What is a backlink and why are they important? Backlinks or Inbound Links (IBL’s) are links that are directed towards your website and are the building blocks to good Search Engine Optimization. The number of backlinks a website has is in a good indicator of its popularity or importance with search engines. Search engines, namely Google, give more credit to websites that have a larger number of quality backlinks and consider those websites more relevant in a search query.
It is not sufficient to just have a high number of inbound links; they need to be quality links. For search engines to determine the quality of inbound links the content of the site is critiqued. The content of the websites you have inbound links with needs to be relevant to the content on your site. The more relevant the inbound links are to your site helps determine the quality of the links. If your site is about breast implants than linking to a site about German Shepherds is not relevant and is therefore not a quality link.
It is easy to get a higher ranking using backlinks than it is to influence search engines with external backlinks from other sites, which is why backlinks matter so much in a search engines algorithm. Recently search engines criteria for quality inbound backlinks has gotten harder. This is due to people using deceptive tactics like hidden links or automatically generated pages whose entire purpose is to generate inbound links to other web pages. These pages are called “link farms” which aren’t ousted by search engines. Link farms could be harmful to your site if you backlink with them and may cause your site to be banned.
By having quality backlinks you are attracting visitors to your site. You can’t just build a website and expect that people are going to find you without being pointed in the right direction. People previously used Reciprocal Linking to achieve this.
Reciprocal Links were discussed in a recent Google update as one of the targets for its latest filters. In order to boost website rankings through the number of inbound links, webmasters had agreed upon Reciprocal Link Exchanges. This link exchange occurs when one webmaster puts a link on their website to point to another webmasters website. Many of these were not relevant links and were just disregarded by search engines. The inbound links were not counted but the outbound links were still counted which lowered the relevancy score of many websites and caused them to drop off the Google map.
Google is working on a patent that will deal with the popularity of sites being linked to and how trustworthy a site is that you link to from your own website. This means you could possibly get into trouble for linking to a bad site. To prepare for this now we should chose relevant sites to link with, sites that don’t have an enormous amount of outbound links on a page and ones that don’t practice bad SEO techniques. By doing all those things we can reduce the risk of having our reciprocal links discounted.
A lot of webmasters have more than one website, sometimes ones that are related to one another. In this case, you need to be careful about interlinking multiple websites on the same IP. If you have say ten related sites and you have a link to each of them on a page that could look bad to search engines. By trying to manipulate backlinks by having too many links with the same IP address is called Backlink Bombing. In some instances it is okay to have links with the same IP address. For instance, if you wanted to provide your visitors with extra resources, a few of these will not hurt, but should definitely be kept to a minimum.
A few tools should be considered when beginning to backlink. Keeping track of your backlinks will be helpful so that you know which sites are linking back to you. By keeping track of your backlinks you can find how the anchor text of the backlink uses keywords relating to your site. To keep track of your backlinks the Domain Stats Tool can be used, it will show you the backlinks of a domain in Google, Yahoo and MSN. There is also few other things this tool will tell you about your website like: how many pages from your website have been indexed, your listings in the Open Directory and Alexa traffic rank.
The Backlink Builder Tool is another useful resource. As you know, it is not important the number of inbound links you have but the number of quality inbound links you have is important. This tool helps to find websites that are related to you that would be likely to add you as a link to their site. By inputting a keyword or a phrase this tool will find related sites for you, which makes the task of finding quality backlinks a lot easier.
Anchor Text is also important in creating quality backlinks to your site. Anchor Text is when a link incorporates a keyword into the text of the hyperlink. Instead of putting “Click Here” on your website, words that relate to your site should be inputted. For instance, if your website is about breast implants then you should use words like “Breast Implants Q & A” for your hyperlink. Using the Backlink Anchor Text Analysis Tool will help you find your backlinks and show you what text is being used to link to your site. I suggest that if the anchor text is not being utilized properly on a site that is linking to you, you should request that website to change the anchor text to something that uses relevant keywords. By doing this it will help boost your quality backlinks score.
Backlinks should be priority in your Search Engine Optimization because of their importance. Hopefully you have gained an understanding of why your site needs quality links and are able to use the tools discussed to obtain those links.
If you have a website relevant to the internet, website design, search engine optimization or online marketing, then take a moment to submit your website to the WebDuck Designs website link exchange. If you place a text link to WebDuck Designs on a static html, xhtml, or xml page of your website, we will reciprocate with a text link back.
Visit WebDuck Designs online learning center, WebDuck University, to take video courses and tutorials to learn more about search engine optimization.