Monday, July 8, 2013

What Is The Backlinks?

If you've read anything about or studied Search Engine Optimization, you've 

come across the term "backlink" at least once. For those of you new to SEO, 

you may be wondering what a backlink is, and why they are 

important. Backlinks have become so important to the scope of Search Engine 

Optimization, that they have become some of the main building blocks to 

good SEO. In this article, we will explain to you what a backlink is, why they 

are important, and what you can do to help gain them while avoiding getting 

into trouble with the Search Engines.

What are "backlinks"? Backlinks are links that are directed towards your 

website. Also knows as Inbound links (IBL's). The number of backlinks is an 

indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are 

important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give 

more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and 

consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a 

search query.

When search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they 

consider the number of QUALITY inbound links to that site. So we should not 

be satisfied with merely getting inbound links, it is the quality of the inbound 

link that matters.

A search engine considers the content of the sites to determine the QUALITY 

of a link. When inbound links to your site come from other sites, and those 

sites have content related to your site, these inbound links are considered 

more relevant to your site. If inbound links are found on sites with unrelated 

content, they are considered less relevant. The higher the relevance of 

inbound links, the greater their quality.

For example, if a webmaster has a website about how to rescue orphaned 

kittens, and received a backlink from another website about kittens, then 

that would be more relevant in a search engine's assessment than say a link 

from a site about car racing. The more relevant the site is that is linking back 

to your website, the better the quality of the backlink.

Search engines want websites to have a level playing field, and look for 

natural links built slowly over time. While it is fairly easy to manipulate links 

on a web page to try to achieve a higher ranking, it is a lot harder to 

influence a search engine with external backlinks from other websites. This is 

also a reason why backlinks factor in so highly into a search engine's 

algorithm. Lately, however, a search engine's criteria for quality inbound links 

has gotten even tougher, thanks to unscrupulous webmasters trying to 

achieve these inbound links by deceptive or sneaky techniques, such as with 

hidden links, or automatically generated pages whose sole purpose is to 

provide inbound links to websites. These pages are called link farms, and 

they are not only disregarded by search engines, but linking to a link farm 

could get your site banned entirely.

Another reason to achieve quality backlinks is to entice visitors to come to 

your website. You can't build a website, and then expect that people will find 

your website without pointing the way. You will probably have to get the 

word out there about your site. One way webmasters got the word out used 

to be through reciprocal linking. Let's talk about reciprocal linking for a 


There is much discussion in these last few months about reciprocal linking. In 

the last Google update, reciprocal links were one of the targets of the search 

engine's latest filter. Many webmasters had agreed upon reciprocal link 

exchanges, in order to boost their site's rankings with the sheer number of 

inbound links. In a link exchange, one webmaster places a link on his website 

that points to another webmasters website, and vice versa. Many of these 

links were simply not relevant, and were just discounted. So while the 

irrelevant inbound link was ignored, the outbound links still got counted, 

diluting the relevancy score of many websites. This caused a great many 

websites to drop off the Google map.

We must be careful with our reciprocal links. There is a Google patent in the 

works that will deal with not only the popularity of the sites being linked to, 

but also how trustworthy a site is that you link to from your own website. 

This will mean that you could get into trouble with the search engine just for 

linking to a bad apple. We could begin preparing for this future change in the 

search engine algorithm by being choosier with which we exchange links right 

now. By choosing only relevant sites to link with, and sites that don't have 

tons of outbound links on a page, or sites that don't practice black-hat SEO 

techniques, we will have a better chance that our reciprocal links won't be 


Many webmasters have more than one website. Sometimes these websites 

are related, sometimes they are not. You have to also be careful about 

interlinking multiple websites on the same IP. If you own seven related 

websites, then a link to each of those websites on a page could hurt you, as 

it may look like to a search engine that you are trying to do something 

fishy.Many webmasters have tried to manipulate backlinks in this way; and 

too many links to sites with the same IP address is referred to as backlink 


One thing is certain: interlinking sites doesn't help you from a search engine 

standpoint. The only reason you may want to interlink your sites in the first 

place might be to provide your visitors with extra resources to visit. In this 

case, it would probably be okay to provide visitors with a link to another of 

your websites, but try to keep many instances of linking to the same IP 

address to a bare minimum. One or two links on a page here and there 

probably won't hurt you.

There are a few things to consider when beginning your backlink building 

campaign. It is helpful to keep track of your backlinks, to know which sites 

are linking back to you, and how the anchor text of the backlink incorporates 

keywords relating to your site. A tool to help you keep track of your backlinks 

is the Domain Stats Tool. This tool displays the backlinks of a domain in 

Google, Yahoo, and MSN. It will also tell you a few other details about your 

website, like your listings in the Open Directory, or DMOZ, from which Google 

regards backlinks highly important; Alexa traffic rank, and how many pages 

from your site that have been indexed, to name just a few.

Another tool to help you with your link building campaign is the Backlink 

Builder Tool. It is not enough just to have a large number of inbound links 

pointing to your site. Rather, you need to have a large number of QUALITY 

inbound links. This tool searches for websites that have a related theme to 

your website which are likely to add your link to their website. You specify a 

particular keyword or keyword phrase, and then the tool seeks out related 

sites for you. This helps to simplify your backlink building efforts by helping 

you create quality, relevant backlinks to your site, and making the job easier 

in the process.

There is another way to gain quality backlinks to your site, in addition to 

related site themes: anchor text. When a link incorporates a keyword into the 

text of the hyperlink, we call this quality anchor text. A link's anchor text may 

be one of the under-estimated resources a webmaster has. Instead of using 

words like "click here" which probably won't relate in any way to your website, 

using the words "Please visit our tips page for how to nurse an orphaned 

kitten" is a far better way to utilize a hyperlink. A good tool for helping you 

find your backlinks and what text is being used to link to your site is 

the Backlink Anchor Text Analysis Tool. If you find that your site is being 

linked to from another website, but the anchor text is not being utilized 

properly, you should request that the website change the anchor text to 

something incorporating relevant keywords. This will also help boost your 

quality backlinks score.

Building quality backlinks is extremely important to Search Engine 

Optimization, and because of their importance, it should be very high on your 

priority list in your SEO efforts. We hope you have a better understanding of 

why you need good quality inbound links to your site, and have a handle on a 

few helpful tools to gain those links.


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