Are Backlinks Still Relevant for Modern SEO?
If you ask anybody who has any involvement with SEO, backlinking will be seen as fundamental. Backlinks are the incoming links on a website other than your own or from blogs. Although the general consensus tends to be that they are still the crucial building blocks to SEO, many argue over how the practice of backlinking is altering within itself.
For example placing links on every platform and website possible is no longer as effective, but once again, search engine algorithms are looking to penalise those who are unauthentic in their approach to growing the rankings of their webpage.
Google officially launched the Penguin Update back in 2012, which was created with the purpose to target websites using low quality linking schemes to increase rank in Google’s Search Engine Response Page, (SERP). This Penguin algorithm was due to be updated in the first quarter of this year, but as yet, Google has not confirmed a new live update.
How do I find out about my backlinks?
There are two main sites which you can do this on: AHRefs and Majestic.
AHRefs features a tool called ‘Content Explorer’. What this allows you to do is discover the content that is successful on your webpage, revealing the sections gaining the most shares and backlinks. Additionally, you are able to view every site that is linking to a popular content piece, enabling a more specific outreach backlinking campaign. (You can sign up to a 14 day free trial by going on their website: ahrefs.com
With Majestic, the tool is a ‘Backlink History Tool’, which informs you of the number of backlinks recognised by the systems for any given domains, subdomains or URL’s. By registering, you are able to furthermore track your competitors, comparing up to 5 domains at once, giving you additional information on what your competitors are having success with. (Registration is free, but subscriptions start from £29.99 per month: majestic.com
It is undoubtable that without backlinks in place, your webpage will struggle with rankings in search engines. With authentic backlinks created and positioned on sites of relevance to your webpage, inevitably some of the traffic generated may take a genuine interest in your page. For example, if a digital marketing Norwich featured a backlink on a web page for Web Design Norwich, you are more likely to gain a genuine lead, as oppose to a backlink on a webpage selling shoes in Japan.
Backlinks also contribute to Domain Authority. Web pages with a higher Domain Authority score have a positive correlation with a higher search ranking.
Obtaining organic backlinks is time consuming. To create a consistent sharable content, and the promotion of this content takes both a lot of time and a certain level of written skill. Additionally, to network with other businesses tends to involve an exchange of service, therefore to acquire an active link on a relevant business tends to involve a favour in return.
Another downside can be the expense financially. Organic backlinks are available and can be purchased, but there are always those more effective than others, and with cost implications involved, it is important to ensure you conduct your research first, in order to make sure you are receiving value for money.
One of the most effective ways to gain backlinks organically is implementing blogs onto your webpage. Modern SEO has proven that blogging not only attracts attention and traffic, but improves rankings when done effectively. One of the best ways to engage in blogging is guest blogging. Post your blogs onto guest blogging pages and also onto any Digital PR platforms. Engaging in social media as well as niche directories will ensure your articles get seen, as well as driving traffic to your website in the process.