An introduction to backlinks

An introduction to backlinks

Google loves websites with many links to them. This indicates that they are authoritative and popular. Because they are more authoritative and of higher quality, popular sites rank better. The next step in your SEO detective work should be to analyze the quality and quantity of backlinks on your site and those of your competitors.

Google loves websites with many backlinks to them.
Google loves websites with many links to them.

Google “Link Explorer”, click the button and enter your website’s URL. You will be asked to create an account, but you don’t have to worry. This tool will give you an indication of the number of backlinks on your website. Although it isn’t comprehensive, Link Explorer doesn’t index nearly as many links to Google. However, it can be very useful in getting an indication of relative authority between different sites.

You’ll find a variety of statistics at the top of Link Explorer page.

* Domain Authority: This indicates how authoritative Google considers the website. Domain Authority is determined by the number of inbound links a website has from high-authority websites. Later, we will go into more detail about Domain Authority.

* Page Authority: This is an estimation of the PageRank for a specific page, not the authority for the entire website.

* Linking Domains: This section lists the root domains of all websites that are linking to your site.

You can start to see the reasons your top competitors are outranking you by comparing their sites. You will find that your top competitors have more links to you than you and therefore, more Domain and Page Authority.

Anchor Text

Anchor Text can be found on the same Link Explorer results page.

Anchor text is the text that appears in a link. You might notice an underlined word in the blue color while surfing the internet, such as “click here”.

Clicking on the link will not take you to a website named ‘click here’. We call this the anchor text.

Anchor text is crucial because it is one of Google’s measures to establish the topic for the linked page. In the case of ‘click Here’, Google would look at the words “click here” and associate the linked webpage with this phrase. What would you expect to see on the linked page if the anchor text were ‘best protein supplement’?

You can see, hopefully, that clicking here as the anchor text is not the best thing in the world.

It is a better idea to use your keywords in the anchor text. For example, if you are selling vintage furniture, this would be ‘vintage furniture’.

Link Explorer allows you to scan the Anchor Text table and see which anchor texts are being used by your competitors. You will notice that their anchor texts are the same. This is likely because they rank high for this phrase.

Although it may seem like a good idea, creating many links with your main keyword as the anchortext is a bad idea. This is where you need to be careful. Low-quality SEO companies used this strategy to their demise. Google even started penalizing sites that used too many “exact match” anchor texts, where the anchor text was exactly the target keyword.

It is natural for websites to receive a lot of links that include their company name and address as anchor text. This is what Google expects in what they call a “natural-looking” link profile.

It’s a sign that the links are suspect if 80% of them refer to vintage furniture. It’s a good idea for link builders to use descriptive anchor text as long as it is natural. In Section 3, we’ll return to linking.

You should now have a list with keywords and top competitors.

You’ll have looked at their websites and noticed which keywords they are targeting. You will have seen the frequency of these keywords in links, on the page and in the meta description.<span class=’wordai-block rewrite-block’ data-id=’2′>Tags</span>

It’s done! Next, we’ll optimize your website Ninja-style.