Imagine you’re at a party and someone is talking about you. If the person is reputable, it reflects well on you and the connection is beneficial. If the person is sketchy, you don’t want to associate with them. In the web world, high authority backlinks are the reputable party-goers. By connecting with you, they’re telling everyone at the party (the Internet) that they respect what you’re saying or doing.

If the person is reputable, it reflects well on you and the connection is beneficial. If the person is sketchy, you don’t want to associate with them.

In the web world, high authority backlinks are the reputable party-goers. By connecting with you, they’re telling everyone at the party (the Internet) that they respect what you’re saying or doing.

They become referrals from a trusted source.

What are high authority backlinks?

Just as recommendations from friends and family remain the most credible form of advertising, high authority backlinks are credible referrals.

Google considers a link from another site a vote for the quality of your site. But they validate that assumption in the SEO and PageRank algorithms.

In basic terms, any link from another site to your site is a backlink. But if the backlink is from a spammy or low-ranking website, it can damage your SEO and skew your web traffic conversion results.

That’s why you only want quality backlinks. And the most coveted are high authority backlinks.

Google cares

There was a time when the more backlinks you had to your site the better. But Google realized that some backlinks weren’t valuable. So, they factor the quality of a backlink into their SEO algorithms. And that affects SEO juice.

Of course, Google’s exact formula for determining the quality of backlinks isn’t known. But it’s widely accepted that they assess a few aspects.

How high authority backlinks are connected to SEO

There are four important aspects of backlinks. Pay attention to them when reviewing your site’s backlinks or seeking out new high authority backlinks to help boost your SEO.

Reputation and influence

Perhaps the most critical aspect is reputation, which is tied to influence. Is the website owner well known and respected in the real world? Do people listen to what they say?

Think about the difference between getting a nod of approval in the form of a backlink from Google (this never happens but it’s fun to think about) and a website that’s all ads, has a post office box for a mailing address, and hasn’t been redesigned since 2002. Which is going to reflect better on your brand and services?

Remember, the better a company’s reputation is in the real world, the more trusted they are on the web.

Relevance

Does the content on the page of the referring website have anything to do with your business?

SEO algorithms take relevance into consideration to prevent low-ranking websites from leeching off more established businesses. Relevant links connect pages that talk about the same subject.

Note that context counts. For example, if a website about bakery machinery links to your blog post about the evolution of mass pie production, that backlink would be considered relevant.

Uniqueness

The test for this aspect of backlinks includes looking at your competition. For example: if everyone in the pie-making industry has a backlink from the bakery machinery company, it’s worthless for SEO.

But a site that is outside your industry using a link directly connected to your subject, it is considered unique. This would likely mean it’s a high authority backlink.

A common example of this kind of high authority backlink is an article about your company posted on a newspaper’s website.

Clicks

If a backlink isn’t used, its value to both you and the source site decreases. The thinking is that if few people (as compared to page views) click on the link, its relevance and/or uniqueness is in doubt.

The placement of the backlink on the source page can also reduce its value. Links in footers aren’t valuable in terms of SEO. Plus, they would not likely be considered high authority backlinks even if the other conditions are met.

Steps for gaining high authority backlinks

Establish and maintain routine practices for gaining high authority backlinks. This is a wise business habit and doesn’t counter ethical SEO standards.

Some of the following steps can be taken concurrently.

1. Find authority sites

You know the heavy hitters in your industry — that aren’t your competitors. You also know the people and/or companies that influence your customer base. (If you don’t, get on that right away.)

Make a list of 10 of these sites. They are your high authority backlink prospects.

2. Connect with real people behind those websites

Never forget that real people make decisions about backlinks on reputable sites. Find one or two people who oversee content. Help them understand why linking to your site would make sense for them.

A few ways to do this:

  • Pitch a guest blog post.
  • Send information about one of your products and how it could benefit their readership.
  • Simply introduce yourself and offer insights on the industry that may not be on their radar.

3. Post quality content

The more valuable your own website is, the more attractive it becomes to high authority backlink providers.

Routinely post quality content to your site and on social media. Make it as engaging and relevant as possible to encourage people to share it. This practice has the added benefit of improved overall SEO.

Or, if you’re not keen on creating content, trying these 5 ways to build quality backlinks.

4. Remove low-quality links and backlinks

To improve SEO, Google recommends removing spammy or low-quality links that live on and/or lead to your website.

Getting another site to remove a link to your website takes time and often a little diplomacy. But the pay off in SEO is worth it. If you do run into a brick wall, Google provides ways to disavow low-quality backlinks and have them do something about it.

In summary

Despite the continual changes to SEO algorithms, backlinks remain important if you want to be found on the web. Low-quality backlinks erode trust and can damage sales and your brand. It’s worth the effort to remove them and only seek high authority backlinks.

High authority backlinks are good for SEO so make seeking them out a regular part of your SEO strategy.