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How Important Are Backlinks for SEO?

February 6, 2023

Attracting backlinks has been one of the most important factors used by search rankings to determine organic rankings. This has led backlinking to be a core part of an SEO strategy adopted by content marketers and SEO specialists to help their content rank highly.

Backlinks help build the domain authority and credibility for your website. If more people are pointing to a page on your site, then surely it must be valuable and useful.

This is correct however, with Google’s ever-changing algorithms and updates, it is proving that the value of backlinks is gradually decreasing. When Google finds a link pointing at your website, it can choose to do one of 3 things:

  1. Count it in its ranking algorithm
  2. Ignore it, or not give it any weight in boosting your rankings
  3. Penalise you, if it thinks the link is manipulative

In fact, most people would be surprised to learn how many links don’t actually help you to rank, or can actually hurt. To keep Google happy, it’s recommended to understand Google’s best practices and know what types of links to avoid.

What is a SEO backlink?

The first step to understanding how important backlinks are to SEO, is to understand what a backlink in SEO is. An SEO backlink is a link that’s created when one website links to another. This can also be referred to as ‘incoming links’ or ‘inbound links’. This link from one website to another represents a ‘vote of confidence’, which is also picked up by the search engines. This SEO backlink shows Google that other valuable sites are vouching for your content. Overtime as your backlinks begin to grow, you’ll build what’s known as an SEO backlink profile.

What is an SEO backlink profile?

An SEO backlink profile is made up of the number of links and the quality of these links. Google will use this backlink profile to determine your site’s authority and popularity on a specific topic and decide where your website will rank. It will look at several factors when assessing your backlink profile including naked URLs, anchor text, dofollow and nofollow links and many more. 

Are there backlink tools for SEO?

Yes! Backlink tools for SEO allow you to check the number of backlinks pointing to your site and monitor their quality. They also allow you to manage and identify lost backlinks and potential backlink opportunities. Some of the top backlink tools for SEO include Ahrefs, SEMRush backlink analytics, Moz Link Explorer and Link Minor.

Where can I find a free SEO backlink checker?

It comes as no surprise that a lot of backlink tools for SEO come at a bit of a cost and require subscriptions. However, there are also a lot of free tools out there. Our favourite free SEO backlink checker is OpenLinkProfiler. Other great free tools are SEO SpyGlass and Google Search Console.

Check out our SEO backlink building services

Every business with a website would benefit from a long-term backlink strategy to boost your site’s domain authority. This then allows you to rank higher for more competitive keywords and in turn, drive more traffic to your site for conversions. 

Find out more about our SEO backlink-building services and how we can grow your SEO backlink profile, get in touch with the team today.




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