Even now, one of the best ways to boost your website’s search engine results is to have other websites link back to yours (this is also known as obtaining backlinks or external connections).
Nevertheless, not every backlink is created equal.
If you can get even a small number of high-quality backlinks, your SEO will see dramatic improvements. Yet, dozens of low-quality links may not have much of an impact or may even have the opposite effect if they are seen as spam.
There Are Basically Three Types of Backlinks
Google classifies backlinks into three tiers based on their quality: low, medium, and high.
Google, strictly speaking, considers webspam to be any link profile with a low quality anchor text. The creation of these artificial backlinks is a violation of Google’s standards and should be avoided.
Links of medium grade provide some benefit and are simpler to get than those of higher quality. The value of high-quality links is greater, but acquiring them is more challenging due to the higher editorial standards required.
High-Quality Backlinks Have These Three Features
It’s up for debate what factors constitute a high-quality backlink. Although search engine algorithms remain a well guarded secret, most SEOs can agree on three main factors that seem to be crucial.
Links back to your site should come organically, with the site owner choosing to do so because they see value in doing so for their visitors, and not because you bribed or otherwise manipulated them into doing so.
This organic method is one way to ‘earn’ a backlink.
In contrast, the goal of manipulating search engine rankings through unnatural backlinks is to make a website appear more credible than it actually is.
Google may choose to disregard a backlink it deems unnatural or spammy, and then, if the practise is continued, it may demote the offending site in search results.
The credibility of the linking site is just as important as its naturalness.
The credibility of a website is now evaluated in part by its social evidence, which is taken into account by modern search engines. Google’s PageRank algorithm is specifically designed to evaluate a page’s relevance, authority, and popularity. Google’s definition is as follows:
The importance of a website can be roughly estimated using PageRank by counting the number and quality of links to the domain. It is presumed that more significant websites will naturally get more links from other websites.
Hence, a page’s chances of ranking for competitive keywords increase with both the quantity and quality of the backlinks it receives.
Affinity Link Attribute or Rel Attr
The’rel attribute,’ which can be appended to an HTML link in order to improve its standing with search engines, is something else I’d want to go over while we’re on the subject of SEO.
Because the rel attribute isn’t included in standard HTML links, search engines can follow them and assign PageRank to the destination page.
However, the reputation provided by HTML links with values in the rel property is often less than ideal.
Page Authority (PA) is a metric provided by Moz that is meant to provide a rough estimate of a page’s potential search engine rankings (SERPs).
The PA metric is included in Moz’s Link Explorer.
For the same reason, Ahrefs also provides a score called the URL Rating. It’s been defined as an indicator of how likely a given URL is to get a high Google page rank based on the quality of its backlink profile.
Relevance is the third essential feature of what defines a high-quality backlink.
What does this imply, though?
A search engine’s relevance assessment is similar to how it evaluates the quality of a backlink, with equal weight given to the linking domain and page. To determine if a backlink is relevant, search engines look at both the page it links to and the site it links from.
Imagine for a moment that you manage a fitness membership site known as Peak Fitness 365. “5K to Marathon in Six Months” is the name of your flagship programme.
Maintaining Credibility while Maintaining Relevance
Let’s revisit the inbound link on our made-up business news outlet.
We can assume it has a below-average reputation score because we know its domain relevance is poor.
Does this mean that it is a poor quality link?
No, it’s not a perfect backlink because it doesn’t meet all criteria, but you can’t reasonably expect every connection you build to be of the highest quality.
So what, if anything, makes this backlink useful?
This is not a poor backlink, and it won’t affect your search engine rankings because it comes from a natural source.
The business news domain isn’t especially relevant, but the page’s content is, thus it passes with a moderate amount of relevancy.
In conclusion, an excellent inbound link is one that flows naturally from a trusted and relevant source. While high-quality backlinks are invaluable, even medium-quality connections can help you gain traction, and spammy, low-quality links should be avoided at all costs.