What is a Backlink? Get the Back Story.

If you're wondering exactly what IS a backlink, but always feel a little shy to admit you aren't sure, this blog aims to clear up any confusion in record time.

At The SEO Store, we're all about demystifying the SEO journey and backlinks is a key piece of the puzzle.  It's one of the methods we use to make your website more 'visible' to search engines, by connecting your site to other sites.  The more high quality, frequently-visited and premium the site is which is linking back to your site, the better.  

Put simply, a backlink is a link from another website to your own website. It can be a listing in a directory (paid or unpaid), included in your 'by-line' or credit if you contribute content to that website, or included in a list of clients, suppliers or collaborators.  Search engines such as Google use these links as a ranking 'signal' because when one website links to another, it means they believe the content is noteworthy. 

However, now that we've answered the question 'what is a backlink', that leads us to another question - are all backlinks created equal?

In a word, no.  There are good backlinks (often described as 'White Hat' by those who enjoy mystifying jargon!) and bad backlinks (yep, you guessed it - those would be 'Black Hat' backlinks!)  Then, somewhere in between are 'Grey Hat' backlinks.

Black Hat strategies (including Black Hat links) involve aggressive, unethical strategies to achieve links from places like link farms (websites containing nothing but links, usually for a fee) or to achieve better rankings through other non-legit link schemes.  They are not tailored to the type of business or industry the website is in, and can be punished by Google as they (rightly) see it as 'gaming the system.'

White Hat linking strategies include offering to write a great testimonial for a supplier to feature on their website, provided it's linked to your website.  Creating high quality content (e.g. a blog) for another website or publisher, in return for having your URL as part of your byline.  Listings on relevant, high quality directories or your industry is another legitimate link.

As you can see, if you have the time (and it helps if you're a reasonable writer) it is not terribly technical or challenging to acquire quality backlinks - it just takes a bit of 'leg work'!  If you would prefer we handle this part of your SEO strategy for you, check out our backlink products HERE.


what is a backlink