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A backlink for a given web resource is a link from any given website (the referrer) to that web resource (the referent). The quantity, quality, and relevance of backlinks for a web page are among the most important factors that search engines evaluate in order to estimate the relevance of a page.  The keywords used on the backlink are also taken into account as part of the evaluation process. Receiving meaningful backlinks, also known as perfect links, is therefore vital to ensure the success of a page.

A Perfect Link (PL) has the following properties
  • textual link (not an image)
  • loaded by the server (not via AJAX/JS)
  • placed in a page accessible and indexed by search engines
  • on a well-trusted site, ideally, .edu domains (e.g. universities) and newspapers
  • situated in the content part of the page (not in a list of links)

Considering the focus and size of the EU and EC web presences and their interaction with social media and journalists, the following points have been identified to help you form a good back-linking strategy

  • insert PLs in press releases
  • insert PLs in article syndication to inform about new content / legislation / information
  • insert PLs in local campaigns with local websites (e. g. NGOs)
  • for social media backlinks, always add Europa Analytics campaign parameters, so that the impact of that campaign can be tracked
  • link bait: release from time to time extremely interesting pages that drive users' attention to the website

Note that, with the exception of Linkedin, most social media insert a nofollow on posts' links, thus blocking crawlers from following that link. Nevertheless a good social media campaign will increase the number of visits to a website, and this will have an impact on the relevance that search engines grant to that page.

As fake news increases in size and reach every day, it is important to ensure that backlinks to the European institutions don't suggest that the website linking to an EU or EC website is endorsed by the EU. Similarly, the European institutions should avoid letting their content be loaded to the pages of other websites. This can be done by implementing a correct iframe policy.

Need further assistance on this topic? Please contact the team in charge of Europa Domain Management (EU Login required).

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