With backlinks:Users can explore related contentSearch engines can discover new content on the webSearch engines can enhance their search resultsBusinesses can improve their search engine optimization (SEO)

Of course, if you’re researching backlinks, you’re probably curious about backlinks and SEO. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with backlinks, from how they work to how to earn them.

If you need professional help with your link building strategy, contact WebFX online or call us at 888-601-5359 to learn how our SEO services can establish an authoritative, high-quality backlink profile for your business.Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

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5.2 millionClient phone calls[Video] What is a backlink? (And how to earn backlinks)

Learn what are backlinks in SEO, why backlinks are important and how to get started with backlinking in this video.

The definition of a backlink is a link from one website to another. In most cases, when talking about backlinks, a backlink is a link from another site to your site. They are also known by a few different names, including hyperlinks, incoming links, inbound links, or just links.

Why are backlinks important?

They matter for a few reasons, including:Helping search engines find and index your content for search resultsHelping users explore the web and discover content related to their interestsHelping search engines interpret the quality and authoritativeness of sites and content

The “World Wide Web” was named as such for a reason: With its series of pages and websites connected by links, it really does resemble a web. Links add context, and tell the “spiders” that crawl the Internet that there are more pages to be found through the backlinks that exist there.

Let’s say you have a brand-new website.

No one links to it, and you don’t submit it to Google, either. How do you expect it to be found?

However, if someone links to your site, a search engine spider can crawl through that link, discover your site, and index (or make findable) your newly created content. This is one reason that backlinks are so important: Without them, search engines won’t know that your content is there, nor will users.

How are backlinks and SEO related?

In the context of search engine optimization, a backlink is an important factor in determining how well your pages rank. In fact, in 2016, a Google team member confirmed that backlinks serve as one of Google’s top three ranking factors.

Generally speaking, the more relevant, high-quality backlinks you have pointing at your website, the better you will rank in searches for your targeted keywords. So, it is desirable to have these kinds of backlinks, because ranking highly can increase your traffic, purchases, conversion rate, and so on.

This doesn’t mean that you should go out and try to acquire links from every powerful-looking website on the Internet.

Google’s algorithms are so complex that a link’s relevance will be just as important as its source. So while it Backlink may feel good for your pet supplies store to get a link from your friend’s popular marketing blog, it may not help you rank any better.How to get backlinks to your website

Getting backlinks to your site isn’t always quite as simple as creating content or doing something newsworthy and waiting for the links to roll in. If you are a new company, or are still working on scaling your website traffic, you’ll need to do some work to get them from other sites.

Here are a few easy ways that you can gain links to your site:Set up Google Alerts for your brand or business name. If you spot a mention of your company on a website that doesn’t include a link, send a friendly email asking for one.Pitch a story about something you’ve done recently to your local newspaper. Chances are good that they’re probably looking for an interesting piece of news, and local success stories are always a big hit.Find a website or blog looking for guest contributions from industry experts. If you can write authoritatively about the topic in question, send them a pitch. You can include a link to your website in your author bio, or in the body of your contribution, as long as it’s relevant.Create an engaging infographic and pitch it to multiple websites. They’ll attribute your site, which can be a powerful backlink if you get the graphic reposted somewhere popular!Link someone else first. This might sound backwards, but if you include a link to someone’s content or mention them in one of your own pages or blog posts, they may notice, become aware of you, and later return the favor.Target competitor links. Using a tool like Ahrefs, you can assess the backlink profile of your competitors. See which high-quality and relevant sites link to your competitors, and then pitch your content to those sites (if it makes sense) to earn them.Pitch your content as a solution to 404s. Broken links or 404s can serve as a quick win for building backlinks. Run potential sites for backlinking in a tool like Screaming Frog to discover 404s. If you have comparable content, pitch it to the site owner or writer.

It’s very important to stay up to date with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines when building backlinks.

For example, Google previously handed out manual penalties to websites with “unnatural outbound link” profiles. This was a direct follow-up to the warning they had sent out weeks earlier, telling bloggers to disclose free product reviews and nofollow any outbound links regarding the product in question.

This practice of trading a free product for a review has long been utilized by some SEOs, although it’s always fallen into a rather gray area of Google’s guidelines. The penalties Google leveraged to those who didn’t heed their warning demonstrate how important it is to keep up with Google news.

Penalties can result in total or partial de-indexing of your content, which is detrimental to organic traffic.3 tactics you shouldn’t use to get backlinks

Since link building sounds like a lot of work—and it is—and you know that backlinks are important for SEO, you may want to buy them, or use some kind of backlink service to generate and populate these links with software. Is this a good idea?

No. Three tactics that you shouldn’t use for backlinking include:Buying backlinksUsing a backlink softwareTrying a backlink generator

While we’re all about working smarter, buying those is not what we mean when we talk about marketing automation.

There are two important reasons you should do your link building by hand:Buying links is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and may result in your site being penalized and removed from search engine resultsWhen you buy links, you never know what kind of quality you’re going to get, which may lead to your website being penalized anyway

Cheap backlinks are usually cheap for a reason, and buying backlinks will get you nowhere fast.

Instead of buying your links, you should take the high ground and either set aside the time to create a link building program with a dedicated employee, or hire an experienced SEO firm to build links for you through the use of high-quality content assets and outreach.

Trust us: There is no “cheap and easy way” to acquire hundreds of high-quality links to your site, unless you happen to have a piece of content go massively viral. If you buy backlinks, you may very well be gambling with the future of your business.How to check backlinks