The digital marketplace is a competitive terrain, and visibility is paramount for any eCommerce enterprise and this is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strides in, wielding the power to make or break a brand’s online success.
At the heart of SEO, beyond content and technical tweaks, lies the influential realm of backlinks. Backlinks serve as the essential connectors in the internet’s infrastructure, bridging various pieces of content and emphasizing the interlinking of information.
What Exactly Are Backlinks?
At their core, backlinks are hyperlinks that point from one website (the “linking site”) to another website (the “linked site”). Think of them as roadways that guide users from one location on the internet to another. But beyond this straightforward functionality, backlinks carry significant weight in the SEO arena.
When one website chooses to link to another, it often suggests a level of trust or endorsement of the content found there. This is why many SEO experts liken backlinks to “votes of confidence.” If a well-established site links to your eCommerce product page, it’s as if they’re vouching for the value or credibility of your content. This signal is of immense value, especially to search engines, which are always on the lookout for indicators of content quality.
The Duality of DoFollow and NoFollow Links
In the vast tapestry of backlinks, not all links are created equal. Here’s how they differ:
By default, most backlinks are DoFollow. These are the heavy lifters in the SEO world. When a site links to another site with a DoFollow link, it passes on some of its own site authority—a phenomenon often termed “link juice.” This passing of authority is why gaining DoFollow links from high-authority sites is a cherished goal in SEO strategies. They can significantly boost a page’s own authority and its likelihood of ranking higher in search engine results.
Introduced by Google in 2005, NoFollow links come with a tag that essentially tells search engines, “Don’t consider this link as an endorsement.” NoFollow links were initially designed to combat spam and unscrupulous link-building practices, especially in user-generated content areas like blog comments and forums. While they don’t pass on “link juice” like their DoFollow counterparts, they’re still valuable. They can drive traffic, enhance visibility, and sometimes lead to acquiring organic DoFollow links.
Differentiating Between Internal and External Links
In the web of digital connections, it’s also crucial to distinguish where these links originate and where they lead:
These are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. They’re commonly used in website navigation, guiding visitors from one section of a site to another. Besides aiding user navigation, internal links also help spread “link juice” around a website, ensuring that important pages get their share of attention.
External Links (or Backlinks)
These are links from one domain to a completely different domain. For instance, a blogger might mention a product and link to the product page on an eCommerce site. This is an external link from the blogger’s domain to the eCommerce site. These types of links play a pivotal role in SEO, particularly in establishing domain authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
The Impact of Quality Backlinks
In the intricate world of SEO, backlinks have long held prominence. Yet, as with many facets of digital marketing, quality trumps quantity. To fully grasp the gravity of quality backlinks, let’s dissect the landscape piece by piece.
Beyond Mere Numbers: The Shift Towards Quality
Once upon a time, websites could game the system by accumulating a vast number of backlinks, regardless of where they came from. This approach often led to websites climbing the search engine rankings with ease. However, search engine algorithms have evolved, becoming more sophisticated and discerning. The contemporary mantra is straightforward: it’s not about how many backlinks you have, but rather where they come from.
Distinguishing Between High-authority and Low-authority Sites
The dichotomy between high-authority and low-authority sites is pivotal to understand.
These are the juggernauts of the digital world. Established, credible, and trusted by users and search engines alike, they’ve earned their authority over time through consistent quality content, user engagement, and a robust backlink profile of their own. A nod from these sites, in the form of a backlink, is akin to receiving an SEO endorsement of the highest order. It’s a signal that your content is worthy, relevant, and valuable.
These might be newer sites, those with a history of poor-quality content, or ones that haven’t yet built a robust backlink profile. Links from these sites, while not inherently harmful, don’t pack the same SEO punch as those from high-authority domains. In some instances, especially when these links seem manipulative or spammy, they can even detract from your site’s perceived trustworthiness.
The Dark Side: The Risks of Spammy Backlinks
In the race to achieve digital prominence, some might be tempted to take shortcuts. This can manifest in the pursuit of “easy” backlinks, often acquired through unscrupulous means. These black-hat techniques can include buying links, participating in link farms, or using automated programs to generate links.
While these tactics might offer a fleeting boost in backlinks, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Modern search engine algorithms, particularly Google’s, are adept at spotting these manipulative tactics. The result? Penalties. Websites found guilty can witness a dramatic drop in search rankings or, in severe cases, be de-indexed entirely, effectively wiping them off the search map.
Utilizing Backlinks for eCommerce SEO
Backlinks play a pivotal role in eCommerce SEO by enhancing organic traffic through improved search rankings. They directly channel visitors to a site, boosting potential customer engagement. Furthermore, links from reputable sources amplify a brand’s visibility and credibility. Unlike the fleeting impact of paid advertising, the influence of quality backlinks grows over time. Additionally, they expedite the discovery and indexing of new webpages by search engine bots.
Backlinks are the lifeblood of eCommerce SEO, playing a pivotal role in driving traffic, establishing authority, and enhancing visibility. With an ethically crafted backlink strategy, eCommerce businesses can solidify their digital foothold. Don’t just aim for more; aim for better, quality-driven backlinks. The digital marketplace awaits. Dive in!
Meet the Author
Cyrllssy Moore is an E-commerce Consultant and the Business Development Director for an e-commerce development company. She is competent both in the business and technical side of E-commerce businesses, her projects have been widely distributed internationally