There are a lot of special terms and jargons in optimization sphere that are difficult to understand for ordinary people. SEO specialists like to throw around industry jargons when they talk to their clients. As a result, it causes misunderstanding between two parties. Unfortunately, some specialists use not understandable words to confuse a client and distract him from the fact of the usage spammy techniques to improve website rank. But for most, it is merely a matter of failing to recognize that part of their job is to educate their clients. One of the most common terms that cause questions and misunderstandings are “backlinks.”
This article is designed to give you a comprehensible answer “What's a backlink?” and give you some example cases of usage backlinks in practice.
What's a backlink?
Generally speaking, backlinks are any external links that point back to your web page. They are commonly referred as inbound or incoming links as well as external and inward links. While links that you place on your web page to other sources you find relevant are called outgoing links, outlines or outward links.
Backlinks are essential elements in search engine optimization for some different reasons. They raise your brand awareness and reputation on the web. Moreover, they bring traffic to your pages that will most likely turn into a conversion. The quality and number of incoming links serve as a determinant of your web source reputation for search engines. Google pays special attention to incoming links in determining website rank. That is why the more quality links point to your site, the higher rank you will get. The primary purpose of any optimization campaign is to rank in the TOP5 results on SERP as users tend to click on the few search results. If you have a high CTR (click through rate), it will most likely turn into a conversion.
Have you ever wonder why search engines care so much about backlinks? In the early days of the Internet search engines has just a few functions and simple ranking algorithms. They strictly relied on keywords matching to a user’s query. Such simple search engine rules led to the emergence of numerous fraudulent website optimization techniques. It didn’t matter how quality a website content is. To rank on the first search result page, it should contain a lot of targeted keywords. Then website owners realized that they could exploit this weakness by restoring to keyword stuffing. They simply created unreadable texts full of search terms to raise money on it.
However, then Google was born. This innovative search engine based its ranking algorithms on website backlinks. Firstly, they took care only about the number of incoming links. Google introduced the concept of PageRank. This rank was based on website citation index.
PageRank was the product of two assumptions:
If a website has a lot of incoming links that point to it, then this source can be regarded as an authoritative. The more backlinks are pointing to a site, the higher rank it will deserve.
Not all backlinks are created equally. A link from high PR site can’t be the same value as a link from a personal blog. High authority websites won’t place a link on low-quality spammy site on their pages. That is why links from TOP websites mean that the linked-to site is worth to rank high on Google.