16 August 2016
Off-page SEO and the many elements that make it up, further help tell the search engines who’s more relevant and important. A core part of this comes from backlinks. Backlinks are simply links from other sites that point to your site.
The act of getting links from other websites is called link-building and is a core SEO strategy that most online businesses should be devoting time to each and every week.
Backlinks fall into one of two categories which are referred to as follow and nofollow. A follow backlink is simply a link that helps your SEO. It’s a link from another site that tells search engines, “I endorse this website”. Alternatively, a nofollow backlink, is a link where the person/website giving the backlink is saying “I’m acknowledging they exists but I’m not vouching for them”.
To make a link nofollow, an author simply needs to add an extra bit of text to the HTML of the link. By looking at the HTML you can also tell if a link is follow or nofollow:
Example of a “follow” link:
Example of a “nofollow” link:
For reference, low-hanging fruit like links from Facebook, Twitter, blog comments and forums are almost always nofollow links. From a sharing and exposure perspective, these are still great links, but recognize that it’s generally accepted in the internet marketing community that these links won’t give you any boost in search engine rankings.
Think of each link as a vote for your store, except one key difference, it’s not a democracy and peoples votes have different weight and authority. For example, a link from CNN is worth more than a link from someone’s personal blog that they just started three months ago.
There are several factors that go into how much value and impact a backlink could have for you. Some of those key elements are listed below:
If you want to get a sense of how much authority a website has, thus, much impact a link from an external website could have, check out the tool Website Authority Checker. This tools will give you a few metrics which you can use to compare against other sites to understand how valuable a link from a particular site might be worth to you.