Backlink tracking is a key part of understanding your website's SEO performance. Backlinks, or "incoming links," are links from other websites that point to your site.
Search engines often view these backlinks as 'votes' for your site, so the number and quality of backlinks can significantly impact your SEO.
Navigating the Backlinks screen
The Backlinks screen is divided into five main areas:
This tab provides a snapshot of your backlinks, including the total number of backlinks and historical data. It helps you understand which links are most important to your site. The most valuable backlinks, as measured by their approximate PageRank, are listed in a table.
Here, you can delve deeper into your top backlinks, gaining more information about each link. A diverse range of links is beneficial as search engines like Google can detect artificial link patterns.
This tab shows you how many times a referring site has linked to your website. It's a great way to understand who is linking to you the most.
Pages linked to
This table shows the pages on your website that are linked to the most. It gives you an idea of the most popular content on your site.
This section helps you understand the text used on your top backlinks and how many backlinks and referrers use this text. It's a good way to see if your targeted keywords are being used in the backlinks.
How backlinks work in Silktide
Backlinks are counted by Ahrefs, a third party. Silktide counts the backlinks pointing to the specific subdomain that your website is hosted on. It's important to note that Silktide cannot distinguish between backlinks to specific pages, so if your Silktide website excludes specific pages, they will not be excluded from this test.
Learn more about how Ahrefs Ranks are calculated.
Potential challenges with backlinks
If your website is new or has very few incoming links, it might take some time for this test to find them. Also, the number of links reported by different search engines will vary from our count and each other.
For example, Google is much pickier at counting links, but the links they do count are of higher value. Among other criteria, Google generally excludes links that:
come repeatedly from one website, for example in the footer of every page
come from a set of related webservers, for example similar/identical IP addresses
come from a set of websites which appear to reference each other exclusively
come from sites that reciprocate the link
come from blacklisted websites
come from brand-new websites
come from websites filled with user-generated content, such as Wikipedia
are invisible or nearly so, for example white text on white background
In effect, Google is very good at eliminating most of the common tricks for generating artificial links, which people have used to trick search engines in the past. All link counts use some variation of this approach, and these approaches are usually kept secret.
Therefore, you should consider this test as a relative metric, not an absolute one.
Why backlinks matter
Backlinks are a huge part of any SEO strategy. Your website should aim for a competitive volume and quality of backlinks to compete for a high search engine ranking.
Link building, that is purposely obtaining links to a website, is a large part of effective Search Engine Optimization, especially for new or poorly ranking websites.
Improving your backlinks
You should always be gaining more quality links to your website. For more on this, read about link building.
Once a website has reached a certain critical mass, it should usually gain respectable backlinks all by itself. At this point, your main concern will be building backlinks around specific and desirable keywords.