What are backlinks and backlink types


Brief explanation: backlinks

The term “backlink”, also known as “back link” in German, is a link that leads from one website to another. In contrast to a "normal" link, a backlink is an incoming link - the user is redirected from another page to their own website. Such backlinks usually have a fixed function within a text - in the form of a normal link. However, backlinks are also very interesting for search engine optimization and are therefore often "misappropriated" for SEO measures.

Detailed explanation

In general, a link on the Internet is a way for the operator of a website to provide the reader with further information on a topic. To do this, he builds the link into the HTML code of his website, and another page is linked. For the “recipient”, such an incoming link usually means more visitors and, if the site is operated commercially, more sales. For this reason, links now serve a lot more purposes than just conveying additional knowledge. For example, it would be possible to include links to various insurance providers or to a large pension insurance test in a text on the subject of private pension insurance. The website with the insurance test would then benefit from higher visitor numbers through the backlinks and ideally from further insurance policies. In online marketing, (paid) backlinks are therefore a popular tool for directing potential customers from a blog to your own domain, for example.

However, backlinks are now most important for search engines and search engine optimization. For Google and Co., backlinks are an important factor when evaluating a website. The relatively simple basic rule applies here: whoever is not linked to has no major relevance for the relevant topic with his website. In online marketing and search engine optimization there are various other measures to improve the ranking on Google and other search engines - without a single backlink it is almost impossible to play at the top of the ranking.

Due to the far-reaching importance of backlinks for the search engine and the reader, they have been the focus of search engine optimization for some time. The associated SEO measures are summarized under the term "link building".

How does a backlink have to be structured?

If Google & Co. are to recognize a backlink, it must of course be set up correctly. Since backlinks are incoming links, the operator of the website to which the link is made has no real influence on the structure of the link. However, backlinks are often "exchanged" between websites - the pages link to one another - so that every website operator should know the correct structure of an HTML link:
<a href=“http://www.beispiel.de“>Ankertext </a>

In addition, the so-called nofollow attribute can be set in the link. To do this, simply add "rel =" nofollow "" after the URL. The nofollow attribute causes a search engine like Google to ignore the link when analyzing the website - but more on that in a moment.

Link building tips

As mentioned at the beginning, backlinks are extremely important for ranking in search engines like Google. The reason for this is obvious: If a topic is frequently linked to a specific website, this page will usually have a high level of relevance for the topic - at least so far in theory.

The basic idea that many links to one's own site are to be equated with a high thematic relevance was of course very quickly taken up in online marketing. In the beginning, this realization mainly led to the paid backlinks practice mentioned above. Variants of this were the link exchange, i.e. a reciprocal linking of two websites, and so-called satellite pages that are created by the website operator and usually only serve the purpose of generating backlinks to one's own website.

However, updates have made Google and other search engines much better at recognizing the quality of backlinks. Accordingly, most SEO experts now assume that the number of backlinks is no longer decisive for Google & Co., but their quality or the thematic proximity.

In order to improve the ranking of your own website through backlinks, it is therefore necessary to find the right partners for the link building. One of the most important factors is proximity to the topic. If a page on private pension insurance receives a backlink from a dating portal, a search engine like Google will hardly attach any importance to this backlink. If, on the other hand, a large insurance company is linked, a thematic proximity can be clearly identified, which is rated positively by the search engine. Other decisive factors are the thematic relevance and the PageRank or the processes that have replaced PageRank.

The thematic relevance is very similar to the thematic proximity - however, in the case of the former, the ranking of the page from which the link is made is included. If the page on private pension insurance mentioned in the above example were to receive a backlink from a website that appears in the top ten results on Google for the search term "private pension insurance", this backlink would be far more "valuable" than a link from a page, which only appears in the SERPs on page six. The rating of the page from which the link is made by the PageRank algorithm is in the same direction. This indicates how many of its own backlinks a page has. The higher it is, the more effective backlinks from this page are. This effect is also referred to as "link juice" when establishing a link. However, the PageRank algorithm no longer plays a real role for Google in its original form, as the process has been replaced by more complex methods, about which, however, not much is known. Nevertheless, most SEO experts assume that the quality of a page also influences how backlinks are rated by this page - and that good pages can "radiate" to others.

In addition, there are other factors that affect the rating of a backlink. Among other things, it also plays a role where the backlink is placed on the page. For example, Google assigns a different meaning to backlinks in the header or footer than backlinks in the body of text or in images. In addition, the anchor text, i.e. the "clickable word" of the link, is important for the quality of a backlink. Ideally, the reader - and the search engine - should be able to infer the content of the linked page from the anchor text. Descriptive anchor texts are particularly effective, especially when used in conjunction with key terms.

Last but not least, there is the nofollow attribute thing. Basically, it serves to distance oneself from linked pages in terms of content. For example, if you consider a page to be untrustworthy, but do not want to withhold the content of this page from the reader, a nofollow link makes sense. The search engine then ignores the backlink when ranking - at least in theory. In SEO circles it is quite controversial whether the search engines actually ignore such links. So if you don't want to take any risks when building links, you should avoid nofollow links.


Backlinks and link building are an important part of search engine optimization and are therefore often used as part of online marketing and SEO measures. Since search engines like Google can now evaluate the quality of backlinks quite reliably, it doesn't do much good for the ranking of a page if just random backlinks lead to the website. Rather, one should try to follow the actual basic idea of ​​a backlink - the thematic forwarding of the reader. This results in thematically relevant backlinks that are also viewed positively by Google & Co. In addition, you should pay close attention to the selection of the right partner when building links, because a backlink from a non-topic page has practically no effect on the ranking of your own website.



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