What is Backlink Quality?

July 29, 2022
link building

One of the most effective methods to boost search engine rankings is to create backlinks (or external links) from other websites to your own. However, not all backlinks are worth the same.
A few high-quality backlinks may substantially improve your SEO position. However, if those are low-quality backlinks from random websites, they may make little difference or even have a negative influence.

3 types of backlinks

Backlinks are divided into three classes in Google’s view: low-quality, medium-quality, and high-quality.
In reality, low-quality backlinks are regarded as webspam by Google. These are backlinks that have been produced fraudulently to game the system and are therefore against Google’s rules.
Medium-quality links are valuable and simpler to obtain than high-quality links. High-quality connections provide the greatest value, but they are more difficult to receive as editorial requirements are typically higher.

What is a high-quality backlink?

A high-quality backlink is a subjective term. Nobody knows for sure how search engines evaluate them, but most SEOs believe there are three key factors: they are natural, authoritative and relevant. Let’s go through each factor in detail.

Natural backlinks

The most effective backlinks are those that naturally emerge from the website’s content and are made by the site owner because it provides value to their readers, not as a result of you paying them or attempting to persuade them in any other manner. This is an example of ‘earning’ a backlink using natural methods.
Artificial backlinks, on the other hand, are links that a web site’s owner wants to pass off as natural. They’re often designed to trick search engines into thinking that a website has a better reputation than it really does.
Google may initially ignore a backlink when it believes it is unnatural or fraudulent, and for persistent offenders, Google may demote the site in its search engine results and penalize it.

Authoritative backlinks

In today’s search engines, the desire for social proof is more important than ever. Webpages with a high amount of social proof are seen as more reputable by search engines. Google has a specialized PageRank algorithm that calculates the importance and reputation of web pages.
The more high-quality backlinks a webpage has, the higher its possibility of ranking for competitive keywords.
Now, while we’re on the subject of search engine reputation, it’s time to discuss the ‘rel’ attribute, which can be included in an HTML link.
By default, ‘rel’ is not present in regular HTML links, which means that search engines can pass ‘link juice’ or PageRank from one page to the next.
HTML links with values in the rel attribute (such as sponsored, ugc (user-generated content) and nofollow), on the other hand, frequently don’t pass search engine reputation.
The nofollow attribute was the first option and it also applied to user-generated and sponsored content.
You instructed search engines to not pass any search engine reputation when you added a nofollow tag to a link. With a nofollow attribute, links were also never used for crawling or indexing.
However, following another upgrade, Google added the new “sponsored” and “ugc” rel attributes and made it possible for all three to be utilized as a crawler, indexing, and ranking hint.

How to know your page authority?

The authority of your page predicts how well it will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
The page authority score, which measures the volume and quality of your backlinks, can be found by using Moz’s Link Explorer or Ahref’s Backlink Checker tools. These metrics also indicate whether the webpage will rank highly on Google or not and are expressed on a logarithmic scale ranging from 1 to 100.
A higher authority score and no values in a “rel” attribute will pass more reputation and boost a page’s capacity to rank highly.

Relevant backlinks

The third essential component of a high-quality backlink is that it must be relevant. But what exactly does this imply?
Much like how a search engine pays attention to both the domain and page of a backlink, they employ a similar procedure for relevance.


Now, let’s imagine you are a personal trainer in London with the website called Personify.co.uk.
Your website was mentioned in a blog post on a business news site about fitness training. Since the site is better known for business advice, it would be irrelevant.
However, your website reference would receive excellent marks for both page and domain relevance if your training services were advertised on the Fitness Partner website.
Now let’s take a look at the page that leads to your site. The link that leads to your service page has the text “personal trainer in London” as an anchor.
The selection of words in the anchor text is crucial since it indicates to the reader what the linked page is about, but more significantly, when ranking a webpage, search engines utilize it as a relevancy signal.
Therefore, in the example above, because the anchor text is “personal trainer in London” your page will receive a boost for keywords relating to the “personal training in london” topic.

The delicate line between relevance and authority

Now, let’s take a look at the backlink on our fictitious business news website again. The domain is irrelevant to your fitness training services, and let’s assume that its reputation metrics are likewise low to average. Is this a poor backlink? The fact that it doesn’t check off all the boxes means that it’s not a perfect backlink, but it’s unreasonable to expect all of your backlinks to be of excellent quality.
Is there anything good going for this backlink, and can it assist? However, it’s not a negative backlink since it’s natural and won’t harm your search engine reputation.
Although the news sector is not particularly relevant, the material on the page with your link does meet some criteria. Furthermore, while the backlink page and domain reputation are not that high in the fitness training sector, every little bit helps. This is a medium-quality backlink. It isn’t high-quality because the domain isn’t either relevant or authoritative, and it isn’t low-quality since it doesn’t violate Google’s webmaster guidelines.

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