Bloggers. Irrespective of being a new kid in the town, or a veteran, everyone is looking for one thing. It is nothing but understanding backlinks and how they can get benefited with it.
I am yet to meet a blogger who is least bothered about the SEO – Search Engine Optimization. On the contrary, there are many who invest not just time & effort, but also hard earned money to be more compliant with the SEO.
No one wants to mess with the big brother – Google.
One word of caution. This article is not to provide you with resources to gain backlinks but to help you understand backlinks and how they work. If you are looking for such resource now, please check our famous Harsh Agrawal blogs on 101 ways to get quality backlinks.
You see, shoutmeloud.com just gained a backlink from me! Lol.
Ok, enough of the intro, time to get our hands dirty. Let us get to know about what are backlinks? And why is everyone behind understanding backlinks?
Before proceeding further, if you are looking for the basics of blogging, please read my post on what you should before starting a blog.
We all know the links & hyperlinks. So, what are the backlinks?
Simple. Any hyperlink on the post outside your blog domain, that links to your blog is called backlink. In other words, linking a post from domain A to the post or page on your domain.
Why is it so much talked about? Or is that really a hype?
Backlinks are one of the most important ingredients of SEO. They serve two main purposes.
- The primary purpose is website traffic which is very much visible and
- Other is the behind the scene juice for improving the quality of your blogs. And thereby contribute to the Domain Authority.
Just like in real life, any product or brand is marketed more successfully by word of mouth. More than professional marketing, word of mouth provides more credibility. Because we still believe in human relations.
Now you know the secret behind many advertisement companies sporting the common people in their ad than any particular celebrities.
Similarly, backlinks are the word of mouth technique for blogs in the digital world. Having more and more people talking about your product does lots of good for your product. In the same way, if there are many hyperlinks or references to your blog in more than one blog, it is simply fantastic.
Understanding backlinks is not just the core of this post. It is also one of the important methodologies to gain more traffic to your blog and thereby succeed in your journey to fame.
So, I want to make sure that every blogger reading this article takes home the right message. Please feel free to post your questions in comments, I will try my best to help you out in finding the answer.
To keep it as simple as possible let us take an example of a book store analogy.
We both have bookstores selling books. In my bookstore, I display a few posters about your bookstore. So, when there are any customers visiting my store, they will come to know about the presence of your bookstore, and if interested will make a visit to yours.
So, what I just did is provided you with some customer traffic from my bookstore to yours.
Follow tag in Backlinks
Now let us consider this. There is a local news media that comes to my store and takes an interview with my store. There is every chance that they do see the pamphlets displayed about your stores and do visit yours. This will help both mine & your store since we will both get some publicity in the media for attracting more customers.
So, this is the follow tag of the backlinks, which instructs the Google search engine to continue to pass visibility to your blogs as well. And this is what we call as passing link juice in bloggers term. This juice helps with the ranking of the blog and also in improving the Domain Authority of your blog.
Nofollow tag in Backlinks
On the other hands, I explicitly tell the media people some excuse and make them not visit your store. Maybe because you are annoyed by many such requests and have instructed me not to forward such requests. Or I am being greedy or whatever.
What happens here is, only I get the publicity. And nothing for your bookstore even though the media person knows the presence of your bookstore nearby. This is what the nofollow tag actually does to the backlinks.
Stops passing the juice to your blogs from the post that contains the backlink.
So, tell me now. Is the nofollow tag good or bad?
On the high level, it will look like the follow tag is good to your blog because it helps in improving your quality, rating, and authority of the blog. And the nofollow tag is bad since it restricts this. Then have you ever thought why do we really have the nofollow tag?
There is a very good reason for that too. To avoid SPAMs. This is why understanding backlinks are so important.
Yes, remember the good old days when bloggers marched and commented on every blog sites with their links just to get some backlinks to their own blogs? This not only creates a sort of SPAM but also not ethical.
Avoiding or preventing such an outcome is the main goal of these backlinks containing the nofollow tags.
Is nofollow tag really good?
I have seen many bloggers who deny to guest post the moment they hear about the nofollow backlinks. No, do not do it. Writing a guest post free or paid is individuals choice. I am not here to advocate either of them here.
But, if you are denying to write with an opinion that nofollow tags will serve no good purpose for the time and efforts you have invested in coming up with such a great post, then I am sorry. You missed a golden opportunity of getting valuable traffic.
Moreover, new traffic means new visitors. In other words, it’s an indirect advantage that comes with the nofollow tag as well.
Additional Tips on Backlinks
Now how do you find if you were given backlinks with follow or nofollow tag from a particular post? Oh, that is the simple stuff.
You can open the post, and use the inspect function of the browser.
Here is my guest post about Mount Etna in Sicily in a blog called engineerontour.com. Now, I want to check on what kind of backlink has been provided by that blog engineerontou.com. So, I do an inspect from browser as below.
You will find the rel= tag that supports multiple options. If you find a nofollow in here, it means it is a nofollow backlink.
If you do not see any tags like follow or nofollow, it means it is a follow backlink. Hurray, I gained a follow backlinks and so can enjoy some juice from this blog when google visit this site.
Finally, remember, links are social networking for Blogs. So, use them wisely.