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What is a backlink?

by on October 9, 2013


Seems a simple question right? People who have been around SEO for a while know that this is one of the main things that made Google a far superior search engine to the others that were around at the time like Altavista. The genius of the backlink in the Google algorithm was that it was counted as a citation or vote for your page if someone linked to it. When I speak to customers some do get confused as to what a backlink actually is though. Some think that they should actually link to a lot of sites not the other way around. Others think they should be out buying backlinks.

Backlinks – A flawed strategy

If you are spending all your time thinking about backlinks and how to get them you are missing the main game. If backlinking is your main SEO strategy, you will be forever trying to keep one step ahead of Google rather than focusing on your customers or rather, the audience to your site. If someone is offering you a link and you like their site, take it by all means. If you think other site’s audiences would benefit from your wisdom, offer to write an article for them, it would be unusual for a site owner not to offer a backlink in this situation. DON’T CHASE BACKLINKS FOR RANKING though.

Google has changed

Not just recent algorithm changes either. More and more frequently I am seeing sites ranking high for minimal backlinks and hardly any content. In today’s show I demonstrate some more extreme examples of this. Sites ranking in capital cities with less than 20 backlinks! One site has 4 backlinks and three pages and yet it ranks no.3 for a very competitive phrase. We would not have seen that 3 months ago.

Redefine SEO Competion

Based on what I am seeing we are redefining what we see as competition for ranking. This is a good thing as competition used to be primarily about how many backlinks a competing page had.

Get your house in order

Make sure you are ticking all the boxes on your own site before worrying about everyone else is doing. ┬áDon’t worry about trying to get more backlinks. Check out our 5 step SEO Roadmap then decide what you need to do externally. Backlinks are great…. for traffic, that’s it.

Love to know what weird things you are seeing in the SERPs.

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