A backlink is hyperlink pointing to a page on your site from another website. They are a key method by which users can navigate to your website but are also a fundamental aspect of how search engine algorithms decide on which page to return for a given query. Google pioneered the concept of using backlinks as a metric to help rank websites in search results through PageRank. After years of updates, search engines can now assess the quality, type and relevance of a backlink and its associated influence on a website’s ability to rank in the SERPs.

Bad Neighbourhoods

Webmasters often focus on the quality of their own backlink portfolio, for good reason. However, there is evidence to show that placing a link on your site to other poor quality sites, otherwise known as ‘bad neighbourhoods’ can be detrimental to the trust allocated to your website by Google. As such, it is advisable to investigate the quality of any website that you are linked to and their subsequent backlink portfolio.

Digital PR

Backlinks are not only valuable from an SEO perspective. They also provide incredibly useful channels by which traffic can flow from another site to your website and are therefore useful components of an inbound marketing campaign. It is important to note though that for backlinks to be as effective as possible you should ensure that the destination page of any given backlink is as relevant as possible to the traffic that will be visiting your page. If they are directed to your homepage when a more specific page would be more relevant this will impact on their user experience and have a negative impact on your user and usage data. Relevance, quality and value are critical aspects to assess when looking to build or earn backlinks and indeed link out to any other website.

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