Backlinking: The Good, the Bad & the Toxic

Conor Clarke - 14/09/2018 - SEO

Backlinks are one of those SEO methods that is a little trickier to get a hang of. Finding the right mix of good links, average links and no-follow links is important to know. It is also important to know which links can be negative. That’s why we are going to be discussing how implementing backlinks in a correct way can help to improve a website’s domain authority and overall SEO campaign.

What are good backlinks?

Good backlinks can be defined as backlinks that will improve your backlink profile score or domain authority. These types of links are of course ‘Good’ but they are also very difficult and can take a very long time to acquire. The best types of backlinks are the ones that you get from well-trusted websites by Google such as BBC, Moz and Facebook, these websites will tend to have very high domain authority and lots of traffic going to them so Google knows it can trust their outbound links.

Establishing whether a backlink is Good or Bad will depend on what type of business you are, the type of audience you want to reach and what your overall aim is. For example, a business who provides ‘building Insurance’ would find that backlinks from Industry Magazines or news websites could be more beneficial than one from a well-established Fashion Agency.

Are there any bad backlinks?

In Short, Yes. Not all backlinks are good for your website! You can receive unwanted Toxic Links which will have a negative effect on your website as they can come across as spammy and also bring your domain authority down.

Finding these toxic links can also be difficult but with the right tools, we can find them before they do any damage. A good tool to use to see if your links are toxic or good is Semrush (https://www.semrush.com), it gives you the tools to see the types of backlinks you have and also allows you to disavow unwanted toxic or spammy links.

No-follow & Follow backlinks

No-follow and follow links are 2 types of links that can be acquired on websites which contribute towards your backlinking profile. There is a bit of controversy as to whether No-follow links are good or bad, but we are going to be talking about the differences.

No-follow links are links that Google knows are paid for. Back in 2005 search engines came up with the No-follow link to combat spam, this means that Google sees these no-follow links but doesn’t count them towards your domain authority. This doesn’t mean that they damage it, studies show that websites ranking at number 1 in Google tend to have around 30% no-follow links, which shows they don’t bring you down and may even raise you up.

Follow links are the links that count towards your backlink profile and that Google will recognise as the sources to rank your website. These are ideally the link that you want on your website.

Summary

Backlinking is a very tricky and lengthy process, getting too many toxic links or spammy links can bring down your website’s domain authority but very prestigious and well-trusted links can take ages to acquire if possible at all. Finding a balance between no-follow and follow links also needs to be considered when asking for links on the specific websites that are relevant and could potentially help your website. There are no quick answers, paid links can help, however, these can bring other SEO damaging repercussions so doing it right is very important.

Conor Clarke

Blog By Conor Clarke

The one who does SEO and pretends to know Googles Algorithms, but in actual fact, i'm just as clueless as to what I'm doing as the rest of you SEO Specialists :)

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