What are backlinks and how do they affect SEO?

What are backlinks and how do they affect SEO?

Backlinks or outbound links are links between two websites. This is one of the SEO criteria that Google and other search engines take into account when ranking a website in the search engine results page (SERP).

Backlinks are links between two websites that are strategically placed to guide traffic between relevant content.

Backlinks are one of the criteria most complicated to manage within any SEO strategy, but also one of the most important in the positioning of a website.

Backlinks work as quality indicators for search engines, since they understand that if a website has linked to a content, it will be because it is a quality content that is useful to its users.

When it comes to positioning a website, search engines take into account the quantity and quality of backlinks. With each link received (as long as it is of quality and not spam), websites gain authority. The higher the authority, the higher the chances of ranking at the top of the SERP.

How it affects SEO: Quality links

It doesn’t do search engines any good for pages to get just any links. For a backlink strategy to work properly, it is required that the links come from higher authority websites. In this way, part of that authority is transmitted by the link.

To know if a link is of quality or not, SEO tools can be used to analyze the website they come from. Tools such as Moz’s Mozbar allow you to analyze domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA).

Another characteristic that backlinks must meet is that they must be. natural. This means that they should not be part of a paid strategy, nor should they come from “link farms” (although this type of strategy has not existed on the Internet for years). The best backlinks are those that are received spontaneously, ie: by the quality of the content.

Purchased or paid links do not work well, as they are usually forced links that have nothing to do with the content. Search engines penalize this type of content, as they are able to “understand” that the link has nothing to do with the content and is therefore an artificial link.

It is important that when a user follows a link, the destination web page offers content that enriches the user’s experience; whether it is expanding the information on the same subject or offering extra information, necessary for understanding the subject matter. In case the user ends up in a content that has nothing to do with the topic, the search engines will mark that link as of poor quality.

Anchor text

Anchor texts (the text in which the link is implemented, also called anchor text) must also be natural. It is possible to use texts that exactly match the keyword being used, but it is also possible to use branded anchor texts or even implement the link in an image.

However, it is best if the anchor text is. concise and relevant for the positioning of the web page or content that will receive the link, making it very clear what is the keyword and the topic to which the user is being directed. Therefore, the closer the anchor text is to the exact match, the better for positioning.

The position of the backlink within the web page is also important, since how much more at the beginning one finds the more relevance is given to the pages.

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