As part of the essential function of virtually every search engine in existence, backlinks are used to gauge your website’s relevance and popularity. To better understand what backlinks are and how they work, we’re spending some time analyzing this crucial aspect of Search Engine Optimization. Knowing how backlinks are used in search engine algorithms is necessary for the overall success of any digital marketing campaign.

So, What Are Backlinks and How Do They Work?

‘Back’ to the Basics

Let’s start with a basic definition of what a backlink is. A backlink is simply a hyperlink from one website to another. That’s it! The reason it’s called a backlink is because the link points the user to a location that is ‘back’ from the site on which the link is posted. That is to say, the backlinked page is merely ‘pointed to’ using the backlink, and it’s up to the user to click the link and visit the site.

Think of backlinks as ‘votes’ for the popularity of a specific web page. If a webpage garners a lot of interest on the internet, it’s natural for backlinks to it to start sprouting up in various other locations. A good example of this might be a well-written, easy-to-follow how-to guide on making the perfect peach cobbler. If the guide is genuinely good and people who read it end up benefiting from it, they’re going to ‘vote’ for it by linking to it on social media posts, blog posts, articles, and in other ways.

If search engines index enough backlinks to a specific page for long enough, that site is going to rank higher in search engine results. This is a great way to protect content from being ousted by competitors trying to use clever keywords or contextual SEO tactics – very few things are more powerful to search engine algorithms than a highly referenced web page with dozens if not hundreds of backlinks elsewhere on the internet.

How to Build Backlinks

The strategy for backlink building has changed drastically in the past few years. This is because the search engines have gotten wise to the ‘tricks’ that have been historically used by those trying to game the system. Now, a mix of approaches works best, including:

  • Generating guest blog posts with nested backlinks
  • Conducting original research with relevant insights
  • Establishing and cultivating relationships with influences who can backlink to you
  • Reclaiming links already in existence

Improving your search visibility requires a smart backlink strategy. If you don’t do it, your competition will, and you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up in the search results. With all of the tools available to internet marketers, backlinks have never stopped being important, and a small investment in backlinks today will reap huge rewards in the future.

Read More: What Are Deep Links?

When you’re ready to call in the experts, contact Altitude SEO. We’ll work with you to develop a smart backlink generation plan that will yield more traffic and, in the end, more new business. Contact us today to get started.