What Makes a High Quality Backlink? And How To Get Backlinks.
Updated: Mar 10
What Makes a High Quality Backlink? And How To Build High Quality Dofollow Backlinks.
If you read our last blog post “SEO Backlinks: What Exactly is a Backlink and Why They Are Important.” , you should have an idea of what backlinks are. But let’s dig a little deeper on backlinks, as there is a lot to cover if you want to understand the benefit for your website.
If you remember there are two types of backlinks, dofollow and nofollow links. But let’s talk about the quality of these backlinks because not all dofollow backlinks are equal. We know that we have to focus on getting dofollow backlinks, but how are they graded? What exactly defines a quality backlink?
The relevance of links is very important for a number of reasons. Firstly, search engines like Google want to understand your website better and ensure that they are improving the accuracy and value of the answers to search queries in their search bars. If someone is looking for a carpenter and types “carpentry services near me” into Google, the answers which are shown obviously need to be carpentry businesses near the person asking the question. Otherwise you might choose to use a different search engine to look for a more accurate answer to your query. You don’t want gardeners or mechanics popping up for that particular search term.
Google is after all a business, and they want you to use their search engine. So with that in mind if you are a carpenter, you need to have relevant links coming to and from your website. You might have links to hardware stores, instructional woodworking videos on youtube, lumber yards and partner businesses like kitchen fitters. Not mechanics, pet shops and your friend’s cupcake business.
You’ll notice that I made the Neil Patel quote above, into a link to his blog which talks about the quality of backlinks. He earned my link as he is an industry leader in SEO and digital marketing, and his website has a high page or domain authority (DA).
What does DA mean?
You will often see the initials DA written in SEO reports and link campaign reports. DA is a metric developed by another SEO industry leader, MOZ. The DA of a website ranges from 1 - 100 and was designed to help predict how likely a website is to appear in the search engine results pages. While the DA is very useful for SEO especially when trying to build and obtain links, it is not a ranking factor for Google. So Google will not look at the DA of a website when trying to determine where it will appear in the search results.
Google wants to see that reputable businesses, websites and blogs think your website is worthy of linking to. So it’s fantastic when websites with authority decide to link to your website.
So websites which have established themselves as an authority on a subject or in their industry by getting backlinks from, you guessed it, other authoritative websites have higher DA. These websites should be your priority when it comes to putting together a link building strategy.
It's All About Building Trust
Everything ultimately boils down to trust. Do people trust your website and does Google trust your website and recognise it as being of value in your niche?
The traffic generated from links on pages with high traffic, is gold for your business. More traffic equals higher visibility and when you are focusing on growing a business this is key for your brand awareness and retaining customer loyalty.
So it really pays to ensure your links are from high DA websites. That said, there is also a place in your link building strategy for low to mid quality DA links. It’s about balance, especially when it takes more time and effort to generate and earn one backlink from a website with a DA of 80 - 100, compared to one with a DA of 30-60.
How Can You Increase Your Domain Authority
So how can you improve the DA of your website? What areas can you work on yourself and what do you need to hire a professional SEO expert to do?
The best way is to improve the overall SEO health of your website, while also ensuring that your links come from high DA websites. It all starts with having a good SEO strategy in place. Onsite SEO basically means the work done to fine tune and polish your website to make it the best possible version of itself. This polished version will attract more visitors, retain more customers and show Google that there is good industry specific information on the website. This all works in your favour, especially in terms of rankings. It will also encourage people to build dofollow backlinks to your informative and shareable content.
Attracting links from high DA websites is much easier when you have good quality content on your website. The content on your website should be planned, and well thought out as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Always look at your content from your buyer persona point of view. What would your customers want to read, watch and listen to? Focus on building your content with this in mind and then optimise for your keywords.
What's Your Next Step?
Well your next step very much depends on your digital marketing plan. I can't give a one size fits all answer here. But let's just say that your digital marketing plan has highlighted that in your highly competitive industry your number one priority in terms of SEO needs to be putting a link building strategy together. You might then have questions like:
How Can I Build High Quality Backlinks?
Well, to build high quality backlinks you really have to work on building relationships in the industry. The reality is that if you are going to take backlink building seriously, you need to hire a professional. You don't have to set aside months of your spare time trying to learn how to build high quality dofollow backlinks. It is after all a highly skilled profession within digital marketing, with people dedicated to building backlinks for clients for eight hours or more a day.
Are High Quality Backlinks Free?
Are high quality backlinks free? This is a bit of a yes and no answer. What I mean is, if you hire a professional SEO agency to build your backlinks and look after your website SEO, then no, the links are not free as you are paying professionals to build them. That said, you should not pay a website to create a backlink on their website to yours.
If any of this sounds daunting, don’t worry. This is what we do at Solid Consulting. Backlink building is part of our SEO package and we create bespoke SEO and link building strategies for each client.