Backlinks – Referrals with Effect

The World Wide Web thrives on the fact that users can get from one place to the next quickly and easily. This happens via backlinks, so-called backlinks. Basically, it can be said that a backlink is the digital equivalent of a reference because linking a website to another, signals trust in the linked page. Backlinks act as a link between different domains and thus ensure extensive networking. However, not all references are natural. Therefore: keep your eyes open when evaluating backlinks!

A link is in the HTML source code and technically looks like this:

<a href=>I am an anchor text </a>

The link then appears in the text as follows:

I am an anchor text

It consists of several parts:

  1. Anchor element (opening): <a …>
  2. Hypertext reference: href =
  3. Anchor text between the a tags (the text that is visible and clickable): I am an anchor text
  4. Anchor element (closing): </a>

Links can refer internally to sub-pages of the same website or refer to other domains, ie externally linked. Backlinks are links from another domain to your own website. It is important to ensure that these are of high quality. Otherwise, they have no effect on search engine optimization or are even penalized by Google. Since the search engine attaches great importance to backlinks, they are a relevant factor for ranking. For successful work in the SEO area, you should therefore not ignore backlinks.

Basically, the more (good) links refer to your own website, the better. Since the link profile is a ranking factor at Google, link building or link building plays a decisive role in the area of ​​SEO. But it depends on the right approach.

A first measure that you can easily implement yourself is internal links that refer from one subpage of your domain to another. Make sure, however, that you set links that are relevant in terms of content and that bring added value to the readers.

But the external backlinks are even more important. In order to build this up naturally, high-quality content is essential. If the content is convincing, other website operators also link it. However, you need to check backlinks regularly through a backlink analysis. It’s a lot of work and takes time. However, you shouldn’t consider quick tricks such as bought backlinks: These violate Google guidelines and harm you!


You should regularly make sure that the backlinks pointing to your page are not harmful. Links that are set naturally cannot be influenced in many cases so that one is dependent on other website operators not setting any “toxic” backlinks. By regularly analyzing all the backlinks pointing to your website, you can discover harmful links.

These should be removed if possible. To do this, you can write to the respective website operator and ask them to remove the backlink or at least change it so that it is no longer harmful.

Alternatively, you can use the so-called disavow tool from Google to declare links invalid. To do this, you need to create a list of all URLs or domains whose backlinks are to be declared invalid and upload them.

Good backlinks are essential for successful search engine optimization. In addition to high-quality content, they are the most important building block for a website to perform well in the Google ranking. The following applies quality instead of quantity. Therefore, you should check every reference for quality and naturalness.

But what makes good backlinks? Specific questions will help you answer:

A good backlink always stands for trust. Similar to a recommendation, it signals that it trusts the respective source to which it refers. In the best case, backlinks are created simply through good content and good PR or good marketing.

But there are also backlinks that were created on a different basis. When doing your backlink analysis, you should therefore always pay attention to the Google guidelines in view of whether the link in question was possibly bought or was the result of an exchange. A purchase can come about in different ways:

  • With money,
  • with goods
  • or with services

backlinks can be generated. Link exchange deals are also not uncommon. The following applies here: If you link to me, then I will link to you. Such links can harm you!

Other signs of unnatural backlinks include:

  • The link has a massive number of keywords in the anchor text.
  • An automatism or a tool created the link.
  • The backlink is from a questionable, low quality source.

If none of that applies, the likelihood is high that the backlink is organic, high quality, and, above all, sustainable in nature. Only such a link is ultimately important for successful SEO.

There are many metrics that make it possible to measure the value of a backlink. However, these change regularly. For this reason, it is wise to rely on the most important numbers and factors in order to identify good backlinks.

  1. Authority and popularity of the source (Domain Authority or Domain Power and Trust)

It examines how strong the backlink profile of the source and how much trust Google has in it. Measurable data are the number of backlinks, referring domains and URLs as well as the keyword rankings of the respective page.

  1. The clickable text (anchor text)

The text that is ultimately visible and clickable for users on the website is the anchor text. The website that is hidden behind the link is set or anchored via this link. The text plays a crucial role as Google draws information from it that relates to the topic relevance of the landing page . It should therefore be chosen consciously. It is advisable that this contains a relevant keyword instead of linking generic terms such as “here” or “to the website”.

But watch out: Excessive use of keywords is also not recommended, as this suggests that it is an unnatural backlink. Ideally, the anchor text should be relevant in terms of content, but also appear natural to the reader.

  1. Nofollow tags

The Googlebot also follows backlinks that it encounters in order to crawl the domains behind them and to measure their relevance. However, to prevent the crawler from following the backlink, the operator of the linking page can use the nofollow tag:

<a rel=”nofollow” href=””> I am a nofollow link</a>

Possible reasons for using nofollow tags:

  • The link is from a sponsor, so it is
  • The provider of the linked website assumes no responsibility for this.

In addition to these metrics, aspects such as the number of backlinks of the referring domain, the position of the link on the page, and the number of outbound links are relevant. These numbers can be used to measure the quality of a backlink. The so-called spam score of the page from which the backlink comes can also be measured. This indicates how many links from or to other domains with a spam factor are coming in and going out on the site. The score shouldn’t be too high. You can check this, for example, via the Link Explorer from Moz.


While many factors are specifically measurable, there are also some that are not. For example, the relevance of the content of the domain linked to your own page cannot be measured using numbers. However, you should make sure that the source of the reference corresponds thematically to what is on your website.

Tip: Try to put yourself in the shoes of the target audience when analyzing backlinks. A good backlink gives the user a specific reason to click on him and visit the linked website.

In summary, there are some factors – some of which can be measured, some not – that you should pay attention to when evaluating backlinks. The following table gives an overview:

Thematic relevance and high-quality contentAnchor text: content relevance, no spamGood values ​​for Domain Authority or Domain Power and Trust
Keyword rankings of the linking domainPosition of the backlinkNo nofollow day
Natural backlinkLow spam score of the referring domain


If you’ve dealt with link building, you will likely have come across terms like a white hat, gray hat, and black hat. These can be briefly explained:

  1. White hat SEO meets all the rules that Google has set.
  2. Black hat SEO clearly violates these rules.
  3. Gray hat SEO is in a gray area. Some rules are observed, others not. Others are circumvented by using methods that are not clearly classified by Google. Since Gray Hat SEO interprets the rules individually, it is seen as borderline.

Examples of the gray area in link building are, for example:

  • Anchor texts that are too optimized for the keyword. Although these are intended to make the aim of the link clear, too many keywords should not be used there either.
  • Self-linking is allowed, but you shouldn’t spread it excessively either. For example, anyone who links their own domain in countless posts in forums runs the risk of leaving the gray area. Black hat SEO methods are sanctioned by Google. Therefore, caution is advised on such a tightrope walk.

When it comes to link building, the focus is primarily on the links that refer to your own website. But what about links that you add yourself to your own website in order to refer to other domains? The same applies here: quality over quantity!

Some points to look out for:

  • Outbound or external links should be on the subject of the page
  • Whenever possible, only link to trustworthy sites .
  • Do n’t use too many outbound links.
  • Devalue paid advertising links or links to less reputable sites by adding the nofollow tag

How do outgoing links affect your own rankings? Of course – as always – there is no precise information. But: The Google algorithm is designed to satisfy the search intention of users. With high-quality outbound links, you show that you have dealt extensively with a topic and also offer added value. This can have a positive effect on the user experience and thus also on the ranking.


As you can see, a good backlink profile requires a lot of work and regular analysis of the incoming links. You won’t get very far with quick tricks such as bought links or link swaps. These measures actually harm you.

In order to build up a high-quality link profile, it takes a lot of experience and extensive research. Whether it is about incoming or outgoing links: They should always offer the user added value – only that ultimately pays off and helps with the Google ranking.

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