Backlink SEO: What is it?

Literally “backlink” or “incoming link” The expression “backlink” can be used in the field of SEO as a reference to a hyperlink in content that points to another website or domain. It can be distinguished from the internal link which may have the same form but which only refers to the content of the website.

Internal links are mainly used to facilitate user navigation and the indexing of web pages by Google robots, while the backlink is used for:

  • Inform the Internet user of the external location of the information or a product.
  • Transfer popularity from one website to another

It is this second purpose that is particularly interested in referencing. We believe that adding backlinks to content is a way to recommend other content or a other Web page. It is a symbol of trust (called “Trust”) that Google uses as part of its relevance algorithm to determine the rank of its search results. Simply put, the more backlinks (i.e. hyperlinks from websites that recommend it) a site has, the more its popularity increases according to Google. Of course, the reality is a bit more complicated than the notion of…

The backlinking process is usually done in conjunction with an SEO strategy, and its “off-site” component is also the netlinking strategy. The SEO consultant is not happy with backlinks that are created “naturally” on his website from sources he cannot control. He is determined to create more and/or quality ones. The backlink is more complex in its theory and is associated with attributes (no follow, for example) and even with a value judgment that is made by Google. The classification of a link as good or bad quality is determined by different criteria, especially in relation to the context in which the backlink is placed which SEO experts try to influence.

How can backlinks affect a website’s position in Google’s SERPs? How to set up a netlinking strategy in order to obtain quality backlinks?

The backlink: Definition

The components of the backlink

In the HTML code, a backlink is created by the link tag which is a target url which is the url of the website to which you want to create a link. The tag is opened and closed to frame one or more keywords that constitute link anchor. This is the term that a user can click to open the linked content.

A hyperlink = “<>”>link anchor>

To allow Google to determine the value of a link, it is crucial that the anchor text is relevant to the targeted content and allows the user to identify it, or at least to inspire action. in a topical and semantic context. Therefore, an anchor link such as “Général De Gaulle” which links to Napoleon’s Wikipedia page would probably not be considered appropriate… However, on the other hand, the anchors below are more relevant:

Of all European emperors, Napoleon I is perhaps one of the best known.

If you want to know more about Napoleon and his victories, Click here.

Napoleon’s Wikipedia page will tell you a lot more about his story: https: // 1er

To create a quality backlink, it is essential not only that the anchor is related to the content of the targeted page, but also that the page granting the link is based on a similar or similar theme. Thus, if a hyperlink to Napoleon’s Wikipedia page is included in an article that focuses on the life of General de Gaulle, there is a low probability that Google will consider it to be of excellent quality… On the other hand, if it is included in an article that describes famous French military figures and that the content is as important to Napoleon as it was to General De Gaulle (equal sized paragraphs or explicit subtitles…), and explicit subtitles), the link should begin to be recognized as consistent to Google’s eye against a specific context.

The “nofollow” attribute of backlinks.

If you own a website or a blog or even a simple mailbox, you probably know the Spam concept. He This is an unwelcome message forced upon you by an email or comment that most of the time tricks you into clicking on the link. Spam tactics have been designed to direct the user to a particular page or offer them some type of information, such as personal information for example. Thus, any comments or content posted on forums or blogs that are designed to benefit the author and not the content they present, can be classified as “spammy”. Spammy comments usually contain links to bogus websites in order to allow them, among other things, toincrease the popularity of the website in terms of SEO and recover “link juice” (see below for more details).

To avoid this loss of notoriety by badly controlled links It is possible to attribute to the backlinks the attribute rel=”nofollow”. This is a directive for search engines to take note of the link on the page. It informs the site that it “does not have the authority to assume” the link and is therefore unable to transfer the popularity. A blog can therefore decide to give the attribute “nofollow” by default to all the links posted by Internet users in its comment section, which will reduce the risk of referencing it by ensuring its reputation.

The place of the backlink

The last factor which can modify the rules in the direction of the quality of a backlink is its place on the original page. Google considers a hyperlink placed in context to be more valuable than a single link separated from the context of the page. It is therefore more effective in terms of SEO performance to include your backlink in the context of a paragraph of text rather than in a menu, for example.

A common practice – which is increasingly outdated – is to place backlinks in the footer of a website. Thus, the backlink appears on each page of the site, and it is able to transfer the possibility of popularity from each of them to the targeted site. However, Google is not fooled The fact that the backlink is in relation to other elements on the page and usually in smaller fonts suggests that the link is not designed to be clicked by the user. Thus, Google identifies your backlink as being overtly “SEO” and is less able to credit it in terms of popularity.

In order to avoid abuse, when faced with several occurrences of the same hypertext link within a web page, Google only takes into account the first link in its calculation of importance as well as popularity. Thus, only the primary anchor is considered the most relevant link, and the position of the initial hyperlink in the page.

You have probably understood that the importance of backlinks is a clever combination of factors that are complemented by the strategic position on the page. The more context it is and the higher it is in the text, the more likely it is to be considered a quality backlink by Google’s algorithm.

Backlinks are crucial for SEO

Popularity is at the heart of Google’s algorithm

After defining what qualifies as a quality backlink, let’s take a few minutes to explain how Google’s algorithm works, which allows it to determine the rank of results for a particular search.

Google intends to offer the Internet user the most relevant solution at his request in his need for information. To achieve this, he must determine the type of content, based on his design and content, that will be most likely to satisfy him. Then it searches its index to find the most relevant results. To create this index, the robots scanned a wide variety of websites and then indexed their content, including their length and structure, semantics… They also examined them using Panda and Penguin filters. At this stage, some of them stand out and agree with the purpose of the request. However, they must be sorted and prioritized… What is the best way to determine which results should be displayed first? To place them, Google observes most popular content and those that are most admired by other users on the Internet. Backlinks are a sure sign!

Therefore, a site that focuses on the topic in depth by providing rich content already attracts Google’s interest. However, if the site also receives a large number of backlinks from other high-quality sites dealing with a similar topic, it has a high chance of getting on the shortlist and ranking first in the SERP. Netlinking and content are two of the foundations of SEO (the 3rd being technical referencing).

Link juice or “link juice”.

All netlinking strategies that focus on getting good backlinks are built on one concept: link juice. This idea is common to all notions of external and internal links.

This term refers to the transfer and loss of popularity of the page which occurs when an online link is established from one web page to another. We also speak of transfer of “Page rank”, which is an indicator of the popularity of a web page.

To keep the analogy of fruit juice, imagine a 1L bottle filled to the brim. If you want to transfer the juice to another container, it will hold 1L of liquid. If, on the other hand, you want to divide the juice into two containers, each will only contain 50cl of liquid. If you put it in three containers, each will only take 1/3 of the bottle, or 33.3cl of liquid, etc.

The concept is the same as for the PageRank of pages. Consider the home page, for example: if it has five internal links within a main menu, and three external links (backlinks) to other partner or referral sites and partner sites, its PageRank (aka its popularity) is then transferred and divided into eight. Each page linked from external or internal pages receives 12.5% ​​of the popularity of the home page.

In accordance with this basic rule, we conclude that the more a web page receives external or internal backlinks, the more its popularity increases since each of the pages will have a share of its own fame. So, the essence of netlinking SEO strategy is to gain the greatest amount of popularity for the pages that it gets the highest quality backlinks.

What is the best way to get backlinks?

An optimized link profile

We speak of a “link profile” to describe each of the “off-site” aspects of a website which includes The number of backlinks, but also the referring domains that issue links and their evolution over time (acquisition or loss) as well as the geographical distribution of the TLDs of the sites from which they come and the different anchors used and their proportion? Many indicators are provided by Ahrefs in particular. Ahrefs SEO tool in particular. Additionally, we can determine the validity of a link profile as well as the presumption of popularity it brings to the website.

If we follow the theoretical rules described above in the operation of the Google algorithm and its criteria of relevance and quality, we are able to envisage the ideal profile of a link to bring to any website the most large amount of popularity:

  • A significant amount of backlinks come from quality websites. These are sites that have rich and well-documented content, which are based on a particular theme and which are the target of many backlinks available on the internet.
  • The links are embedded in thematic content pages that are close to the intended page.
  • Anchors that are optimized using strategic keywords to ensure the correct positioning of the content.

But now, once again, Google is not fooled. A perfect link profile could cause a chip to be put in its ears… The engine is determined to remain the ultimate gamer and tries to prevent any tampering with its data. He is convinced that the backlinks that are generated naturally on the internet, that is to say on the principle of “I like what I see therefore I recommend”, are not always optimized. They are sometimes found in the comments, and are therefore in nofollow, and are often integrated on the raw url instead of the keyword and are often sourced by Canada, Belgium, Switzerland….

To be considered credible in the eyes of search engines, it is important to avoid some of the links that are of lower quality or even to obtain some if one considers that the profile of the link is not sufficiently optimized. The netlinking strategy is above all a question of diversification.

Methods of acquiring backlinks

To create a diversified link profile, it is therefore important to broaden the methods of acquiring links, the types of links, the types of anchors… Keep in mind that Google will penalize any attempt to alter its results, which is why the publication of links, whatever they are, must be spread over time and within a given period. A sudden increase in the number of links could send a red flag to Google and hamper your efforts to increase your visibility and position on the SERPs (because that’s the goal!).

Link directories to directories

Choose directories whose theme is relevant to your work. If there are none that you can choose from, opt for generalist and well-known directories. Find out about them, because on the Internet everything goes quickly: directories are created and deleted almost as quickly as Google changes its algorithm… Each year, there is a reputable directory like the late Omniz or Yelp… Choose a permanent directory to benefit from the advantages of the link for several years. Create an explainer form for your business or website. It includes a “Link” field where you can enter the url of your website, which is usually the homepage.

Create links to forums

As with directories, focus your searches on specific authoritative website forums in your area of ​​expertise. If you can’t find one, you can search general forums that discuss relevant topics. Join a forum, preferably a regular forum, and try to place the link in a comment within the appropriate text. It can be a different page from the home page. Please note: in order for your comment not to be removed from publication, the link must contribute to the conversation, provide details and be part of the answer.

Blog comments can be published

Select a few blogs related to your field and write constructive comments on the contents with which you agree or, on the contrary, those which you would like to dispute. Of course, don’t just insert your link. Give a real opinion or provide valuable information such as testimonials, stories… Your link should be considered as an addition to the source to further or deepen the discussion.

Get links from vendor and partner websites

The SEO value of website “Partners” pages has long been questioned, with Google having a history of denying the value of hyperlinked content. However, these pages exist because the websites that host them view them as a storefront for their users. By proudly displaying their customers, suppliers and partners, they create credibility and a perception of professionalism in the eyes of visitors. Try to get links from modules or partner pages of other companies you work with. The easiest way is to contact them…

Write guest blog posts

If your experience and ideas are of great value to your target market, contact serious websites or blogs that are related to your topic and offer to write an article that is a guest post. You must write the article in a written and well-researched way. It is a requirement with only the inclusion of your name as well as a url to your site. The publisher’s site benefits because the publication has a positive impact in terms of traffic to its site, an additional reinforcement of the organic semantic field of the keywords that can be used to position itself… and for you it is common to get an excellent backlink.

Use social networks

Create contests or share incentives on your business social media channels to build mass backlinks and drive traffic to your website. Even though backlinks that come from social media do not have the same SEO importance, they can provide Google with insights into your popularity and awareness with your target audience.

Buy the article and publish the articles

This method consists of identifying blogs and websites related to your business, then contacting the blogger or author with a topic to discuss and in which you will place the link to your website. Most of the time, bloggers write their own articles based on a brief that you provide to them in order to ensure that the publication respects their editorial guidelines. In exchange, you will pay him a specific amount. Since Google’s policy is to penalize the purchase of links if it is detected, some sites prefer to announce the color and precede your post with a prominent mention such as “Sponsored Article”, which places your article in the domain of The advertisement. It also mitigates Google’s reluctance towards your post…

Write press articles on the web

In the same way that you can have an article sponsored on your behalf, you can also have a news article published about you. Internet media is more popular with the public and Google. Content from the web is more likely to appear at the top of the results list, especially when it comes to an organization, a brand or an individual. For media journalists, getting content written, often in the form of an interview or opinion piece, is expensive. The journalist must follow the editorial line and ensure that the subject is interesting for his readers. It is therefore possible to create content for free by distributing traditional press releases in the hope that your subject will attract the attention of the media and convince them to “invest” in a newspaper. But there is no guarantee that your article will be shared the way you want it to be or even that it will create a backlink on your site. You can also increase your chances by paying for an article to be published.

Note that the cost is usually much higher than a traditional sponsored article, since you are paying for the author’s time and writing skills as well as the placement of your link in context and the ability to rank the content. The backlink you get to your website from an online news site will definitely bring an immense amount of traffic to it, and that’s one avenue you shouldn’t miss!

Create PBN sites that are part of a larger network. PBN Sites

Last and certainly not least of all is the creation of a network of other websites, known as PBN (Private Blog Network), which is powered by topical content and designed to provide regular links to your website. In order to be effective and achieve its full potential to bring SEO popularity, PBNs must be carefully designed to avoid detection by Google’s algorithms. We will therefore block links between the PBN and PBN sites We will also expand the semantic fields we are working on to ensure that there is a residual source of popularity for these sites by selecting expired domain names with a adequate number of backlinks…

Lire  Why buy links on a netlinking platform?