At this point it is safe to assume that we currently have quite a thorough understanding of Backlinks, and what they are. The types of backlinks used in SEO have a direct bearing on the risks involved in ranking a particular website – as we discussed in our article on the types of SEO. Backlinks are deemed to be one of the most important ranking factors by Google (we refer to Google as it is still the dominant Search Engine globally), and it is important to understand what the types of backlinks that exist, and why they are important. Backlinks come in a variety of flavours, Do-Follow, No-Follow, Naked URL, and Authority. We will cover the others in a separate article, so let us focus on the Authority Backlinks. What are they, where do they come from, why are they important? To answer these questions, we need to understand Authority.
Authority, refers to the reputation that a particular domain and/or page has within its particular niche, in the eyes of a Search Engine. A common example would be IMDB. A website that has been around for many years, has had few-to-no mishaps that could damage its credibility with Search Engines, and that has so much organic traffic that Search Engines cannot help but list it as a website that is credible and popular. This does not mean that to raise your websites authority, there is a requirement from Search Engines that your website be the size or age of IMDB, that simply can not happen. What tends to happen instead is that every website that is recognised by Search Engines is given a ranking of sorts in terms of Authority. This is calculated based on the age of the website, its content etc. similarly to how IMDB got its Authority, but on a smaller scale. So how do Backlinks fit into this?
Authority Backlinks are basically exactly what the name implies – backlinks from domains that have high authority in its particular niche, in the eyes of Search Engines. Their value must be becoming clear by now. See it as this; You are in High School, an unpopular classmate tells your crush that you like them and that you two should date. This is unlikely to work. However, if the most popular person in school told your crush what a nice person you are, and that you two would make such a cute couple. Bingo!
The idea in terms of SEO is similar. You have an aged and trusted website telling a Search Engine that this website is worth its attention. Almost as if the Authority website is vouching for the other website. Thus boosting its credibility vicariously.
Authority Backlinks are hard to come by. Most of the websites that you can post on to not allow Do-Follow links, thus reducing their potency in boosting other websites’ credibility. This makes sense as they would just get drowned in spam if they did. There are, however, services online that, at a price, offer to create backlinks to your website from their websites. These services are not cheap, as you can imagine, but it makes sense when one understands how difficult and expensive Authority Sites can be. A .edu domain name can cost quite a bit, and would require a proof of documentation to register, same goes for a .org in some cases.