Backlinks have been a staple in SEO best practice for a number of years. The philosophy is simple, the more backlinks you have going into your site, the more authoritative Google recognises your site to be. But with big changes coming to the way we search, and the increased use of artificial intelligence to determine search results, will backlinks still be as important in 2017? We think so. Here are some of the reasons backlinks will still be beneficial for SEO marketers in 2017.
The benefits of backlinks
Backlinks increase traffic to your site continually and without any additional work. This traffic can lead to better search rankings and greater authority. Also valuable for helping you move up organic search rankings, you can ensure your inbound links are relevant to your site. The traffic you receive from your links will be targeted to your services, making conversion easier. Ultimately, you will grow your reputation online when potential customers see your site linked to by sources they trust.
How to build good backlinks
You will gain your best inbound links through creating content that builds trust and interacts with readers. With trust, people are going to start linking back to your site in troughs. However, there are certain links which are more valuable to your site than others. Here is a list of some of the factors which may affect the effectiveness of a backlink to your site:
- Age of domain – links from older sites have greater value and authority
- Authority of domain – more authoritative sites provide greater backlinks. For bonus points, links from .gov, .org and .edu carry greater authority as they usually belong to educational or public institutions.
- Page authority – homepage links have greater authority.
- Context – links set within high-value content have greater authority.
- Relevancy – links from other sites should be relevant to your site.
You should structure your strategy for backlinks around these core principles, as in 2017 it is likely site authority will matter more than ever before. The introduction of RankBrain – Google’s artificial intelligence system – means that search engines will be providing more relevant results for its users than ever before. For marketers, backlinks can be an essential means of showing relevance and authority to Google. So are backlinks going to be important in 2017? More than ever.