The Different Aspects of Backlinks
In SEO, backlinks are more complex than they first appear. Let's explore different types of backlinks:
Follow vs. Nofollow Links: What's the Difference?
You might have come across terms like 'follow' and 'nofollow' links. A 'follow' link is like a strong vote of confidence, passing trust and recognition from one website to another. It's similar to a public endorsement. On the other hand, 'nofollow' links don't transfer this trust. However, they're still useful as they direct traffic to your site and add variety to your link profile.
For instance, if a well-known industry magazine (like a leading business journal for mid-market companies) includes a 'follow' link to your website in an article, it significantly boosts your site's authority. A 'nofollow' link from a popular forum, while not enhancing authority, can still bring interested visitors to your site.
UGC and Editorially Placed Links: Their Importance
Backlinks can originate from different sources. Some are created by users themselves, like in forum discussions or blog comments, and are typically marked as 'rel=ugc' (user-generated content). Others are editorially placed by website owners who genuinely find your content valuable. Both types are appreciated by Google for their authenticity and contribute positively to your site's SEO.
Imagine your company launches an innovative product. A tech blogger might try it and share their experience in a blog post with a link to your product page (an editorially placed link), while a satisfied customer might mention your product in an online forum with a link (a UGC link). Both types of links bolster your website's reputation in different but valuable ways.
Common Backlink Attributes
Three important things to remember about backlinks:
1. Link Text or Anchor Text: This is the clickable part of a hyperlink. It's important because it helps search engines understand what the link is about. The anchor text should describe the linked content accurately.
2. Authority of the Linking Domain: Where the link comes from matters. Backlinks from trustworthy websites carry more weight.
3. Relevance of the Link: Backlinks work best when they come from websites related to your niche. Links from closely related sites have a more significant impact on SEO.
Link Schemes and Their Risks
Some ways of getting backlinks can be risky. It's important to know the dangers of certain link-building practices. Some practices, like buying or trading links, can harm your website's reputation. It's better to focus on earning high-quality links naturally. These practices can lead to Google penalties and even removal from search results. Common link schemes to avoid include buying links, participating in link farms, excessive reciprocal linking, and contributing low-quality guest posts.
Additionally, over-optimising anchor text, involving private blog networks (PBNs), leaving comment spam, and acquiring irrelevant or low-quality backlinks can all harm your website's credibility.
While backlinks are important, it's safer to build them in the right way to avoid problems and keep your website's reputation intact.