A backlink is a link that a website obtains from another site. Backlinks have a significant impact on the prominence of a website in search engine results. That is why they are considered very useful to improve the SEO ranking of a website.
By using multiple factors search engines calculate rankings to display search results. No one is aware for sure how much weight search engines give backlinks when the results are listed.
However, what we do know for sure is that they are very important. Backlinks must be natural, and this means that a website should not use artificial ways to create backlinks for its own sites.
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Importance of Backlinks
Backlinks are essential for several reasons.
Some of the primary criteria used by search engines are the quality and quantity of pages that link to your website. Google does this to determine its ranking on the results pages of its search engine (SERP).
The higher you are in a SERP, it will be better for your business as people tend to click on the first results displayed on Google, Bing, among others. But why is that search engines care about backlinks?
Search engines were simple and based strictly on keyword matching in the early days of the internet.
- No matter how good the content of a website was, how popular it was, or what the site was for. If a phrase on a page matches a word someone had searched for, then that page would probably appear.
- It meant that if someone had an online newspaper in which he documented extensively how they had to take their car to a “car accident repair shop,” people looking for a “car accident repair shop” would probably be guided to that page.
- Besides, website owners quickly realized that by resorting to “keyword stuffing,” they could exploit this weakness. A practice that includes creating websites with massive lists of keywords and making money from the advertising revenue they generated.
Search engines were virtually worthless and weakened the usefulness of the Internet. So, how could this problem be solved?
How Google helped the websites on backlinks
Google was born and brought the value of website backlink. By the 90s, two Stanford students called Larry Page, and Sergey Brin began to think about how they could make a better search engine that would not be fooled by keyword stuffing.
So they realized that if they can measure the popularity of every website (and then cross the index with it), they could build a much more useful search engine.
They published a scientific article in which the concept of «PageRank.» presented in 1998. This topic was explored in other documents in which Brin and Page contributed, “Ranking of PageRank quotes: Bringing Order to the Web.” As they pointed out in their article, pages full of useless keywords “often eliminate any result that interests a user.”
Although we constantly complain when we run into fraudulent pages today, the problem was much worse at that time.
It is incredibly difficult to think of this happening now. Imagine searching for the word “Google” in that search engine, and www.google.com doesn’t appear on the first page of results. And yet, that’s how bad it was 20 years ago.
But PageRank was the product of two assumptions: If many websites link to one, then that website is probably perfect.
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