The Importance of back links in SEO

by Gary on September 12, 2007 · 5 comments

in Back Links

The importance of back links in SEO (also referred to as inbound links) stems from the fact the Google uses them to evaluate or at least as an indicator as to the quality of your content. In fact they attach so much importance to back linking that back in 2005 Google filed a patent application based on search technology based on back linking.

Anyway, the important thing here is that getting quality back links, or inbound links is very crucial for higher search engine rankings and webmasters and online publishers employ various methods — legitimate or illegitimate — to get back links.

Why Back Links Are Important In SEO?

Back links tell the search engines that people respect your opinion, it is like are voting system, and they are voting for you.. If lots of people link to your web pages, using anchor text appropriate to your theme, this is taken as validation of your content. The logic is: why would people link to you unless you have something valuable to offer?

But sadly this logic crumbles when people pay other websites to get back links. For instance, would it make sense if some poker website paid me to put their link on this web design and SEO blog (unless of course I specifically mention that it is an advertisement)? The buying and selling of links has become so rampant that Google is contemplating penalising people indulging in these tactics?

So What Is a Good Way Of Getting Quality Back Links?

Lots of link-worthy content. You should get back links in a normal, natural manner and back linking should be voluntary, not mercenary. No, I haven’t turned Leftist all of a sudden, but if you are publishing external links for moolah, the least you can do is mention it on your website or blog that you are being paid to publish those links, and Google even goes to the extent of recommending the rel=”nofollow” attribute for the websites you are linking to.

So the best way to obtain high-quality back links is by generating valuable content regularly, over a long period of time. Webmasters and bloggers enjoying high traffic always like to refer to an external link rather than explaining a topic from scratch. Give people something to link to and see how your traffic surges up.

This Friday my post will be “10 tips for effective reciprocal linking”.

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  • Adam McKerlie

    Links are very important when blogging. One suggestion I would make though is never get yourself involved with a link train. This can seriously hurt your blogs chances with google, yahoo, etc…

    Another thing to remember is giving out links in your own articles and posts. If something inspired you link to it.

  • Marc Levy

    Hi Gary, as always nice article… I have a few issue’s with where Google is going with all this – and to best honest I just keep going round in circles!

    Of course Google want to provide users with the best search results possible, and so yes they started their link/voting system and it seems a good method, BUT… Google have to realize the net is one giant business, hell they make enough money off of it! Whatever algo they introduce, people will find a way of paying someone to do work for them and get them listed higher up the SERPs.

    Suddenly Google and Matt Cutts advise using link baiting methods, which in my opinion is just as off course, as it is just another method of paying for links! and once again, it will come down to who has the most money to create good link bait!

    Maybe Google should think about putting more wait on outbound links, making webmasters review sites they link to, to make sure they are worthy! That way a paid link could still be relevant. This would also add more weight to reciprocals as only high quality sites would want to reciprocate.

    In any case I am sure under the radar paid links will continue until inbounds are rendered useless!

    • Gary

      Hi Marc, I certainly hope you are right. A had a look at your site by the way, some impressive stuff.

      • Marc Levy

        Cheers Gary, I hope I’m right also! Thanks for the positive comments.

  • suniy

    google webmasters it self says” Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap “and” Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive”