Backlinks are the relationship amongst pages on the Internet, which allow users to navigate from a given point on the internet to the page you are looking at within your browser. Many people might think of these just as “Links” rather than “Backlinks” and this is true – but “Backlinks” describe the links coming INTO a web page or document, whilst “Links” generally refer to the outbound links from the page itself. When you ask “What are backlinks”, this is key.
Why are Backlinks important?
Knowing a page’s Backlinks allow one to build a link map of how your web site and web page fits within cyberspace. For instance, you may write a blog that is of interest to someone else who then writes his/her own blog and links it back to yours. This results in increased exposure to your original page. If nobody links to your content, then the only practical way to get people to your web page is to link yourself from other pages on your site or in your control. This is fine – but the really “good” stuff on the internet tends to get linked to from other websites outside your control. This is the essence of all Internet Marketing. Unless you want a person to type in the whole URL into a web browser, users only travel around the internet by clicking links. So the backlinks to a page are ultimately more important to that page than the outbound links on the page itself, when it comes to understanding the strength of the page itself.
But isn’t it hard or even impossible then to see a page’s backlinks?
You might be able to find some pages that link to any given page using a search engine, but you are unlikely to find all of them. To use other methods is difficult because you would need to look at EVERY PAGE on the internet (or a large proportion) to be able to see which ones link to the URL you are interested in. Clearly, this is a huge undertaking that costs millions. Luckily, there are just a few companies that have made these investments and Majestic has the largest link map at the time of writing of any commercial dataset. These days, most of the major tools that analyze links use Majestic to help understand their link map of the Internet.
Some more reasons why backlinks are important:
Bearing this in mind, Backlinks are significant for a number of reasons. Such as:
They can have both a bad as well as good impact of your brand, depending on the sentiment and relevance of the link. So, if the link directs to a page, which is of a low quality, this can then have a negative impact on your own page.
Just as users travel down links, so do web crawlers who help to index the web for search engines. Links are therefore essentially linked to drive traffic to your site.
Search engines can treat backlinks as “votes” by considering these links in context. Context includes the content on the originating page surrounding the link, including but not necessarily limited to the text on the link (called anchor text) and the title of the originating page.
All in all, it is clear that managing Backlinks is vital to ensure that your page is associated and regarded as one of high quality.
Further Backlink Training Resources
You are pretty much at the heart of the back link business here at Majestic, so using our video and tutorials are a great place to start.