For years now, backlinks have been an essential part of any solid SEO strategy. A backlink is simply a link from one website to another, and they’re essential because they help SEO backlinks search engines understand the quality and relevancy of your site. The majority of search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence—the more votes (i.e., backlinks) your site has, the more credible it must be. But what exactly are high-quality backlinks? Let’s take a look.
What Are High-Quality Backlinks?
A high-quality backlink is a link to your website from a credible and relevant source. For example, if you have a website about gardening, then receiving a backlink from an authoritative gardening blog would be much more valuable than receiving a backlink from an unimportant or untrustworthy site, such as someone’s personal blog or spammy website.
Different Kinds Of Backlinks Available Out There
Not all links are created equal, though—some are worth more than others. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of backlinks you might encounter and how valuable they are for SEO:
- Do-follow vs. no-follow links. A do-follow link is a traditional link that allows search engines to follow it and attribute the link to your website. A no-follow link is one that doesn’t allow search engines to follow it or pass along any “Link Juice” (i.e., ranking power). No-follow links aren’t entirely worthless—they can still help you build relationships with other webmasters—but they won’t do anything for your SEO.
- Editorial vs. comment links. An editorial link is one that appears in the main body of an article or blog post (like this one!). A comment link appears in the comments section of an article or blog post—usually with a follow-up by the author saying something like “Great comment!” or “Welcome to my blog!” Both types of links are valuable for SEO—editorial links are worth more because they appear in the actual article, but comment links are still worth pursuing because they show that you’re actively engaged in the comments section (more on that later).
- Contextual vs non-contextual links. A contextual link is one that appears in context with the surrounding text—in other words, it actually adds value to the article by providing readers with additional information about the topic at hand. A non-contextual link is one that doesn’t really add anything to the article except maybe some keywords (these are usually pretty easy to spot). Contextual links are much more valuable because they actually enhance the reading experience for users, while non-contextual links provide no real value and can actually hinder the user experience by interrupting the flow of the article.
As you can see, not all backlinks are created equal—some are worth pursuing while others aren’t really worth your time. So, how can you tell which ones are worth going after? Look for high-quality websites in your industry with relevant content and a healthy mix of do-follow and editorial links. Avoid spammy sites and those with primarily non-contextual links. If you focus on building quality backlinks from credible sources, you’ll be well on your way to boosted SEO results!