What is the role of backlinks in SEO?

What is the role of backlinks in SEO?

Backlinks still play an important role in SEO although backlinks have less impact as a ranking signal than they used to in the past.

With the advent of backlinks becoming a lesser ranking signal, many websites are turning toward the creation of high-quality content as their primary means to achieve top rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPS).


What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links that point to your website from other websites on the internet and there are two main types:

  • Dofollow backlinks: These are the most common type of backlinks. They pass on page rank (also known as “link juice”), which is a measure of a website’s authority.
  • Nofollow backlinks: These backlinks do not pass on page rank but they can refer visitors to your site. They are typically used for social media links, blog comment links and backlinks in guest posts.


How do backlinks work?

You can think of backlinks like recommendations or votes of confidence from other websites.

These linkbacks are important in Search Engine Optimization because they signal to search engines that the target page is valuable, credible, trustworthy, helpful and relevant.

The more backlinks a website has pointing to it, the more authoritative it is considered to be. So with this logic, attaining backlinks from other websites should help your website rank higher in the search results.

It is commonly theorised in SEO communities that the quality of a backlink is more important than the quantity.

In other words, if you can get a relevant backlink from a high-authority website, this will be more valuable to your website than getting multiple a backlink from a low-authority website.


Why are backlinks important?

Trust and Credibility

When other reputable websites link to your site, it’s a vote of confidence in your webpage and boosts your domain authority. Search engines like Google see these links as a sign that your website is trustworthy, helpful and valuable.


Domain Authority and Ranking

Backlinks can help your website climb up in search engine rankings. If many high-quality websites link to your content, search engines are more likely to show your site to people searching for related topics.


Referral Traffic

Backlinks can also bring visitors to your website. If someone is reading an article on another site and sees a link to your content, they might click it and visit your website which will boost your site’s traffic and relevance.


Should local business websites build backlinks?

Local business websites that are doing general SEO or local SEO should definitely consider backlink acquisition during an SEO campaign.

Attaining a few decent-quality backlinks can provide a significant boost to a local business website in the search rankings.

It’s my recommendation to prioritise content creation over building backlinks when you are starting out.

Create great content and be sure to optimise it for on-page SEO (there is tremendous value in on-page optimisation) before moving on to backlinking.

Avoid spending time trying to gain more backlinks until you’ve created plenty of relevant, high-quality content that is actually worth linking to.



Backlinks continue to play a role in SEO because they can increase trust/authority signals, refer more visitors to your site and help your website appear higher in search results.

But remember, it’s not just about the sheer volume of links; it’s (apparently) quality that matters more in the world of backlinking.

Building backlinks can be a long, arduous process and it’s easy to accidently waste your time.

To get the most out of your website SEO and rank higher in the search results, it is recommended to hire an SEO service provider who can provide you with the right advice.