what are backlinks in SEO

In today’s article, we will analyze what backlinks are ✅ why they are essential for SEO, and how important these external links are for your online success.

Definition: A backlink is an external link that a website receives from another site. These backlinks are also called “external links” or “inbound links”.

These links represent the link between the multitude of existing sites on the Internet, being practically indispensable to search engines in their constant approach to discovering new content.

Apptians backlinks

But looking at the impact of backlinks on the SEO optimization process, we must remember that these backlinks are like “votes of confidence” for the website that receives them. Google, Bing, and other search engines appreciate both the quality as well as the quantity of these links.

We will see in the following what differentiates one link from another.

But first, let’s see what the importance these external links have on our SEO.

Why do we need BACKLINKS?

Domain Authority & SERP Positioning (Ranking)

Google’s or Bings algorithm requires some more reliable signals along with the quality content to place a site in the top results. And external links are one of the most important signals which help a website to rank on SERPs.

Some time ago, Gary Illyes(Chief of Sunshine and Happiness @Google) acknowledged that backlinks are the number 1 criterion according to which the most popular search engine ranks its results.

So, “to cut this story short” without backlinks, your SEO campaign will be like “sweets without sugar”. After dozens of active campaigns, I can assure you with confidence that the links help both to increase the authority of your domain (DR – Domain Rating according to Ahrefs) as well as helps you to increase the organic visibility.

Faster Indexing – More Google Visits

The more often you crawl, the faster your new content will be accessible to potential customers or users. And that’s exactly what backlinks do: call the search engines more often on your site. Basically, websites having more backlinks are considered more popular and receive more attention from Search engines.

top linking sites

Referral type traffic

Last but not least, backlinks can generate lots of quality traffic which may lead to growth in sales. External links from reputable sites with significant traffic can direct quality traffic to your webpage/website which then can convert very well with ease.

What Attributes Should a Quality BACKLINK Have?

Obviously, not all backlinks have the same value. This aspect should not scare us, however. There are hundreds & hundreds of sources on the internet, so we have to find the right ones for us which will help us to beat our competitors.

Relevance of Backlinks

Context is important, no matter what we are talking about or what we are saying. In other words, if we post a link on a site about caring for babies or children about how to install a hot water boiler yourself, the chances of this backlink being relevant are very small. If instead, we post a link to the latest baby powder, that backlink will be relevant and will help you in the SEO process.

On the other hand, we must acknowledge that it is not easy to get links from similar sites in the same niche/domains as ours. First of all, few of these might be our direct or indirect competitors and it is obvious that they will never link to us and harm their business in any way. Second, a domain that is niche remains a niche. How many sites that are similar domains can be in a niche?! So, after you have finished with the domain in which you are active, you can find similar topics with other domains or you can combine different topics in order to obtain the much-desired backlinks.

Thus, also from experience, we tell you that in the end, almost any link is good, it represents a vote of confidence.

Authority of a Backlink

The stronger the website that provides us a link, the more positive impact that can create on our SEO promotion campaign. Moreover, if you can get links from highly trusted sites, such as Wikipedia, or sites with .gov, .edu extensions, or similar, they will weigh heavily in search engine rankings.

To get the most out of a backlink, you need to know that since the authority of a page is divided equally across all links on that page, it is best not to have other backlinks on that page.

Basically, if a backlink is on a page with several backlinks, the power that this link transfers to us represents only a percentage of the total power of that page.

The traffic of the page that offers the backlink

It is clear that a high traffic page has the ability to drive more traffic to the site where it is providing the link. But the question is whether these high traffic pages also help our site to get a better ranking on SERP.

According to a recent report on this topic, the impact of the traffic of the page that sends the link has a low impact on positions in Google. The number of unique domains that provide us the link as well as the authority of each domain matter more in the SEO campaign.

Backlink positioning on the page

It is unknown for sure how much traffic of a page matters, but positioning a link in the main part of a page like on top of the body can transfer more “link juice” than if it will be positioned in the footer of the page or at less visible locations. Also, if we can highlight the anchor of the backlink – different color, bold, different font – there is a good chance that the backlink will be stronger.

Dofollow & Nofollow backlinks

As the name says, in terms of “following” them, backlinks can be of two types: do-follow and no-follow. To understand it from an SEO point of view, you generally need the links that are do-follow. In other words, do-follow links are the ones that transmit the power of the site that offers them while no-follow backlinks mean that these links are not taken into account.

However, the best link building strategy must also include a percentage of no-follow links. According to my personal experience, a percentage of at least 10% of the backlinks of a site be this type.

Anchor Text of a Backlink – Wide or Exact Match

Choosing the right anchor is one of the most difficult decisions you have to make in an SEO optimization campaign.

Wide or accurate anchor? It is the question that has generated and still generates heated debates among SEO specialists.

But first of all, here’s what a backlink anchor means: Anchor is the descriptive text associated with a backlink

The anchor that provides a short description of the backlink is the anchor we say as a wide fit. A good example in the field of SEO is: “Android and iOS app development company in Melbourne is BiharApps”. By comparison, an exact anchor for the same backlink would be “App Development Company Melbourne”.

Of course, both anchors, together with the backlink, will be directed to a landing page like https://biharapps.com/australia/mobile-app-development-company-in-melbourne-australia

What does an exact match or “Exact Match” mean?

The exact fit of an anchor refers to the similarity between the backlink and the anchor. In the case described above, the “App development company Melbourne” anchor is accurate with the URL / mobile-app-development-company-in-melbourne-australia. And from here practically comes the concept of exact.

An accurate anchor strategy is often equated with a risky SEO strategy, in the sense that using long-term exact anchors can increase the risk of a search engine penalty. On the other hand, it is well known that any risk taken can bring you good results as well.

From experience, we can tell you the exact anchors make their effect much faster from an SEO point of view. Now if you are worried about the penalty imposed by Google on your site, let it be very clear, I saw very few cases of penalties – and, usually, in those cases, there were other negative elements that led to those penalties.


In order to have chances at top positions in search engines, we must understand very well what they are, what attributes they must have, but also what are the right backlinks for our site. A backlink is, as I said at the beginning, a vote of confidence and must be treated as such. Backlinks are also the mainstay of off-page SEO optimization and it is very important to know everything about them.

Moreover, since backlinks are the basis of the search engines working and operations, their importance for the SEO campaign is decisive.

Do you pay due attention to backlinks? What do you do to get the most appropriate links for your site?

If you want to write a post related to SEO, Digital Marketing, HR, Management, or Sales then please contact us at hello@apptians.com or visit our website. We will also provide you with 1 backlink to your website or to a social media page as well as will write about you.

By Swastik Saraf

Swastik Saraf is a growth hacker, negotiator, & strategist with a sharp mind & having 4+ yrs of experience. He mainly worked with the CxO's and learned from them. He has learned in multiple domains to quickly improve his skills and got good exposure. He loves to accept challenges and for him, "NO" means "Next Opportunity".Recently, he started his own venture "Apptians"

25 thoughts on “What is a Backlink / External Link and why it’s important for SEO?”
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