Backlink is a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website’s SEO ranking. Search engines calculate rankings using multiple factors to display search results. No one knows for sure how much weight search engines give to backlinks when listing results, however what we do know for certain is that they are very important.
Backlinks should be natural, this means that a website must not use artificial ways to create backlinks for their own websites. The quality of links is far more important than the quantity.
Example: Website A is a restaurant and it gets a backlink from Website B which is a prominent food review blog or website. This is a valuable, natural, and relevant backlink that Website A has gained.
Due to the importance of backlinks, there are lots of bad practices followed by website owners to gain backlinks. Some of these bad practices are: purchasing backlinks, link exchange networks, selling backlinks, etc. Most of these practices are not recommended by search engines. They usually deindex and penalize websites suspected of involvement in such practices.
Think of backlinks as conversations among websites.
Example: A blogger John Doe writes a very interesting article about a sports event. Another blogger Samantha Smith doesn’t agree with John’s article and writes about it in another article for an online magazine. She links to John’s article, so that her readers can understand both point of views. John’s blog gets a valuable backlink. On the other hand, Samantha’s article gets popular and many other websites link to her article. Samantha’s website gets many new backlinks. Even though John only got one backlink for his article, the value of his backlink is increased by the backlinks Samantha’s article generated.
World Wide Web, or “the web” for short, is a network of web pages connected to each other via hyperlinks. Each hyperlink connecting to a new document adds to the overall growth of the web. Search engines make it easier for you to find these web pages. A web page linked by many other web pages on the similar topics is considered more respectful and valuable. In the above example, John’s article gets the respect for sparking a conversation that resulted into many other web pages linking to each other. So backlinks are not only important for a website to gain respect, they are also important for search engines and the overall health of the entire world wide web.
WordPress admin dashboard also has a widget titled Incoming Links. This widget displays links to the website from other websites, particularly blogs. It uses Google’s blog search results to show the links. There are other free backlink checker tools available online which can be used to see how many pages are linking to a particular page.