Backlinks in SEO improve your rankings because they view the quality and quantity of the links as authoritativeness and votes of confidence from other websites. Therefore, the more backlinks your website has, the higher it can rank for search terms.
Pro tip: Also pay attention to your referring domains—the number of domains that link to you. Having varied backlinks from many different sites shows that you're trustworthy. So backlinks are great for SEO. And backlinks are also beneficial when key publications in your industry link to you and acknowledge you.
Bad backlinks are pinged by search engines and lower your appearance in search engine results, are the opposite. They are artificial, forced, or irrelevant. They may be outdated, come from spam sites, or they might be from another site you own.
Don't buy backlinks from any form of link networks such as private blog networks (PBNs), or any website publicly selling links. If they can detect them, Google slaps these types of paid links real hard.
The more votes, or backlinks, a web page gets from other relevant pages, the more likely it is to rank in Google's SERPs. Of course, if that page has no content, loads slowly or is just plain unattractive, Google can override those votes. That's the reason Google doesn't use backlinks as its sole ranking factor.
If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site's ranking position or search visibility.
The role of backlinks in SEO
As a result, your content will be prioritized in search engine results. While many people might tell you that backlinks aren't as important now as they were before, they are still one of the few confirmed Google ranking factors. Meaning, it's still a huge factor in SEO.
An external link is a hyperlink on a domain that points to another domain. External links are valuable for the receiving domain's SEO because Google and other major search engines see them as votes of confidence in the linked webpage. And each vote suggests the content on that page is credible, valuable, and useful.
Backlinks remain a vital part of SEO, and if you want to get the most out of your link building efforts, then it's essential that you focus on creating high-quality links. Quality backlinks can help boost your search engine rankings and increase visibility in organic search results.
Yes, you can rank on Google without backlinks for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of keywords.
Yes, backlinks are still important in 2023.
However, it's most important to approach link building campaigns as authority-building, rather than solely backlink building.
As you might expect, toxic backlinks are ones that hurt your website's reputation in Google's eyes. Many of these types of links have their origin in black hat SEO tactics, unethical attempts to game the search engine algorithm to get higher rankings.
Backlinks are important because they pass page and domain authority to your site which can help you increase search rankings. Search engines look for verification that they have chosen the right entity to satisfy the needs of the searcher, just like we do when we're making a choice in the real world.
Earning backlinks is an essential part of off-site SEO, and obtaining more backlinks is called link building. But like so many aspects of SEO optimization, link building is not straightforward. Most backlinks are good, some are great, and others are toxic. Too many toxic backlinks can harm your ranking.