What are Backlinks in SEO & Do I Really Need Them?

Successful search engine optimization requires that you use actionable SEO techniques to drive organic traffic. Making important ranking factors part of your SEO strategy will not only help to improve your online visibility but also enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of your business.

Backlinks play a critical role in SEO, as they are seen as a vote of confidence from other websites to your own. To earn and build backlinks to your website, you should start by learning what they are. Learning about backlinks will help you to identify some of the best ways of building high-quality backlinks in a scalable way.

What is a Backlink?

A backlink, also known as an inbound link, incoming link, or a one-way link, is a link from one website to a page on another website. The major search engines consider backlinks to be a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.

Since backlinks are an important ranking factor, pages with a high number of backlinks will usually have high organic search engine rankings.

What are the 6 Key Qualities of a Good Backlink?

Not all backlinks are created equal. Several attributes contribute to the quality and utility of a given backlink. These attributes include:

  1. Relevance: A valuable backlink should come from a site that is related to your site or service, because people are more likely to click on relevant links.
  2. Authority: Search engines put a lot of weight on backlinks from trusted, authoritative websites. While these links can be hard to get, they will be worth it in the end.
  3. Traffic: Although Backlinks from unique and authoritative websites tend to be more important, you are likely to improve your rankings if you get backlinks from pages with their own high organic search traffic.
  4. Placement: It matters a lot where a link is placed. Links that are in the main content area of a page stand out in terms of the font and color, and often feature unique text that makes it more likely to be clicked on.
  5. Followed and nofollow backlinks: Followed backlinks from high-authority sites that have been established as trustworthy, are very valuable from an SEO perspective, and search engine algorithms give them a large amount of weight. Nofollow backlinks can be very useful in getting a larger amount of brand awareness in the public consciousness, but they often have a negligible effect on SEO.
  6. Anchor text: The anchor text is the clickable words that make up the backlink. A good backlink should include the target keyword in the anchor text.

How to Start Getting Backlinks

Building backlinks to your website takes time and effort. The good news is that there are a number of simple strategies that you can use to get quality backlinks. You should consider writing competitive content, replicating your competitors’ backlinks, interviewing influencers in your industry, and sending them a link, writing testimonials for other websites, and adding links to your site on your social media profiles.

What are the 4 Main Reasons for Why Backlinks are Vital?

Considering that backlinks are votes from other sites, they are very important to SEO. Quality backlinks are a sign to search engines that your content is credible, useful, and valuable. Here are a few reasons why you should create backlinks to your site:

#1 Rankings

The higher the number of backlinks your web pages have, the more likely they are to rank for relevant search queries. When your content gets links from other sites, search engines will see this as a sign that your site provides the information that users are looking for, especially if the backlinks are from unique and authoritative websites. In the end, quality backlinks can lead to faster indexing and higher rankings in a shorter period of time.

#2 Discoverability

In order for search engines to find new pages and new content, they rely on the pages that they already know about. The search engines will revisit these pages from time to time to check for new links. Generally, popular pages will be prioritized over the less popular ones. By using the right strategies to get backlinks from some of the popular pages, you will increase your chances of being discovered by the major search engines.

#3 Reputation

Online reputation is an essential part of any marketing campaign. Building and maintaining a good reputation will help to increase your ranking in search engine results as well as ensure you win more business. Since search engines want to provide users with a great experience, they will rely on backlinks point searchers in the direction of the best results for their queries. Mostly, websites with quality backlinks will be considered trustworthy and with a good reputation.

#4 Referral Traffic

Another advantage of backlinks is that they help you to get referral traffic. When people read posts on another website, they will want to find out more about the topic by clicking on the available links. People who click on such links do so voluntarily, meaning that they are more likely to be more targeted. They are also likely to spend more time on your site and end up taking the desired actions. In the end, referral traffic will be more targeted and have a low bounce rate.

But… Do I Really Need Backlinks?

The SEO landscape has changed significantly over the years. Today, businesses have to publish quality content to earn links, with link building diminishing in importance by the day. As a business, you need to be aware of the backlink sources you should detest as well as the types of backlinks that are no longer effective. Below are some business conditions that require you to explore appropriate backlinking opportunities.

If You Get Under 100 Website Visitors a Day

Apart from helping to lift your search rankings, high-quality backlinks will also help you generate more targeted website traffic. While better search rankings will take some time to achieve, you can build your brand and receive more traffic in the meantime. In case you get a low number of website visitors in a day, you should consider using strategies such as guest posting, guestographic method, and social media marketing to attract more online visitors. Backlinks can help to boost your business performance as you wait for organic rankings to produce the desired results.

You Have Compelling Content That Adds Value to Your Audience

If you have a sizable number of daily visitors, you should make your website more attractive by creating quality and authoritative content. Cornerstone content should not only offer rich resources to your audience but also define you and highlight your core strengths. In essence, you should ensure that the subject you create content on is in demand. There are two strategies that you can use to find relevant content topics and promote your content to get quality backlinks. They include the skyscraper technique, and internal linking, which are both effective strategies that can help you reduce your bounce rate and encourage visitors to spend more time on your web pages.

You Do Not Have a Budget for High-Quality Content

It takes time to create high-quality content, and it is often costly to outsource content marketing. There are some techniques, however, that you can use if your team does not have the necessary skills to create persuasive content that will help you earn quality backlinks. These techniques include broken link building, getting interviewed by popular blogs, and reverse engineering your competitors.

Learn more about outsourcing marketing for small businesses. 

Should I Get a Bunch, or a Few Really Good Links?

When it comes to building your links profile, you will have to decide whether to go for the quality or quantity of your backlinks. Before making this decision, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of getting a bunch or a few good backlinks.

What Are the Pros and Cons of High-Quality Backlinks?

There are several traits that define high-quality backlinks. Below is part of the information you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of these links.


High-quality backlinks will be of great benefit to your domain authority as well as SEO rankings. By ensuring your rankings are based on meaningful and relevant links to your website, you will know exactly what you are getting. High-quality backlinks also help you to generate passive traffic over time, with each of the links adding some value to your SEO. The higher the number of high-quality links your website has, the better your rankings will be


Although quality backlinks are valuable for your SEO, it takes a work and effort to get them. Unless you are a well-established business that enjoys impressive rankings, you will have to invest time and effort to build these links.

What Are the Pros and Cons to High-Quantity Backlinks?

The quantity of backlinks method means getting the links from medium and low domain authority sites, which means that there will not be so much focus on the quality of the links.


Building a lot of links without focusing too much on the quality of the backlinks has several advantages. The process is quicker, allowing you to build links to your site easily. At the same time, these links will still help to improve your search engine rankings. Compared to when you focus on quality, the quantity of links can in some cases cause you to rank faster.


Quantity links also have some major downsides. When you focus on quantity over quality, you run the risk of generating backlinks from spammy websites, a factor that will adversely affect your SEO. Google pays specific attention to this behavior in the interest of preventing negative user experiences for the general public. Generating lots of links based on quantity may also render all the links less valuable, meaning that they will not contribute much to your SEO.

Start Building Links to Your Site Today

Both quality and quantity link building strategies are used in the world of online advertising. If you are to be successful with your SEO campaign, you need to develop a solid and effective strategy. You should also consider working with marketing professionals who have the required expertise and experience. BizIQ’s digital agency provides small businesses with great marketing solutions to help them promote their brand and products. Contact us today to request our services.