What are Backlinks in SEO and How Do They Work

What are backlinks in SEO? How does link building work? What are nofollow and dofollow links and which ones do we need? Find the answers to these and more questions in this guide.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks – you’ve probably heard the term thrown around in the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but what exactly are they? Let’s break it down.

At their core, backlinks are simply links from one website to another.

They serve as digital pathways that connect different corners of the internet. When one website links to another, it’s essentially saying, “Hey, check out this awesome content over here!”

Think of backlinks as votes of confidence or endorsements for your website. When reputable sites link to yours, search engines like Google take notice. They view these links as signals of trust and authority, which can positively impact your site’s search engine rankings.

Why are backlinks so important?

Well, here are a few key reasons:

Firstly, backlinks can significantly improve your site’s visibility in search engine results. When other sites link to yours, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. As a result, search engines are more likely to rank your site higher for relevant search queries.

Secondly, backlinks can drive targeted traffic to your website. When users come across a link to your site on another site they trust, they’re more likely to click through to learn more. This can lead to increased referral traffic, potentially expanding your audience and boosting your site’s overall visibility.

Additionally, backlinks play a crucial role in establishing your site’s authority within its niche or industry. When reputable sites within your niche link to your content, it helps to validate your expertise and credibility. This can further enhance your reputation and attract even more backlinks over time.

However, not all backlinks are created equal.

Good vs Bad Backlinks

Quality matters just as much as quantity when it comes to backlinks. A single backlink from a highly authoritative site can carry more weight than dozens of backlinks from low-quality or spammy sites.

So, what distinguishes a good backlink from a bad one?

Good backlinks typically come from reputable, relevant websites within your industry or niche. They’re earned organically through high-quality content, genuine relationships, and valuable contributions to online discussions.

On the other hand, bad backlinks often come from low-quality or irrelevant sites, link farms, or other spammy sources. These links can actually harm your site’s SEO performance and may result in penalties from search engines if they’re deemed manipulative or deceptive.

Nofollow vs Dofollow Links

It’s also worth noting the distinction between “nofollow” and “dofollow” links. Let’s talk about each.

What are Dofollow Backlinks

These are the bread and butter of SEO.

Dofollow backlinks are regular hyperlinks that allow search engine crawlers to follow them and pass on link equity or “link juice” to the linked website. In essence, they’re like upvotes for your website in the eyes of search engines.

When reputable websites with high domain authority link to your content using dofollow links, it can significantly boost your site’s search engine rankings and authority within your niche.

What are Nofollow Backlinks

These links include a special HTML attribute, aptly named “nofollow,” which tells search engines not to follow the link or pass on any SEO value to the linked site.

Nofollow links were originally introduced by search engines as a way to combat spammy link building practices, such as comment spam and paid links.

While nofollow links don’t directly contribute to your site’s SEO performance, they can still be valuable for driving referral traffic, increasing brand visibility, and diversifying your backlink profile.

Which ones do we need?

You might be wondering: why bother with nofollow backlinks if they don’t directly impact your SEO?

Well, for starters, they can help improve the overall credibility and authority of your website. When your content is referenced or shared across the web, even if it’s through a nofollow link, it signals to both users and search engines that your site is worth paying attention to.

Additionally, nofollow backlinks can still drive valuable referral traffic to your website, potentially leading to increased engagement, conversions, and brand awareness.

Moreover, a healthy mix of both dofollow and nofollow backlinks can help create a more natural and diverse backlink profile, which is essential for long-term SEO success.

While dofollow links are undoubtedly valuable for improving your site’s search engine rankings, a link profile consisting entirely of dofollow links may appear suspicious to search engines.

By incorporating a variety of link types, including both dofollow and nofollow links, you can demonstrate to search engines that your backlinks are earned organically and not the result of manipulative tactics.

In summary, both nofollow and dofollow backlinks play important roles in your website’s SEO strategy. Dofollow links pass on valuable link equity and contribute directly to your site’s search engine rankings, while nofollow links can still provide benefits such as referral traffic and brand visibility.

By understanding the differences between these two types of backlinks and incorporating them strategically into your link building efforts, you can strengthen your site’s authority, visibility, and overall SEO performance in the competitive digital landscape.

Now that you know the answer to the question ‘What are backlinks in SEO?’ and have an idea about the different types, let’s see what action you can take to actually start generating backlinks for your blog.

Getting Started with Link Building

11 Years of Blogging + The Power of Written Content

Simply put, link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These inbound links act as digital votes of confidence, signaling to search engines that your website is reputable, trustworthy, and worthy of being ranked higher in search results.

So, how do you go about building links for your website? Here are some tried-and-tested strategies to kickstart your link building journey:

Create High-Quality Content

The foundation of any successful link building campaign is high-quality content. Focus on creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that naturally attracts links from other websites. Whether it’s blog posts, infographics, videos, or interactive tools, aim to provide unique and compelling content that resonates with your target audience.

Outreach and Networking

Building relationships with other website owners and bloggers within your niche is key to earning quality backlinks. Reach out to relevant websites and influencers in your industry and offer to collaborate on content, contribute guest posts, or participate in interviews.

Personalized blogger outreach can go a long way in securing valuable backlinks from authoritative sources.

Utilize Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media in your link building efforts. Share your content across various social media platforms to increase its visibility and encourage sharing. Engage with your audience, participate in relevant discussions, and leverage social media groups and communities to expand your reach and attract potential link opportunities.

Leverage Existing Relationships

Take advantage of any existing relationships you have with partners, clients, suppliers, or industry associations. Reach out to these connections and explore opportunities for mutual collaboration, such as co-authoring content, exchanging testimonials, or featuring each other’s websites on resource pages.

Submit to Directories and Resource Pages

Submitting your website to relevant directories and resource pages can help increase its visibility and attract valuable backlinks. Look for reputable directories within your industry or niche and ensure your website is listed accurately and categorically.

Additionally, seek out resource pages and curated lists where your website could be featured as a valuable resource.

Monitor and Analyze Your Backlink Profile

Once you’ve started building links, it’s important to regularly monitor and analyze your backlink profile. Keep track of new backlinks, identify any spammy or toxic links, and disavow them if necessary.

Use tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or Moz to track your backlink metrics and identify areas for improvement.

By implementing these strategies and consistently working to earn high-quality backlinks from reputable sources, you can strengthen your website’s online presence and position it for long-term success.

In conclusion

Backlinks are a fundamental aspect of SEO that can have a profound impact on your website’s visibility, traffic, and authority. By focusing on building high-quality backlinks from reputable sources, you can strengthen your site’s SEO performance and position it for long-term success in the digital landscape.

Now you know the answer to the question ‘What are backlinks in SEO?’, know the difference between good and bad ones and nofollow and dofollow links, you can create your link building strategy and start building backlinks to your blog.

What are backlinks in SEO? How does link building work? What are nofollow and dofollow links and which ones do we need? Find the answers here: