In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), a “backlink” is created when one website mentions another website and links to it. It’s not merely referencing the website or it’s web address. It has to be a clickable link using an href attribute within the code. It’s the difference between https://www.google.com/ and Google.
In the past, backlinks were the major drive behind the ranking of a website. A site with a lot of backlinks would rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. While backlinks don’t play as a big a part in SEO today, they’re still essential in a successful SEO campaign. This is because they give a good indication to search engines that a website is popular and, if used correctly, can help attain a higher search engine ranking.
Now that you understand what backlinks are, here’s a list of common related terms:
- Link Juice: A slang term referring to how powerful a certain link (within a site or from one website to another) is or could be. The idea is that a link from a well known website that is trusted by search engines will pass along more “juice” than a link from a lesser known site (especially if it’s considered a “spammy” site). When a search engine adds up all the “juice” from the various links a website has, it gains some idea of the popularity of the site. This is one of the factors search engines use in ranking that website.
- No-Follow Link: When a website links to another website, but the link contains a no-follow tag, that link does not pass on any link juice. This is useful when a webmaster is linking to an unreliable site (example: links from comments on a blog). A no-follow tag basically tells a search engine “don’t count this”.
- Do-Follow Link: By default, all links are do-follow links. You don’t need to do anything to make a link do-follow. These links pass on link juice.
- Linking Root Domains: This refers to the number of backlinks linking to your website from a unique domain. Even if a site has linked to your website ten times, it will only be considered as one linked root domain.
- Low-Quality Links: Links that come from spammy sites, automated sites, or even porn sites. These links can be extremely harmful in SEO. When backlinks are purchased they are often low-quality links.
- Internal Links: These are links that are from one page to another on the same web domain. The process of linking pages is referred to as “internal linking” or “interlinking”.
- Anchor Text: Text that is used for hyperlinks. Anchor text backlinks are helpful when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.