Backlinks are one of many signals that Google uses to determine the authority and relevance of a web page.
However, what if you are unable to acquire backlinks? Is it still possible to improve your site’s SEO ranking?
In this article, we will look at whether it’s possible to improve your SEO without backlinks and how important they are when it comes to ranking a page in Google.
What are backlinks?
- What are backlinks?
- Are backlinks essential for SEO?
- Competitive niches and eCommerce
- Local SEO
- Can I get traffic without backlinks?
- Can you rank in Google without links?
- Consider the competitive landscape of your niche
- Content coverage
- Internal linking
- Are backlinks still important in 2022?
- What is a good backlink strategy?
Backlinks or incoming links are when another website links to a page on another website. They act as votes of confidence and the more high quality, relevant links that you are able to obtain from a website, the more trust that this builds for your website. It tells Google that you are a reputable source and actually can act as a driver of traffic to your site.
Whilst they are an important ranking factor for Google’s algorithm, there are many other ranking factors that are also important. Some of the other key ranking factors include:
- Optimised metadata
- Content quality and relevance
- User experience
- Technical SEO
- Social presence
- Internal links
- Content coverage
Are backlinks essential for SEO?
Backlinks are an important part of SEO and generally, you will need to build backlinks in order to gain trust from Google. Depending on what it is you are looking to rank for will depend on the backlink coverage you need.
Competitive niches and eCommerce
In the more competitive niches, such as gambling you will need more backlinks in order to compete with the businesses that spend thousands and even millions every month on links depending on how competitive that particular space is.
For local SEO, backlinks are not so important and it is more about your physical presence and how easy it is for real customers to find you. Building local business listings, having a physical office or work location and customer reviews are all far more important. It really depends on what it is you are looking to rank for and the type of traffic that you are looking to attract to your website.
Can I get traffic without backlinks?
You can certainly start attracting traffic to your website without the need to build backlinks. Having good quality content that your potential users want to read is far more important and sharing this to your audience on social media will immediately bring traffic to your website without the need to build backlinks.
If you can make a piece of content go viral on social media, this will again attract more eyes to your business and drive traffic. For the well-established brands that have huge followings, they are going to build links naturally without the need to do outreach.
With a large enough following on social media and ensuring that you are consistently providing them with content they wish to engage with, you can 100% build traffic to your website completely organically.
Can you rank in Google without links?
You can certainly rank in Google without any link building. Whilst building external links still remains an important part of SEO, depending on the competitive nature of your niche, you can most certainly rank without links.
Consider the competitive landscape of your niche
As a part of your SEO strategy initially, it is important to analyse the competitive landscape of the keywords you wish to rank. You can use free and paid SEO tools that will analyse your competitors’ backlinks and tell you how competitive it is based on the number of links they have pointing at their website.
A well-optimised website that is full of quality content covering a number of related queries and topics that provides a great user experience is the website that is going to stand the test of time. Providing a good experience for your users and providing quality content is what is going to help your website long term.
You can also focus your efforts on building links internally as a way to drive traffic to the pages you wish to rank higher. This is going to send traffic to relevant pages and will ultimately benefit the user experience, as well as make it easier for Google to find all of the pages within your website.
Are backlinks still important in 2022?
Backlinks still certainly remain an important part of SEO in 2022 and you should be looking to find backlink opportunities where you can. Backlinks are still fundamentally one of the key ways in which Google is able to tell what it is your website is offering. Whilst it is possible to rank without backlinks if your website covers a topic well enough, you should still keep an eye out for opportunities to feature on relevant sites where you can.
What is a good backlink strategy?
There are a number of ways in which you can build links with very little effort. Some of the best backlink strategies include:
- Competitor link building – find ways to steal your competitors’ backlinks and reach out to the sites yourself.
- Broken link building – find broken link opportunities and offer updated content to those sites. They will be more than willing to replace the broken link if you can offer better content to replace it.
- Skyscraper link building – Reach out to sites within your industry and offer content that surpasses the quality of what they already have. Whether the content is outdated or could be improved, this works as a great way to build natural links.
- Citations and local directories – this is especially important if you work in local SEO. Get listed on all of the local directories you can to help build your organic presence.
There are definitely ways in which you can improve SEO without the need to build any backlinks. Whilst backlinks are still an important part of SEO, there are a lot of ways in which you can drive traffic to your website which in turn is a ranking factor in itself.
If Google sees that your website is getting a lot of traffic and a lot of engagement, this is going to benefit your site as a whole. It tells Google that you are a real website and a quality one at that.
You should however always be looking for backlink opportunities as this is a great way to increase the authority of your site and potentially drive more visitors to your site as a result.
Make your approach to SEO one that encompasses all platforms and one that is focused around the needs of your audience.