You may be forgiven for not understanding the importance of backlinks to your site. Simply put if you have no backlinks then your site will never be found. Well some stranger might stumble across it on page 20 someday but will they be a potential customer ? no they won’t.
The more backlinks you have the more important google sees your site. It’s like the cool kids at school, everyone hangs around them and everyone presumes that something good is going on. Well google see’s it the same way, if everyone is linking to your site it thinks its important and ranks you up.
What Is A Backlink
A backlink is when another site has a link on one of their webpages and when clicks opens your site. This Link will open to my homepage. The same principle but from another site. There is also an importance on the anchor that links to your site. The anchor needs to be relevant to your particular site.
What Is An Anchor
An anchor is the words on the other site the link come from. This can be a single word or a string of words. The example below is taken from Google’s blog
Google is very helpful and they make any of their links blue. You will notice the first one is “Google Quality Guidelines“. Once you click on that link that’s exactly where it takes you too. It’s important that anchor is descriptive of the destination it is taking you to. Never mislead your visitors or google for that matter as you will be penalised.
The next anchor “Google Webmaster Tools” and thats exactly where it takes you too. So simply put an anchor is the set of words you highlight with a link to another web page. Either on that website or another website.
Google is of course the master of relevancy and why wouldn’t they be, it’s their rules. If you have a dress website for example you need to be specific when using internal linking. Do not use generic terms such as clothes, be specific and use anchors like “wedding dresses”. Of course linking to your page on wedding dresses, internal linking and anchors is as important as the backlinks.
Never use anchors like “Click Here”, not only does it confuse your visitors but google as well. Using the Click here anchor gives the page it is pointing to no relevancy at all. You are losing google juice by not using relevant anchors. A mistake I often come across is people linking out from an anchor they want that page to rank for. As an example I would not use the anchor “backlinks” from this page and link out.
However I will use the anchor “Backlinks” on other pages and link to this page hoping to get it ranked on google.
Backlinks Do Follow, No Follow
Yes there is a difference of follow and no-follow backlinks. The no-follow links give your site no authority or ranking boost at all. The anchor/link will however take you to the said site so you may get traffic from the referring site but nothing else. When google comes across the link it does exactly that, it doesn’t follow the link.
Follow links do follow, if that makes sense. When google crawls that particular site with your link in it follows it. Google then crawls your site and any links within your site. The more backlinks you have the more your site is crawled from different websites. The more paths to your site raises its importance in the eyes of google and up the rankings you go.
How do you know what links are follow or no-follow ? Personally I use an app from Yoast to check if the backlink is follow. Its called Quix and you can install it on your safari browser as an extension
Quix Follow No Follow
You will notice that I am not going to use the anchor of “backlinks” or “Anchors” as I want the juice to stay on my page. I am going to use the anchor Quix. The Quix app does have many more functions but I use it just for a few basic things.
I simply click the Quix extension in my browser and type in the commands “SEOCSS” this does 2 functions. Firstly it will highlight all the H tags on the page. Important for homepages as its recommended you have at least one H1 tag to tell google what your site is about. The second thing this command does is highlight all the links on the page. All follow links are in GREEN and the no-follow are in BLACK. A very useful tool from the nice people at Yoast.
Examples Of No Follow Backlinks
Why would you and why do they have no follow links on sites. The first instance is a paid advertisement on your site, you should always make those anchors No-Follow. Google views do follow links to paid post very badly and could penalise your own site for doing so. Most affiliate links are also no follow. So if you are approached to do a sponsored post ensure that the link is no-follow.
There are times when you want internal links to be no follow. There is no reason why you would want your shopping cart indexed on google. So any links to that page should be no – follow and the page itself should be No-Index. Another reason why you would like to no follow a link from your site would be to keep the juice to yourself.
For example there is a great article about backlink from a renowned expert on the subject. I think it’s a useful article for the reader to learn about backlinks whilst I expand my own article. However I don’t want to give him any google juice so I will use my anchor carefully and do no follow to the article
Google New Links Policy 2020
If someone pays you for a link or you are buying a link, Google now wants you to mark it as sponsored. Not just in the text of the site, but more so through the link attribute:
And if you build links through user-generated content, they want you to mark the links with the attribute:
The same goes for site owners. For example, if you have a forum on your site because the content is user generated, the links that people place should contain a rel=”ugc”.
You can still use the nofollow attribute or if you want you can use a combination of the above. For example, if you have a paid link you can use: