External links to your website and how to check backlinks

What are external links in SEO and why should I care?

External links are important in SEO and refer to links from other websites pointing back to your homepage.

The phrase “Links from other websites that point back to my website” is easier to understand if you do not work with Search Engine Optimization, but “backlinks” is a lot faster to use in a conversation.


Backlinks from other websites
Illustration of links from other websites pointing to your homepage.

Why should I care about external links?

You should care a lot since external links are a big factor when determining the value of your website and how it should be ranked compared to other web pages when people search online.

When the concept of SEO started, few other factors influenced your website as much, but over the years Google and other search engines have evolved and look at hundreds of different elements to determine how they should rank each site.

External links are a major SEO factor, so you should keep a close eye on the links pointing to your website.

Not all backlinks are identical

A link is a link, right? No, not really. A backlink has several factors that all influence the value of it for you.

Where exactly does it link?

The link itself should point to a page on your website that exists. Otherwise, it has little value for people clicking the link and for your SEO. A normal link profile for a site will see the majority of the links pointing to the front page, the main page.

Other factors that influence the value of backlinks

Where is it from? Google will take a look at where the link comes from. If you have a website related to coffee machines in Germany, it will not give much benefit to having thousands of links from Russian sites in a completely different language and completely different area. Backlinks from Google.

In fact, having thousands of spammy links from forums and comments is a speedy way to get your website devalued or even removed entirely.

You can also check out five tips to increase SEO traffic for more suggestions on how to improve your SEO.

How to check your backlinks

External links are important for ranking well in Google
External links are part of your SEO strategy

There are many ways to test which other pages link to your website. Google Search Console is a favorite tool for SEO specialists, but it involves a little extra work to verify your website.

Once you have created a Google account and verified you are the owner of your website, you will find a lot of details about your website, including who links to you.

There are other online tools out there for backlink checking; most will work by crawling other websites and discovering links that point to you.


Using WordPress? Here is a faster way

You can also use our WordPress SEO plugin – SEO Booster Pro which will do it faster for you if you have a WordPress website. One of the modules in the pro version checks whenever a visitor comes from another URL than your website.

You can see a list of backlinks, how many visitors they have brought, how the link is pointing to your website and much more. Each link that is discovered is automatically reviewed and verified.

All links can be exported as into your favorite spreadsheet editor.

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