Just What Are Contextual Links In SEO?

contextual linksContextual links are the most valuable backlinks when it comes to ranking in major search engines like Google. While there was a time when any link would help, Google’s tools have become better than ever at figuring out which links need to carry a little bit of weight and which ones don’t.

Link building has been one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) for over a decade now, and that is one factor that isn’t likely to change any time shortly. However, with many recent Google updates, the way to go about building backlinks has changed dramatically. The old days of sheer numbers of links being an effective way of ranking, or spamming an exact keyword phrase over and over again, are done and gone.

What Does Context Mean?
Context is pretty simple. Google wants to give more ranking weight to links from websites that are in the same (or a similar) niche as the site being linked to. For example, if you have a camping website, a link from a site in the same field (camping) is best, but hiking, hunting, and fishing sites are also useful links because they’re all in the same general context: outdoors and outdoor activities.

On the other hand, a link from an auto mechanic or sports news website doesn’t make a lot of sense, and isn’t in the same group – so those links won’t count for nearly as much.

A good way to understand this concept is to think of linking like a high school. If your website is the high school quarterback, websites on the same topic would be the rest of the football team. Baseball players, volleyball players, and wrestlers would be sites in related fields (because they’re all jocks) and because of that links from them are still good because of the overarching context.

Why Contextual Links?
Contextual links apparently carry the most weight and just a few from trustworthy and authoritative websites can shoot a website through the search engine rankings in even very competitive markets.

If you want to rank in Google and the other major search engines, you want links from websites that are in the same or related fields as yours. That’s what is meant by contextual links.