In your journey of understanding your business in the digital age, you’ve encountered many different acronyms and terms. From PPC, SEO, On-page, Analytics and now backlinks.

What are backlinks exactly? Backlinks were what the original version of Google was built upon. Backlinks still feature heavy in today’s SEO but it just got a lot more complex. Backlinks are synonymous with votes for your websites. When you see text underlined and in blue, it typically means its a hyperlink. The wording that is underlined is called ‘anchor text’ and where you get sent to once you click on the link is where the link is pointing to.

Backlinks come in many different varieties, some better than others. It used to be the case years ago that the more backlinks that pointed to one specific page, the better that page ranked in Google, providing its on-page SEO was optimised. These days search engines like Google have become way more sophisticated and having more backlinks doesn’t always mean you’ll be ranked on top.

The ideal backlink comes from a trusted neighbourhood. A trusted webpage. The real power in backlinks these days comes down to relevancy. If you have a website that offers your legal services then having a backlink from a recipe site is not going to be very relevant. Google’s algorithm can only read the text at the end of the day. So how does it determine relevancy? Well, it looks at certain elements on a website to determine that.

Google will look at:

  • domain name
  • page URL name
  • title tag
  • H1
  • H2 to H4
  • Content

Having a relevant keyword in one of those places helps to pass relevance to the destination page. The list above has been ordered in terms of strongest signal first.

There are also different levels of power and trust that a specific backlink can be graded on. If you can achieve a high ratio of backlinks that are relevant, powerful and trusted then you really cannot go wrong. There isn’t really a concept of the perfect backlink. A webpage really requires a nice balance of power, relevancy and trust as well as being contextual.

Having strong backlinks is a big factor in how well your webpage ranks. That said there are many issues that can cause your website to be stuck no matter how strong and trusted your backlinks are. We mentioned ‘anchor text’ at the start of our post. If you had too many links with anchor text matching the keyword you want to rank for then that can cause extreme issues. Some of these issues you may never know about but a seasoned SEO specialist will be able to troubleshoot and remove potential issues holding your website back.

We’ll do a deeper dive into backlinks at a later date.