What Are Backlinks and Why Do They Matter?

using backlinks

Learning how to build a website is one thing; marketing it effectively is another. Today, the best way to draw relevant traffic to your site is through search engine optimization, or SEO. When most people think of SEO, the strategic use of keywords springs immediately to mind. Keywords play a critical role in effective SEO, but backlinks, or incoming links, are just as important. If you focus all of your attention on keywords at the expense of backlinks, your website ranking will suffer.

An example of a backlink can be found on virtually any web page. It’s just images or words that can be clicked on to visit another website.

How Do Backlinks Make a Website Popular?

Major search engines such as Google analyze a website’s keywords to get a feel for what the site is all about. But that’s just a small piece of the puzzle when calculating search engine results pages (SERPs). Those results should include sites that seem to have relevant information that other people have found useful. A backlink is a positive sign because it indicates that another website has found your site useful enough to link to it. Therefore, link building, or developing relevant backlinks for a website, can be an effective way to boost your ranking.

The Game has Changed

In the early days of SEO, Google’s method for analyzing backlinks was unsophisticated. It didn’t take long for website owners to realize there was no such thing as a bad backlink. As a result, link farms, or pages strictly developed for posting links to other websites, became rampant. Of course, this meant that many backlinks weren’t actually legitimate, so Google could no longer treat them blindly as votes in favor of a website. Before too long, Google started penalizing sites that clearly relied on link farms and started taking relevancy into account too.

Relevant Backlinks

When you build a website, your first instinct may be to sprinkle random links on other people’s sites to boost your ranking. Don’t do it! With every subsequent algorithm update, Google makes it more and more difficult to get away with using unnatural backlinks. It’s more important than ever to develop natural, relevant backlinks for your site. In other words, quality is way more important than quantity (of course, quantity is still nice.)

How to Develop Quality Backlinks

At this point, you may be stumped about how to develop quality backlinks that will improve your website ranking. The best way? Post unique, informative, high-quality content on your site and put social media to effective use. Start a blog, develop a following, and serve up fresh content on a regular basis. You can also offer to be a guest blogger on a complementary site to yield valuable backlinks to your website. This technique takes time, but it will ultimately result in excellent backlinks that will improve your site’s ranking on the SERPs.

This article was provided by Patriot Software, Inc., a developer of online software for U.S. small businesses, including online payroll softwareapplicant tracking softwarehuman resources software, an employee portal, and 1099 software. Patriot Software also offers a payroll tax filing service for payroll customers, and is currently developing bookkeeping software and a website builder. For more information, visit www.PatriotSoftware.com 


We provide fast, simple, and affordable accounting and payroll software. After a rough start-up experience, we know first hand what small businesses need in order to breakthrough and achieve success. So we created a software service to help you keep the two things you don’t have enough of… time and money.

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