Website backlinks, otherwise known as incoming links, are one of the most important and valuable assets in your SEO toolbox.
Backlinks are also one of the most misused and abused forms of SEO, leading to Google’s constant war against Internet spam and unscrupulous SEO companies trying to make a quick buck off unsuspecting website owners.
Website Backlinks Are The Currency Of Off-Site SEO
We can consider website backlinks as the basic currency of our overall SEO value on the web and, at its simplest level, we can think of PageRank as the numerical equivalent of that currency.
In recent years, PageRank has become far less important in Google’s eyes, but we can still use it as a guide to understanding the relative importance of pages.
PageRank is expressed as a number on a scale from 0 – 10 and, although no one outside of Google fully understands how it’s calculated (or even what the scale means exactly), it can be thought of as being logarithmic in nature.
This means it might be 2 times (or more) harder to move up from a PageRank of 1 to a PageRank of 2, and 2 times more difficult again to go from a 2 to a 3, and so on.
All new websites start with a PageRank of 0 and then move slowly up the scale as time goes by and they gradually gain authority with Google.
The authority (its importance in Google’s eyes) of a web page is derived from many factors, including the number and quality of the backlinks pointing to it.
Essentially, when one website links to another, Google looks at it as a “vote” for the website being linked to, and a certain fraction of the linking website’s PageRank (often called “link juice”) is donated to the target website.
Not All Website Backlinks Are Created Equal
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