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Backlinks have been around for many years and have been used by businesses, brands and marketers in a variety of ways to enhance SEO and online reach. In fact, links are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, according to Google.

It is really not a debate; whether backlinks affect ranking or not? They do! But it’s a correlation rather than a cause.

It’s a common myth that backlinks are the key players responsible for referral traffic. In reality, there is a correlation between traffic and backlinks.

How? Backlinks create credibility and show Google that your website is well thought of by other websites. Think of it this way – if you asked three random people where the best place to go for lunch in Dubai was, and they all mentioned the same place, you would feel pretty assured that this place is good. Links act in the same way for search engines, and have long been seen as votes of confidence.

So are all links created equal? Nope. Some backlinks are worth their weight in gold, and others are really not worth very much at all. Backlinks still have some dependency and correlation with other ranking factors.

In this article, you will explore some of the things you should consider when developing your SEO link-building strategy. But first, we have a few basics to cover.

What are backlinks?


Backlinks — also known as ‘inbound links’ or ‘ external links’ — refer to links on other websites pointing to your site. These links show your website to be an informed and valuable resource for readers and encourage search engine algorithms to take notice of your pages in connection to your target keywords and phrases.

There are quite a few ways backlinks help your website perform better in search engines. Here are a few of them:

Increase Your Domain Authority

Your brand gains recognition when it claims its authority through quality links from reliable sources.

Domain authority is a metric that determines how trustworthy your website is. When high domain authority websites link to your website, it tells Google crawlers that your website offers valuable content.

Domain authority metric

As your website keeps building up more quality links from reliable sources in various industries, your domain achieves more credibility, which in turn makes your pages rank higher.

But here’s something you should probably know:

Some links from high-domain authority websites don’t always improve your rankings. For example, gaining backlinks from Facebook might not be so valuable. Although the overall domain authority is high, the page on which your link appears is one of millions, if not billions, on the site, and that’s why it’s only benefiting from a tiny share of that authority.

Your Website Starts Ranking for Additional Keywords

We know that keywords have always been key to SEO. This is the case with backlinks too.

When your website gains endorsement via backlinks, it starts ranking for tons of keywords, which you may not have optimized for initially. This brings tons of traffic to your website, and hence helps you rank higher.

Organic search engine rankings

Backlinks still rule the SEO world when it comes to driving high organic search engine rankings. But, there are some scenarios where backlinks fail to make a huge difference in referral traffic numbers.

But hold on… when we say backlinks might fail, we don’t mean that they will be completely useless. In most cases, this may mean that they are not unleashing their full potential in terms of Google rankings.

Scenario # 1: When You Focus on Over Optimized Links but Leave Out Anchor Text Diversification

Link Building in SEO


Anchor Text Types


Exact Match (Money Keywords)

the anchor text is the exact keyword or phrase for which we want to rank: The Deal Outlet is my favorite destination for women’s dresses.

Phrase Match

the anchor text contains the keyword phrase for which we want to rank: The Deal Outlet has a fantastic range of men’s shirts.


the anchor text is the name of our brand: The Deal Outlet is my favorite destination for women’s fashion.

Naked URL

the anchor text is the exact keyword or phrase for which we want to rank: The Deal Outlet is my favorite destination for women’s dresses.


the anchor text is an unspecific, generic phrase which does not include our target: Check out the new collection here!

Anchor text is one of the primary factors that help determine the true potential of your backlinks. SEO experts are advised to use a healthy mix of Exact match, Partial match, Branded, Generic, and Longtail anchor texts when it comes to anchor text diversification.

Anchor text diversification ensures that Google identifies your backlink profile as natural.



Scenario # 2: When You Are Not Consistent with Your Link-building Campaigns

Link-building campaigns should not be one-off experiments. SEO marketers need to be more consistent with their link-building campaigns to unleash the true potential of their backlinks. 

According to Ahrefs, mostly top ranking websites build around +5%-14.5% links per month. This is a common practice adopted by top-ranking websites (which could be your competitors as well) that have helped them stay on top of their SEO game.

Link-building campaigns



Scenario # 3: When You Do Not Focus on On-Page Optimization of Your Website

On-Page and Off-Page optimization go hand-in-hand in the SEO world. On-Page optimization is the crucial factor that helps improve your website’s search ranking. Your website first needs to be up to the standard from an On-Page perspective to drive maximum traffic through backlinks.

OnPage and OffPage In SEO


You should probably know that building links won’t do any good if Google isn’t confident about your web pages.

So there you have it – just some of the factors which might affect the SEO value of a link. We hope that you can now tell when your backlinks are not working to their full potential. Hence, you can try to unlock their power to achieve success.

If you want to know more about how link building can play an important role in your SEO strategy, talk to our experts today.


Omar Basheer image

Omar Basheer

SEO Specialist

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