You don’t know how many do-follow backlinks you have, do you? That’s ok, don’t panic just yet.
The importance of backlinks cannot be overlooked, so it’s very important you start paying attention to how many you have and where they are coming from. Now is as good a time as any to start developing a plan for obtaining these valuable links because they give Google a great idea of how “popular” your website is. Without them you will not rank your site anywhere near where you’d like it to be, which is ideally page 1 or 2 of the search results.
Backlinks matter because they’re a clear sign to Google’s magical search algorithm that other websites consider your domain to be a good source of content and believe your site to be somewhat relevant to their own. As a webmaster myself, I wouldn’t dare give a dangerous website a “vote” by linking to it, because I may get penalized by Google in the process. There’s a certain amount of trust involved with handing out what are known as “do-follow” backlinks. Links tagged as “no-follow” provide some value, but pale in comparison to the value of a “do-follow” link originating from a relevant website in your industry.
The no-follow tag provides a way for a website owner or SEO to link “out” without casting your “vote of trust” to it in the process. By default a link is considered to be a “do-follow” link without specifying the “no-follow” attribute. Many people are unaware that they are passing what SEO’s call “link juice”, potentially even to their competitors, and may continue to do so for years to come simply because they aren’t in the know about a simple tag.
Many local business owners are surprised with the information that appears when they (and their customers) come across their business listings at Google and Bing. Often, incorrect or out-of-date information shows up with no explanation about where it comes from.