When a website linked with another website is called backlink. Also, it is known as “inbound link”, “incoming link” or “one-way link”.
Search engines like Google treat backlinks as an important ranking factor for SEO. This means websites with a high quality of backlinks tend to have high organic search rankings.
For example, check my facebook page screenshot. Here I have updated my website link for my audiences. If any user clicks on that link, the user will redirect to my website instantly.
Here Facebook.com is generating a backlink for MSP Learning Academy. Although, this backlink will not improve SEO as it is a nofollow backlink.
Getting backlinks is one of the oldest and most effective SEO tactics. Also, it is the most productive way to get organic traffic from search results.
In this guide, I am going to explain how many types of backlinks are available and how they works.
Types of Backlinks
Not all backlinks are important for SEO. Basically, there are two types of backlinks. One is “nofollow backlink” and another “dofollow backlink”.
Here refer to this example where I have said this backlink will not help to rank in search results. Because this is a “nofollow backlink” and search engines do not count “nofollow backlinks” in their algorithm.
So, we will focus on building “dofollow” backlinks as it is more valuable than “nofollow”. Before showing the example of these backlinks, I like to give a quick look at each type and how they affect your site.
“Nofollow” link never sends a SEO signal to search engines. Hence, these types of links do not help to get ranked in search results.
In fact, search engines only count the dofollow link in their algorithm.
When it comes to SEO factors, the dofollow link has the ability to pass link juice. So we need to focus on creating “dofollow” backlinks with “high domain authority” websites.
Suppose you get 2 backlinks from a government website and a random guy. Which is more valuable for you?
Of Course the backlink from the government site. As it turns out, search engines feel the same way.
This concept is called “domain authority”. Essentially, the more authority a website has the more authority it can pass on to your site.
For example, I have checked backlinks for Amazon India website. Here is the screenshot of their top 3 backlinks along with their domain authority.
I have marked the domain authority score with red color. Have a look into it.
You can build links in places such as article directories, web properties, blogs, forums and many more.
Research Competitor Using Browser Extension
This method is beneficial for those who like to work on Google Chrome browser. An extension called “Automatic Backlink Checker” can help to analyse the type and number of backlinks on a webpage shows. Also this extension will indicate whether they are dofollow or nofollow.
Here I found a list of backlinks while learning the biography of the great Indian scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wikipedia.
This free extension automatically counts both dofollow and nofollow backlinks and marked with blue and red. Here dofollow are blue and nofollow are in red.
You can check below screenshot and Install Automatic Backlink Checker extension.
Research Competitor Using HTML Code
This process requires little knowledge on the understanding of HTML code. If you want to know the position where the backlink is placed, you can right-click on the web page and select the option “Inspect” or “Inspect element” (option name can be different based upon browser or press “Ctrl+Shift+I) in Google Chrome.
Have a look at the screenshot. On the same webpage, I have made a right click on “Bharat Ratna” and found the “inspect” option.
To identify the backlink type, press “Ctrl + F” and search for the keyword “nofollow”. If you do not find the tag rel=”nofollow”, then you can treat the link as “dofollow”. Because the word dofollow can never be mentioned if it is a dofollow link.
In that example, “Bharat Ratna” is a dofollow link. Have a look at the screenshot.
Here is a quick understanding formula:
<a href=”https://example.com”>anchor text</a>Example of Dofollow Link
<a href=”https://example.com” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>Example of Nofollow Link
Research Competitor Using SEMrush
Digging in tons of competitors backlink is a time-consuming process. If you analyse your competitor’s backlink to understand their backlink strategy, you need some expert help. I mean an expert tool’s help.
For the last couple of years, I have used a couple of SEO tools. But one of my favourites is SEMrush.
Now I would like to share a step by step guide on how to check backlink using the SEMrush tool.
Create a free account on SEMrush here (Link will open in new tab)
Once you have created your account, you will be redirected to it’s Dashboard section. On the left panel, click on Domain Analysis and then click on Backlinks.
In the backlinks page, you can enter any domain name and check it’s backlink details.
For example, I am checking backlink data for BBC News. Here I have found this information. Let’s have a look at it.
- BBC has a good domain authority score. I.e.86
- BBC has a total number of backlinks of 540k
- You can analyse their monthly visitors (on average 620m)
- Also, you will get the list of organic keywords on which this website is ranking on search results.
Since, I have shared the screenshot of the summary page only. You can check a detailed report on backlinks from SEMrush.
If you find SEMrush helpful, then Create a free account from here.
Also, there are several backlink analysis tools available on the internet. I have made a list of the Best Backlink Checker Tool which will help you to grow your backlink strategy.
SEO Backlinks : Case Study
Now you have learnt the basics of backlinks. I will drive you to some advanced techniques now.
So, what have we learnt?
We have learnt that a backlink is a vote from a website to another website where each of these websites notify search engines that the linked content is “valuable, credible and useful” for all user. So, the more of these votes you have, the higher your site will rank in search engines.
Let’s get into historic facts.
Google formed backlink as an SEO factor in January 1998 when they released their algorithm called “Page Rank”. Since then, Google made several changes to its algorithm.
But till now, the backlink remains as a key ranking factor while showing search results.
There was a time when even low-quality backlinks helped to rank a website in search results. But Google had changed the whole picture when they released the Penguin algorithm.
As per Penguin update, all backlinks are not equal. In other words, we can differentiate dofollow backlink in two parts. One is quantity backlink, another is a quality backlink. A single quality backlink can be more powerful than 1000 low-quality backlinks.
There has several factors from where we can differentiate quality links with quantity backlinks.
Let’s have these examples to understand the difference between quantity and quality backlinks.
Factor 1: Backlink from trusted sites
Google is working on a patent that deals with trustworthy. This means you will get more valuable link juice if you build backlink with a trusted site.
For example, here is a trusted backlink Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) found on Google Map.
According to domain rating, Google Maps is an extremely trusted site. But remember, it is not easy to create a backlink in Google Map because Google strictly verifies location with address proof and many more factors.
Moral of the story is creating backlink with high domain rank is trustworthy as well as very difficult too.
Factor 2: Target keyword in the anchor text
I have written an article on Video Marketing and promoted the content on media as below.
Here I have linked my article by showing the anchor text “Read more”.
Your anchor text and keyword (here my keyword is video marketing) are supposed to be the same if you want to create a quality backlink.
No, there is no hard core rule on this, but Google gives more value when anchor text includes the target keyword.
Factor 3: Linking with topically related sites
When a website links to another website, Google wants to see that the two sites are similar or not.
For example, if you have a travel blog, you should build a backlink with a travel blog. It will not be called a quality backlink if you link with a food blog or fitness blog.
Factor 4: Make sure it is dofollow link
Search Engines ignore links with nofollow tag. Before building a backlink, make sure it will create dofollow link. Fortunately, the vast majority of links on the internet are dofollow.
But several sources like Blog comments, Press release, Paid advertisements are treated as nofollow backlink.
Factor 5: 100 links from 100 sites formula
If you built a backlink to any site, try to build the next link from a different site. A study found that it is better to get 100 links from 100 different sites than 1000 links from the same website.
If you want to rank higher, you should focus on quality backlinks rather than increasing the quantity of backlinks.
Backlink building is not rocket science. You don’t need to spend countless hours on creating backlinks. You can build links using what you already have on your website and speed up the process.
Give these tactics a shot and see which work best for your site. Even if you only have an hour or so per day, you should still be able to make some progress and build some decent links.
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