If you’ve been browsing various websites for companies that provide local SEO in Florida, one of the terms you’ve probably come across is backlinks. If you did, you probably skipped over it, assuming that it is a technical coding term that only the experts really understand. Backlinks aren’t that hard to understand, though, and as the client of an SEO company, it can be valuable for you to know the basics about them. You’ll get a better grasp of what your local Florida SEO company is doing for your business, and you’ll be able to spot whether they are doing something fishy that may put your website in danger of being penalized. Here’s a quick description of backlinks, why they’re so important, and how search engines (Google in particular) continue to refine their view of them.
A Backlink Links Back
There’s not any basic difference between a backlink and a regular link. It’s just a link that you find on a website that takes you to a different website. The term backlink refers more to the way the link was created. It was the idea of a website owner (or its SEO consultant), who contacted an external website and negotiated for that site to link back to their own site. Usually, the link is part of a larger piece of content, like a blogpost, guest article, or other item of interest to the external website’s visitors. Thusthe person building the backlink provides something of value to the external website in return for the link back to their own site. But what exactly is the value generated by that link?
How Backlinks Benefit Local SEO in Florida
Backlinks do several valuable things for the website that they lead to. First, and most obviously, they are a route by which new visitors can find the site. A person reading the guest blogpost on the external site, impressed by the level of expertise that it displays on a certain subject, is likely to click the link, visit the author’s website, and possibly become a customer. The more inbound routes like this that a website has, the more valuable leads they generate.
But there is another important effect of backlinks. From its inception, the Google search engine has used the number and quality of inbound links to a website as a major ranking factor on the search results pages. That is, a website that has many links to its pages from popular, reputable websites will rank higher than a website that no other websites seem to know about. Today, Google continues to rely heavily on this factor, although it does so much differently than it used to:
A little over a decade ago, many companies providing local SEO in Florida had a range of “blackhat” tactics for generating hundreds of backlinks. Instead of following the processes that we outlined earlier for building backlinks, these companies might:
- Post backlinks themselves on hundreds of comment sections that were unrelated to the topic of their website
- Exchange backlinks with other websites: “you link to me and I’ll link to you.”
- Actually buy backlinks: for a fee, a service would convince a certain number of other websites to post links to your site.
These were just a few common tactics. The problem was that these kinds of links did not actually reflect the quality that Google’s search engine was looking for: reputation. They were not organic, and they said nothing about how useful the website would really be for visitors. Google needed to find a way to identify these blackhat practices and exclude “junk links” from consideration.
Responsible Local SEO in Florida
Today, Google’s search engine is very good at spotting non-organic links and preventing them from giving websites high ranks. Conversely, that makes real, organic, relevant links that much more valuable. Building powerful backlinks is still one of the best things that your local Florida SEO provider can do for your online marketing campaign.
To learn more about our link building, website audit, content writing, and other SEO services, email us today! We are ready to help you launch a balanced, highly effective SEO campaign that will boost your web pages to the top of the rankings.