Understanding Backlinking and SEO

The following is a guest post.

Backlinks are one of the crucial ingredients of SEO. Besides proper keyword usage in SEO strategies, backlinking is something that you should never neglect. Without backlinks, your website may not reach its target audience. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, incoming links, inlinks and inward links, are incoming links to a web page or a website. Search engines use a number of backlinks to determine the popularity, importance and rankings of a website.

What are these backlinks?

As the name suggests, a backlink is a link that points users or search engines from one site to another. It’s the most common way to navigate from one site to another. In most cases, these links appear in the form of text, which includes name of the website, but there are also image links. The moment a user clicks on the anchor text of the backlink, they are taken to destination URL to the anchor text or image.

To get and then improve rankings in search engines, keywords within your website content play an important role. However, without getting backlinks from other trusted websites, one cannot achieve top rankings in competitive markets. Article marketing, blog content syndication or press releases are just a few different backlinking strategies.

It is highly important for business trying to build a long term presence on the web to ask their a seo company to deploy only white hat SEO strategies that comply with search engines guidelines. Spam tactics like comment spam or forum signatures can do more harm than good.

How Backlinking Works?

When search engines crawl through the Internet and evaluate sites, their crawlers collect information related to the number of backlinks pointing to a site as well as the content the website. This data is then evaluated by the ranking programs to determine its value to potential viewers and relevancy of each site. Websites are usually ranked based on the number of backlinks, which act like votes, and content.

Many companies follow the strategy of creating plenty websites with the purpose of linking back to a main site, but this strategy is failing. Backlinks are supposed to be obtained organically and not artificially. The recent changes in the algorithm changes have made search engines smart enough to determine differences between sites that have no relationship with others. Google’s logic is quite simple – sites referencing to your website should feature relevant content.

Reciprocal linking is another backlinking strategy that many regard as a good option. To put in simple words, with reciprocal link exchange, webmasters place links on their website that directs to other webmaster’s site. Well, it is not that good of a strategy thou. Reciprocal link exchanges can help to some extent with better rankings but not if overdone or done improperly. And again, with the APR 2012 update, too much link exchange will actually hurt your site. Make sure you interlink with highly related sites, and make sure you are not overdoing it.

Here one point is to be noted – interlinking does not help your website too much with better rankings. By interlinking websites, you just provide extra resources to your viewers.

Building back links to decoy sites and then linking from them to your main site, sometimes called “money sites”, is not a good strategy. You are better to build backlinks to the main site directly and concentrating your editorial focus towards a single, trusted and well established site.

Some things you should consider

Be Consistent

When you implement backlink strategy, Google checks whether or not, you are “committed” to it. For instance, if you have 50 backlinks and the count reaches 1000 overnight, you are more likely to be penalized for it. This, in turn will negatively impact on your webpage rankings. So, it is better to add backlinks consistently over a period of time, rather than adding all at once. Ideally, it is suggested to add 20-40 backlinks per week.

Optimize the Anchor Tags

Anchor tags with “Read More” or “Click Here” are pretty useless. Instead, it will be wise to optimize the anchor text with content that is keyword-rich. For instance, if your keyword phrase is “cheap party dresses”, try creating anchor text around this phrase. Once this is done, alternate the anchor text of the backlinks to point to landing pages optimized for those keywords. One must note that controlling the anchor text for your backlink is not always possible.

IP Distribution

Google would always look for strong variety of domains available in your backlink inventory. In case, all your backlinks have one source, it would mean that your website is not relevant to that of others. It is better to have 1 backlinks from 100 domains than 100 backlinks from the same domain,

Sample Backlinking Strategies

Many people have this one common question popping in their mind – “how to go about building backlinks?” It’s all about producing content by -

1) Issuing timely press releases

2) Blog regularly on third-party websites and add backlinks to your website

3) Get your website added to relevant directories and industry portals

4) Article marketing

Some Things you Should Strictly Avoid

Don’t buy links. Not public ones at least.

Buying links is one of the most common mistakes that most companies tend to do. That’s because it is easy to pay for a link rather than earn it. Unless you fully understand what links the company is selling you, don’t buy them. If you have to buy, buy private, not from public sources. At the same time, it is also important to understand the associated risks and the quality of links before buying them.

Don’t just hire any SEO agency

There are SEO companies and professionals out there that guarantee #1 organic rankings, but that’s against Google’s webmaster guidelines. As there are so many external variables associated with number one rankings, guaranteeing #1 organic ranking will most likely be used by shady SEO. No reputable SEO agency will be able to guarantee that.

Have a clear idea about the strategy

When you hire professional SEO agencies, ensure that you ask them about the strategy they are going to implement. If they cannot provide you the strategy, look for an agency that would make things clear before starting off.

Consider a Backlink Management Tool

Backlink management tools can greatly help save valuable time. Such software applications are specially designed to give users the ability to track and maintain their links. Besides saving considerable amount of manual work, backlink management tools also helps estimating overall performance.

Good software can collect important factual and statistical data regarding the ongoing online media campaigns. Data that is being collected may include link status, anchor text, follower status, etc.

This is a guest post and the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this site. The author, Brian Nixon, is a professional search engine optimizer who writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated SEO services to businesses across North America. For more information please visit www.pitstopmedia.com
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