Why are backlinks important in SEO? Backlink Types and How to Create Them?
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are hyperlinks on one website that point to a specific webpage on another website. These links are often embedded within anchor text, which is the clickable text that is usually a keyword or phrase describing the linked content. Backlinks serve several important purposes in the world of SEO:
Relevance: When a website links to another site, it can be seen as a signal of relevance. If a cooking blog links to a page about kitchen appliances, it suggests to search engines that the linked page is relevant to cooking topics.
Quality: Not all backlinks are created equal. High-quality websites that link to your content are seen as more valuable than low-quality or spammy websites. Quality backlinks can boost your site’s authority and credibility.
Authority: Search engines like Google consider the authority of the linking website. If a well-known and respected website links to your content, it can boost your own site’s authority and improve its rankings.
Traffic: If a user clicks on a backlink and lands on your page, it can result in increased visitors and potentially more conversions.
Indexing: Backlinks act as pathways that lead search engine crawlers to different parts of your website.
Rankings: Pages with a high number of relevant and high-quality backlinks often tend to have better organic search engine rankings. This is because search engines consider these links as “votes of confidence” from other websites, indicating that the linked content is valuable and worth ranking higher in search results.
It’s important to note that while backlinks are important for SEO, the quality and relevance of these links matter more than their quantity. Building a natural and diverse backlink profile over time is a more sustainable approach than trying to acquire a large number of links quickly, which can be seen as spammy by search engines.
Additionally, search engines have become more sophisticated in detecting manipulative practices like link schemes and paid links. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on creating valuable and shareable content that naturally attracts backlinks from reputable sources.
Here are some common topics in backlink:
- The Importance of Backlinks
- Types of Backlinks
- Backlink Analysis
- Link Building Mistakes to Avoid
- Case Studies
- White Hat vs. Black Hat Link Building
- Backlinks and Content Marketing
- Local SEO and Backlinks
- Monitoring and Maintaining Backlinks
- The Importance of Backlinks
The importance of backlinks in the context of search engine optimization (SEO) cannot be overstated. Backlinks are one of the fundamental building blocks of a strong online presence, and they play a crucial role in determining a website’s visibility, authority, and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s why backlinks are so important:
Improved Search Engine Rankings: Backlinks are a key factor that search engines like Google use to evaluate the authority and relevance of a website.
Increased Organic Traffic: When your website appears on the first page of search results, it’s more likely to attract clicks from users searching for information or products related to your content.
Credibility and Trustworthiness: Backlinks from authoritative and well-established websites can boost your website’s credibility and trustworthiness. Users are more likely to trust and engage with content that has been endorsed or referenced by reputable sources.
Discoverability and Indexing: Backlinks can help search engine crawlers discover and index your website’s pages more efficiently. When other sites link to your content, it increases the chances of search engines finding and cataloguing your web pages.
Relevant Referral Traffic: Backlinks not only impact your search engine rankings but also drive referral traffic directly from the linking sites. If a user clicks on a backlink from another website to visit your site, this can result in valuable traffic and potential conversions.
Relationship Building: Building backlinks often involves outreach and collaboration with other website owners and content creators. This can help you establish valuable relationships within your industry or niche.
Competitive Advantage: In competitive niches, having a strong backlink profile can give you a competitive edge. If your competitors have fewer or lower-quality backlinks, you may outrank them in search results.
Long-Term SEO Strategy: High-quality backlinks can provide long-term benefits to your SEO efforts. Unlike some other SEO tactics that may produce short-term gains, a solid backlink profile can continue to benefit your website’s ranking over time.
Quality matters more than quantity. High-quality backlinks come from authoritative and relevant websites within your industry or niche. Low-quality backlinks, such as those from spammy or irrelevant sites, can actually harm your SEO efforts and may result in penalties from search engines.
To harness the benefits of backlinks, it’s essential to focus on creating valuable and shareable content, engaging in ethical link-building practices, and continually monitoring and improving your backlink profile. Building a natural and diverse portfolio of backlinks over time is a sustainable approach to SEO that can lead to lasting results.
- Types of Backlinks:
There are several types of backlinks, each with its own characteristics and impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Understanding these types of backlinks can help you develop a well-rounded link-building strategy.
Do follow backlinks allow search engine crawlers to follow the link to your website and pass link equity (also known as link juice) to your site. Dofollow links can influence your website’s search engine rankings positively when they come from authoritative and relevant sources. Website owners can control whether a link is dofollow by using HTML attributes, such as the “rel” attribute with the “nofollow” value to make it nofollow (see below).
Nofollow backlinks include an HTML attribute called “relnofollow.”These links tell search engines not to follow the link and not to pass link equity to the linked website.Nofollow links are often used for user-generated content (like blog comments) to prevent spam and manipulate search rankings. While nofollow links don’t directly impact SEO rankings, they can still drive traffic and provide brand exposure.
Editorial backlinks are links that are naturally earned based on the quality and relevance of your content. They come from authoritative and trusted sources within your industry or niche., These are considered some of the most valuable backlinks for SEO because they indicate that your content is seen as valuable and informative.
Guest Post Backlinks:
Guest posting is used to creating content for websites and including a backlink to your site content.When done correctly and on reputable websites, guest post backlinks can help establish your authority and drive traffic.
Resource Page Backlinks:
Some websites maintain resource pages that curate lists of useful links and resources within a specific niche. Earning a backlink from such a resource page can be beneficial for SEO because it implies that your content is considered valuable in your field.
Broken Link Backlinks (or Link Reclamation):
Broken link backlinks are acquired by identifying broken links on other websites and suggesting your content as a replacement. This approach requires finding relevant broken links, reaching out to the website owner, and offering your content as a solution. It can be a win-win strategy, as the website owner gets a functioning link, and you gain a valuable backlink.
Social Profile Backlinks:
Links from your social media profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) are considered backlinks. While these links may not carry as much SEO weight as others, they can still contribute to your online presence and help users find your website.
Directory backlinks come from online directories and business listings.These can be valuable for local SEO, but it’s essential to choose reputable directories and ensure that the listings are accurate and consistent.
Forum and Community Backlinks:
Links obtained from forum discussions, community forums, or Q&A websites can contribute to your backlink profile. Be cautious not to engage in spammy link building on forums, as this can lead to penalties.
Image and Infographic Backlinks:
If you create and share images or infographics, other websites might link to them as a source or for visual content. These links can be valuable for driving traffic and improving your content’s visibility. A diverse and natural backlink profile can have a positive impact on your website’s search engine rankings and overall online presence.
- Backlink Analysis:
Backlink analysis is a critical component of search engine optimization (SEO) and involves evaluating the backlinks pointing to your website or a competitor’s site. This process helps you understand the quality, quantity, and overall health of your backlink profile, enabling you to make informed decisions to improve your website’s SEO performance. Here’s how to conduct a backlink analysis:
Gather Backlink Data:
Use SEO tools and software to collect information about the backlinks pointing to your website or the competitor’s site you want to analyse. Some popular tools for backlink analysis include Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, Majestic, and Google Search Console (for your own site’s data).
Identify the Backlink Sources:
Pay attention to the domains linking to you, as well as individual link sources (specific pages or articles).
Note the anchor text used in these links, as it can provide insights into the context and relevance of the backlinks.
Evaluate Link Quality:
Assess the quality of each backlink source. Look for signs of authority and trustworthiness, such as domain authority, site relevance to your niche, and the website’s overall reputation.
Identify any low-quality or spammy backlinks, as these can have a negative impact on your SEO.
Analyze Link Attributes:
Determine whether the backlinks are dofollow or nofollow. Dofollow links pass link equity and are more valuable for SEO. Check for any potential issues like redirects, 404 errors, or broken links within the backlinks.
Check for Toxic Backlinks:
Identify and disavow toxic or harmful backlinks using the Google Disavow Tool or similar tools provided by SEO software. Toxic backlinks can include links from known spammy sites, link farms, or websites with low-quality or irrelevant content.
Monitor Anchor Text Variation:
Ensure that the anchor text used in your backlinks is diverse and natural. An overabundance of exact-match anchor text can raise red flags with search engines. Look for opportunities to optimize anchor text for target keywords when it makes sense.
If you’re analyzing a competitor’s backlink profile, compare it to your own. Identify sources of backlinks that you might want to target. Assess the competitor’s backlink-building strategies and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Track Changes Over Time:
Regularly monitor your backlink profile and changes to it. New backlinks, lost backlinks, and changes in domain authority can impact your SEO performance. Continually work to acquire high-quality backlinks and maintain a healthy backlink profile.
Set Goals and Prioritize Actions:
Based on your analysis, set goals for improving your backlink profile. Prioritize actions such as outreach, content creation, or link removal based on your findings. Develop a backlink-building strategy that aligns with your SEO objectives.
Regularly Review and Refine:
Backlink analysis is an ongoing process. Continually review and refine your backlink profile to ensure it aligns with your SEO goals and evolves with changes in your industry or niche.
Backlink analysis is a crucial part of SEO, helping you identify opportunities to strengthen your website’s authority, improve its rankings in search results, and maintain a healthy link profile. It also allows you to proactively address any issues that may arise in your backlink profile, ensuring long-term SEO success.
- Link Building Mistakes to Avoid
Link building is an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO), but it must be done correctly to avoid penalties and ensure long-term success. Here are some common link-building mistakes to avoid:
Buying links from link farms, private blog networks (PBNs), or other link-selling services is against search engine guidelines and can result in severe penalties. Focus on earning natural, high-quality backlinks through valuable content and ethical outreach efforts. Buying links from link farms, private blog networks (PBNs), or other link-selling services is against search engine guidelines and can result in severe penalties.
Focus on earning natural, high-quality backlinks through valuable content and ethical outreach efforts.
Using Automated Link Building Tools:
Automated link building tools and software can generate numerous low-quality links quickly, which can harm your site’s SEO. Instead, build links manually through genuine relationships and content promotion.
Ignoring Link Quality:
Not all links are created equal. Focus on quality over quantity. A few high-quality, relevant links are often more beneficial than many low-quality ones.Avoid spammy or irrelevant websites that could harm your site’s reputation.
Over-Optimized Anchor Text:
Using keyword-rich anchor text excessively in your backlinks can raise red flags with search engines.Aim for a natural and diverse mix of anchor text, including branded, generic, and long-tail variations.
Ignoring Nofollow Links:
While dofollow links pass link equity, nofollow links (with “rel=nofollow” attribute) don’t directly impact SEO rankings. However, they can still drive traffic and provide credibility.Don’t dismiss nofollow links entirely; they have value beyond SEO.
Not Diversifying Link Sources:
Relying on a single source or strategy for link building can be risky. Diversify your efforts to obtain backlinks from various authoritative sources. Explore guest posting, content marketing, social media, and outreach to bloggers and influencers.
Neglecting Content Quality:
High-quality content is important for the successful link building. If your content isn’t valuable, informative, or engaging, it won’t attract natural backlinks. Invest in creating content that genuinely resonates with your audience and provides value.
Focusing Solely on Homepage Links:
Building backlinks to your homepage is essential, but don’t neglect deep linking to internal pages and valuable content. Deep links can improve the visibility and authority of specific pages.
Not Checking for Broken Links:
Broken link building involves identifying broken links on other websites and offering your content as a replacement. However, some mistakenly send outreach without verifying if the link is genuinely broken.Always check the status of the broken link before reaching out.
Poor Outreach Practices:
Bad outreach can damage your reputation and relationships. Avoid mass-emailing, generic templates, and aggressive tactics.Personalize your outreach, explain the mutual benefit of the link, and build genuine relationships with site owners.
Ignoring Analytics and Monitoring:
Failing to monitor your backlink profile and its impact on SEO is a mistake. Use SEO tools to track your backlinks and their performance. Regularly review your profile for toxic or harmful links and disavow them if necessary. Not Staying Current with SEO Guidelines:
SEO best practices and search engine guidelines evolve. Stay informed about SEO trends and algorithm updates to adapt your link building strategies accordingly.
Successful link building requires a thoughtful and ethical approach. Avoiding these common mistakes will help you build a strong, sustainable backlink profile that positively impacts your website’s search engine rankings and online authority.
- Case Studies: back link
Case studies that focus on backlink strategies and their impact on search engine optimization (SEO) can provide valuable insights into successful link-building campaigns. These case studies often highlight real-world examples of websites or businesses that have effectively used backlinks to improve their online visibility and rankings. While I can’t provide specific, up-to-date case studies, I can outline what you might find in such studies:
Objective and Goals:
A backlink case study typically starts by outlining the objectives and goals of the SEO campaign. This could include increasing organic traffic, improving search engine rankings, or enhancing brand visibility.
Challenges and Context:
The study might describe the challenges the website or business faced before implementing their backlink strategy. This could include low search engine rankings, limited organic traffic, or competition in a competitive niche.
Strategy and Execution:
The case study details the specific backlink-building strategies employed. This might include guest posting, outreach to influencers, content marketing, or link reclamation.
It may highlight any unique or creative approaches used to acquire high-quality backlinks.
Case studies often discuss the content created to attract backlinks. This could be in the form of high-quality blog posts, infographics, videos, or other engaging content.
Content quality and relevance are critical factors in attracting natural backlinks.
Some case studies emphasize the importance of building relationships within the industry or niche. Building genuine connections with other website owners or influencers can lead to more backlink opportunities.
Results and Impact:
The study presents measurable results and the impact of the backlink campaign. This may include data on increased organic traffic, improved search engine rankings, or growth in referral traffic.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often highlighted to showcase the campaign’s success.
Case studies typically include insights and lessons learned from the campaign. This could involve sharing best practices, highlighting what worked well, and discussing any challenges encountered along the way.
Some case studies discuss future plans and how the website or business intends to continue building on the success of their backlink strategy.Testimonials or Quotes:
To add credibility, case studies may include testimonials or quotes from the website owners, SEO professionals, or influencers who were involved in the campaign.
Visuals and Data:
Visual elements such as charts, graphs, and before-and-after data can help illustrate the impact of the backlink strategy.
When reading backlink case studies, it’s essential to look for those that align with your industry, niche, or website type. While each case study will have its unique elements, they can provide valuable inspiration and guidance for your own link-building efforts. Additionally, it’s essential to adapt the strategies and tactics from these case studies to your specific situation and keep in mind that SEO is an evolving field, so staying updated with the latest trends and guidelines is crucial.
- White Hat vs. Black Hat Link Building:
White hat and black hat link building are two contrasting approaches to acquiring backlinks for search engine optimization (SEO). These approaches differ significantly in terms of ethics, tactics, and long-term sustainability. Here’s an overview of both:
White Hat Link Building:
Ethical Practices: White hat link building involves ethical and legitimate techniques for acquiring backlinks. The focus is on providing value to users and building a trustworthy online presence.
Quality Content: The foundation of white hat link building is high-quality content. Websites earn backlinks naturally by creating valuable and relevant content that other sites want to link to.
Guest Posting: Guest posting on reputable websites within your niche is a common white hat strategy. You create content for another site and include a backlink to your site within the content.
Outreach: White hat SEOs engage in manual outreach to other website owners, industry influencers, and bloggers to promote their content and request backlinks.
Content Marketing: Content marketing involves creating informative, engaging, and shareable content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos, to attract natural backlinks.
Link Earning: White hat practitioners aim to earn backlinks organically by providing value, addressing user needs, and becoming an authority in their field.
Compliance with Guidelines: White hat link builders adhere to search engine guidelines (e.g., Google Webmaster Guidelines) to avoid penalties and maintain a positive online reputation.
Sustainability: White hat link building practices are sustainable and can provide long-term SEO benefits without risking penalties.
Black Hat Link Building:
Unethical Practices: Black hat link building involves unethical and manipulative tactics to acquire backlinks quickly, often in violation of search engine guidelines.
Low-Quality Content: Black hat practitioners may create low-quality or spammy content solely for the purpose of getting backlinks.
Private Blog Networks (PBNs): PBNs are networks of websites that exist solely to link to a specific site. They are a black hat tactic and against search engine guidelines.
Link Farms: Link farms are websites created for the sole purpose of linking to other sites. They provide little to no value to users and are considered spammy.
Keyword Stuffing: Some black hat link builders use excessive and irrelevant keyword stuffing in anchor text, which can trigger penalties.
Link Buying and Selling: Black hat practitioners may purchase links or engage in link-selling schemes, which are against search engine guidelines.
Cloaking: Cloaking involves showing different content to search engines than what is shown to users.
Risky and Short-Term Gains: Black hat tactics may yield quick results, but they come with significant risks, including penalties that can harm a website’s ranking and reputation.
Lack of Sustainability: Black hat link building practices are not sustainable and can lead to long-term damage to a website’s SEO.
In summary, white hat link building prioritizes ethical and sustainable practices that focus on user value and long-term SEO benefits. In contrast, black hat link building employs deceptive and manipulative techniques for quick gains but carries substantial risks and can lead to penalties. It is generally advisable to pursue white hat link building strategies to build a strong and reputable online presence.
Backlinks and content marketing are closely interconnected elements of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. When effectively combined, they can significantly boost your website’s visibility, authority, and organic traffic. Here’s how backlinks and content marketing work together:
High-Quality Content Creation:
Content marketing begins with creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.
High-quality content serves as the foundation for attracting backlinks. Websites and individuals are more likely to link to content that provides value to their readers.
To attract backlinks, your content must be link-worthy. This means it should offer unique insights, data, expertise, or entertainment that encourages others to reference and link to it.
Content formats that often attract backlinks include in-depth guides, research studies, infographics, original case studies, and thought-provoking blog posts.
Promotion and Outreach:
After creating valuable content, content marketers engage in outreach efforts to promote it. This involves reaching out to relevant websites, bloggers, influencers, and industry publications to introduce them to your content.
In outreach emails or messages, you can request that they consider linking to your content if they find it valuable for their audience.
Guest Posting and Contributor Opportunities:
Content marketing often includes contributing guest posts or articles to reputable websites within your niche. These guest posts can contain backlinks to your own content or website.
Guest posting helps establish your authority in your field and provides opportunities for backlinks from authoritative sources.
Content marketing often involves the creation of linkable assets—pieces of content that naturally attract backlinks. These assets can include tools, interactive content, ebooks, templates, and more.
The goal is to provide something of value that others want to reference and share, leading to backlinks over time.
Content Promotion on Social Media:
Social media platforms are a valuable channel for promoting your content. When your content is shared and engaged with on social media, it can gain visibility and attract backlinks from users who discover it there.
Content marketing often involves building relationships within your industry or niche. These relationships can lead to more opportunities for collaboration and backlink acquisition.
Engaging with other content creators, industry experts, and influencers can open doors for natural backlink opportunities.
Effective content marketing and backlink strategies include measuring success through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of backlinks acquired, changes in search engine rankings, referral traffic, and engagement metrics.Regularly analyzing these metrics helps refine your content marketing and backlink-building efforts.
Content marketing and backlink acquisition are iterative processes. Continuously evaluate the performance of your content and outreach efforts, making adjustments based on what works best.
In summary, content marketing and backlinks complement each other in an effective SEO strategy. Content marketing provides the high-quality, valuable content that attracts backlinks, while backlinks enhance your website’s authority and visibility in search engine results. When these two elements are integrated strategically, they can help drive organic traffic and improve your website’s overall online presence.
- Local SEO and Backlinks:
Local SEO and backlinks play a crucial role in improving the online visibility of businesses that serve a local or regional audience. When implemented effectively, backlinks can enhance a business’s local search engine rankings and help attract more local customers. Here’s how local SEO and backlinks are related:
Local Business Directories:
One of the most common ways to build backlinks for local SEO is by listing your business in local directories and citation websites. These listings provide valuable backlinks that can improve your website’s local authority.
In addition to general business directories, look for niche-specific directories related to your industry. These directories can provide highly relevant backlinks, especially if they cater to local businesses.
Local News and Media Outlets:
Getting mentioned or featured in local news articles, press releases, or blogs can result in backlinks from reputable local sources. Consider local PR efforts or press releases to attract such mentions.
Local Partnerships and Associations:
Building relationships with local businesses, organizations, and associations can lead to backlink opportunities. Partnerships may result in cross-promotional content or mentions on each other’s websites.
Local Sponsorships and Events:
Sponsoring local events, charities, or community initiatives can lead to backlinks from event pages, sponsor lists, and news coverage related to the event.
Local Bloggers and Influencers:
Collaborate with local bloggers and influencers in your industry or niche. When they write about your business or products, it can result in valuable backlinks from their websites.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials:
Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on local review sites, such as Google My Business, Yelp, or industry-specific review platforms. While these aren’t traditional backlinks, they can impact local search rankings significantly.
Local Content Marketing:
Create content that is locally relevant, such as city-specific guides, local news updates, or event announcements. Promote this content to attract backlinks from other local websites and blogs.
Local Social Media and Online Communities:
Engage with local social media groups, forums, and online communities. Sharing valuable content or insights can lead to backlinks when other members reference your expertise or resources.
Local Educational Institutions:
If your business has educational resources or offers services related to education, consider partnering with local schools, colleges, or universities. These institutions may link to your content or services.
Local Chamber of Commerce:
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and make sure your business profile is complete and includes a link to your website. Chamber websites often have high domain authority.
Local SEO Citations:
Ensure that your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) information is consistent across all online directories and citation sources. This consistency helps search engines trust your business information and can indirectly impact local SEO.
It’s important to note that while backlinks are essential for local SEO, their quality matters more than quantity. Focus on acquiring backlinks from authoritative, relevant, and reputable local sources. Additionally, monitor your backlink profile regularly to ensure that your local SEO efforts are on track and that there are no toxic or harmful backlinks. A well-executed local SEO strategy, coupled with strategic backlink building, can improve your business’s visibility in local search results and help you reach more customers in your area.
- Monitoring and Maintaining Backlinks:
Monitoring and maintaining your backlinks is a crucial aspect of effective search engine optimization (SEO). Regularly assessing the health and quality of your backlink profile helps ensure that your website maintains or improves its search engine rankings and online reputation. Here’s how to monitor and maintain your backlinks:
Use SEO Tools: Employ SEO tools and backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, or Google Search Console to monitor your backlinks. These tools provide valuable insights into your backlink profile, including the number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text used.
Set Up Google Alerts: Create Google Alerts for your brand name and website URL to receive notifications whenever new mentions or backlinks are discovered on the web.
Regularly Check Your Backlink Profile: Periodically review your backlink profile to identify changes, additions, or removals of backlinks. Look for signs of any toxic or harmful backlinks that need to be addressed.
Track Key Metrics: Monitor key metrics such as domain authority, page authority, and anchor text distribution to gauge the quality and relevance of your backlinks.
Check for Broken Links: Ensure that the backlinks pointing to your site are still active and lead to the intended destination. Broken links should be fixed or replaced.
Disavow Toxic Links: If you identify low-quality or harmful backlinks that could negatively impact your SEO, use the Google Disavow Tool to disavow them.
Reach Out for Corrections: If you find broken or incorrect backlinks pointing to your site, reach out to the website owners or webmasters and request corrections or updates.
Update Redirects: If you change the URL structure of your website or migrate to a new domain, set up proper redirects (e.g., 301 redirects) to ensure that your existing backlinks continue to work.
Create Fresh Content: Continuously update your website with fresh and relevant content. New content can attract additional backlinks and help maintain your website’s authority.
Engage in Ongoing Outreach: Continue to engage in outreach efforts to acquire new backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources. Outreach can involve guest posting, collaboration with industry influencers, and networking with bloggers.
Focus on User Experience: Ensure that your website offers a positive user experience. A user-friendly and well-maintained site can encourage more natural backlinks.
Regular Audits: Schedule regular audits of your backlink profile to catch and address any issues promptly. These audits can help you stay on top of changes and maintain a healthy link profile.
Monitor Competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ backlink profiles and strategies. Identifying new opportunities and staying competitive in your niche is essential.
Educate Your Team: If you have a team responsible for content creation and outreach, make sure they are aware of best practices and the importance of maintaining a clean and high-quality backlink profile.
Monitoring and maintaining your backlinks require consistent effort and attention to detail. By actively managing your backlink profile and addressing any issues promptly, you can protect your website’s SEO performance, reputation, and search engine rankings over time.