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I want to get a back link from site B by asking them to publish a content about my website and insert a back link at the end of it.

Two kinds of traffic enters site B that they may click on the back link:

  • Set 1: people who search for something in google -> they enter site B -> click on Back link to my website
  • Set 2: people who enter site B directly (referral) -> click on the back link to my website

Does Google differentiate between these two sets for calculating how powerful a back link is? If so, then which one is better for my PageRank?

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When it comes to backlinks, Google doesn't necessarily know when they are clicked on. Rather than watch users use the links, Google sends its bot to crawl the web. It doesn't matter how the links are used by actual people. It matters how the links are visible to Googlebot.

So, it doesn't matter how people generally get to Site B. They could be getting there from Google, they could have the site bookmarked, or they could be not using the link on Site B at all.

All that Google cares about for a back link is that when Googlebot crawls site B, the link to your site is there visible to the bot. The link has to look clean and not spammy. It can't be blocked by robots.txt. It can't have a nofollow attribute on it. Then it counts as a backlink to your site.

Users using a backlink don't have any bearing into how it counts. Google uses only the reputation of Site B. It calculates "PageRank" based on the links into Site B and passes some of that value through the link to your site.

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PageRank is a dead term. Besides, there are two use-cases that I would like to tell you which will provide you the answer: (TLDR: Read Case B)

Case A: Your Backlink page ranks for the same "keyword/search term" similar as your Landing page.

Visitors who search Google and come to your website directly will help you rank better and have higher authority than people who come from your backlink as the keyword/search term is the same.

Notes for Case A:

In this case, if your landing page is ranking low compared to your backlink page it can be because of two reasons:

  • Your landing page on-page SEO and/or DA, PA, TF, CF is not better than your backlink page
  • Your back link page grabs more clicks for the "keyword" and engagement rates are higher on the "back link page"

Notes for Case B:

Site A = Your Domain/Landing Page

Site B = Your Backlink page

Case B: Your "keyword/search term" from your backlink page points to your Landing Page

In this case, we can explore both options as questioned by you above:

Set 1: User searches on Google -> They enter Site B -> Click on Back link to Site A

If the users are searching for any LSI keywords or informational keywords which in-turn refer to your products or services, Google considers them relevant and provides link juice based on various factors.

This will be powerful only if your backlink page is attracting a lot of visitors and their engagement rates are high. This tells Google that the content is valuable and the link provided is indeed helpful to the users, awards both Site A, Site B with better weightage.

Set 2: Users who enter site B directly (referral) -> click on the back link to Site A

This will likely increase your authority in terms of referring domains for the particular landing page but not as a powerful metric for a backlink. For more information, refer to "Additional Notes" below.

Additional Notes for Backlinks:

For the basics of backlinks, you can refer to any wiki. In your case, the value that a backlink weightage will be given will be based on a lot of factors. Some of them are listed below (Not in an accurate order but my personal experience and belief on the ranking):

  • Relevancy
  • User Engagement
  • Domain Authority
  • Spam Score

There are lot of other factors but these are something that I would consider very important when allowing backlinks to my domain.

If you have any queries, list them down in the comments.

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