If you’ve dabbled in search engine optimization (SEO) for your website then you’ve probably come across the term ‘backlink.’ Backlinks are one of the most important factors to focus on if you want to improve your site’s SEO ranking.
A backlink is an incoming link from a different site to your site. Typically, it’s hyperlinked using keywords that relate to your website.
Backlinks are the backbone of a website’s search ranking on Google. They tell Google “hey, this website is legitimate because all of these other legitimate websites are linking to it as a resource.”
However, SEO is trickier than just getting any old website to add a link in a blog post to your site. In 2009 that might’ve worked, but not now. These days you need high-quality backlinks for your site.
The more high-quality backlinks your website has, the easier its journey to the first page of search rankings will be.
To be successful using backlinks, two questions need to be answered:
- What is a high-quality backlink?
- Where can you get high-quality backlinks?
Once you have the answers to these two questions and implement them, your website will rapidly increase on Google’s search rankings.
Let’s dig in.
High-quality backlinks are links that come from websites with high domain authority.
The higher a website’s domain authority, the higher quality the backlink will be.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a score all search engines use to rank websites. The scale goes from 0–100 and more reliable websites have higher domain authority.
If you just bought your first domain within the last six months then there’s a high chance it has a domain authority of 0.
But just to be sure, you can check your website’s domain authority using a domain authority checker.
Consider your website’s domain authority as a starting point for where you can take your website to get higher search rankings. High domain authority isn’t a necessity to get ranked on the first page of Google. But, most of the websites on the first page of search results have authorities of 80 or higher.
So, how does one utilize backlinks to boost domain authority?
What is Link Juice?
People in the world of SEO coined the term Link Juice. It means backlinks pass equity from high domain authority websites to the sites they link to.
Search engines like Google recognize these high domain authority websites backlinking to your website and deem your website as more valuable.
For example, if a high domain authority website such as The Washington Post (domain authority of 94) uses a backlink to your website in a story, search engines will deem your website more valuable and boost its domain authority.
Makes sense, right? Google only wants to recommend the best search results so it’s going to trust websites with high domain authority and the backlinks from those sites to other sites.
Dofollow vs. Nofollow backlinks
The last thing to be aware of before diving into actually finding high-quality backlinks for your site is recognizing all backlinks are not created equal.
There are two different kinds of backlinks in the world: Nofollow and Dofollow.
If you want your website to rank higher on Google and other search engines, you’re going to want more dofollow backlinks.
The difference between dofollow backlinks and nofollow backlinks is simple. Nofollow backlinks don’t count at all toward your search rankings. Google and other search engines don’t see any value in them.
On the flip side, dofollow backlinks come packed with SEO Link Juice and domain authority rankings.
There are two ways to figure out what kind of backlinks your website has:
The first way is by going to a page that you know has backlinked to your site and inspecting its elements and right-click anywhere on the page. You should see an option that says Inspect in the dropdown menu.
After that, just hover over your backlink and it’ll either say “Nofollow” or nothing at all next to your link on the element inspector. Nofollow means that backlink is basically a dud.
The second way — and easier way in my opinion — is by using a backlink checker. It’ll show you the percentage of dofollow and nofollow backlinks your site has and show you where to find every backlink for your site.
I definitely recommend using the second option for figuring out what kind of backlinks your site is already working with.
The moment of truth, where you can get high domain authority, dofollow backlinks to boost your website’s SEO ranking.
Here are a couple popular methods to get high-quality backlinks:
- Guest posting
- Buying them online
Guest posting is the most traditional way to get backlinks to your site. If you can get in contact with high domain authority websites and get permission to write a blog post then you can add as many backlinks as you want to the post.
You might even get paid to do it.
However, this method has started to fall off because of how difficult it is to get a spot on a high domain authority site if you don’t already have one.
Buying them online
These days, buying high-quality backlinks online is the route most new site owners take.
I just bought 1,000 high-quality dofollow backlinks on Fiverr for my side hustle website for $5. It’s doubtful that all, or any, of these backlinks will be high-quality ones, but it can take Google up to 10 weeks to identify new backlinks.
Some people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on high-ranking backlinks for their site. Depending on the return you’re expecting from your site, this might be worth it.
However, if your website is just starting out then just focusing on getting backlinks, in general, will help your cause tremendously.
High domain authority, dofollow backlinks are what you should aim for to boost a site’s SEO ranking.
Good backlinks will help your site’s domain authority, boost its ranking on search engines and ultimately send more traffic to your site. For these reasons, backlinks are extremely valuable and can even cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars to get good ones.