Would he exist? The perfect website? In this blog series we are looking for the answer. Our eighth topic is the art of link building. Read with us!

Linking websites - backlinking - is a discipline of its own, and often very underestimated. In our search for the perfect website, link building does not seem to be the most important thing. A few backlinks here and there on a website. That seems more of a detail than an essential. How important can it be? The answer is: extremely important. 

 

Backlinks work in four ways to increase traffic to your web environment. First of all, search engines know better about your existence when they see a referral. Second, it is a way of creating a distinctive profile and being different from others. Third, it is a good indication of how strong your content is. And finally, referring to other reliable sources is a sign to both the search engine and the visitor that you know what good content is. 

A backlink - also called an inbound link or one-way link - is the way for a search engine algorithm to find out how popular your website is. That in turn helps in the ranking. And it is also an indication in which field of expertise, or in which context your website can best be ranked. This indication is not perfect, because some websites, such as a news site, have many different topics (and thus links). Yet the algorithms also see connections here. This creates a unique profile of your content. And that automatically makes it easier for specific target groups to find your content.  

 

But in our thinking that is not even the most important. We mainly think of your brand. Of course, you can technically view backlinks as a way of satisfying the algorithm gods. We always do it first. But at Baas & Baas we see it as more than just that. We see a link as a preferential vote from another site. It doesn't just tell a search engine that you matter. Above all, it is a good way to find out how strong your content really is. So it tells something about yourself.   

Every reference to your website is a 'vote of approval' for your content. It says: this website is reliable, relevant. This website matters. Plus, the more backlinks going to your website, the better it will do. Seen in this way, it is an independent test, a kind of field research without having to pay for it. And it works the other way around too. If your website has links to trusted and prominent places on the web, the algorithms also register this as being relevant. And the visitor sees this too.  

Stimulating backlinking with your natural partners on the web is therefore highly recommended. So make sure that natural partners of your business know about your existence. And that they know when new content is posted. It's a small effort, but a big step in your pursuit of perfection. We always see it immediately reflected in the visitor results. 

 

So regardless of how a search engine with backlinks organizes your website and thus determines your ranking, it is just always good to be referred often. It is both a compliment to your content and a way to generate a lot of traffic. In short, a backlink is simply important. Every backlink counts. 

And… while we're on the subject. Are you referring this blog? 

Sander Baas is boss of Baas & Baas and web construction and marketing expert. Rogier van Kralingen is a writer at The Whole Story and co-author of Mediastorm.