Backlinking consists of multiplying the number of links to a website in order to improve its popularity. A backlink or incoming link is a hypertext link placed on an external site that will point to your site. A backlink has several dimensions that will have an effect on the power that a link will have towards a site. It is composed of an anchor that is the clickable text of the link, the Page Rank (PR) and the juice that it transmits. To improve web visibility, backlinks must also be followed and especially contextualized and thematized.
Backlinking improves the positioning of a website in the results pages of search engines, but also affects the traffic of a site. It is therefore an essential technique for the SEO of a website.
To get good links, you need good content
Before asking sites to link to yours, you must ensure that you have quality content to offer them: complete the content they offer, provide additional answers to the problem they deal with.
In addition to meeting the above criteria, you should be careful to provide original content and not a copy/paste of another site or an amalgam of pieces of articles taken here and there on the web.
Contact the sites that interest you
Once you have created interesting content to offer, you will need to contact sites directly to offer your article in exchange for links.
During your research, you were able to find sites dealing with topics related to your activity and on which you would like your articles to be published. This can be blogs or forums to start. You can also target sites of companies whose activity is related to yours (the site of an architect or a master builder for a masonry company for example).
If you have no idea which sites to contact to offer your content, you can find ideas by searching on Google sites that are placed in the first positions on searches of the type “blog + your activity”. This step is important because if these sites are well positioned, it means that the link they could make to your site will have a very positive impact for your site.
The last way to find sites on which you could possibly get a link is to analyze the backlinks of your competitors with tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic SEO or SEMrush.
Once you have a good list of sites, contact them with something in exchange for a link to your site: a supplement on an existing article or an article in guest blogging (you write an article as ‘guest on their site). Be careful to personalize each of your messages if you want to have a chance that your email will hold their attention and bear fruit.
The backlinks have a significant weight in the SEO of your website, so do not hesitate to be proactive to get one. Solicit sites that interest you by offering them a real added value in exchange for a backlink.
How Google evaluates backlinks
Backlinks play an important role in referencing a website. Whenever another site links to your site, it passes on some of its authority to you. Your site is gaining more and more weight and trust from Google. The more authority you have for Google, the more likely it is to offer your site in the first search results for your business. But today, not all backlinks are equal. How does Google evaluate a backlink? Here are the 5 main factors that are taken into account.
The source of the link
Google gives significant trust to certain sites such as institutional sites, sites of big national newspapers and this trust or authority decreases with the recency of a site or the poor quality of its content.
So the more the site that links to your site has authority for Google, the more interesting the link is for you.
A link from a site that has been around for a few weeks and without a lot of visitors will bring almost nothing to the SEO of your site. An article on the site of the magazine specialized in your sector of activity or on the site of a national newspaper will certainly improve the positioning of your site. But it will be very difficult for you to get this kind of links.
Your job will be to find the most interesting links that remain within the reach of your business.
The attribute of the link
In HTML, in the source code of your page, there are two attributes to qualify a link: the follow attribute and the no follow attribute. The no follow attribute tells Google crawlers crawling the link’s source site that they should not follow the link and continue to parse the source page.
The outgoing links playing a role in the referencing of a page, the no follow attribute makes it possible not to penalize a page that would make a link to a less reliable source.
This does not mean that no follow links are not used to refer to the target site (your site for example), on the contrary. Today Google takes into account the distribution of follow and no follow links to analyze the natural aspect of linking a site.
To improve the SEO of your site, you must be careful to vary the attributes of your backlinks.
The relevance of the source
Different studies conducted by SEO agencies have shown that Google goes further than the authority of the site that makes you a backlink. The source site must also be consistent with your activity. Getting a backlink from a clinic to a restaurant will not be very interesting even if the link comes from an institutional site. A link from the Tourism Office page listing local restaurants will be much more useful.
You should therefore make sure to get links to sites and categories related to your business activity.
The context of the link
In line with the relevance of the source, Google analyzes the context of the link. By context of the link is meant the content of the page on which the link is made. It is important that the text that precedes and follows the link to your site is related to one of the themes of your company.
The closer the text is to your link, the more Google takes it into account to give weight to your backlink.
The anchor of the link
The anchor of the link is the text on which your backlink is positioned and which is therefore clickable.
Before the Penguin update, it was best to use the keyword on which you wanted to be referenced as anchor. Today, the text used as anchor is still important to determine the quality of your backlink but it is also one of the signal used by Google to detect a possible manipulation of its algorithm. You should therefore make sure to use keywords sparingly. The important thing is that the text of the anchor is natural in its context.
Irrespective of the above steps, it is always a wise decision to employ the service of an SEO agency to help get your website ranked on Google and other search engines.