backlinks 
  3. Backlinks in business profiles.
  4. Backlinks from webinars.
  5. Free-tool backlinks.
  6. Acknowledgement backlinks.
  7. Guest post bio backlinks.
  8. Badge backlinks.
  9. Backlinks derived from press releases.
  10. Comment backlinks.
  11. Paid Links.
  12. Backlinks in press releases.
  13. Low-quality or irrelevant directory links.
  14. Low-quality forum backlinks.

How to check backlinks

To check which websites link to your website, you will need to receive help from backlink checker tools. These tools will allow you to see and connect to that website that is linking your website to their pages. Here is a list of these tools.

  1. Google Search Console
  2. Moz Link Explorer
  3. Ahrefs
  4. Buzzsumo
  5. SEMrush

How to Get More Backlinks?

Getting backlinks can be regarded as difficult, but once you do it, it will be the start of monetizing your content. To get more backlinks you can follow these things:

  1. Earn backlinks
  2. Create backlinks yourself
  3. Build backlinks through inquiries 

Earn backlinks

As we discussed, the number of organic backlinks increases when other website owners link your website to their page. The chances of such organically generated backlinks increasing are dependent on the content of your site. The content should be user friendly, genuine, interesting, and as unique as possible.

Create Backlinks Yourself

On some websites, you have the option of linking your own page. For example, there are blogs that have a comment section, forums or business directories. From there, you can backlink your website yourself.

Build Backlinks Through Inquiries

To build backlinks through inquiries first, you will have to get in touch with the other site operators and ask/pay them to link your website. Alternatively, you can also use the backlink checker tool to find the websites which are already backlinking to your websites and contact them to build a relationship for further backlinking. 

Backlinks & SEO

How do Backlinks Help SEO?

Unlike the early phases of search engine optimization, backlinks are not the only judging factor search engines look for in order to rank your website in SERPs. In fact, in modern SEO practices, backlinking is just one of the few important factors that lead to a higher ranking in SERPs. Nowadays, quality is preferred over quantity. That is why you just can’t buy backlinks to get higher ranks. The backlinks will help you get more organic viewers and you can start monetizing on it. 

In conclusion, this article was wholly dedicated to the nature of backlinking. The article started with an explanation of how and why backlinks emerged, as well as why they are so relevant in today’s world of search engine optimization.

The article then proceeded with explanations by introducing what makes a good backlink, how Google sees them, and how backlinks in general work. 

It is necessary to mention as a final thought that, even though backlinks play a major role in search engine optimization, by no means should they be observed independently from other factors. Search engine optimization is a very vast and complicated field, where all the important factors should be combined in order to develop a stable, trustworthy, and highly ranked website on Google. 

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