What Are Backlinks? And How to Use Them in 2021

Backlinks are also known as inbound links or one-way links. They are links from one website to a page on another website. Backlinks are considered votes of confidence for your page. Sites that have a large number of backlinks usually tend to have a high organic ranking in search engines.

For example, if a website adds a link to your website in its content, it is a backlink.

What is the Importance of Backlinks?

Simply put, each backlink is a vote that tells search engines that the content of that website is useful, credible, and valuable.

The more votes or backlinks your website has, the higher it will rank and the more it will be displayed organically on Google or other search engines.

Not all backlinks are valuable. It is also important that backlinks to your website come from trusted sites. If a backlink comes from a fraudulent site it will not help you at all.

Types of Backlinks

We have already mentioned that not all backlinks are the same. Here are some of the different types:

Nofollow links

If you don’t want to vouch for a website but still need to link to it, nofollow links use the rel=”nofollow” attribute to inform Google and other search engines that they do not convey trust (PageRank).

Since nofollow links don’t pass PageRank, they won’t necessarily help you rank better in the SERPs.

Dofollow Links

Unlike Nofollow links, a dofollow link is one that does pass trust (PageRank) so only, no nofollow attribute is added to it.

Any link is considered dofollow unless an attribute is added to it, so no attribute needs to be added to indicate that it is a trusted site to search engines.

Sponsored or Paid Links

It is possible to pay a blogger or influencer to promote content on your website to post a review of one of their products. However, paying money or gifts to get a followed link to your site from another site is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines; to prevent your site from being negatively affected by these links, the rel=”sponsored” attribute is added.

Toxic Links (Unnatural Links)

“Bad links” are often referred to as toxic or unnatural links.

Toxic backlinks are those that come from suspicious websites, or that directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These types of backlinks exist to try to cheat search engine rankings.

This can mean paid links that are not marked with nofollow or sponsored attributes, i.e. they come from low quality or fraudulent sites.

Editorially Placed Links

An editorially placed or earned link is one in which a journalist or webmaster, with free will, has decided to link to another website or web page because he or she believes the content deserves to have traffic sent to it.


Backlinks are a key factor that will help you improve your Google ranking, so don’t take them lightly. Build good links and you will notice an increase in your ranking.