What is a Backlink – Building relationships in Digital Marketing via links

Table of Contents

In business, building relationships is one of the most essential moves one should take. 

Competition may exist, but never forget that out of this, a healthy relationship can bloom and flourish. 

The digital marketing industry is a challenging landscape as it changes faster and can be a little too demanding at times. However, if there’s one strategy that never fails or something you can never remove from the equation, it’s establishing relationships through backlinks.  

What is a Backlink?

Backlinks are links on other websites that go back to a page on your website. 

You may call them inbound links since they indicate traffic from another website that is directed to your own. 

Backlinks – inbound links or external links- of varying quality and number might help you rank better in search engines like Google and Bing because they can be a good indicator of how popular your website is with users. 

Backlink implementation, management, and analysis are critical components of search engine optimisation (SEO) and SEO strategies.

Why are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks have a significant impact on your SEO.

When multiple sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can deduce that the information is worth connecting to, and hence worth appearing on a SERP. 

As a result, obtaining these backlinks can have a favourable impact on a site’s ranking position or search visibility. 

Never forget that Google has reaffirmed that backlinks are still one of the three most essential search engine ranking variables.

Signal of Good Credibility and Trustworthiness

Good links from authoritative and trustworthy sites can help you rank higher in search engines and boost your company’s credibility and reliability.

Increase Site Visibility 

The higher your keyword rankings, the more visible your material will be on search engines. Higher-ranking web pages tend to rank for more keywords overall. 

As a result, another advantage of backlinks in SEO is that your content can be found by a broader range of search queries that you may have particularly targeted through on-page SEO.

Increase Ranking on SERP 

Backlinks can help you rank higher on Google and other search engines. 

Without quality backlinks pointing to your website, you’re missing out on one of the most important ranking criteria, one that can demonstrate that you’re a reliable authority in your area and, thus, deserve to rank high for key search terms.

You must obtain quality links for links to help you rank higher. You should avoid those that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, such as those classified as a link scheme aimed at dominating search results.

Types of Backlinks

Not all backlinks are equal or serve the same purpose. 

Let’s look at the many forms of backlinks that your website can obtain.

Dofollow Backlink

Dofollow links are the preferred sort of backlink because links from reputable websites are the most valuable. 

This type of backlink can aid in the improvement of your search engine results.

However, some dofollow backlinks can be harmful or ‘poisonous’ to your campaign. These links are from questionable websites or obtained by violating search engine terms of service.

Google doesn’t tolerate this behaviour and they penalise or move into de-indexing your site. 

Remember that it is the quality of backlinks rather than the quantity that determines the ranking.

Nofollow Backlink

A no follow link does not count as a point in the page’s favour, does not enhance PageRank, and does not help a page’s placement in the SERPs.

The no follow link tag has done a lot of good for the internet world; most SEO spammers won’t bother putting unrelated links to blogs or forum posts if they know they won’t get to publish a follow link.

Dofollow and nofollow backlinks are two methods for identifying a link and instructing Google on how to associate the website to which you are linking with your website. 

Dofollow links provide authority to a website, whereas nofollow links do not pass link juice.

High Authority Backlink 

There are free online tools that can help you run a backlink audit for you to see how many backlinks your site has, the referring domains of those backlinks, the toxicity of those sites, and other information.

Google’s PageRank algorithm analyses authority, although it’s no longer a public-facing indicator since they ceased updating and eventually removed their PageRank Toolbar in 2016.

Consider variables like credibility and whether the site delivers quality content of genuine value to users when determining whether a link is of high quality or not.

Here are several indicators that your site is receiving high-quality backlinks:

  • There are a lot of referring domains.
  • It’s higher up on the page
  • If the backlinks are surrounded by related content on the page
  • If it includes pertinent anchor text.

Toxic Backlink 

Improper or unnatural links can hinder your website’s potential to rank or harm any existing ranks. 

Toxic backlinks, typically generated by low-quality or dubious websites, directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and exist exclusively to manipulate search engine rankings.

This could include paid links that aren’t indicated with nofollow or sponsored attributes, connections from low-quality directories or bookmark sites, or an abnormally high quantity of links with exact match anchor text.

Sponsored/Paid Backlink 

You may pay an affiliate or an influencer to promote a piece of your content or to post a product review.

If you use money or exchange a product or service for a link, a rel=”sponsored” tag should be used or added to notify Google.

The rel=”sponsored” attribute prevents these links from negatively influencing your site. If you’re working with an affiliate, use the sponsored attribute for this backlink.

UGC Backlink 

UGC (user-generated content) links were another new link introduced in 2019.

UGC links can be found in forums and blog comments. This tag informs Google that the link was added by a user rather than the webmaster.

How to Check a Site Backlink?


Use a tool like Ahrefs‘ free backlink checker to examine backlinks to a website that you do not control.

Simply input a website or URL and press “Check backlinks.”

The overall number of backlinks and referring domains (links from unique websites) and the top 100 backlinks are displayed.

There are a few details for each backlink, including:

  • The referring page 
  • Domain Rating (DR) 
  • The URL Rating (UR) of the connecting web page.
  • The total monthly organic search traffic is projected to the connecting page.
  • Backlink and anchor. The anchor and the text surrounding the link.


You can do keyword research, view your competitors’ backlinks, and manage your own all in one spot with a programme like SEMrush.

SEMrush features two main sections dedicated to backlinks – Backlink Analytics and Backlink Audit.

The first element, Backlink Analytics, allows you to research your competitors, and the second is Backlink Audit, this section allows you to find all of your site’s backlinks.

One of the best features of SEMrush is the ability to email the harmful website owner directly from the user interface.


Ubersuggest provides insight into the techniques that are successful for others in your market so that you can replicate, enhance, and gain an advantage.

This is all you need to develop a strategy for increasing your link profile and determining which links will have the greatest influence on your rankings.

To make things a little easier for you, a list of keywords is compiled based on what works for your competition and what people are looking into Google. You can view the specific content in your space that people are linking to using Ubersuggest. 

How to Get Backlink to Your Site?

Analyse Competitors’ Backlink Profile to Identify Opportunity

Looking at your competitors’ backlinks is a simple way to examine prospective ways to build links. 

You can use the free online backlink gap tool to examine how your competitors perform and find or prioritise opportunities by identifying holes in your competitors’ link development tactics. 

Write a guest post 

Guest posting never gets old. 

It can be advantageous but ensure that your collaboration makes sense and that your content is useful and valuable to your readers. Otherwise, it may appear spammy and suspicious.

Use Listing Site or Business Directory Site 

Online directories, often known as company directories or business listings, are a simple way for companies to create links and drive traffic to their website. A directory allows consumers to easily sift through the marketing noise.

Businesses are often indexed by specialised, region, or category, and reviews are frequently included. 

By listing your company in a directory, you boost the visibility of your website, which raises the likelihood of purchases.

Use Paid Backlink Services

Since link building can take much of your time, it is best to look for valuable ways to earn backlinks without spending your entire day in your workplace. 

You may use paid backlink services if you can afford them. 

There are two types of paid backlink or backlink providers:

  1. Provides complete linkbuilding services.

You may leave it up to a backlink service provider to do all the work for you. 

The advantage of this is that you can tell them how many backlinks you want for your website and it’s up to them how to earn those links for you because most people face the same difficulties when it comes to building backlinks for their websites. 

We know that obtaining high-quality contextual backlinks is difficult and it can take a significant amount of time and energy. 

This option works best if you have enough budget to run a campaign with a third party or an agency to build links for your website because it can be tricky for some to make link building appear natural on their website or content. 

Without great backlinks for highly competitive, valuable search keywords that can generate leads and sales, your page will never rank. 

If you have the means, consider purchasing the best backlink building services you can afford.

  1.  Collaborate with other websites to publish your content or article for a fee. 

Other website owners that operate in your industry or are related to your business can help you in your link building journey. 

You may agree with these website owners to publish your content in exchange for money. In return, they will provide you with backlinks to your page. 

Remember that your website’s link building strategy differs from those you know. We recommend you go for the path that works for your campaign budget and your site’s health. The first option may work for other businesses, and the second one could be yours to ponder. 

Broken Backlink 

Broken link building is a time-consuming and often frustrating link building method.

When you question link building specialists about their experiences with this method, their comments will differ as others will tell you directly it’s a waste of time, while others may tell you that it still works for them.

What is a Broken Backlink?

A broken backlink is a link that no longer exists between two websites. This could be because the link’s landing page has been relocated or removed entirely.

The “broken link building” strategy consists of two major steps:

  • Identifying broken links in your niche, and
  • Informing the website owner and suggesting that the broken link be replaced with a link to something on your website.

Broken link building is the act of locating broken or dead outbound links on another website, telling the website’s owners/managers, and offering a similar article you’ve authored as a substitute for that broken link.

Why does this happen?

The most typical reason is when a webpage is renamed or moved without a redirect being put up.

Other issues that can lead to broken backlinks include:

  • Plugins, as well as faulty parts and code on the website
  • Removal of the original link’s referring domain or it goes down.
  • The webpage has been redirected to a new URL.
  • Alteration of the URL structure of the webpage during a CMS migration.
  • The link takes you to interactive content such as videos or PDFs that have been downloaded from your website’s server.
  • The URL of the referring domain, from which the link originated, contains mistakes or missing characters, and underscores, among others.

How to Deal with Broken Backlink?

Ask Site Owner to Change the URL 

If the hosting website made a mistake (for example, if their hyperlink has typos or missing characters), it produces a terrible user experience for both their and your website users. 

Inform your digital marketer or strategist of the content that is linked to you of the problem and tell them where they should link instead.

Set 301 Redirection on Your Site to Another Page 

Find alternative pages that are related to the original material and redirect the external links to them. 

If the original content is no longer available or has been removed from the server, you can use Wayback Machine to see how it appeared in the past.

Replace or Recreate the Missing Content  

If there are no viable alternatives for the missing content, you may have to create something similar from scratch and redirect the external links to that instead.

Backlink Reports 

Backlinks are vital for SEO since search engines consider links to be indicators of your site’s authority. Backlink analysis reveals all of the links that they are considering and provides you with a better knowledge of your site’s capacity to rank well in search engine results.

Analyzing your site’s backlinks allows you to identify how those links affect your search engine rankings and what steps you can take to improve your backlink profile.

Things to be Included

For your information, a link profile is a catch-all phrase for all the web pages that are currently linking to your site. 

When you conduct a backlink analysis on a website, whether it’s your own or a competitor’s, you’re looking at which websites link to it, how they link to it, and to what page.

Here’s what you should include in your backlink report:

  1. Select the websites to be examined.

We are not teaching you to be nosy about what other people are up to online. Just to let you know, there’s nothing wrong with being curious.

Studying how your competitors perform is part of one’s strategy. How will you know who you are going up against if you don’t identify them?

To narrow down your competitor research, look for websites that are closest to the goods or services you provide and those that are dominating your industry and SERPs in terms of keywords.  

  1. Choose an auditing tool.

It is efficient to use backlink tools, you may use the ones we mentioned here, to perform a backlink audit. 

Pick the tool that has the key features you require so in one setting you’ll have the data you want.

Ensure you know that information to generate before you look for online backlink tools to save your time. 

Some tools are free, but some may come with varying prices, depending on how sophisticated the features come with. 

  1. Get a quick rundown.

Focus on the following metrics to get a quick idea of how your site is performing in terms of:

Backlinks total.  The total number of links pointing to the site.

Referring Domains. The total number of websites that point to your site is referred to as the referring domains.

Top linked pages. The pages on a website that receive the most backlinks. This can indicate the type of content that is best for link building.

Repeat this step with your competitors to establish a baseline and discover where you fall short. Depending on the tool, you may be able to compare these metrics on the same page without switching back and forth.

  1. Examine your site’s relevant information.

Review your anchor texts, this is an excellent method for identifying spammy backlinks that may be harming your ranking. If you’re not sure how to tell if a referral domain is spammy, look at the anchor text.

It should be relevant to the content on your site. It’s spam if it looks like it came from your junk folder and contains vulgar language.

Once you’ve identified these links, you can contact the websites and request that they be removed. It’s a long shot, but it might work in some cases. Its more reasonable choice is to dismiss those links, which tells Google to ignore those backlinks.

Never forget to check for broken or lost links. It’s critical to identify broken and lost links because they cost you “link juice,” or the potential to rank higher from a backlink. It makes your website more difficult to crawl.

  1. Take a look at what your competitors are doing.

There are free SEO tools online that will help you compile a complete inventory of your competitors, including all of the big names as well as potentially some new up-and-coming competitors.

You may use the tools mentioned in this article that will help you indicate how closely a domain competes with another. 

Two factors determine the level of competition: how many ranked keywords your competitor has and what percentage of them are your common keywords.

Pay close attention to the competitors whose sites compete for the most with yours in terms of traffic and total keyword numbers.

Number of Backlinks from each Type

The total number of backlinks linking to a site is one of the most fundamental indicators. 

When you compare this figure for your site to that of a rival, you can get a sense of how your sites compare in terms of authority.

You should also consider the amount of referring domains. This statistic indicates how many distinct sites link to each given site. 

For example, if a site has 1000 total backlinks and 600 referring domains, 400 of those connections come from other sites that already link to them.

Google considers nofollow to be an indicator, it can track the nofollowed link and include it in ranking calculations. According to a recent Ahrefs study, the correlation between a higher Google ranking and a greater number of backlinks is slightly stronger than the correlation between a greater number of dofollow backlinks. 

It means that some nofollowed links are treated as more positive ranking signals than some followed links. Links from authoritative sources, regardless of their attribute values, are beneficial to your website.

Comparison with Previous Period 

Data don’t lie. 

There are many things you can uncover when performing a backlink audit. One of which is knowing where you stand previously in terms of performance and growth. 

You will use your previous backlink report as a guide to the things you attain and miss in the current period. It is easier to maintain a document showing the ups and downs of your backlink campaign or your digital marketing strategy as a whole. 

By doing a comparison, you gain insights that can change your digital marketing strategy in the next months. 

Backlink Impact Analysis Regarding Page Rank and Traffic

PageRank is a web page ranking algorithm that considers the number and quality of links pointing to it. 

It was created in 1998 by Google pioneer engineers Larry Page and Sergey Brin and was the first successful attempt by any search engine to determine the level of authority a web page possessed.

The following factors influence the PageRank score:

  • The number of links
  • Attributes of links
  • The anchor texts
  • The probability of being clicked

Based on the explanation above, backlinks affect the page rank and traffic of a website. Google made it clear that there are more than 200 factors they consider to gauge a website’s relevancy and credibility, and if your site fails to adhere to rules set by every search engine, you’ll have a hard time ranking your page. 

Backlinks are significant. Ensure you get it from credible, clean, and reputable websites. 

Final thoughts

Backlinks are vital for ranking in search engines such as Google. 

Not all backlinks are made equal. Relevance, placement, and other factors all contribute to the quality and value of a link.

Never underestimate what backlinks can do to your website. It will open opportunities for your content to reach and tap potential customers outside your website o other social media platforms. 

If you want to know more about backlinks and how it affects your online presence, Roots Digital Backlink Service is one call away. 

Our digital strategists are pretty much open and willing to help you out. 


What is a backlink in SEO?

Backlinks are links on other websites that go back to a page on your website. 

How can I make backlinks?

– Analyse Competitors’ Backlink Profile to Identify Opportunity
– Write a guest post 
– Use Listing Site or Business Directory Site 
– Use Paid Backlink Services

Looking for a trusted SEO agency in Singapore? Schedule a consultation with us today.

About Roots Digital

Roots Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency and SEO agency headquartered in Singapore, specialising in eCommerce Marketing and lead generation. We are a Google and Meta Business certified partner working to deliver the best-in-class digital marketing campaigns from large enterprises and SMEs to growing start-ups.

Some of our core digital marketing services include SEO servicesSEM services, Google Ads management servicesGoogle Analytics services and more.

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us. Connect with us via our service enquiry form. You may schedule a call for more information and to know more about our digital marketing services.

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Picture of Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital marketing agency.
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Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital marketing agency.
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