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Why Backlinks Are Integral to Organic Search Ranking

Ali Soudi - Head of Digital Marketing

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
SEO

Article Overview

10min read

Search Engine Optimization has come a long way in the past decade, and link building is a very important element of this process today. There are in excess of 200 ranking factors that Google considers before deciding if a particular website is worthy of the first page. Backlinks, web page speed, and on page content are few of the top factors that matter.

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How a backlink works

Simply put, a backlink is like a vote given to a webpage by another page via a link. The higher the authority of the website giving the link, the better the quality of the backlink. Another thing to consider is the relevance of the website providing the backlink. For example, if one needs a backlink to a restaurant website, a well known food blog with high authority is obviously the best choice. There is no point getting a backlink from a fashion blog since the Google algorithm knows to look at relevancy parameters.

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Are backlinks the most important ranking factor?

Backlinks are a very important factor which decides whether a website ranks on Google or not. This is however not the only criteria, as onpage content and page speed are things to consider as well. This is because the Google bots crawl the content searching for keywords, their placement, and overall relevance of the page. The question to be answered is whether the page is the top choice for the keyword(s) entered into search. SAlso, since most websites are moving towards mobile-first indexing, page speed and responsiveness are very high up in the list of ranking factors.

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Is it necessary to give backlinks?

If the idea is to rank higher on Google, it is always better to avoid outbound links unless absolutely necessary. The right practice is to give a link to a source in case of citations, but this does not improve the website’s chances of ranking higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Earlier, it was possible to link to websites like Wikipedia to improve a website’s rank, but this is no longer the case.

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Is there a ‘Black Hat’ way of getting backlinks?

Always keep in mind is that Google is updating its algorithm on a regular basis. Therefore, previous methods of acquiring backlinks via Black Hat processes are frowned upon by current era SEO specialists. Securing backlinks via Private blog networks is a Black Hat method which almost everyone has given up on. Websites also used to purchase backlinks, and this would cause a lot of problems as no one could guarantee the quality of these links. After the introduction of the Google Penguin Spam filter, almost no SEO expert suggests buying links.

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‘White Hat’ method of getting backlinks

The best practice to get backlinks is to use relevant content which suits the business and customers of the website. The links should be natural and should not make Google think that the algorithm is trying to be manipulated. A good link will also have a backlink to a directory which is included in a particular niche.

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Are more backlinks better?

This is definitely not the case as quality is more important than quantity. One of the most important characteristics of backlinks is that Google looks at is the relevancy. The search engine optimization process of a website can be greatly affected by backlinks which are not relevant. Another thing to remember is that some backlinks have a more positive effect on the ranking than others. A backlink from a .gov or .edu website holds a lot of weight in authority as these domains are harder to get.

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Importance of backlinks in 2019

After the Google algorithm core update in 12th March 2019, backlinks have become one among the most necessary SEO tools in an expert’s arsenal.

Ali Soudi

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
SEO
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