If you are new to the world of Search Engine Optimization, there is one thing you need to understand at the very beginning- the crucial role that backlinks have. Apart from the content, they are something every SEO professional needs to take care of in order to reach good results. Search engines use backlinks as one of the most important ranking factors. Namely, it is the value of a backlink that can tell a search engine whether or not certain websites can be considered trustworthy and reliable. And, the top-ranking positions are reserved for the best websites only. That’s why it is crucial to know everything about backlink building, and most importantly to understand the difference between the 3 types of backlinks: the good, bad, and the worst.
What makes a good backlink?
There are many types of research about the impact backlinks have on the ranking position a website will have on Google. A huge number of backlinks is useful, of course, but that’s only if those backlinks are of high quality. As time goes by web owners master the SEO strategies and manipulations, and thus search engines need to be more careful. It’s not all about reaching numbers anymore. The focus almost completely turned to the backlink’s value. And, if you want to know how valuable your backlink is, you need to consider these three things:
- How authoritative is the website where the backlink comes from?-If your backlinks come from a reputable website, it’ll be a sign for search engines that your site can be trusted.
- Is it a do-follow, or no-follow link?– This is something every webmaster can decide about when adding a link to his website. Do follow links are the ones that search engines take into consideration and give them value. On the other hand, if they choose links to be no-follow search engines neglect them. Although no-follow links do bring some traffic too, do-follow links are more valuable.
- It is highly important in which part of the website the link will appear. -Links in the main body content of the website naturally are the most valuable to the search engines. As opposed to that, backlinks in the page’s header or footer are of less importance.
The 3 types of backlinks
Reaching the high positions among the search engine results is the main goal every webmaster wants to achieve. That’s because there is no better way to gain visibility and become available to your customers than through online promotion. Backlinks can help you rank better, but it all depends upon their kind and quality. Once you get into the core of the value of the backlinks, you’ll figure out that there are three main types of backlinks: the good ones, the bad ones, and of course, the worst ones.
1. Good backlinks
There is always the big question of what really makes a certain backlink a good one. And, the truth is that no one can completely guarantee that. However, there are some criteria that, when followed properly, in most cases constitute good and valuable links. First of all, it is highly important where the backlink comes from. If the source is relevant and reputable, and if it has a certain authority, you can take it as valuable for your own site.
On the other hand, the way the backlink is built is also very important. All the links that come to your site naturally are considered as good. This process is something we call organic link building and it has proved as one of the best ways to earn high-quality backlinks. However, like all the other good things, it takes time and requires a lot of energy. That’s why many website owners often turn to some other, easier ways to reach the goal, although they’re usually thought of as spammy.
Here are some examples of good backlinks:
- guest blogging
- editorial backlinks
- relationship-based backlinks
2. Bad backlinks
Those are one of the 3 types of backlinks you should avoid as much as you can. The reason why people usually reach for the so-called bad backlinks is that you can build them in huge numbers and, more importantly with very little effort. However, the thing is bad backlinks will bring no real merits to your website’s ranking position. What’s more, it’ll be just a waste of your time and energy. That’s why experts from the Link Department do not recommend relying on this type of backlinks in the process of building a strong and natural backlink profile.
Examples of bad backlinks are:
- footer, header, and sidebar links
- guest posting at scale
3. The worst backlinks
This backlink type is called the worst one for good reason. Not only will they bring you no value or no help in getting a better ranking position, but in most cases, they may also earn you some serious penalties from Google, or some other search engine. Those are links you should really beware of. Since they largely come from some questionable and irrelevant sites, they can ruin your website’s reputation. And although in the process of organic link building you cannot always choose which websites will backlink to your site, you should employ Google Analytics from time to time, and keep track of your backlink profile. Only that way you can spot those worst backlinks on time, and get rid of them before they do you harm.
And here is what you should avoid:
- paid links
- general directories
- comment spam
Taking care of the 3 types of backlinks that may appear on your website is necessary in order to maintain the credibility of the site and thus ensure high-ranking positions. Although for the perfect backlink profile you should generate only good link types, the bad and the worst ones can also appear without you even knowing that. So keep your eyes open all the time and get ready to remove the negative impact of some backlinks right away.