The Correlation Between Authoritative Links and Ranking

In the early days of SEO, the ranking was mostly based on keyword usage within the page’s content. There weren’t any sophisticated algorithms, so this was the easiest way to rank pages. And as you can expect, the logic behind the whole process was simple. The more the keyword is used on the page, the more Google trusted you with what the page is all about. However, SEO practitioners presumably took advantage of this system. Keywords were overused and used unnaturally in the first place, all with the idea to rank higher. And it worked. But, in these times, the correlation between authoritative links and ranking did not exist.

How does it work nowadays?

Nowadays, however, things are a bit different. Since then, we’ve got page rank and domain authority algorithms, and many other things for measuring web rankings. With algorithms that much smarter, it’s become much more difficult to manipulate them. And that’s why dealing with the SEO side of your business properly is such an important thing to do.

To explain the link between ranking and authoritative links, we’ll have to clarify what each of these terms means. We’ll start with ranking, as it is an easier term to comprehend.


Ranking in SEO refers to the position of the website on the search engine result page. Several factors influence if the webpage will appear on the SERP and where it will appear. These are based either on the content relevance to the search term or the quality of backlinks, pointing to the page we’re ranking.

It’s worth mentioning that different search engines have different rankings. So, you may find yourself ranked in the top 3 on Bing, but that doesn’t have to mean that the situation will be the same in Google. However, since Google holds more than 90% of the market share when it comes to search engines, ranking well on it should be something you’re after. So, learning about and exploring Google’s algorithms is a sure way to advance your positions and ranking. Today in 2022 it is even more important.

Photo of a white stage with a podium on it.
To understand the correlation between authoritative links and ranking, you need to understand what these terms mean.

What is the Point of Ranking?

If it’s not clear from what we said already, the point of a good ranking is to gain as much traffic as possible organically. In other words, the higher your page is in the SERPs, the higher the chance that the searcher will click on it. This, therefore, is a direct correlation between good ranking and increased traffic. And, as you probably already know, organic traffic is the best kind of traffic you can have on your site.

SEO is a method that is used for determining your ranking. And while algorithms used for this are well-guarded intellectual property that belongs to the search engines, many pieces of research have been conducted to determine what are the factors that influence it the most. At the end of the day, to know if your SEO is effective, you need to learn what it is based upon. And some of the things that seem to be on the top of all the lists are:

  • Number of high-quality backlinks
  • Internal linking and sitemap
  • Keywords in meta descriptions, titles, text, etc.
  • Site speed
  • Site optimization
  • The time that people spend on site

As you can see, links are among the most important things here, and they influence the position of your website on SERPs. That’s the first time we notice the correlation between authoritative links and ranking. And to get to the bottom of it, you need to understand what kind of links we’re talking about.

Two persons conducting a research on the correlation between authoritative links and ranking.
There are many factors that influence the ranking of your site, but links are among the most important ones.

All Types of Links Explained

A link, otherwise called a hyperlink, is a clickable object on a webpage, and it leads from one page to another. Visually, they can be represented as text, images, or buttons. Links are classified based on their destination. So, the important thing about the link is whether it leads users to another page on the same website or a different one.

Internal links are links between the pages that are all located on your website. Search engines recognize them by looking at the domain name. So, if your website is built to have multiple domains for whichever reason, know that links connecting them will be classified as external.

There are two more types of links to know about. And these are inbound and outbound links. Outbound ones are the links that lead from your website to some other domain. On the other hand, inbound links lead from other domains to yours. And the last kind is the one with the greatest SEO benefits and potentials. However, they’re also the hardest to obtain without using help from a company like Link Department.

What are Authoritative Links?

As we already explained, backlinks (inbound links) are the types of links that count the most for high rankings. In essence, Google sees it this way. If a webmaster links to a webpage located on another site, that means that the creator used the link for a reason. It may be because he likes the page because of the information found on it, or he may be criticizing what’s written on it. However, as far as the site that the link leads to is concerned, this reason is irrelevant. The way Google assigns rank and authority is not clear but there is a general understanding of the process.

Both of these links are equally good for the page that is being linked to. Connection confirms that the content is high-quality, and that is the only thing that matters in SEO. Every time your content makes someone talk, it indicates credibility and authority. So, the more links a page have, the higher its authority is, and therefore it will rank higher. So, by acquiring high authority links you can achieve the transfer of a part of their page rank to boos yours.

However, quantity is not the only thing that matters. On the contrary, quality is the most crucial thing these days. You can’t just pay for lots of spammy links that will get you on the first page of Google. With the development of its algorithms, Google has gotten smarter about viewing and valuing links. So, the days of so-called black hat SEO practices are over.  To get there, you’ll have to use white hat link building techniques and strive to get as many high-quality and authoritative links to your webpage.

White hat on dried brown leaves.
It’s not easy to get authoritative backlinks, but you can create them using white-hat link building techniques.

What makes a link authoritative?

When striving to get as many authoritative links to your webpage you come across the question of the authority of these links. To get a transfer of authority from one website to yours these links have to have a certain authority. There are three factors to consider in regard to this.

  • Third-Party metrics
  • Relevancy
  • Human factor


You want to research the webpage metrics. There are a lot of ways to do that and many tools to help you out. Many leaders in the industry, and creators of link-building tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic design metrics to assess the authority of webpages and links. These metrics try to evaluate domain authority, page authority, trust flow, domain rating, and other parameters. However, these numbers and scores are simply estimates. This is because Google does not give out information on the precise algorithms it uses to assess authority. In addition, these metrics can be manipulated and altered to serve a purpose. However, they can provide valuable insight into link authority and the ranking of a website.

Graoh showing growth
There is a direct correlation between these two SEO aspects


Another factor to consider is relevancy. You cant strive to achieve a large number of backlinks in 2022 and hope to raise your authority. The backlinks you create should be from your particular niche and relevant to your website. Without this Google will not assign you a higher rank. This is because links that are not relevant do not seem natural. As such, they may appear as black hat practices that can even be penalized. So, it is important to look for relevancy. This, however, has several levels.

  • Domain to domain – the site linking to you must be from a niche that is relevant to your business
  • Domain to page – the page linking to your website must be relevant. It must fit in the context of your website. Only in this way does it make sense and is natural.
  • Page to page – The pages linking to each other must also be relevant. These usually directly point to a certain service or product that is relevant to the content and is hard to link to
  • Link to page – The link should also be relevant to the page, meaning that it naturally fits into its surrounding content. If the link is unnaturally placed, without too much sense it can be a red flag for Google and it will not add to your rank but can also initiate a penalty.

The human factor

Google is always aimed at improving user experience. The final aim is to provide a good experience and user satisfaction that will lead users to spend more time on a website. This is why it is focusing on the human value of the website. The more value it provides the higher authority and ranks it has. So, you should try to research this factor when searching for websites that will link to you. Whether you are outsourcing these activities to seasoned professionals or doing it yourself you should keep this fact in mind.

Researcher at a computer
Data analysis backs up these claims about the correlation

Basic truth backed by data

So, today there are numerous examples of the correlation between authoritative links and ranking direct. SEO authorities like Moz and others even conducted research to prove that and point that out. All of these gathered data show that Google is increasing its emphasis on the quality or the authority of links. So, there is a clear correlation between rankings, Page and Domain authority that provide links with the rankings of pages receiving the links. Of course, the number of links also plays a part. However, the more quality links you have the better your ranking. Of course, these studies do not have precise data on how Google assigns rank. But these studies confirm what has been seen ad the rule for assigning rank by Google and other search engines.

So, it is clear that any SEO activity today must rely on white hat practices and strategies. The quantity of links is not the issue anymore. Any unnatural attempt to rank high using unworthy and usually spammy and bought links will not increase your rank. Most likely it will earn you an automatic or manual action by Google. So, the best policy clearly is to deal with only whitehat activity. Thus searching, networking, and obtaining links of high authority and quality becomes increasingly important. Striving to create content that is relevant and trustworthy in addition helps in this endeavor. This is why all of the SEO effort today becomes about great content and quality backlinking efforts and strategies. Quality white hat SEO strategies are increasingly important in SEO today.

You got this written on the pavement
With proper White hat strategies, you can achieve a Hight rank

What is the only thing you need to figure out?

So, to recapitulate what we’ve learned about the correlation between authoritative links and ranking. Having high-quality inbound links is one of the most important factors for ranking your page well on Google. These links come from authoritative sites that have credibility. The more these links you have, the higher your website will rank on the SERPs. The only thing you need to figure out is how to get them. Managing your SEO activity to achieve this end is the first and foremost task you have to work on. Only then you can get the results you need and want out of your effort.

Latest Posts