Backlinks and Link Juice

It’s no secret that one of the factors that Google uses to rank web pages is the strength of the links on a website.

Both internal and external on-page links are important factors used to determine content quality. Internal links point to content on your website, while external links point to related content (reinforcing your content) on another website. But by far, the most important type of link is the backlink.  

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link from another website to yours. SEO consultants sometimes refer to this as “link juice”(some SEOs hate the term). The higher quality that the content is that the link is coming from, the better the authority or link juice will be passed onto your website.

Getting quality backlinks is one of the hardest jobs in SEO. Sure, you can enlist a service to buy many low-quality links on awful websites, but those links will pass very little if any link juice.

For instance, a link to your website from a source like Reuters or The Los Angeles Times will will will pass more link juice than a link on your local plumber’s website (but that plumbers link is still a good link).

Follow Vs. Nofollow, What’s the difference?

When considering backlinks, there are two main types of links concerned with, Follow and Nofollow. So what’s the big difference? 

A Nofollow link tells the search engines explicitly not to follow the link or ignore it related to the content on-page. 

A Follow link is the kind of backlink we are looking for. It tells the search engine to go to the link and index the information on that page. 

HTML code showing the difference between Follow and Nofollow links.

Google has said that it may use a site’s Nofollow links to understand the content better but that it plays a minimal role in your actual SERP ranking.  

What are good ways to get backlinks?

Don’t ever buy backlinks. They are almost always super low-quality links on pages that have nothing to do with your content. In the long run, this kind of low-quality links can hurt your rank and even cause you to be penalized by Google, sometimes even resulting in de-indexing.

There are plenty of good ways to get backlinks to your content that don’t cost any money and negatively impact your ranking with Google. Here are 5 great ways to get backlinks.

  1. Submit to Directory Listings; these will really help you to rank local.
  2. Place links on your social media profiles.
  3. Write some list posts, “how-to” posts, infographics, and posts with embedded videos. These posts tend to get more backlinks than other types of posts.
  4. Contact other blogs in your niche and inquire about writing guest posts
  5. Search for websites within your niche that have Resource pages and suggest one of your posts for inclusion.