Backlinks are links from webpages on sites other than your site, that “link back” to pages on your website.

Here is an example of a backlink (to the other website) to a blog post about banking regulations in the USA during WW2.

This image should help illustrate the idea.

Image of websites linking to each other

This post is part of a series and here is the link to the main glossary page.

Why backlinks matter

Tracking and assigning value to backlinks is integral to what makes Google Google and what made the Google search engine better than all the others that existed back in 1998.

Initially, backlinks were THE search signal, and while there are now 220+ (or so) individual search signals, backlinks still matter greatly, and probably always will.

But crap content won’t earn backlinks, nor should it

Don’t expect anyone to link to content that isn’t good.

You need backlinks for your website topical authority to rise and for your content to rank, but to do that you need to publish link worthy stuff. Stuff people will be happy to use as citations or to further explain some idea.

If your website consists of nothing but fluffy light content that doesn’t really say anything, don’t be surprised if no one links to you.

Promote your best pillar posts

The articles you want people to link to should be your best pillar posts, which should be so good that people don’t mind when they receive a content promotion message from you.

It doesn’t “just” happen, and it takes time

Obtaining backlinks also does not happen overnight, nor does it necessarily happen on its own.

The “recipe” is fairly straightforward, but like all things worth having, takes time and effort:

  1. Publish quality content.
  2. Promote it via social media and email.
Need to boost your topical authority?

Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see. https://organicgrowth.biz.

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