What is a backlink?

A backlink is simply what folks click on to get to your website from another website. You'll also hear it called an "inbound link" - generally because it's external to your website and will lead someone to your home page OR an inner page or post.

So, for example, if I dropped Your website link on Facebook or Twitter and someone clicked on it, that's a backlink - inbound to your website.

Content is Still King

Now, that being said. In most cases when we perform our keyword research, we are looking for keywords with decent traffic and low competition. (Fewer competitive websites) And, in doing this, if our content (a page, a post or the entire website) is better than the competitor holding Google's first resulting search page, then we win and take over slot 1. Excellent!!!


Let's say all things are equal. OR, perhaps you decided to go for a real challenge and attempt to set up a website in a highly competitive niche such as Weight Loss or SEO. Both of these examples are very tough to rank pages in. You have to get quite creative.

Going along with either example, let's say you have a keyword and have just published an article on it. Your competitor, or competitors (highly likely) have a similar article. So, if everything else is equal, YOU need an edge to help you rank better than your competition.

Quality Backlinks

One of the things Google, Bing, and other search engines look at is "trust" of your website, age of your domain and high-quality backlinks!

So, how do you determine a quality backlink from a poor backlink. Well, what you want to determine is how decent the website is that you want to place a backlink on. Facebook, Twitter and so on are good. But, these are valued in a certain way via Google. We call these "social signals" and are indeed needed. But, as you know, they are easy to get and Google knows that!.

Gaining a backlink on another website - non-social is a bit different and viewed more powerful in the eyes of Google, Bing, and so on. Especially, if it's within your niche. This builds more "trust" and makes your site look much better to SEO. Additionally, if the backlink is a "DoFollow" backlink - there is a certain amount of "trust flow" transferred from the other website to yours. (A NoFollow backlink tells the search engines to stop. DoFollow does not.)

Free Quick Check Backlink Tool

As I have mentioned before in a previous training, there is a free Moz (one of the most well-respected SEO websites) tool available to perform a quick quality check on any domain:

Moz Toolbar - Page Authority, Domain Authority, MozRank, MozTrust

This tool bar will quickly give you the "Domain Authority" value of any website. The higher the DA, the better.

I run this thing a LOT to check out which sites have solid trust, home page authorty (PA) and overall DA. Page authority on the home page is one thing (lots of backlinks to that single page) but, gaining high DA is much tougher - you need a lot of inbound links to inner pages and posts. This is what builds overall Domain Authority (DA).

Here's a snapshot of the DA on one of my websites:

Okay, now you know about Domain Authority. Let's move on!

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Recent messages
rodeves Premium
What a great tutorial. You are a gift to this community. I will be contacting you.
PjGermain Premium
Much appreciated!
CathyS Premium
PJ - thank you so much for this! I've read the other comments and understand where they are coming from.

Still - each person here at WA has to decide what is best for their website(s). I've talked with people who think backlinks have been one of the key factors in the success of their sites. I've talked with others who are very much opposed to them.

In the end, it's up to each of us to educate ourselves. As for me, I respect your input here and I respect what Kyle and Carson have built.

It's good to have different perspectives so we can continue to grow and diversify our sites. After all, one of the key factors WA offers is our community.

I'm looking forward to your next blog.

In Faith,
PjGermain Premium
Well stated Cathy! Thank you!
theresroth Premium
Tagged And Ready, PJ, thanks!
PjGermain Premium
Thanks gain Therese!
IMc Premium
Agreed. What you say is perceived wisdom amongst all well known SEOs.

BUT. The top man at WA says you & they, are wrong and backlinks don't help at all.

This thread should be fun.
PjGermain Premium
LOL!! Here we go!
Robg1 Premium
Here is a blog Kyle did recently He is adamant that baclinks don't count and they aren't worth worrying about.
PjGermain Premium
I'm going to respectfully disagree. I understand that post clearly and your content, structure and engagement are without doubt, number 1. But, all other things being equal, I have seen movement in my rankings due to backlinks from guest posts and other means. Other authorities on the topics still agree - all other aspects being equal, it helps. This is simply MY opinion. :-)
Robg1 Premium
ok thanks for that. Appreciated.