Backlinks direct visitors to your website and are important to improve the Google ranking. The following article shows you how you can build links yourself and get valuable backlinks for your website.


A backlink is a link that refers to your website from another website. It means that visitors to another website are directed to your website via the backlink. Also, the links are important to improve Google ranking. They are part of search engine optimization in general and off-page optimization in particular. Off-page optimization includes all measures outside of your own website that aims to improve Google ranking. That includes backlinks and link building.


The importance of the backlink for off-page optimization has increased significantly in recent years. For search engines like Google, the links are an important basis for evaluating a website and ranking it. The more links refer to another website, the greater the importance of the website for a particular topic.

Google take a very pragmatic view of this. A website that is not linked to other sites is of no interest and has no value for the search engine users. Therefore, it does not deserve a good ranking. To improve Google ranking, a high number of backlinks is not so important. The quality of the links has a much greater impact on the rating. And that starts with building the backlink.

A link is like a recommendation, and the more recommendation your website gets from backlinks, the more popular it becomes.


Simple structure and anchor text

Link building and off-page optimization begin with the correct structure of the backlinks. A backlink consists of two parts, the HTML code and the part that is visible and clickable for readers, the anchor text. For example:

<a href=””> <strong> <span style = “color: # 99c500;”> anchor text </span> </strong> </a>

Name the anchor text and observe “hard” links

Google and other search engines analyze the anchor text in particular. For the backlink to be recognized by Google, the anchor text should contain the keyword under which the linked page was found. If you searched for “OffPage Optimization,” an anchor text containing this term, i.e., “OffPage Optimization,” is good. For example:

<a href=””> OffPage optimization for beginners </a>

Overall, however, you should always pay attention to the correct mix of anchor texts. Whenever you link, ask yourself, “What would a website admin naturally link to?” and then make your decision. “Hard” links are rarely used for the main keyword. Much more often, the links are hidden relatively close to an explanation. Therefore, the link correlates with the previously mentioned.

Unnecessary anchor texts using the example “here.”

The “HERE,” which is often still used as anchor text, is not very informative for search engines. It brought Adobe and its Flash Player a very strong ranking under the word “here.” The reason is very simple; every page that needed a Flash Player linked the download under the word “here.”


A backlink can be extended with the no-follow attribute. The attribute is inserted in the HTML code after the URL:

The Google Bot does not follow the link:

<a href=”” rel=”no-follow”> OffPage optimization for beginners </a>

Google bot follows the link:

<a href=”” rel=”follow”> OffPage optimization for beginners </a>

Google bot follows the link:

<a href=””> OffPage optimization for beginners </a>

A backlink without no-follow is always a do-follow link that search engines follow. A backlink with a no-follow attribute signals the search engines not to follow this link. It is generally assumed that a no-follow backlink will be ignored by the search engines and will not be included in the evaluation. Nobody knows for sure whether this is actually the case.


Today, the sheer number of backlinks is no longer enough to improve the Google ranking. It is not uncommon for a high and, above all, rapidly growing number of backlinks to have the opposite effect. Google essentially assess the thematic proximity and thematic relevance of the linked page. Two factors must be taken into account when building links to improve Google ranking.

Find the thematic proximity

Thematic proximity means that the pages linked to one another match in terms of content. It, in turn, can be thematically closely linked or come from a peripheral area. For example, if the website of a gear manufacturer receives a backlink from a website whose topic is “baby diapers,”  Google will hardly attach any importance to this backlink. On the other hand, if a large publisher of specialist literature for mechanical engineers links to the website, thematic proximity is unmistakable, and the backlink will positively influence the assessment.

Pay attention to thematic relevance

The second factor is the thematic relevance of a website. With the example mentioned above, thematic relevance means that if the website of the publisher is displayed in the top ten search results for the term “gears,” then the website has high relevance for this topic. Search engines view backlinks that flow into the link building from this page as more valuable than backlinks from a website that is only listed on page 8 in the SERPs for the search term.

Other factors that are important for backlinks

The placement of the links is of particular importance when evaluating backlinks. For search engines, links placed in the header or footer of a text have a different, lower value than, for example, backlinks in the body of the text or images. As already mentioned, the anchor text is an important criterion for the quality of a backlink.

PageRank is no longer as important for link building today. The PageRank is an evaluation and provides information about how many own backlinks the linking website has. The higher the PageRank, the more valuable are the links that another website receives from this page. This influence on link building is known as link juice. The PageRank algorithm has now lost its importance and has been largely replaced by other methods – without it being known exactly how and by what means.


The link building is an important part of OffPage optimization and important to improve Google ranking. The term link building summarizes the methods that are used to link your website to other websites. Link building means creating targeted backlinks and improving Google ranking. With link building, the focus is on a balanced link profile.

Building backlinks – what does a balanced link profile look like?

A balanced link profile contains a mixture of different links of different quality and different origins. When building a link in a balanced link profile, links from blog articles, from thematically relevant websites, from comments in blogs and forums, links from social networks, and, to a certain extent, links from web directories and catalogs as well as one or the other no-follow link are included.

Based on the link types contained in the profile, Google can distinguish whether the link was established naturally or whether someone helped to establish the link, for example, by buying or exchanging links. Natural link building and a balanced link profile also mean that the profile contains a not inconsiderable number of backlinks that come from websites that have a rather average or low rating.

A backlink builds a bridge between your website and another, so to speak. But make sure that the bridge makes sense.


You can build backlinks in different ways. However, not every link building strategy is suitable for improving Google ranking. The first of the link building strategies presented below are still popular in some cases, but can directly lead to a website penalizing Google.

Build backlinks – enter links yourself

Building backlinks by entering them yourself in forums, comments, and directories is one of the fastest and easiest ways of link building. However, the links generated in this way are of little importance. Also, if you place the links in, for example, poorly or negatively rated pages, this can hurt the ranking of your own website. At least with this link building strategy, you have an influence on the anchor text of the links and on whether the link is a No-follow or a Do-follow link.

Build backlinks by exchanging links

Building backlinks by exchanging links is also a relatively easy method for building links, but in many cases, it is counterproductive and hardly suitable for improving the Google ranking. With a link exchange, you agree with the operator of another website that you place mutual backlinks on your websites. More than just two websites can be involved in the link exchange. The more there are, the greater the chance that a search engine will not establish a connection between the pages and that link building through link exchange will have no consequences.

In particular, Google has its own opinion on link building through a link exchange and describes “Excessive link exchange … or partner sites for the sole purpose of mutual linking…” as prohibited in the guidelines for webmasters. Google consistently punishes websites that do not adhere to them and are discovered.

Build backlinks by buying links

This method of link building sounds very tempting. Build backlinks by simply buying enough links and thereby enriching the link profile of your website. The problem with this link building method is that Google will penalize buying links. Google knows and recognizes the sources of purchased links. Websites that create links in this way are at least devalued. It is not uncommon for Google to even completely remove these websites from the index. The goal of improving Google ranking is, therefore, a long way off.

This tough approach is based on Google’s philosophy. Google has made it it’s business to provide search engine users with optimal search results. Websites that are relevant to the topic and add value for the user. Since purchased backlinks are not really recommendations from satisfied users and often have nothing to do with the topic of certain search terms, Google is taking action.

Build backlinks – natural link building with real recommendations

The most sustainable and safest way to build links for a website is natural link building through recommendations from users in a backlink. This link building strategy assumes two things. That’s good content and time. Content that is helpful for users is often shared and linked and, not least, is rated positively by Google and other search engines and rewarded with a corresponding ranking.

Good content is the basic requirement to improve Google ranking and achieve sustainable link building. This process of natural link building is slow at the beginning, and it takes some time for your website to receive the first backlinks from users. As the number of links increases, so does the reputation of your website and the goal of improving Google ranking is no longer just a dream. OffPage optimization and link building never end as long as a website exists and is supposed to be successful.


The regular analysis and control of the backlinks and the link building of your website with suitable tools are important measures for sustainable OffPage optimization. If a top website disappears almost overnight, “bad” backlinks are often the reason for this. If you regularly check the links in the link profile, you can discover links with a negative impact on your website in a good time. If you find negative links, you have two options.

Measures against negative backlinks

The first step is to ask the website operator to remove the link. The second measure that you can and should take in parallel is to declare the link on Google invalid. This process is called disavowal. That is, you are asking Google not to consider certain links when evaluating your website. How the process works are described in detail on Google and are relatively easy to understand. By disavowing your website is a good time, you can prevent a bad rating of your website in most cases and revise a punishment that has already been given.


The central task of off-page optimization is to improve Google ranking with high-quality backlinks. The best way to generate backlinks is through natural link building. Given a little time and patience, this is the surest way to get more visitors and to increase the success of a website in the long term.

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