Backlinks: What Are They And How to Make the Most of Them
Google uses a variety of criteria to determine how to rank the websites it indexes.
Business owners and their marketing companies work hard to increase their rankings and, therefore, increase their exposure to potential clients. Most companies are aware of the importance of keywords and even having engaging content on their websites. However, when it comes to backlinks, the best way to use them and even what are backlinks is unclear to many new website owners.
What is a Backlink?
The concept is relatively simple. A backlink is a link posted on another site linking back to one of the company’s web pages. The existence of these links implies a website is reputable because other companies trust it enough to refer their visitors. However, simply getting a bunch of other sites to publish a link won’t necessarily result in a higher ranking. To get the best value from these links, they have to come from sites that have a high Google ranking and are in the same or a similar industry. There are different types of links out there that can be used to improve a site’s traffic.
Knowing the difference between good links versus bad links is important before even getting started. A good link adds value to the site where it’s published. A bad link is not relevant and may have been acquired through a link trade or even through a cash transaction. Good links tend to increase traffic naturally because people who visit the site where the link is published go there for more information. Paid links rarely lead to an increase in traffic and merely exist to increase search ranking. The Google algorithm is set up to recognize this and will impose penalties on websites using this strategy.
Rank High on Google with Backlinks
Some people are able to get these inbound links without even exploring the question what are backlinks? Being active on social media, interacting with people who comment on the company’s page, and posting relevant content rather than just marketing material can have a significant impact on search rankings and can lead people back to the site. Press releases are often picked up by various websites and may direct a number of people to a company’s webpage to learn more. Putting these out periodically can have an impact on search ranking and backlinks as well.
Many business owners have success with guest posting. Writing an interesting article and offering it to a site that is more popular can not only bring in traffic from those who read it, but also help a company gain ground in search engine rankings. It’s important to allow proper spacing between guest posts so the site doesn’t get huge surges in traffic with long lulls in between. This type of activity might draw red flags and could result in a drop in search ranking.
These penalties can negate a lot of the work a business owner puts into their site, so they should be avoided at all costs. Hiring an experienced team to handle search engine optimization for the site can ensure the backlinks are from sites that will benefit the company and not cause it to become invisible to those who search for the products or services on Google.
For some companies, this can cause a significant loss of business, and attempting to circumvent the algorithm to get links from sites that aren’t really relevant or getting a massive number of links all at once really isn’t worth it. Google rewards companies that provide solid information to users over time. By following the rules, a company can rise in the search rankings naturally and see dramatic effects in their exposure as well.