When one website links to another a backlink is a link made. “inbound links” or “incoming links.” are often referred to as backlinks. For SEO, backlinks are essential.

For SEO, backlinks are highly useful because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.

Backlinks to your website are simply a hint to search engines that your content is vouched for by others. Search engines will assume that content is worth linking to and thus therefore worth surfacing on a SERP, if multiple pages connect to the same web page or website. So, obtaining these backlinks can have a positive impact on the ranking status of a site or popularity of the search.

Off-site SEO is an important part of receiving backlinks. The mechanism by which these ties are gained is known as link earning or link construction.

Any backlinks are more important than others, naturally. The most valuable backlinks to receive are the following backlinks from trustworthy, common high-authority pages, whereas backlinks from low-authority, potentially spammy sites are usually at the other end of the spectrum. Whether or not a link is pursued (i.e. whether or not a site owner orders search engines directly to pass, or not pass, link equity) is definitely important, but the importance of nofollow links is not completely discounted. Even being only listed on high-quality websites will provide a boost to your name.

Just as some backlinks that you receive are more important than others, the importance of links that you build to other sites often varies. The choices you make about the website from which you connect (its page authority, material, search engine functionality, and so on when linking to an external site, the anchor text you use, whether you chose to follow or not to follow the link, and any other meta tags associated with the link page will have a significant effect on the importance you offer.

It can be time consuming to earn backlinks. When it comes to building ties, new sites or those expanding their keyword footprint can find it difficult to know where to start. This is where competitive backlink analysis comes in: You can gain insight into the link building that could have benefited them by analyzing the backlink profile (the list of pages and domains that link to a website) to a rival that is already well ranked with your target keywords. In your own link building campaigns, a backlink tool such as Link Explorer will help expose these connections so that you can approach those domains.