When dealing with search engine optimization, you are sure to hear the term backlink associated with it. What are backlinks, and what do they do for us? Web design these days requires content to be written in a way that it helps the webpage come on top in the results. What most don’t realize is that backlinks are an integral part of the search engine optimization plan.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links pointed towards your website, that are coming from other websites. They are also known as inbound links. The number of backlinks that a website has is directly proportional to its ranking in the search engines.

How they work?

Search Engines, like Google, look at sites that have a lot of backlinks that are relevant to the search terms. Simply having backlinks is not the key to having successful search engine placement. It is also the quality of the backlinks that matter. Search engines tend to match keywords with backlinks and if the backlink is from a site that is not relevant to the content on your site, then it will not be considered relevant.

Recently, Google made some upgrades to its search criteria when it comes to backlinks and now it has become even tougher than before. Search Engines tend to give preference to backlinks higher than any other search factor. 

Due to people trying to manipulate the search engine to get their pages on top, search engines are becoming stricter and smarter to provide the best quality results. One of these methods include “link farms.” Link farms are automatic backlink generators that can provide a lot of backlinks for a webpage. The penalty of getting caught using a link farm is banning of the webpage from the search engine.

What is reciprocal linking?

When a new website needs to get the word out, they try the reciprocal linking approach. Reciprocal linking is a two way deal between two websites to help each other out and create links for each other. An example of this is linking your Better Business Bureau profile to your website, then adding a link to the Better Business Bureau on your site.

Sometimes this too can backfire. When newer sites tried to connect a backlink from an older and popular website, the newer websites relevance is not counted as much due to relevance. As a result the outbound links still worked so the older site had an increased number of backlinks while the newer ones may not work as well.

So when it comes to search engine optimization, you have to play smart and safe otherwise you could suffer a serious drop in the search engine rankings. Unofficial is a Memphis web development company that specializes in search engine optimization.