What Are Backlinks, And Why Are They So Important?
With over 90% of users not looking further than page one on Google, ranking in the top 10 is more important than ever. Totaling 5.6 billion searches a day, Google is the place where many people go to find answers to questions, solutions to problems, links to all important services, channels for online shopping, and of course the news.
When searching on Google, users are looking for the most relevant result to appear at the top of the search results. Meaning that even when a page has relevant content, if it isn’t on the first page, it’s likely to get ignored. Google looks to achieve this with regularly updated algorithms, design on the billions of searches, and the sites that those users end up on.
To help a website reach that important first page, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) drives a page to the forefront of search results. Many of the pages seen at the top of a search result are there due to SEO being carried out not only on that particular page but also on the whole website.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the art of optimising a website for the purpose of search engine crawlers. Search engine crawlers are constantly crawling sites, collecting data and information such as what the site offers its visitors and the information it can give them. When a search engine recognises the potential benefit of a site to the users, it indexes the pages, allowing them to appear on a search.
When a user enters a search into Google, it then provides the most relevant pages to the user, from this list of indexed pages.
However, SEO on these pages helps Google to determine which order these pages need to be shown in. Google’s algorithm uses the indexed information to analyse the relevance, reliability and authority of the website. This analysis is based on hundreds of factors on each page, from titles to content length, image tags and even the URL. Many contributing factors go unnoticed by the typical user, making it all the more important for professional SEO. For an SEO analysis on your website, please contact the team today.
One of the unseen factors contributing to Google’s algorithm is backlinks. These are external links which offer both authority and relevance. The algorithm sees these links as recommendations from another website. However, these recommendations are not all seen as equal.
The quality of a backlink is based on a number of factors, from the authority score to the relevancy of the industry in which the website lies. This means that, for example, a backlink to a healthcare provider, from an auto garage, would not be considered relevant, even with a high authority score. In order for the link to be high quality, the linking site must be of both relevance and high authority.
Google’s MUM Update
In 2022, why are backlinks becoming increasingly prevalent? In June 2021 Google released a new algorithm update; Multitask Unified Model (MUM). This algorithm removed the ability to be able to spam your website with hundreds of meaningless backlinks and introduced the importance of authority score.
The update meant that blackhat SEO which had previously been used, by way of signing up to multiple irrelevant, or low authority databases and directories, now has a negative impact on SEO and saw a number of website rankings drop the next time Google crawled them.
Blackhat SEO has previously been used as a way to get “quick wins” on search engines. With SEO’s finding backdoor ways to improve rankings, which only ever last until the next update. In the short term, these tricks make a site’s rankings look great. However, it makes the decline at the next update even more significant, thus taking longer to claw back any lost traffic.
Search engines are now looking for relevant quality backlinks, rather than purely a numbers game. This means that there is no more cheating the algorithm, and backlinks are increasingly hard to get.
Boost Your Rankings
Since the MUM update came into force, the market has been saturated by businesses and agencies trying to get quality organic backlinks to their websites. Unlike backlinks from directories, these organic backlinks are genuine links to a website, from another, that finds the content both relevant and useful to its users. This all means that obtaining a backlink that will have a positive impact on search engine rankings is becoming a time consuming and thankless task for many businesses.
This update means that backlinks are becoming significantly harder to fabricate, reducing the likelihood of tracking the search engine. Naturally, this means that they are firmly becoming a determining factor in the ranking of a site on search engines.
Start Your SEO Campaign
Unsure where, or what your website currently ranks for on Google? Are you targeting the highest traffic term in your sector? Or have you seen a significant decline in your current search engine rankings? It’s time to contact the experts.
Our expert Optimise team can help improve your poorly ranking website, boost your current rankings, improve your backlink portfolio, and ultimately drive traffic to your website, gaining you some quality leads for your business.
Contact one of our account managers today, or fill in our contact form, and let one of them call you back.