Red square with text: B is for Backlinks

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are hyperlinks linking from one web page to another. Occasionally you see the URL in its full form but usually, the link is included in relevant anchor text.

Quality backlinks are great for improving search engine optimisation (SEO) because they show the search engines that your blog or website has content that people want to share. Backlinks also help search engines crawl your site and index pages faster.

Not all backlinks are good

Not all backlinks are good. Firstly, backlinks should be relevant. You wouldn’t want someone linking to your blog about growing tomatoes using the anchor text ‘learn how to get rich quickly’. When the reader clicks the link, they will see the content doesn’t match and click straight off your site.

Paying for links can also be a bad idea and can land you in trouble with Google. Avoid inbound links from spam sites, porn sites and automated sites. 

For more information on avoiding bad or negative backlinks check out these articles:

Google: Quality Guidelines Link Schemes

Link Building: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

How to get good inbound links

The good news is there are lots of ways to earn quality inbound links.

Creating quality content that people want to share is the most natural way of getting inbound links. Blog posts that are informative, interesting or entertaining will earn more links organically.

Guest blogging is also an effective way of building links but there are some things to watch out for with this. You should only guest blog for sites or companies that you trust.

If you’d like to learn more about link building then we recommend these in-depth guides:

The beginner’s guide to link building (Moz)

The beginner’s guide to understanding backlinks (SEO Web Designers)

Link Building for SEO: A Complete Guide (Search Engine Journal)


Outbound links

As well as getting quality links to your site, you need to ensure that you are only linking to reputable sites yourself. Avoid links to spam sites or companies that you do not know or trust. You may be penalised for linking to poor quality websites.

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