It’s no secret that backlinks are a vital Google ranking factor. But not just any backlink. In order for these links to increase your website ranking, it has to be high quality. There are several factors that go into ranking the quality of a backlink, and while we may not know them all, Google has given us a rough idea on how to gauge what a high-quality backlink is.
One of the main goals of a search engine is to provide relevant results. You wouldn’t want to search for a clothing store and be brought to a website for a construction company. The same goes for linking to your website. Unless you are linking to content that is relevant to your own content, the link will not generate positive ranking factors for you.
The original purpose of a backlink was to add value to a page by directing a viewer to relevant resources. Having a link in a priority spot on a page with a high amount of traffic makes it a high-quality backlink because it continually drives quality traffic to your page.
An editorial link, also known as an in-content link, is the type of link that search engines value the most. A backlink in the content, preferably near the top, is considered high quality by Google because the author of the content deemed the link important enough to link to on their own page.
On a page with PageRank
The higher the PR of the page where your backlink is located, the higher the quality of your backlink. Keep in mind that PageRank is constantly changing and though Google displays the value for the public, they only update it about every 3 months. The PR value you see is only an estimate and may not reflect the exact PR of that page.
NOT paid for
Paid links can improve ranking, though they run the risk of penalization which is not good for your rank in the long run. Even if you pay for the ad via a 3rd party linking scheme, it can still result in penalization. You’re better off implementing an organic link building strategy to avoid any devastating penalizations to your website.
Exact match anchor text link
The quality of a backlink can be increased by the text that the link is anchored to. If the text is an exact match or a synonym of the words you are trying to increase your rank for, the quality of your backlink will increase. Keep in mind that Google will pay attention to how many backlinks have the same anchor text, so it’s good to use a variation of them.