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Edgar Allan SEO 101: Backlinks and how we use them as a Webflow agency

Edgar Allan | SEO Backlinks | Webflow Agency

SEO 101. Let’s talk about backlinks, what they are, how to use them, and what they mean to the search engine optimization of your website.

If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard search engine optimization described as “magic” or “sorcery,” I wouldn’t have enough money to buy Google, but I would still have a decent amount of money. A lot of people are intimidated by SEO because they don’t understand it and it can also be difficult to explain. That’s where I come in: The SEO Specialist and Writer at Edgar Allan, an award-winning Webflow Agency.

Sorry to disappoint some of you, but SEO has as much to do with magic as Harry Potter has to do with monster trucks.

In this series of blog posts for Edgar Allan, I will be exploring the do’s, donts, and maybes of SEO in an attempt to demystify the practice and make SEO more approachable and accessible for everyone.

SEO specialists the world over are slaves to the Google algorithm, which in a lot of ways is like taking care of a toddler. You need to understand what the algorithm wants, what it doesn’t want, what it likes, what it doesn’t like, and what it needs. The algorithm, like a toddler, can’t really tell you these things, so you need to figure it out through experience, trial, reaction, and error.

At its core, SEO is about tinkering. You tinker with a site from top to bottom, do research, analyze results, then go back to the site and tinker some more. Where to start is knowing what to tinker with. In this article, we will be exploring backlinks: what they are, what they do, and how to use them to gain clout with everyone’s favorite digital overlord — Google. Think of backlinks like tricking your toddler into thinking they are drinking grape juice when you're actually giving them medicine.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link to your website hosted on another website. The link could be hosted in a blog post, on a main page of a site, or even in a review. An example of this would be a link to the Edgar Allan website hosted on Webflow’s website.

Why are backlinks important to SEO?

  1. They tell Google that people other than you are talking about your website.

  2. If the site hosting the link to your site has a high domain rating (DR), that means the site has good standing with Google and ranks well. The higher the DR of a site the better for your  links to be on. One of the things DR is determined by is the number of links that lead to a site, the quality and relevance of those links.

  3. Sites with high DRs that host links to your site lend some of their credibility and standing (sometimes called SEO Juice) to your site. This in turn will boost your sites DR and rankings.

  4. The more backlinks to your site hosted on sites with high DRs the better it is for your rankings, especially if the backlinks are implemented correctly and linked on keywords you are targeting.

  5. When links to your site on sites with high DRs are lost or removed it impacts your sites rankings.

  6. A lot of websites, companies and brands rely solely on organic backlinks. It is important not to over do backlinking. Make sure it is organic . For example; it makes sense for Webflow to host a link to the Edgar Allan website as Edgar Allan is a Webflow Agency. If a link to the Edgar Allan website was being hosted in blog posts about the potential health benefits of drinking essential oils, Google would find that suspicious. This would result in Google penalizing Edgar Allan and we would lose rankings or worse, be pulled from all search result pages.

How do you know when a backlink to your site has been created?

SEO tools make life so much easier. A tool like Ahrefs will run audits and reports on your site that will be sent to you. One of the reports Ahrefs runs lets you know when new backlinks have been created and when backlinks are lost.

Check out the example below. Ahrefs sent this report to us after a new link to Edgar Allan was placed on the Webflow site.

An Ahrefs report on new backinks to the Edgar Allan Webflow Agency website

Can backlinks be harmful?

Yes. Backlinks to your website hosted on sites with a low DR can bring your rankings down. Sites with low DRs are not following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, this can be anything from Google seeing these sites as spammy to the sites being http instead of https. 

What must be done about harmful backlinks?

Harmful backlinks are monitored in the Ahrefs reports. Every so often that list of harmful backlinks need to be put into what is called a disavow list. This disavow list then needs to be put into your website's Google Search Console. The console will then let Google know that you do not claim those harmful links. Disavowing links should not be run too regularly as it can have an impact on ranking. Once every six months should be enough. 

What can be done to improve your website’s backlink profile?

  1. You need to look for as many opportunities as possible for links to your site to be hosted on sites with a high DR. These can include your clients websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and social media feeds. If you have connections, reach out to them.

  2. Go through the Ahrefs (or any other tool of your choosing) reports and compile a disavow list for the Google Search Console.

  3. If you own multiple websites that host links to each other, work on the DRs for all those websites by making sure all your sites are optimized for Google and follow  Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Confused about SEO? Edgar Allan can help.

As the resident SEO Specialist and Writer at Edgar Allan, my SEO knowledge, experience, and tinkering abilities are extended to all Edgar Allan’s clients. If you would like to make SEO part of your website’s Webflow build, then contact us.

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