Everyone wants their website to come up early in Google’s natural search results. This desire has spawned an entire industry of experts (and not-so-experts) to help you achieve SEO (search engine optimization) success. Google mixes up a secret cocktail that includes approximately 200 data-point ingredients to determine their search results. Many companies spend a ton of resources trying to reverse-engineer that algorithm accurately.
One of the most significant pieces of that magic formula is not a secret. Google has always been pretty transparent about how essential this item is to natural search results. However, it’s one of the areas of SEO that is often skipped over.
Based on our professional experience and recent research for confirmation, SEO experts agree that approximately 40% of your natural search results are based on the number and quality of links to your website from the rest of the Internet. These are known in the business as “backlinks.” If you and I have similar websites but your website has 10,000 links to it from misc quality websites throughout the Internet, and my website only has 1,000 similar links, your website will be given significant priority over my site in Google’s natural search results. Google looks at these backlinks as “votes” from the Internet that you have a quality website.
Based on this fact, any serious SEO campaign has to have a significant ongoing backlink recruitment effort. You need to be continually adding new links to your website from other quality websites online. The reason this is often skipped is that it is HARD. It can be time-consuming, and it’s hard to track specific results. To make things worse, the tools available for measuring the number of backlinks to your website are unreliable.
These challenges have caused many to look for shortcuts to get SEO results, many of which don’t work or don’t work for very long. The more we look at the problem, the more we’re convinced that the best SEO work is done the hard way, earning one quality link at a time back to your website. One of the few things that most SEO experts agree to is that backlinks are by far the most crucial variable that Google looks at.