SEO Tutorial – Backlinks Overview

Mar 17, 2012, by admin

BacklinksBacklinks Definition

In layman’s terms, there are two types of links: inbound and outbound. Outbound links begin from your site and guide to an external site, while inbound links or backlinks, come from an external site to yours. e.g. if links to, the link from is a backlink (inbound) for, however the link is an outbound link from’s point of view. Backlinks are among the main building blocks to good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Importance of Backlinks

The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are significant for SEO because some search engines like Google, give additional credit to websites that have a huge number of quality backlinks, and think those websites more applicable than others in their results pages for a search query.

Therefore, when search engines analyze the significance of a site to a keyword, they not only think the number of backlinks to that site but also their quality. In order to decide the quality, a search engine thinks the content of the sites. When backlinks to your site come from other sites, and those sites have content related to your site, these backlinks are believed more relevant to your site. If backlinks are found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant. The higher the relevance of backlinks, the greater their quality.

For example, if a webmaster has a website about how to liberate orphaned dogs, and received a backlink from another website about dogs, then that would be more relevant in a search engine’s assessment than say a link from a site about car racing. Therefore, higher the relevance of the site linking back to your website, the better the quality of the backlink.

Search engines want websites to have a altitude playing field, and look for natural links built slowly over time. While it is fairly easy to vary your webpages to make them more SEO friendly it is a lot harder for you to control other websites and get them to link to your website. This is the reason search engines regard backlinks as a very significant issue. Further, search engine’s criteria for quality backlinks has gotten even tougher, thanks to unprincipled webmasters trying to achieve these backlinks by deceptive or tricky methods, such as hidden links, or automatically generated pages whose sole reason is to offer backlinks to websites. These pages are called link farms, and they are not only ignored by search engines, but linking to a link ranch could get your site banned completely.