Backlinks, also called inbound links, are essential to any online marketing campaign. Think of them as other websites showing a vote of confidence in your brand and your website. This shows that your website is trustworthy and deserve a higher ranking. This results in increased traffic for your business and more visibility for your brand.

If more backlinks equals more traffic to your site, you can understand why some internet marketing companies would spam their sites to build up their backlink profile. This would have been an easy way to rank a few years ago, but Google has thankfully put in some “safeguards” to ward off spamming.

Each inbound link is evaluated to determine how that link will help or harm your site. Here are 6 ways that Google evaluates links to rank sites:


How authoritative is the source domain that the link is coming from? If you get a link from a site that is well established with lots of readers and traffic, you will get more “link juice” as opposed to a new site with no readers and no traffic. This is why it is important to get links from authoritative sites which will give you more benefit when ranking your site. This is one of the main factors that our SEO experts evaluate when we build backlinks for our clients.


How relevant is the source of your link to your site? If your site is about plumbing and you are getting a link from a recipe site, the relevance of that link will not flow to your site. In contrast, if your site is about plumbing and you are getting a link from a plumbing contractor site, this will be powerful for your targeted keyword rankings in the search results.

No Follow/Do Follow

Simply put, no-follow links are links that carry no link juice to your site while do-follow links carry that link juice to help rank your site. Google allows you to add the “rel=nofollow” tag to any link that you do not want to have crawled or associated with your site. Every site should have a mixture of no-follow and do-follow links in order to have a natural link profile.

Contextual Relevance

Where is the link in respect to the content on the page? If your link is in the sidebar, it isn’t as relevant as a link that is within the main content of your site. Also the content surrounding your link is also important to show how the content relates to the destination link.

Anchor Text

This is one of the most important ways that Google ranks websites. Anchor text is the actual words that are used in the link to your site. These anchor texts forms a link profile that allows Google to get an understanding of what your site/web page is all about. Using a mixture of branded, URL, keyword rich and generic anchor text with give you an overall natural link profile that will make Google happy.

Link Destination

Where is your link pointing to? It is important to make sure that you are writing quality content to build links to. Google will evaluate how important this content is to rank and how will it help the user who is searching for information. If you are going to take the time and money to build links to your site, make sure it is something that is worthwhile.

Google is always looking for ways to improve their algorithm to provide the best search results to the public. Understanding how Google evaluate your link building efforts will help you rank with less links. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always changing but the core rules still apply. Stick to those and you will be ranking in no time.