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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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”.
  7. Anchor Text: Text that is used for hyperlinks. Anchor text backlinks are helpful when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.

Published by Merilyn Ritchie

Merilyn Ritchie is the Director of Media Services and Content Strategy at EX Media. She has crafted content for small businesses, large non-profits, tech startups, and everything in between. Writer by day and reader by night, she loathes to talk about herself in the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. So it goes. Find her on Instagram: @MerilynMcg