BACKLINKS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO GET THEM

In our previous article, we discussed how to use keywords to make your products and content rank. in this article, we are discussing how to make backlinks work for you. These articles are necessary if your goal for placing your product online is to make it sell faster. People rarely ever scroll to even the second page of Google to see results.  Therefore, your best bet is to follow the best practices for gaining attention in the online world. That’s why we chose these articles to help you to rank.

In this article, we’ll be discussing what backlinks are, how backlinks work, the different types of backlinks how to get relevant backlinks and how to decide what backlinks work and don’t work.

It’s going to be a fun ride.

WHAT ARE BACKLINKS

Backlinks are like doorways that lead from one article to another. They are also called inbound hyperlinks because they lead people from another webpage to your webpage. Mostly, they serve to offer further information on a concept that was merely mentioned in the previous webpage.

Look at this image.

BACKLINK SAMPLE: CLICKING THE WORD, BUYER PERSONA LEADSTO FORBES PAGE
BACKLINK SAMPLE

Here, we attached the words “buyer persona” to hyperlinks that led to an article in Forbes that discussed how to understand Buyers’ personas when clicked. Clicking these words with a blue hue would lead you to an article that discusses a topic related to the blue text. Webpages with more backlinks leading to them tend to rank higher on Search Engine Result Pages because they appear to be valuable and hold valid answers to certain questions.

When you think of backlinks, you’re actually thinking about two components:

  • There is an Anchor Text which is the text that you see in the referencing article. For example, here’s the anchor text in this article that shows you how to leverage content marketing to grow your business. The article in Forbes gets a backlink from our article because of the word, “buyer persona”, which can be further explained by the referenced article. The referenced article therefore has a backlink from our article.

This is the front end of the backlinking process. Notice that the anchor text is a simple word but clicking it leads you to another webpage. This is because of the attached link.

  • Then, there is a linked URL that forms the backend of the backlink process. This link is the active ingredient of the concept and is what enables the transition between the pages.

When you think of backlinks, you’re actually thinking about two components: an Anchor Text which is the text that you see in the referencing article, then, the linked URL that forms the backend of the backlink proce

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WHO DO BACKLINKS SERVE?

Basically, backlinks serve three people:

  1. The internet users: it helps users gain quick access to further information they might need to fully understand the concept they’re dealing with currently. It allows them to easily transition to the linked article and return to the one they were reading in two clicks. This is the goal of Google and other search engines: to give everyone maximum user experience so that you are satisfied and return to the search engine.
  2. The Search Engine: Search engines like Google and Bing also get a slice of the cake. Backlinks help them rank articles according to value; therefore making it easier for them to catalog articles for a certain keyword’s results. In other words, after keywords, another important factor Google uses to rank webpages is how many other webpages include a backlink to the webpages in question. So for a certain keyword with 200 webpages containing some form of content on it, Google would rank them based on the number of backlinks each webpage has leading to it. This way, the search engine has a higher chance of giving its users relevant answers so that they keep returning.
  3. The webpage owners: Webpages with higher backlinks leading to them tend to rank higher on the results page and earn more traffic because they pass as authorities on a particular subject matter. This serves as the perfect springboard for the next topic of discussion.

HOW DO BACKLINKS WORK?

Think about the science books in your high school or university library. Imagine you were going through them and discovered that most of them referenced the same source. What would you think of that source? Authoritative and legit, right? That’s what backlinks do for you. When multiple web pages reference your articles through hyperlinks that send people to your site, Google perceives your content as relevant and pushes it up the ranks.

In fuller detail, Google spiders or bots go across all the webpages, deciding how each will rank based on their primary and secondary keywords. When they find a number of legit websites referencing another website, these bots place the referenced webpage at the top of its catalog.

This is very important for you because the more backlinks you have to your website, the higher your content will rank. And if you have your products on the same page with your content, it increases the chances that your visitors turn to become your customers.

Your chance of ranking rises because, by backlinking to you, those websites actually lend something called Page rank value to your webpage. in other words, they validate and pass a vote to your content, saying that your webpage has authentic results for a particular keyword. The more backlinks you amass, the more you’re noticed by Google to be the most relevant answer source to the question posed by the keyword. This is even accentuated when the websites that include backlinks to you are also authoritative websites themselves

There are different kinds of backlinks: some of which you need and others which you can certainly do without. We’ll be discussing each type of backlink and how they affect your website.

TYPES OF BACKLINKS

There are two major kinds of backlinks. Technically, these types of backlinks are just two sides of the same coin. They are:

  1. Dofollow Backlinks
  2. Nofollow Backlinks

Dofollow backlinks attribute the full page link value to your webpage. In other words, when pages include a dofollow backlink to you, they are telling Google that they site you as an authoritative source of answers for a particular keyword and that you should be referred to other websites for answers. Creating Dofollow backlinks is easy. Depending on the website builder you use for your content management, adding these backlinks simply requires that you highlight the words you want to use as an anchor text, select the option that allows you to attach a hyperlink to the text and simply input the link to the webpage. You will not be required to make any alterations to the hyperlink. Here’s a picture of me adding a backlink to my anchor text. by simply highlighting a text and clicking on the chain symbol on the menu that appears, I can add a hyperlink.

How to add a Dofollow link
ADDING A DOFOLLOW LINK

We use backlinks when we trust the information from a site and want to reference it as relevant and as an authority on a topic. Google can now reference that topic with the full link value as it is considered to be safe and useful.

Nofollow backlinks are used when webpage owners want to reference the source of an information from a site but don’t trust the site’s reputation enough to attribute to it the whole link value. This is done to protect the reputation of sites when they want to reference sources that they may not necessarily approve of.

Another reason people use Nofollow backlinks is to reduce the rank value they give out to sites. This is mostly the case for websites that reference so many sources frequently. They may include a Nofollow hyperlink so as avoid referencing a wrong source at some point. Webpage owners that buy links for the purpose of drawing traffic, but without the intent of manipulating the Google algorithm may also use Nofollow tags. Google announced that their search algorithm now uses nofollow as a hint rather than a directive for crawling and indexing purposes. Therefore having Nofollow backlinks from other sites will have far less impact on your ranking.

WordPress All in One SEO plugin allows you to add the “Nofollow” tag to any link with just the click of a button. Alternatively, you can add the link manually by simply editing your blog content as HTML and adding nofollow after the quotation marks in the code attribute; rel="noopener noreferrer".

Now, let’s learn how you can get backlinks for yourself.

HOW TO GET MORE BACKLINKS

Create quality content: This cannot be overemphasized but I will try. For you to be considered backlink-worthy, you must have content on your website that answers relevant questions and that is worth referring to. And I’m not talking about lean, five hundred word articles that barely touch the point of your keywords. You need to have well-researched informative content ranging from 1,500 words and above.
Try as much as possible to create content around things that haven’t been mentioned before but are emerging and to include new and relevant information on topics that might have been covered by other articles. Make your content stand out by incorporating great user-experience tools like Infographics and Table of Content to make information easy to reach on your webpage. Be creative with your webpage while following best practices. Ultimately, what you want to do, first of all, is to ensure that you have sufficient content to be discovered.

Be active on relevant forums: Another great way to get backlinks is to on forums that are related to your niche and to comment on them, giving value through your answers and also dropping the links of your article that fully address their question. When people find your link useful for answering their questions, they are likely to share it. This way, you’re improving the reach of your link. Because people reach your website through these forums, they will be counted as useful backlinks for you.

However, bear in mind that different forums have different rules and regulations. Some do not permit sharing of links at all. Others will allow you to share links after you have made a couple of meaningful contributions to the group.

Another thing to consider is that links from most forums are counted as Nofollow. This means that they are most likely not going to give the SEO juice in full. However, that shouldn’t deter you as Nofollow links still serve as a hint for Google ranking. Besides, the link still builds traffic to your site and, the more people share it, the more the algorithm will tend to consider it to be a useful source of information and thus rank it.

Form partnerships: You could link up with other web pages and request relevant backlinks. Relevant is a keyword there. Whichever of your pages they are sending people to should have a relationship with the topic they are linking them from on their own pages. this way, you don’t get in trouble with Google.

To find websites with similar content whose owners may be willing to backlink to you, you can view your competitors’ pages to see people who backlink to them and maybe willing to backlink to you because of the value of your content. Tools like Google Search Console and SEMRush backlink analytics tool could help you keep track of your competitors’ Backlink sources. When you find sources that could backlink to you, you could go through their website to see where your content can be of help to them and write to them, requesting to have a backlink for those content pieces.

Guest post: Guest posting is a great way to not only showcase your expertise on a subject matter to a greater audience but to also create a pathway for this audience to become your followers too.  You can write to webmasters to guest post on their pages. After you’ve created your stellar post, with permission and approval of the webmaster, you could also include a backlink to relevant content on your page that could serve to expatiate on some terms included in your post.

As I mentioned, it has to be with the approval of the owner of the page. Some guest post pages will only allow nofollow links to be uploaded. You can add infographics to your post which will demand dofollow links to reference their sources.

Help A Reporter Out (HARO): HARO is an online service that allows journalists to get expert public opinion on matters relevant to their reporting. If your years of experience have made you a thought leader on a subject matter, you can sign up for Haro. There are free and paid membership plans. Either way, you get access to report prompts requiring expert sources and you get to earn backlinks as a source for the report.

The great part about gaining backlinks from HARO is that, because news reports are highly authoritative, they boost your site’s authority ten times over.

 Get listed on resource sites: Finally, getting your article listed on resource pages is a great way to draw attention to yourself. By writing to the webmaster, showing how your content could prove to be a valuable addition to their resource list, you could earn a spot and have an addition to your list of backlinks.

Look for authoritative lists and let them understand the value you offer. Less authoritative resource pages offer less link value.

The bottom line here is: if you want a backlink, all you have to do is to ask for it in the right places and right ways. Don’t pay for it or exchange it for anything. Make sure it is relevant and you should be good with Google.

IN CONCLUSION: WHAT KIND OF BACKLINKS ARE YOU NOT LOOKING FOR?

As you look for backlink sources, run away from the following:

  1. Paid backlink vendors who promise to give you many backlinks in a short time period. Google will suspect such a heavy spike and will come after you.
  2. Backlink-for-backlink forums. Chances are that members of Google quality control staff are on those groups too. You should be careful.
  3. Excessive exchange of backlinks. Even if you’re going to exchange backlinks with another blog owner, do it at a minimal level so as not to attract Google’s suspicion.
  4. Backlinks to irrelevant articles. If Google discovers that the page other websites backlink to isn’t related to the page on your website, you’ll get penalized for that.
  5. Guest posting on spammy blogs. Depending on where you guest post, you can reap negative consequences. Limit your guest posting to blogs and pages with very low to no history of spamming and low-quality content.

When you’re looking for websites to get backlinks for, ensure they are trustworthy and authoritative. Usually, the more authoritative websites are more difficult to get backlinks from since they probably get similar emails from so many other sites. However, keep your focus on the big price, even as you work up from the smaller sources. In fact, the more difficult it is to get a backlink, the more juice the backlink is worth.

There you have it. Don’t forget to share this post with friends so that they get their fair share of traffic too. They’ll thank you.

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