Why Backlinks Are The Most Important SEO Ranking Factor?

The most important and foundational trait that search engines possess is their inherent utility to extend our human abilities beyond ourselves, letting us tap the unlimited resources of the internet.

But every search is only as good as the relevance of the results it gives.

No one wants to do a search for a car and instead get results for the latest movie or brand of breakfast cereal. Long ago, this issue was known to be the cornerstone of constructing the massive databases which would drive search. The geniuses at Google solved the relevancy problem with an elegant, almost democratic system – the page rank system.

To simplify a very long story, The Page Rank system (PR) system treats links as votes, the more votes (inbound links) a given page got, the higher the PR for the target page – and the higher it ranked for its anchor text keywords.

This system worked by rewarding pages with high relevance, and ultimately this approach proved successful. Though this system has gone through numerous iterations and literally thousands of updates and additions and modifications, it still forms the basis for Google’s search methodology to this day.

For site owners, this system matters because its best practices dictate the success or failure of a given website today.

As we enter a world of increased online competition and higher technical complexity, the stakes couldn’t possibly be higher for website owners to do all they can to succeed or fail at search.

In this article, we’re going to uncover the most important ranking factor of them all – backlinks, as well as detailing the pitfalls that await those who ignore them.

Backlink FAQ’s

To understand what backlinks are, you first must understand a little bit about how search engines work.

Search engines are, at their heart, highly beholden to their users. If a search engine delivers us bad (irrelevant) results, enough times, we will leave – and they will go out of business.

This well established truism was just as pertinent in the 1990s when Google was being established, as it is today.

A key part of the success of Google was how they approached this issue of delivering relevant search results to their users – they would use backlinks to do it.

Eventually, Google developed the Page Rank system. This system would treat backlinks from indexed website pages as votes for the target web pages. Here is a breakdown of the PR system’s structure:

  • Pages would be assigned a Page Rank score based upon how many links were inbounding to that page, relative to that page’s anchor text.
  • Pages with higher PR scores would pass more link equity onto sites they linked to, so that over time, as pages got more links and their relevance grew, they would grow in their own page rank.
  • This whole self-reinforcing system worked brilliantly compared to what was before Google was incredible, and it indexed so many pages that it quickly grew to be the preeminent search engine for most of the world.

Despite many years, and literally thousands upon thousands of iterative changes to almost every aspect of Google’s core technology, this system remains a key ranking factor and this is, in large part, why backlinks are still so important.

Backlinks come in a variety of forms – embedded in articles in blogs, on web pages in content, in links on videos, off of social media and more. Simply put – anywhere a link can exist on a webpage that links back to another page, that’s technically a backlink.

Why Do Backlinks Still Matter?

The reason backlinks still matter so much is that they confer link equity and have a strong influence over search rankings.

Sites with strong backlink profiles are also more apt to garner traffic from the links themselves, though this is often overlooked as a benefit of backlinks, it is sometimes a major one, especially when the backlink comes from a highly reputable site or news article.

Backlinks are a hot commodity as a form of SEO for a very good reason – they work, and they work well to help build the basis for market dominance by helping to build authority, trust, link equity and improve SERPS.

What Impact Does Not Having Backlinks Have On Your SEO?

The impact of not having any kind of a viable backlink profile for a given website can be very deleterious and harmful.

  • With no backlinks there will be nearly zero traffic coming to the site from other websites at all – only from search, but not much.
  • Search will still index the site, but given the competitive nature of search, the site will likely not rank for anything.
  • Even if your website has had extensive on-page optimization done to make it search friendly, without backlinks, it’s still at a disadvantage.

Don’t All Sites Start With No Backlinks?

Yes, it’s true that all websites on day one have few or even zero backlinks, but most sites that are active, with content being added to them frequently, with changing content and with activity overall – they generate backlinks quickly.

One reason websites almost never have zero backlinks is because local directories and business directories – including your local Chamber of Commerce, all have public facing pages with business profiles and links to websites – so, having zero is very hard!.

However, if you’re one of the many people who have paid for an SEO campaign and still find that they have no backlinks, you may want to question whoever sold you that campaign.

The fact is, you should probably question any SEO campaign today that does not at least submit your website to online business directories and get you SOME backlinks.

The truth is, backlinks are perhaps best viewed as a non-negotiable ranking factor that needs to be included in any SEO campaign. 

How Do I Obtain Backlinks?

Backlinks can be obtained in numerous ways and arise through many normal processes which you can help along for faster results.

Directory Submissions

Have you ever gone ahead and submitted your website to as many relevant online directories as you can?

You might consider it, and while you’re at it be certain to check for duplicates or incorrect information.

Many online business directories have faulty data which can include faulty website addresses which backlinks in them, fixing this alone gives some free links.

Depending upon your specific location there might be citywide directories, statewide or other regional types of directories that you can submit your website and business information to, this is always a helpful practice.

Having your website in as many directories as possible is definitely one way to score some free backlinks.

Link Sharing & Guest Blogging

One proactive way you can work to obtain backlinks is to simply reach out via email and ask websites if they would like to share a link with you. It’s done all the time and many webmasters have specific sections on the site for links.

Another way link sharing occurs is with guest blogging.

With guest blogging, a website owner typically contacts another website and offers to write content for them for free in exchange for a backlink – typically embedded within the content.

This is a win-win for website owners who want fresh content and other site owners who need backlinks.

Our SEO team at Outreach Frog specializes in building a backlink profile for our clients of high quality guest posts. Read more about our guest post strategy and results here

Blogging & Vlogging

One fantastic, extremely search-friendly way to obtain backlinks is simply through the production and publication of content onto the target website.

The content can be written, it can be video or even a stream or podcast.

The point is, the content itself acts as a draw and a magnet for those linking to it, the backlinks flow organically from its presence.

This is also a very SEO friendly practice all by itself, especially if the content is topically on-point and apt to contain many constellation keywords.

Content creation isn’t for everyone however and there are only so many directories you can submit a website to online.

Social Sharing & Backlinking

Most marketers shy away from promoting social media link sharing as a way to increase backlinks – because these links are No-Follow, they do not help with SEO directly.

However, for content syndication, social media plays a huge – huge role and that content can then act as a hook to generate backlinks indirectly.

The way it works is pretty simple: whenever they drop a video onto YouTube or publish a new piece in their website’s blog, they post about it on social media and include links.

There are many – many – other ways to generate and snag backlinks, they are out there in all forms and at all price points.

For a businessperson who is looking to scale their business and who is evaluating backlinks through the lens of ROI, a more hands-off solution is going to be necessary, one which is effective, scalable and robust.

There is also the business side of the equation to consider.

The root question is pretty simple, what is a website owner supposed to do who wants to approach backlinking as a serious marketing vector for their business?

They need to find a partner who can furnish them with not just backlinks, but the content that the backlinks are embedded within – consistently. 

What’s the Benefit in Outsourcing My Backlinking?

At our company Outreach Frog, we specialize in providing high-value, high-impact backlinking services in an extremely user-centered, flexible manner that can be scaled up to meet the demands of the largest organizations or tailored down to fit the specific needs of highly specialized businesses.

What Makes Our Link Building Strategy Work?

The most powerful and unique feature of backlinks from us is their quality.

Our backlinks come from a proprietary, professional process that they have undergone in their creation that is unlike those from almost anyone else.

Our backlinks come furnished from within content that’s been written by professional writers tasked with engagement.

This isn’t a minor distinction about our service, it’s a chasm of a difference between us and others.

Our content is written as a part of an authentic creative process by people with careers in journalism, creative writing, online publishing and more – true creative professionals.

Just as our writers are keen professionals, our publishing partners are as well. We have worked for years to develop a network of publishers with high DA (Domain Authority) websites that publish content from us.

The reason publishers want to publish content from us is for the same reason they want to publish content from any reputable writer – it engages their audience and gets them visitors.

This symbiotic relationship we’ve managed to cultivate between our publishers, clients and ourselves is not an accident, it’s a win-win-win philosophy that stands behind all of our solutions.

Contact Our Link Building Professionals Today 

Business owners today exist within an environment dominated by eCommerce, search, and an increasingly more interconnected world.

The businesses that prioritize success in search – and expend resources to gain ground now – are those that will be at the forefront economically in the future, history has proven this again and again.

Backlinking exists as an entire relevance-enhancing strategy that is both highly effective and cumulative. This stands in stark contrast to many forms of SEO which have come and gone, all within the shadow of backlinking.

This makes it both a wise and obvious choice for those seeking a form of marketing that they can deploy for the purpose of winning at search.

Highly engaging content which attracts genuine users has proven to be an effective way to publish backlinks that tend to stay online indefinitely, as publishers like content that their users want to read.

At our company, we strive to provide the highest quality content creation and backlinking services possible all under one roof – making it the go-to choice for many exceptional companies just like yours.

If you would like to learn more about what it is we do and what we can do specifically for you, please visit our website and schedule some time with one of our knowledgeable consultants.