This post covers the most important basics you need to know about backlinks. Getting backlinks to your web pages is an essential part of search engine optimization (particularly for Google). However, not all backlinks are equal. Read on to find out about the three factors that determine how good a backlink is in terms of SEO. These three factors are: Amount, value and anchor text.
Here’s a short description explaining each of the three factors:
The first factor is very simple. The higher the number of backlinks pointing to your site, the better this is for your ranking.
The reason for this is that whenever someone links to a site, that represents a “vote” for that site. After all, people tend to link to things that they like and that they recommend to others.
And the more people are saying that there’s something worth seeing on your site, the better your site must be.
On a perfectly innocent Internet (what a weird concept), this would be all it takes to determine the rank of websites. There’s a lot of money to be made from high search engine positions for lucrative keywords, and therefore there are many people trying to game the system and get their sites to the top. It’s very easy to build backlinks for yourself, so just going by the number of backlinks would favour those sites that have very effective link-spamming mechanisms in place and that would not be ideal.
This is where the other two factors come in.
This is the most debated and most elusive factor determining website ranks. The simple truth is that no one, save for a few Google employees, knows exactly how backlink-value is determined.
Here are some factors we can be pretty certain about:
Links coming from authority sites with high Page Rank are generally more valuable than links from small and obscure sites. However, exactly how the authority of a website is determined would warrant an article (or even a book) of it’s own. For the puposes of this post, we can assume that the larger and more active (i.e. more visited) a site is, the higher it’s authority and conversely the greater the value of links coming from that site would be.
Obviously, a link coming from the front page of a huge news-site with millions of visitors is going to mean more in terms of SEO than a link coming from your cousin’s blog, which gets two views a week.
Where on a web page a link is located is also an important factor. For example, a link placed in the footer of a website is less valuable than a link that is part of the main text on the page. The context, and number of other links on the same page also play a part. For example, if your link is just one among hundreds a page consisting mainly of links, then it’s not very valuable.
It also matters where your links are coming from in a greater context. Hundreds of backlinks, all coming from the same domain are probably less valuable than just a handful of backlinks coming from many different sites.
Link Anchor Text
Last but not least, the anchor text of links pointing to your site has a great influence in which keywords the site will rank for. For those who don’t know, the anchor text is the text you click on, to follow a link.
The anchor text of your backlinks help the search engine spiders decide which keywords to rank your page for. If the majority of links pointing to a site have the anchor text “dog training”, then that’s what the site is probably about. However, you should avoid getting many backlinks that all have the identical anchor text, because this looks unnatural.
For the links you build yourself, I recommend using your keywords in the anchor text in most cases, related keywords in some cases, and something completely unrelated (e.g. “Click here”) in a few cases.
The rule of thumb for good backlink building is this: the more natural your backlink-profile looks, the better.
In other words, aim for diversity when you build backlinks. Links coming from different sites, different IP addresses and featuring different anchor texts make for a good, natural looking link profile.
It also doesn’t hurt to get some links from low-authority sites and smaller blogs etc. As long as it doesn’t take you too much time to get those links, even low value links are useful and make your overall link profile look more natural.
- Top Methods of Backlink Building to your web page (plusstuff.com)
- Learn more about Backlinks (plusstuff.com)
- End up Amount one In Google With Backlinks! (plusstuff.com)
- How To Correlate Keywords With Internet Marketing (understandingecommerce.com)
- 7 Steps to Find a Website’s Page Rank and the Number of Backlinks (understandingecommerce.com)
- Improve Backlinks recognition with Relevant Links (plusstuff.com)
- Five Simple and easy Approaches Just for Back Link Building (bayviewhunterspoint.com)
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