For many years, search engines like Google have based their organic search results on how often a given keyword appears on a web page. The rule was simple: the more mentions of a specific phrase in the content, the higher the position in the ranking.
As everyone wanted to be ranked higher in the search engine ranking, the sites contained low-quality content overflowing with unnaturally used keywords. Rarely, the pages in the first positions were trustworthy and user-friendly.
Fortunately, over the years, the Google algorithm has become much more advanced and the so-called ‘keyword stuffing’ has ceased to be effective. Inbound links are now considered the most valuable.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at it. First, we will answer what inbound links are and why they are important, then show you a few tools how to check them.
What are Inbound Links?
Inbound links are any hyperlinks (URLs, videos, or images) on other websites that direct users to your domain.
At this point, it is worth noting that links on websites are divided into internal links and external links. The incoming ones fall into the latter group.
To better illustrate this, in the sentence below we will give examples of both types of links: one from Wikipedia and the other from one of the resources we published on our site a few weeks ago.
Since – as mentioned in the definition above – incoming external links are found on other sites, we could not provide an example of such a link in this article.
Good to know: Both links external and internal consists of 2 parts – a hyperlink to a page and the anchor text (with English. Anchor text ) .
What is anchor text? This is a general description that gives both the user and the crawler some context of what the subpage is about.
How does Google handle links?
At the very beginning, when links started to matter, they were the only numbers game. It was not their quality that mattered, but their quantity. This means that the sites with the most links were in the top positions in the search results.
Ultimately, this led to people starting to use spammy backlink building techniques to stay ahead of the competition. This in turn forced Google to rethink how to improve its algorithm.
Today, Google values the quality of incoming links over quantity. Those from trusted or popular sites are more important to your SEO than links from lower quality domains.
Good to Know: Inbound links are also called backlinks.
Why are inbound links important?
The most important reason why inbound links are important is that those from relevant and good quality websites and blogs are one of the most important factors in determining search engine ranking.
While they’re undoubtedly an important part of your SEO strategy, they’re not the only reasons why you should consider sourcing them.
Here are 4 reasons why inbound links are important:
- Higher Search Results: Sites that receive many inbound links are more likely to rank higher in organic search results. The links in question tell the crawlers that your site is the authority on a specific topic.
- Increased Traffic: More high-quality incoming links means more traffic to your site. This is due to two issues – first, they lead to a higher position in the search engine, thanks to which you obtain organic traffic; second, they generate referral traffic from the domains they are hosted on.
- Increased Brand Awareness: When authoritative and trustworthy pages link to your website, they convey some ‘authority’ to your website. This way, their brand becomes associated with yours.
- Increased business potential: In addition to increased brand awareness, links from authoritative domains give you the chance to establish contact and business relationships with other similar companies in the future. These relationships can in turn lead to increased profits.
The best way to get “good” backlinks is to create high-quality content that brings real value to your users, and then inform other bloggers about it.