Backlinks have been part of the success of any SEO campaign for many years. These inbound links from an external website are inviting its visitors to click through to the receiving site that could be seen as relevant to its users. Google can see these backlinks as a form of recommendation from one site to another, whether citing its source of information on a topic or offering another side to a discussion.
Backlinks and internal linking are theorised to be a large part of the current Google algorithm, following the principle of Google wanting to equip its users with valid information in as distraction as possible, allowing a user to flow from one source of information to another. The key to this is relevancy and authority.
Not all backlinks are equally as valid as the next. In Google’s 2021 MUM update, backlinks were a targeted focus, with low quality or toxic backlinks now having a negative impact on a website’s search engine position.
Before the MUM update was in place, businesses would sign up to a range of directories in order to gain backlinks, this is very much a black hat approach to SEO, however, this update means that inappropriate and irrelevant backlinks will now do more harm than good. Meaning that directories of ill-fit to a business’s products or services are seen to drag down a site’s authority and rankings.
Investing in a quality backlink campaign encourages backlinks from websites with a higher authority score, improving your own website’s authority score, thus benefiting search engine positioning.