SEO is all about bringing the right websites to the forefront of search engine results, and chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re the owner of one of a website that deserves attention. We’ve already covered a lot about SEO’s principles, such as the importance of “hanging with the right crowds” and the importance of really getting people to share your content. However, we haven’t really gotten into the actual importance of backlink building.
Amazingly, it’s actually one of the biggest aspects of SEO.
If you think about it, a lot of search engine optimization deals with getting referred by either people on social media, or by sites that are considered to be legitimate by the crawlers themselves. It’s why being referred by a .edu or a .org is so important. But, what most people don’t realize is that almost any backlink can provide value to an SEO plan.
Backlinks, in the world of search engines, are a lot like referral systems. If a site refers traffic to you, crawlers will eventually pick that up. The more referrals you have, the more crawlers will see your site as legitimate – even if the people who refer people to your site don’t have much traffic of their own.
Search engines like to see most referrals because it shows that your content and your site have some sort of authority on the subject that they are discussing. So, even if the backlinks that you get are from minor sites that people rarely visit, they are still worth something in the eyes of crawlers. Granted, the backlinks won’t be worth as much as major sites, but they will still be worth some form of “traffic currency.”
This is why most SEO experts will talk about distribution of their links, and will often choose link quantity over quality. Most of the time, this works. It only really backfires when the quantity of “bad referrals,” such as those from directories or suspicious sites, gets to be too high for Google not to ignore. As long as the backlinks that you get aren’t from directories, and aren’t linked to sites that have been racked with viruses, spyware or other kinds of shady stuff, you should be good to go.
So, when you see backlinks or link share deals going on between two or more websites, that’s really what it is all about. The two site owners have made a decision to drum up traffic and website rankings by sharing links between one another. This is often the way that major blogs get their start, and often the way that many major sites continue to stay on top of the website ranking game.
While there is something to say about content and keywords, the truth is that backlinks are what really drive a site into popularity. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – there’s a good reason why the most popular sites are the ones that get the most backlinks and shares on Facebook!