Once you start researching SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you will start hearing that you’ll need Backlinks in order to rank. But what is a backlink? Well, I just gave you an example. See the word a few sentences up that’s underlined and points to Wikipedia? That’s a backlink. Well, technically it’s a hyperlink. However, for some reason we have coined the term “Backlink” as if it’s something different.
Basically, when a website is about a topic, it tends to link to other websites that are of the same or a similar topic. The post of this page is about backlinks, and lo and behold, I am linking to a page at Wikipedia about backlinks. Google and the other search engines are going to see this post, see that I am writing about backlinks, and see that I have linked to Wikipedia, with the anchor text of “Backlinks”.
Now, when I do this, I am basically telling the search engines this, “I am an article about backlinks and I am referring to this other article about backlinks. Since I am a site referencing another site, that other site must know more than I know about the topic, otherwise, the site I’m on wouldn’t be referencing that other site.”
Do you see what’s happening there? That’s a lot of information from a few hundred word article, isn’t it?
Like I said, it’s simply a link, but that link is also known as a “Citation” of sorts. I am citing that other website (in this case, Wikipedia) as a resource. It’s akin to a footnote in an essay that you wrote in college or high school.
So Do I Need a Ton of Backlinks?
No, not a ton. When it comes to links, we’re after quality, not quantity. This is why you’ll want to choose your linking campaigns carefully. We would rather get links from other like-minded folks out there than just random links. You don’t want a link from a gambling site linking to your plumbing site. That doesn’t make sense, does it? What we’re after is finding related sites that would mesh well together, writing good quality content that they will want to link to, and marketing that content. If you’re a cake shop and you post an amazing cake recipe on your blog, we should market that recipe to other food related websites. Those food related websites will then give you a high quality link, and the search engines will then give you credit, or more importantly, authority.
Should I get Backlinks from Social Media as well?
Absolutely! This is one of the main sources of links in today’s internet. Everyone tweets, facebooks, pins, instagrams, and more! The more of these social media platforms we can promote on, the better. This is why when you sign up for our gold or silver package, we promote your website with social media properties! It would be unnatural at this day in age to get links from other websites but not from social media.
I hope this answers your questions about what a backlink is. The nuts and bolts of a backlink are that they are simply a link such as any other link you’ll see on the web, but we’ve given it a purpose: citations to your site from other sites. It’s the backbone of any internet marketing campaign, and it must be done properly in order to drive results.