What are Backlinks?

I would consider backlinking to be a more complicated part of SEO and is not something you should do until you have a website of quality content that is properly optimised. I will wait until further on in the guide to explain the methods of obtaining backlinks and how they work. For now, I will fill you in on what they actually are.

A backlink is when a different website adds a new post with a clickable link to your website. Say you run an online store that sells vinyl records. A blogger who collects them might write a blog post and say that people should “click here to go to a great vinyl record store”. This is called a backlink and after keywords, should be an important part of your SEO efforts.

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks are like the web equivalent of a reference. If you went to a group of people and said “where can i buy vinyl records in this town”. If 99 of them said go to store A and 1 of them said to go to store B, which store would you go to? Way more people say to go to store A, so this store must be the best. This is how search engines work too. There might be many online stores selling vinyl records, how can google find out which one is the best? It checks to see how many backlinks the website has.

If multiple websites have great content and are SEO optimized, how does Google determine which website shows up first in the search results? Google will check the amount of backlinks that a website has. If one website has ten times more backlinks than all other websites that sell vinyl records, this website will show up first in the search results. Obtaining backlinks is a very important part of SEO and just like keywords, I have dedicated an entire section of the guide to this.

Internal Links

A backlink can ONLY come from a different website. If you write a blog post and link to a different page on your website, this is called an internal link. This is also an incredibly important thing to do, but it is not considered a backlink and does not do the same thing. If they did, every website owner would be linking to their own pages every day.

What is Link Juice?

Sounds a bit weird, the phrase always sounds a dirty to me. It is however, a phrase that is used all of the time in SEO and is directly related to backlinking. When a website links to you it will pass what is known as link juice. Some websites have more juice than others. I’ll keep it simple for now and end it there. There are many factors that dictate how much juice a website has and many SEO tactics to improve the flow of link juice. All of these tactics will be covered in the backlinking section of this guide.