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Before we go too deep into this topic let’s first establish what links are. Links are specific URL’s that take you to a certain page of a website. These can be links to other pages of your website or links to completely different websites.
Here is an example of a link that takes you back to our home page: Click here!
Backlinks, also known as inbound or incoming links, are links from other websites linking to your site. These are an important factor of SEO and should be a primary focus of your SEO efforts.
Inbound links- These are links that come from other websites to yours. They provide the largest impact since they act as votes of confidence for your website.
The final two links that also are a big portion of your SEO are:
Internal links– Are links from one page of your website to the other, such as a link from the “About Us” page back to the “Home” page. These links help distribute PageRank across your website to help improve the other page’s rankings. Furthermore, internal links are not soley for search engines, but to enhance the user experience.
Outbound links- Are when your website links to another website. These should mainly be used when you want to link to a relevant and high quality site.
Just like an election, votes matter. Mentioned earlier, each backlink your site receives acts as a vote of confidence for your site. With more votes for your site and its content, the higher you will rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This will then give you better organic traffic to your site and improve your overall SEO.
Backlinks also improve user experience. Mentioned above, internal links are meant to distribute PageRank between your pages and increase navigability for the users. This will improve your site structure and will make your users happy to have a logically laid out website to browse.
It may seem that you would want everybody linking to your site because that equals more votes of confidence. However, not all backlinks are good for your SEO.
Here is a list of some links you would want to avoid:
Sites with irrelevant content– You don’t want a site that hates dogs linking to your site that sells CBD dog treats to help the dogs sleep. Crawlers will notice this, and you can be ranked poorly.
Public Networks- These sites full of different backlinks are easy to gain inbound links to your site but the search engine will notice. The search engine will penalize your site if it finds you using public networks to build your website’s link profile.
Spammy/ Low Authority Sites- If a poorly designed site with low authority is linking to you then this could negatively affect your websites ranking.
So what kind of sites should link to you? The best kind of sites to receive inbound links from would be relevant sites with high authority. These natural links will have the biggest positive affect on your sites link profile.
Natural Links- Natural links are considered to be the “holy grail” of links. These are links that come to your site naturally from other site solely because they want to link to you. These sites link to you because they like your content and find your site valuable for their users.
Outreach- These types of links are earned by you reaching out to other site owners or bloggers, and pay them to link to your site. This is the most common link building strategy.
Paid traffic does not boost the overall PageRank of your website. This will help to boost traffic in a separate category than the actual “SEO” styled rank that a well-structured website is attempting to attain. Overall, paid traffic can not replace a well-crafted website in the long run.