What is a backlink in SEO, and are they important? Both good questions. Let’s look at some types of links and see how they can help with search engine optimization.
There are all sorts of links that you can use, and they all have their place, so how do you know which one to use and which ones really matter for SEO?
SEO & Backlinks
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is, in simple terms, is the process of improving (optimizing) your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you will rank higher and achieve a page 1 result.
A backlink is simply a link from another website back to your website. If you have a backlink from an authority site, you will rank higher in the eyes of Google. The more links you have back to your site, the more authority you will have, which in turn should lead to more traffic and more sales.
Backlinks are important but are not critical for SEO. There are also other links that you can use to help with SEO. Let’s have a look at some of the other types of links.
An internal link is another type of link that you should be familiar with and use in your content. An internal link is just a link that takes you from one page to another on the same site, hence the term internal link.
You want to use internal links helpfully throughout your articles. For example, this post is on using links, but if you wanted to learn more about How to use Google and Keywords, I could put an internal link in like that one.
If you click on the words “How to use Google and Keywords”, it will take you to another post on this website. That is a real example of an internal link.
Don’t just link everything, though. You should make it relevant and helpful for people without overdoing it. When writing content for SEO, internal links should be used at least once in all your articles. Your site should become an intertwined web of internal links where all posts link to another post and so on.
An External link is a link that takes you away from your website to another external source.
For example, if you wanted to see what Wiki says about SEO <=== I could put an external link like that in.
As you can see, if you click the link, it takes you away from the website you were on. For this reason, I always make an external link open in another window. That way, my site is still open, and the link does not close my site.
You want to keep potential customers on your site for as long as possible, so avoid external links at the top of a post and avoid putting too many in an article. An external link can be used for a sales page or an affiliate offer. Try to limit the use of external links, especially if it just takes people away from your site without good reason.
Which Ones To Use?
So now you know a little about backlinks, internal links & external links and when to use them, but there are a few more that you can use as well.
Sometimes you might want to shorten an affiliate link or mask a link. When writing a post, you want to make it appealing and optimize your page for sales. One way to do this is by masking links. Let me show you how this works.
I use a plugin called pretty links.
Now many of you know I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate, and this is what my WA affiliate link looks like ===> https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=ffe43ad8
If you click the link above, it will take you to the Wealthy Affiliate page, where you can sign up for a free account. The link doesn’t look very attractive, though, does it, and it doesn’t look like my product. With the help of Pretty Links, I can make the same link look like this https://ozaffiliate.com/Free-Account
Both links take you to the same page, but the second one looks a lot better, and it looks like it comes from me. Better still, you can hyperlink it like this ==> Get your Free Starter Account.
All three links take you to the same page, but you can see how each one improves the previous.
Do They Still Matter for SEO?
So now, if someone asks you what is a backlink in SEO, you can tell them all about it, but are backlinks still important for SEO? There are mixed opinions on this. Some SEO Gurus still think backlinking is very important, and other successful affiliate marketers are not concerned with backlinks. So who is right?
I’ll give you my take on it. I think backlinks have a place in SEO but should not be your priority. Your priority should be creating quality content. That is what Google loves. Regular, quality, relevant content is king, and this should be your top priority.
If you focus on this, over time, you will generate some backlinks anyway. The better your content, the more it will get shared and the more backlinks you will get. So don’t stress about backlinks when you’re starting. They will come.
What Kyle Says About Backlinks
For those of you that don’t know, Kylie is a co-founder of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Wealthy Affiliate has been training affiliate marketers for over 15 years successfully. Kylie is active in the WA community and is successful, so I believe what he has to say. The below extracts are from some of the WA training available.
Are Backlinks Good for Your Website Rankings?
The answer. They USED to be.
Are backlinks required? Do you need them for your business, will you benefit from backlinks?
The answer to all of these is NO.
Google has granted a close to ZERO NET VALUE (in terms of rankings) for backlinks.
So When it Comes to SEO, What Should You Focus On?
So if you aren’t going to be focusing on backlinks, what should you be spending your time and energy on. There are SIX things that are the most critical aspects to SEO that you should be investing ALL of your SEO attention to moving forward.
They are as follows.
- Your Content Quality. Content is king/queen!
- Targeting Keywords. Every page/post you create should have a certain level of keyword “intent”. That is, you should be putting emphasis on certain keywords within your content.
- LSI WIthin Your Content. These are keywords that are semantically related to your main keyword. For example, the keyword “diet” would semantically relate to “lose weight”.
- Engagement/Comments. Dialogue within your content is a strong indicator that people are actually reading your content, that it is of high quality.
- User Experience. Google focuses a good deal of its time and energy on determining whether or not a website is a quality user experience.
- Your Overall Website Authority. This will happen over time. As you build out a website in any niche, you are going to gain more and more authority naturally (assuming you are doing so in a way that focused on quality).
If you would like to read the full article from Kyle, you can read it here ===> Are Backlinks Good for Rankings? Nope.
My Final Thoughts
I hope you can answer the question now, what is a backlink in SEO and realize they are not important anymore. Times change, Google is constantly changing and to be successful, you need to know what works and, more importantly, what does not work.
If you are Fair Dinkum about your SEO and affiliate marketing, you will need some help, and the best value for money affiliate marketing program is Wealthy Affiliate. You can even get a Free Starter Account, so you can try before you buy.
Wealthy Affiliate has all the training covered for all aspects of building a web business, not just SEO. They also have a community of experts that are willing to help you in your business.
What Wealthy Affiliate teaches is proven to work. They have many success stories in their community. If you would like to know more about creating a web business, why not sign up for your free starter account today.
At Wealthy Affiliate, you can learn all about links, SEO, writing quality content and much more to put you on the fast track to success and remember…
Be the Best you can Be