Backlinks: High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links

Not every backlink is created equal. What’s the difference between low-quality and high-quality links?

Over time search engines, like Google, have adapted their algorithms to account for the importance of backlinks and their role in SEO and page visibility. The SEO and digital marketing industries are constantly changing and in order to keep up and remain relevant (and at the top of Google!), our strategies must adapt.

The success of your online marketing campaign is only as effective as your ability to be found online. Optimising your website for search engines involves a range of methods and techniques. These factors are both in and out of our control. Obtaining backlinks — whether on authoritative sites or in web directories — remains an essential strategy in SEO.

In this post, you will learn what a backlink is, how they work and what makes for a high-quality link.

backlinks man and computer

Backlinks: High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links

What are Backlinks?

A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. Also known as inbound links, obtaining backlinks is like receiving a “vote” for your webpage. The more votes you get from sites with credible authority, the more positive an effect on a site’s ranking and search visibility!

Backlinking can be broken down into two main categories: the total number of backlinks and the total number of referral domains. The total number of backlinks is every link on an external domain that takes a user back to your own website. The number of referral domains is how many individual websites those backlinks are shared by.

Why are Backlinks Important?

Although content is king in any SEO campaign, backlinking is one of the most important factors when influencing the visibility of your website and its ability to rank on the SERPs (search engine results pages)

Put simply, backlinks to your websites are a signal to search engines that other brands, businesses and organisations vouch for your content. When many sites link to the same webpage, search engines can assume that the content is worth linking to, and thus also worth being displayed on the SERPs.

Backlinks and Google

Google uses various signals to determine search rankings. There are two signals that are directly influenced by backlinking. These are:

Domain Authority:  A score assigned to websites by collecting all the referral domains that link back to your website. The higher the authority of sites that refer back to you, the more your own domain authority will increase.

Trust score: A metric that considers the credibility of your referral domains. A trust score that is lower than your domain authority is a red flag for the quality and factualness of the content linking back to your site from referral domains.

Ideally, you do not want backlinks from websites that have low trust scores or domain authority. Earning backlinks have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position and visibility.

backlinks puzzle pieces

Backlinks: High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links

What Makes High-Quality Links?

All search engine consider backlinks as “votes”. Backlinks from well-regarded and credible sites will have more influence than a lesser-regarded site.


Authority metrics are often assigned to a website or webpage to quantify the value and credibility of a link from them. A webpage with high authority that is linking to your webpage can be a strong signal to search engines that it is also a credible and relevant source.

In essence, an authoritative website is considered by the search engines to be a trustworthy source of information about a particular subject.

Search engines, like Google, will then look at a website’s backlinks to determine its expertise and trustworthiness on a subject (that their content is based on).


An important thing to note about backlinks is that they must be relevant. This simply means that the websites that are linking to your page must be about the same/similar topics otherwise it won’t be a high-quality backlink.

For example, if you have a website with content about “art”, it will be of little use if an external domain about “finances” links to your website as these topics does not relate to each other. However, if another site about museums, art history or galleries were to link to your site, it would have more relevance.

What Makes Low-Quality Links?

Low-quality links are best understood as irrelevant and untrustworthy.

Low-quality links are typically easy to obtain and are often self-created or requested. Websites that allow just anyone to submit a link to their site is unlikely to have a high authority score or relevant content. These backlinks that link to your website will be of low-quality and relatively useless.

Google has strict guidelines on what is considered a manipulative link, and can greatly impact your search rankings if your site is flagged for this.

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Backlinks: High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links

Building Backlinks

There are a number of link building strategies used to get referring domains to link to yours:

Content Creation & Promotion: As explained above- Content is king! Creating compelling, informative, high-quality content will ensure that people will naturally want to reference and link to your page.

Reviews & Mentions: Obtain reviews for your brand, service, or website from popular influencers in your industry. This will help build quality, authoritative links.

Links from Friends & Partners: Ask people you know and people you work with to link to your site. Remember that relevance matters; links from sites that are in the same general industry or niche as your site will have more value than links from random, unrelated sites.

It can take a while to build a lot of links, but the time this takes proves to be worth it in the end!

Need Some Help Building High-Quality Backlinks? 

A wide and varied link profile is incredibly beneficial for your SEO campaign. If you wish to increase the ability for your website to rank on the SERPs, it is imperative to know how to build and generate high-quality links.

It is often a waste of valuable time and budget to build easy and unrelated links from low-quality sites. Focusing this time, energy and budget on creating high-quality, trustworthy backlinks positively influence the ranking and authority score of your website.

However, link building can be tricky and hard to get right. Why not let the experts handle it? Get in touch with the DNHQ team today!

Backlinks: High-Quality Links vs. Low-Quality Links

Contact DNHQ Today!