Are Backlinks important for a website?

So, you have created yourself an awesome website; now you begin the challenge of trying to get it to a high position in the search engine results so you can drive more traffic to your site. 

Whilst searching the internet I’m sure you could find a thousand different suggestions on how to improve your websites ranking on the search engine results. You will most certainly of heard of terms such as keywords, domain authority, page authority, link building and so on.  I’m positive that during your search you will have also come across people suggesting you create backlinks. 

In this article, we are going to look at what backlinks are, what they do, and how they work. We are also going to look at why you should not worry about backlinks. 

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link from another website (usually with higher authority) to your site. 

For example, if you look further down this webpage, you will see a logo for A Dot Com World, this is the site of the web developers who built this site. I have a link in that image to their website, that therefore, is a backlink. Their website has a link to my site (this is a mutual / reciprocal backlink). 

What does a backlink do?

A backlink helps your site appear more authoritative to search engines and helps with getting a higher position in search results. It also helps attract more visitors to your site as your link is visible on more website. The thought is that the more backlinks you have, the better your site will appear. Let’s have a look into that further.

Are their different types of backlinks?

Yes, there are. 

For example, there are “do follow” and “no follow” links. 

Let me explain the difference. 

Do follow links allow search engines like Google, Bing, etc. to follow the links to your site. These add a great benefit to your website authority (aka, domain authority), as you are seen as a more trustworthy source. This is the main aim of backlinks and what most people want to achieve.

No follow links tell the search engines that this link should NOT influence the authority of your site. Thus, serving little importance. A no follow link is not entirely useless, as it still provides a link from one website to yours. This may result in a potential customer clicking on the link and the beginning of the sales process. 

For example: 

You create a post on your Facebook page, this link is a “no follow” link, but people see this and click on the link which redirects them to your website. If you are interested in Facebook business pages, see my post here)

Generally, people are not looking to create no follow links when link building.

Are backlinks important for your website?

Well, the answer is yes, but….. It depends on how you get them. 

Backlinks will create themselves if you give it time. When you create a new webpage or blog post on your website, this creates a new link on your site. When this link is shared or posted on another site, this creates a link from that site to yours. If you create great content, people will share it. Also, when you share your page on forums and social media, this will also create backlinks.

For example:

A post on Facebook with your link creates a Backlink to your website. But…. You have no control if this backlink will be a “do follow” or “no follow”. 

Can I create my own manually or buy backlinks?

You can, and this may give your site a short-term boost, but if Google suspects you have bought links or are manually creating random links, then they have the power to make sure your site does not appear on search results again. (Penalized) As it is against their terms of use policy. Obviously, you don’t want that to happen.

Creating a load of links is bad, there are many selling these service especially on freelance sites such as Fiverr, my advice is to steer well clear. (As I discuss in this post here). Google, Yahoo and other search engines are getting smarter and can detect more and more with each algorithm change. (Hence, why they are happening more frequently). Some of these services will just create links on site with no authority and that are completely irrelevant to your niche. When we talk about links, we must also look at the relevancy of where your backlinks come from. 

For example: 

If your site is selling teaching supplies to teachers and you create links in a forum for finance in a different country, this is not a relevant link, and I genuinely believe Google can detect this. However, if your link is on a teachers forum, then this has relevance. 

Another example would be Wikipedia. A lot of marketers are creating links on the high authority website Wikipedia to their own site. This may be working for some at the minute, but, I suspect that the days for this link building exercise are numbered. Again, if Google suspects you are link building (also called “black hat” seo), they can make sure your site never appears in search results. 

So what is the answer?

Instead of spending countless hours, weeks, months and years (in some cases) focusing on backlinks, the best way to add authority to your site in a way where you will be protected from Googles algorithm changes is by simply creating good quality content (see this link) (as I explain in this post.).

It’s as simple as, 1, 2, 3

1. Find out what questions people are asking

2. Write a good quality post that answers it. 

3. Post and share. 

Your post will be there as long as you want it to be, and even though it may take some time to create the page or post, the results are going to be worth it. 

Another added benefit is it provides a better user experience when visitors are on your site, more content will keep them on their longer, and you look like more of an authority in your field. 

Summary

So, to summarise. Don’t worry about backlinks; they will create themselves. Focus on making the best user-friendly experience for the visitors to your site. 

I do suspect quite a few marketers will disagree with what I have said but I believe that creating links is a short-term gain and the risks are just not worth it. Do it right, it may take longer, but it will be worth it. 

Let me know if you agree in the comments below. 

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