Backlinks to your website are a double edged sword. Quality backlinks are an essential part of your search engine optimisation. These inbound links act as votes of confidence in your site from outside sources, and are a key part of the search engine algorithm. Theoretically, a website that has a good number of inbound backlinks from other relevant and authoritive websites has more credibility in the eyes of both visitors and search engines.

On the other hand though, backlinks from dodgy sites can do a lot of harm to your website’s ranking.

When you have quality, natural backlinks on your website, you’ll experience a number of benefits. Natural backlinks are those you have from posting comments, guest posts and other white hat approaches.

Higher Search Engine Rankings

This is the main benefit of backlinks to your SEO. Quality links to your website help to boost your search engine ranking. Search engine algorithms will look at niche blogs, high-quality domains and similar websites, and view these backlinks favourably for your search engine placement.

Boost Your Page Rank

Page rank is calculated in part from the quality of the websites that are linking to you. If you are receiving high-quality backlinks with a high page rank, you should see a boost on your next update.

Be Indexed Faster

When your website goes live for the first time, Google is less likely to index it regularly. However, as you gain more quality backlinks, Google will crawl your website more frequently. The result is your pages are indexed in Google faster.

Build Brand Authority

When there are more links and references to you online, customers will be more confident in the information you provide. Focus on getting links from respected websites by writing guest posts and other useful information that will drive traffic to your website.

Not All Backlinks are the Same

There are black hat websites that will post thousands of backlinks for a fee. This negatively impacts your SEO. However, even when you believe you are doing everything right, you could still give yourself a headache if you aren’t careful with the links you approve to your website.

For example, if you have a website that reviews restaurants you will want to keep backlinks from others in the same niche. Having inbound links from finance blogs wouldn’t provide you with much benefit as they are targeting a completely different audience, and excessive numbers of irrelevant links could result in red flags for the search engines. For more information read our blog on the Google Penguin update.

Take a White Hat Approach

When it comes to SEO, there is a smart way to handle backlinks in an effective manner. The first is posting comments on blogs. Dofollow links on a blog will give you a link back to your website. Just make certain that the comment is relevant to the topic that has been posted. It should add value to the conversation and not be an obvious quest for a link to your own website. Many blog owners will remove obvious link hunters from their websites and may ban your IP.

Forums are another great place to build quality links. Posting in respected forums are a way to build interest in your brand among a new set of people who might not otherwise discover your product or service. This will also help you to boost your search engine placement thanks to the backlinks generated. Just pay close attention to the rules and restrictions of forum, and again don’t be obvious that you are only there for the backlinks – Try to add value to the conversation and engage with the community in an authentic way.

Videos are another way to positively boost your SEO. A video on YouTube can create links that drive traffic back to your website. Google and other search engines will also notice these links and they can be used to your benefit. Just make sure the video is enjoyable and provides value to the viewer.

Finally, social media can be a powerful tool. Reddit, Facebook and Twitter are great options for generating backlinks plus Google+ and LinkedIn hold considerable weight in the search engine ranking algorithms. Post links to relevant and interesting articles along with your own commentary and you’ll attract a wider audience. When the information is useful or entertaining, you’ll notice more shares, retweets and upvotes on your content. That will drive more people to you and the increased visibility will be positively impacted later on when Google determines your search engine placement.

As you can see, backlinks are incredibly important for the success of your website. Take your time to build quality backlinks, and you will be rewarded with a higher position in the search engine results.
If you would like to discuss how backlinks can help your website we would love to chat – contact us at hello@birdbrain.com.au