When one website links to another website, it’s called a link. Other terms commonly used by SEO companies and online marketers include: backlink, linkback, inbound link, incoming link, inlinks, and inward links. Links are important for SEO because search engines like Google use them as a gauge or measure of a website’s relevance and authority.
Good Links VS. Bad Links
Google and the other search engines want to provide their users (searchers) with the best possible results given the search query. Better, more accurate search results, mean happier users. Happier users are more likely to return and use the same search engine the next time they have a need. More new and return visitors means more ad impressions and opportunities for the search engine to attract clicks on their paid ads – their primary source of income.
Search engines use links as a measure of a website’s relevance and authority, but not all links are created equal. Google and the other search engines must consider the relevance and authority of the linking site. If you’re a car manufacturer, a link from bobsfavoritecoolcars.com is probably not going to carry the weight a link from consumerreports.com would have.
Good links come from relevant and authoritative websites. Bad links come from irrelevant directories and/or low-quality websites. There are millions of directory websites that have been created for a single purpose: to game the search engine algorithms. In the past, links from these types of sites has helped companies improve their rankings. However, the search engines have become far more adept at identifying such sites and either penalizing them or removing them from their results altogether.
How to Acquire Good Backlinks
The best way to acquire “good” backlinks, inbound links, or whatever you want to call them is by creating unqiue, relevant content that helps your prospective customers do what they do better (make better decisions, avoid common mistakes, etc.). If you’re a roofing company in Maryland, this might mean creating a Roofing Buyer’s Guide to teach new homeowners how to hire the right roofing contractor. If you’re a window replacement company in Maryland, you might create a Window Buyer’s Guide or a virtual wall of windows that allows homeowners to compare various brands of replacement windows. When you create great content, often times, people will find it by searching and link to it without you having to ask them. However, you should also promote the content you create by alerting other websites and companies to its existence.