What are Backlinks and Why Do They Matter for Your Online Marketing?

Backlinks are simply links to your website… so to all you SEO… gurus STOP OVER COMPLICATING THE SUBJECT!

A backlink is essentially a way for Google to see how many sites support your website. The more quality backlinks you have, the more your website gains Google’s trust.

What are “Good Quality” Backlinks?

A good quality backlink is a link that comes from a site with a high domain score or rating (use MOZ, Ahrefs, etc. for find this out) in your niche. If you’re wondering what domain rating is, check out our article on “what is domain authority?”

Let’s give a few examples:

  • If you’re an accountant you would benefit by having a backlink coming from a popular blog about finance, business or a specific industry you focus on such as real estate.
  • If you’re a lawyer you would benefit by having a backlink coming from a site about litigation, mediation or the industry you primarily focus on
  • If you’re an HVAC you would benefit by having a backlink on a blog about home improvement, or a plumbing site

It would also make sense if you get a backlink from a company in the same niche in a different location. So if you’re a plumbing company in Washington D.C. and receive a backlink/shout-out from another plumbing company in Seattle, WA Google would see it as relevant and give you “points” for that.

Dofollow vs. Nofollow Backlinks

As if SEO and online marketing couldn’t get even more complicated, it just did. But that’s why you’re reading our article and not some other bozo’s 10,000 word article.

A dofollow link basically tells Google to “follow” the link back to its original source. A nofollow link tells Google “don’t follow” the link back. Pretty simple right?

Now what does this mean? Google, and other search engines to be fair, want to see the type of link you have and in what context, so if they can follow the link back to the source and see that the site is relevant you’ll gain their trust. A link is by default a dofollow link, and the site that gives that link to another is essentially vouching for the site. While a nofollow link is trying to disassociate itself from the recipient.

Why do nofollow links exist?

Nofollow links are put in place because if every link was a dofollow link then it would be a complete numbers game, and you could get an infinite amount of “link juice” from sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. by just inserting your website URL.

To prevent spam, Google updated its algorithm and introduced the nofollow attribute. They began penalizing sites that were giving out link juice freely, and basically said “If you want to pass the authority, you need to be selective and can’t do it willy nilly”

If you want to include the nofollow attribute you can do so with this line of code:

<a href=”https://yoursite.com” rel=”nofollow”>You can’t crawl me Google!</a>

How Can I Get Backlinks for My Site?

You’ve got three basic options: wait for them to come naturally, buy them, do backlink outreach. Because waiting for them naturally doesn’t involve much labor, we won’t discuss that strategy in-depth–it’s also really boring!

Buying Backlinks

So if you have a few bucks (literally, you can buy backlinks for $5) you might want to consider buying backlinks to your site. Just be sure to do a little research before buying them.

Where to buy backlinks

You can use Fiverr, Linkgraph or any other backlink seller. Fiverr backlinks can be pretty cheap, while linkgraph and other sellers tend to be more pricey.

Here’s a good rule to follow: If you’re a local business in a population of less than a million you can probably get away with cheap and low-quality backlinks. If you’re competing nationally or in a city with over a million people, invest in quality links.

Buying Backlinks from Fiverr

So if you choose to buy them from fiverr you’re going to want to watch out for Web 2.0s. You might see “I will generate 2,500 web2.0 backlinks for $5” and you might think “WOW, 2,500 links for $5!?” Sorry to disappoint, but you should probably not go with the cheapest option unless you know what you’re doing.

Oh you still want to do it anyway? Okay here’s a quick tip: Only buy web 2.0 backlinks that are pointing to a secondary or tertiary page. Something like yoursite.com/services/service-item1 and the anchor text should be your ideal keyword(s). NEVER have a web 2.0 backlink point to your homepage with an exact match keyword. You risk getting penalized. So be careful!!

I would recommend buying press releases with a dofollow backlink from Fiverr. Press release gigs will often allow you to submit your own content so you can get a contextual backlink with your NAP (Name, Address, Phone#) which will also help you with local SEO!

Doing Backlink Outreach

So this is a little more time-consuming but definitely helpful in getting good quality backlinks AND building relationships. So here’s how it’s done.

Think of a top 10, top 6, top 60, etc. list of the best products/brands in your industry, and create a blog post around that. Then reach out to the people you mentioned with a simple “Hey I featured your site in my blog post, and gave you a quick shoutout (most people won’t know or care what a backlink is). If you could kindly return the favor by sharing our post somewhere on your site or social media that would be much appreciated!”

I made a post for my second brand KOJII called “5 Accounts to Follow if You’re Learning Hebrew” and made it all about other people. I included links to their social media, YouTube, websites, etc. so I could give before I ask. Almost all of the people I mentioned said they were more than happy to give a shoutout in return!

Important Note: Theory and technical work isn’t everything. At the end of the day it’s better to get social signals, and nofollow links from accounts and sites that have real followers interested in your brand than dofollow links that have no traffic. So think big-picture, and don’t fixate yourself too much on technical work.

So here’s the script you can use when emailing people:

Hey (name, if you can find it),
I came across your site when researching the (best/top/etc.) (products/services/brands) for (whatever industry/topic). I figured you’d be a respectable figure in this topic so I featured you in our latest article (insert a link to article).
Would you mind sharing it on your site and social media in return?

Thank you!
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Summary

Backlinks are links to your site, and that’s all. There are various types, but the two basic ones are nofollow and dofollow links. Nofollow links typically don’t have much authority (technically speaking) compared to dofollow links. In order to acquire backlinks you can wait for them to occur naturally, buy them, or reach out to people in your industry!

Have Any SEO or Online Marketing Questions?

If you have any questions related to SEO or internet marketing please feel free to reach out to us at JCSURGE. Our team specializes in providing strategic and data-driven marketing for local businesses. If you’re interested in requesting a free video audit for your site then email info@jcsurge!

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