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What is a Backlink?

Difficulty: Beginner

What is a backlink?

A backlink is what is created when one website, links to another website.

Just for your benefit, it can also be called an “inbound” or “incoming” link, but we’ll stick with backlink.

We are going to take this super slow and make sure that you have a good idea of what a backlink is, how to obtain them and most importantly, how they can help you.

A backlink is a measure of quality for search engines. If the search engine Google is crawling your website, AKA examining it, they will look for backlinks among other things, and judge your webpages quality by what websites are linking to your webpage.

Think of it as a movie. IMDB, the movie website, will form the first judgement of a film by who the director is, who the actors are, which studio is making the film, the costume designer etc. The film is your webpage and all of the actors are the backlinks. IMDB would place more importance and relevance on a film starring Matt Damon, directed by Quentin Tarantino, than if Travis, 17, was going to release a video of him stealing shopping trolleys.

Translated this means if Google sees that your web page about the ‘best Samsung products’, has been linked on Samsung's official website, then Google is going to deem that backlink to be very strong and will see your webpage as more relevant and therefore rank it higher. Always keep in mind though, like everything in SEO, relevance is very important!

Keep in mind that you linking another reputable website, doesn’t necessarily translate to a strong link as they may have settings in place that diminish the links value. So links on other reputable pages or pages that are happy for you to link to them, are much higher quality in the eyes of Google.

Backlinks sound great, how do I get them?

The process of obtaining backlinks is known in the SEO world as “link building”, and there are plenty of in-depth guides with techniques on how to get them. I’ll outline some basic techniques to get you started.

Ask and Contribute
Sounds complex I know, but it isn’t. See if you have any friends, family, colleagues or business associates that you can gain a good quality, relevant, link. Ask them to link your web page, in-content, on one of their pages and you can even return the favour.

This extends further to engaging with people online, by means to build good relationships. If you have a website about cats, engage in cat loving groups on Facebook and contribute comments and posts to forums dedicated to cats. This gives you backlinks and better yet, a relationship with other people in your field. Finally, testimonials are great because everyone wins. If you leave a positive testimonial on the website of a product you’ve used, it's a good starting point for getting a possible backlink, and the products website gets a good product review.

A blog, like our own, is a fantastic way to get backlinks. If you are experienced in your field or have some really interesting insights, write it down in a blog post and become a reliable backlink. If you are an authority on Cats, write blog posts consistently about your thoughts and insights on cats, that other cat websites, pet websites and a myriad of other topics related to cats, can link back to your website.

Guest Post
Contributing a guest post is almost a combination of the above two recommendations. It is a backlink in that the website that you are guest posting on should link to your website, but also gives you the opportunity to gain some valuable exposure to other people in your field.

If the stuff above sounds like you could use some hands-on help, or it's just too much and you’d rather get someone else to do it, get in contact with us at Matter. We are the experts on all things backlinks and SEO.


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