How Important Are Backlinks For Ranking a Website?

It is well known in internet marketing circles, that if you want your website to rank highly in the search engines, you need external links. There is no conjecture to this. Google specifically states in its webmaster guidelines that the quality and quantity of external links pointing to your website, to a certain degree influences its rankings. No one can say the exact influence for sure, however most seo professionals agree that they are extremely important. Some seo suggest that the quality and quantity of external links account for between 80% – 90% of the total algorithm.

I do not work for Google, so I cannot be sure of the precise importance of external links. However I do know this much. If you do a search for the term “click here” in Google, you will see that Adobe Acrobat reader comes up as number 1. Now if you actually look at the source code of the page you will notice that adobe acrobat website does not have the phrase ‘click here’ anywhere on the page or where you’d expect to find it. After all conventional seo wisdom recommends that we put our chosen keywords in the title tag, keyword tag, description tag etc,etc. So you might be wondering how a page with no so called ‘on page’ optimisation can ranked number 1 for the term ‘click here’.

The answer is all down to backlinks. A small bit of research reveals that there are a colossal amount of websites (in the millions) with links pointing to adobe acrobat and likely a very high portion of those links contain the anchor text ‘click here’. With so many websites (some of which are extremely trusted and authoritative) linking to adobe acrobat with the phrase ‘click here’ it naturally ranks number.

The significance of this cannot be overlooked. We can confidently suggest that if you own a website and want to rank it highly for a particular keyword. All you need to do is get a large number of backlinks preferably from high quality sites with the anchor text your are targeting. Therefore I would suggest that backlinks are extremely important for search engine optimisation. How to get them, well that’s another article….
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