Why are Backlinks Important in SEO? A backlink is a link from one website to another. Search engines, like Google, consider these links as “votes” for a website’s credibility and authority. The more reputable websites link to your content, the more the search engines view your site as trustworthy and relevant. Broadly speaking, if your content is identical to that of your competition in terms of quality and other ranking factors, then the website with the better backlink profile will rank in a higher position.
In the late 1990s, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed the PageRank algorithm as a method for assessing the importance of web pages. PageRank operated on the principle of each link to a webpage being a vote of confidence. The more inbound links a page received, and crucially, the higher the quality and authority of those links, the more influential and relevant that page was deemed to be. The concept of PageRank laid the foundation for understanding the value of backlinks, a concept that remains fundamental to SEO strategies, and all search algorithms, to this day.
How are Backlinks Measured?
The quality of a website’s backlink profile can be measured in various ways. Google doesn’t release its data, but it can be replicated. Moz Pro assesses the influence and authority of a website with its metric, Domain Authority (DA). This metric provides a number from 0 to 100, of a website’s perceived credibility and ranking potential in search engine results. DA includes a number of factors; quality and quantity of backlinks and the diversity of those sources. Essentially, the more authoritative and relevant the linking domains, the higher the impact on a website’s Domain Authority.
How do Backlinks help you?
1. Boosting Search Engine Ranking
For small businesses trying to climb the rankings, backlinks can play a role. Google’s algorithm views backlinks as indicators of a website’s authority and relevance. Quality backlinks signal that your business is a reliable source of information, subsequently improving your website’s ranking in search results. But remember, backlinks are relative. If your competition has a DA of 10, you need two things; better content, and a DA of 11.
2. Establishing Credibility and Trust
Backlinks from high DA websites serve as a vote of confidence in your business. When users see that reputable sources endorse your content, they are more likely to trust your brand, products, and services. This trust-building aspect is especially crucial for small businesses aiming to establish themselves as reliable.
3. Driving Organic Traffic
Backlinks are not just about impressing search engines, they also contribute to increasing your traffic. When users see a link on a trusted website that leads them to you, they are more likely to click, driving a stream of potential customers to your business. This organic traffic is often highly targeted, especially when it comes from respected trade directories or association websites. These can also be the easiest links to get.
Why are Backlinks Important in SEO?
Small business owners need to harness every available tool to ensure success and backlinks are one of the keys to an effective SEO strategy, but don’t give your backlink profile too much time, effort, or money, especially as a star-up. If you’re a small, local business it’s unlikely that your competition has a DA above 20, so concentrate on writing high quality content and let links take care of themselves for the time being, and they will, over time.