Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of a successful website for any business. Ideally, you want your website to show up on Page 1 of a search. (Can you remember the last time you looked beyond the first page of search results? … Me neither.)
But how do you achieve high search engine ranking? For business owners, spending time and energy figuring it out and experimenting might not be the best use of your time. We’ve invited our SEO expert, Keith Watson of Eau Claire Media to share his knowledge with us on the topic.
There was a time when all you needed to get good SEO was to plug your home page with the proper keywords, and lots of them. In fact, I recall about 15 years ago, adding a section to the bottom of a webpage with about 150 keywords in white text on white background so the browser could see the words but a human looking at the site could not.
Now, SEO is not as simple. Google has over 200 ranking factors and yes, keywords are still important but with over 200 factors there are many other items that could be considered equally if not more important. I have seen web sites rank very well without any text on the home page at all, which tells me that keywords are less important than people may think.
Here we are talking about backlinks as a factor in SEO.
The Backlink Factor
Simply put, a backlink is an incoming link from another website to yours. The more backlinks you have to your website, the more important your site will appear to Google. This is probably the biggest single concept in SEO at this time. Thus, creating many backlinks to your website will increase the chances that Google will rank your page higher.
Wait, This Factor Has Factors!
Google looks at your backlinks and applies a set of factors to grade the links’ relevance. Here are a few factors:
- Relevance of linking site
- Linking domain’s age
- # of different IP’s
- Anchor text from the linking site
- # of pages being linked from
- Links from non-public domains
- Authority of linking page
Without getting too technical, I think you can see the picture.
The relevance of the backlinking site is one of the main factors I focus on.
Good backlinks are links from sites in related business fields. If you are a “construction company” and have a website with 10 backlinks from companies that are directly related to your business, like a “tool store” or a “equipment renter”, that’s good.
Bad backlinks are links to your site from unrelated websites, like a “dentist” or “car dealership” linking to the “construction company”.
Good back links are very important! Bad back links can actually harm your ranking!
Keep Up-to-Date On Your Backlinks
Like all other SEO, you need to keep your eye on this. Continually watching your backlinks and removing bad ones, correcting bad linking text and removing dead ones is very important. Also, creating new ones on a constant basis is very important.
This is just a quick overview on backlinks and their importance to good SEO. SEO is obviously a combination of many items – some very important and some not as important. But all of them add up in a hurry.
How important are backlinks in the big scheme of SEO? – Extremely important!