Good Backlinks Have Never Changed

For search engines that crawl the web, links show the connection between pages and an understanding of how they correlate with one another. Link building has been a core strategy in search engine optimisation since the early 2000s and whilst links aren’t the only contributing factor to increasing rankings, they do hold a good proportion. The principles of link building have always been the same, but Google has made updates along the way to identify any spammy activity.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links that are pointing towards your website. The number of backlinks in your profile indicates the popularity of your website. Backlinks are important for SEO because Google and some other search engines, will assign higher credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

How do search engines analyse links?

Engines analyse links based on the quantity and importance of pages linking to them, but also take into account metrics such as trust, spam and authority. It is often found that trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites, while spammy sites tend to have bad links pointing to them. For this reason, it is important to be selective when linking with other websites so you can avoid being associated with spam. Whilst the number of backlinks is a good indication to Google, the quality of those links speak higher volumes. If you have credible domains in your subject area pointing to your website, you are perceived as an expert in the given subject.

Why is Google dependent on link metrics?

Google’s perception of backlinks is simple and has been from the very beginning. Link with sites that are highly authoritative and you will gain more credibility. This principle has not changed since the introduction of linking, but Google have refined the process to eliminate sites who are trying to cheat. Google tends to make regular updates to its search algorithm, but will occasionally roll out a major update such as they did in 2012 with Google Penguin, this update was introduced to decrease the rankings of those websites that violated guidelines, by attempting to manipulate the number of links pointing the page, this particular update affected thousands of sites. Their most recent update penguin 4.0 means Google will now be monitoring links in real time. This means each time a backlink is added to your profile it will be accounted for instantaneously. In addition, whilst new updates only usually take effect initially in the UK, they have stated that this update will take effect in every language and country that Google is in.

Why are backlinks so important?

The quality of your backlinks has an impact on rankings in search results (SERP). When authoritative sites refer traffic to your website, it not only increases your authority for the subject you cover, it helps drive awareness and traffic to your website and increase rankings. Each link is seen as a vote of confidence and acts as a recommendation, which helps you to become more popular with search engines.

So what makes a good backlink?

Well, there are a number of critical factors to consider:


It is suggested that links from sites that are on theme with your site provide more credibility than off-topic websites.

Anchor Text

Engines use this as a strong factor for ranking. Anchor text is the piece of text the link is placed on. It should be varied to allow for the best intentions of ranking for a variety of keywords. If your link targets the right keyword, the page has a higher probability of ranking well for the targeted keyword phrase.

Target URLs

Pages that have high quality links pointing to it have a higher probability of ranking, therefore it is good practice to ensure your backlink profile has links that target a variety of pages including inner pages to gain credibility.


There are many sites across the internet that contain spam. Having any spammy links pointing to your domain can impact on your website, therefore search engines have systems in place that measure trust and provide a trust flow score. To make a positively significant impact on this metric you will need to earn links from highly trusted domains.

Link neighbourhood

Spam links tend to be reciprocal . A website that links to spam are likely to be spam itself. For this reason it is incredibly important to be selective when approaching sites for reciprocal links. The diagram to the left indicates website B and C are more credible because they have inbound links from authoritative domains.


The quality of links can decay over time, therefore search engines use ‘Freshrank’ to evaluate the freshness of links and the current credibility and relevance they contribute. For this reason it is an essential practice to continue earning additional links over time.

Social sharing

Although social links are seen differently, there still rising importance

Our Process





What types of links should you attract and not attract?

The most effective backlink profile should contain links from a mix of authoritative domains. Depending on the type of links you have, some can look unnatural or paid. So let’s take a look at the links you should and shouldn’t attract…

Link attraction

these type of links tend to be naturally given. If you create content that is powerful and incredibly worthy, you are more likely to have more links and social shares, resulting in Google seeing your site as authoritative.

Manual Outreach

This process can be highly time consuming, but the benefits can be highly rewarding . It involves talking to third party relationships such as clients, suppliers, business relationships, trade bodies for a reciprocal link.


There are many websites that offer to create links through blog comments. These type of links may have an impact on some profiles, but are generally perceived as low value and at times tend to hinder your overall trust flow aggregate. They should be considered with caution.


Link building is a central component of SEO, let’s face it they are far too integrated and valued by search engines to be going anywhere anytime soon. Whilst it may be time consuming, your efforts should always going into finding the next high quality link. You can’t get low quality links and expect to sky rocket up the rankings. Focus your efforts on getting those high quality links and avoid those low quality links to receive the best results.

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