What is Backlinking?
Backlinking is an element of search engine optimization for a website that takes place externally. Search engines have been using links as a “vote of confidence” in the “ongoing democratic opinion poll of the web” since the late 1990s. The search process has now been refined to a number of complex algorithms, with backlinking used as a factor in your website’s popularity and importance on the World Wide Web.
Understanding Backlinking & Off-Site Search Engine Optimization
Backlinking is one small but important element of search engine optimization. Backlinking occurs when other popular or well-ranked websites link to your site. To clarify, the term backlink is “when a webpage links to any other page.” The more backlinks that make their way “back” to your website, the more confidence it instills in search engines when crawling for results across the web. In other words, when other trusted websites link to yours, these “incoming links” are a vote of confidence for your website. On the back end, backlinks inform the search engine that your website is official and not spam, and could establish your website’s authority.
Backlinking is referred to as off-site search engine optimization (SEO) because the bulk of the activity occurs externally to your business’s website. Earning and giving backlinks is an important off-site SEO practice, with a level of management involved. For example, you want to make sure that your website receives links from trusted, popular websites, while you want to avoid links from spammy or untrustworthy websites. Indeed, high-quality websites are more valuable to the SEO process and are the goal when it comes to receiving backlinks.
It may seem like a simple thing, but in fact, backlinking is a competitive and complicated process. Backlinking requires research, examining the profiles of the links, and searching for the proper key words and anchor text. Links are actually “valued” by search engines, with external links from other sources linking to you valued above internal links within your website. Furthermore, receiving backlinks from a diverse group of websites is more valuable that receiving the same backlink multiple times from just one or two websites.
Beyond this, the number of “link hops” matters when it comes to SEO. Search engines count the number of link hops – or the number of steps removed – between links. For example, your original website (A) appears on a trusted website (B), and then the link appears on a different website (C) that links back to (B), and then to you (A). The search engine takes the number of steps removed into account when ranking. In other words, the more “hops” away from your site a link is, it is valued less than a link that is just one hop away from your website.
Benefits of Backlinking to Your Small Business
All of these concepts are things that small business owners simply do not have the time to manage, as it becomes more involved and complicated. At the same time, backlinking is an important part of your business’s overall internet marketing strategy, along with things like mobile responsiveness, fixing technical errors, a strong website architecture, and strong, unique content.
Not only does backlinking get you more visitors to your site – which, in this day and age, translates to more business – it also establishes your business as a go-to authority in the field. With backlinks from quality sites relevant to your line of work, your website’s organic ranking improves with search engines. Backlinks also help search engine bots crawl more effectively on your site and index faster, which also improves your ranking on a search engine results list. All of this comes together to increase your website’s visibility on a search engine results list. When consumers searching for information barely look past the first page of search results, it’s important to your business to get up near the top of the list!
How Increase Marketing Can Help Your Business
How is your business’s backlinking? Are you receiving the recognition you need from your community and peers online? Are you interesting in garnering more “votes of confidence” for your site and boosting your site’s popularity? Our team at Increase Marketing is here to help you manage backlinking as a part of your website’s search engine optimization process. Contact us today for a consultation.