Backlink, the Common Denominator
In a perfect world of internet success, all websites would be created equal, and it would not cost a dime to get the word out about your new site, which contains the details of a genius new product or service. Included in this perfect world would be an overabundance of companies promoting other companies, allowing a successful business venture to take off without promoting itself from the inside out. As anyone who has ever started a business will certainly admit, this is not a perfect world. Websites require marketing initiatives to drive traffic to their sites, in order to view the genius that exists within. One would be hard pressed these days to avoid the inundation of website driven marketing, promising special deals, more information, and all other worldly offerings, if you simply log on to their company site upon viewing their ad. Two very important components included in web-driven marketing are search engine optimization (SEO) and social networking. Both tactics have one common denominator: The Backlink. A backlink, aptly named so, thanks to their contribution in providing the backbone of page rankings, are informally known as links that return to your website.
What Is A Backlink?
Think for one moment about your website, and whether it has links to another site. If so, that link is consider a backlink by the site it houses. If someone has a link to your website from theirs, that link is a backlink to your site. Backlinks are simply identified as links aimed at one’s site from another source. Also referred to as inbound links or incoming links, the backlink it is an incredibly integral part of search engine optimization and online marketing because it is the main source of a site’s page ranking, allowing for a higher status on search engine results pages (SERP). Since the perfect world, especially in the online marketing capacity, is essentially non-existent, backlinks must be a main focus of driving traffic to any website. Search engines rely on backlinks to determine a website’s popularity, especially if it is linked to a wildly popular commercial site, and provide a page ranking based on those figures.
Creating a Backlink
Consider the first lesson of creating a backlink to be quality, not quantity. Sure, you can troll the internet, soliciting anyone and everyone who will allow you to adapt a backlink to their site, in an effort to drive traffic to yours. However, search engines only look for backlinks connected to quality, legitimate sites, when applying those figures to your page ranking. A larger number of backlinks will not increase a site’s page ranking; quality backlinks, however, will.
Start the backlink process where everyone else does: Social media. Create a profile on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google, and LinkedIn – just to name a few of the larger online socializing opportunities – and list your website on the profile. This link will be identified through the hosts’ sites, allowing for several, and easy to use, popular websites. More importantly, the quality of these sites have already been proven through search engine spiders, which means you are now tied in with some heavy hitters in search engine optimization, giving you a leg up quickly, and effortlessly.
A secondary version of the social media application is creating profiles on blogs, forums and online media outlets. Most quality sites will allow individuals to create a username and password, thereby becoming a member of their community, which then grants permission for commenting on their blog, or providing feedback in their forums. Create profiles in these online communities and list your website in the profile, thereby increasing the quality backlinks to your site. Again, quality is the key component to keep your site from ending up as a spam link to the search engines. Certainly, more exposure is always great, but keeping your backlink prowess to quality sites will increase your page ranking, which is considered the best exposure a site can receive, making your site more likely to receive traffic from searches.
Start developing positive partnerships that will increase your exposure by establishing relationships with other companies of distinction in your industry, and supplying them with reciprocal backlinks. Simply put a link on your page to theirs, in return for the same. This will increase your visibility in the industry, while giving you another credible backlink.
Lastly, contribute to the internet in a positive manner by writing articles or blog posts that expand your profile information, including your website – which will immediately become a backlink as soon as someone else posts it – keeping you in a positive light, and your site’s traffic gaining momentum through a higher page ranking.
What Does Not Work?
This just in from the department of the redundancy department: Backlinks from non-quality sites will not help your page ranking. In fact, if your site is tagged as spam, thanks to too many low quality backlinks, you can forget about appearing on the first SERP
. Getting your information buried in search engine country is not where anyone wants to be, so take the time to create solid partnerships, and gain powerful link reciprocity with others in your industry.
Think carefully about where you want your information listed, and how it gets there. Backlinks are an incredibly powerful tool where search engine optimization is concerned, but that power can swing both ways. If your site ends up splashed around non-quality sites, your exposure is going to be limited to those who visit those sites. Keep your community small, which in internet terms should be in dozens, not hundreds, and create partnerships, not just link splashes. The host of the site your link appears on will be calculated when determining your search engine ranking: Consider the source prior to committing a backlink on their site.
Backlink Checker and You
There are several free services on the internet that will allow you to type in your site’s address, and determine which sites have a link aiming to your site, and where you currently rank in the system. The problem with these services is the results differ tremendously depending on which backlink checker you use. The information, albeit hard to decipher and all over the board, seems interest enough to try, but not to depend on. While you are checking your backlinks, you will be bombarded with offers on getting real results, and our advice would be to skip any pay to play solicitations.
Creating backlinks and partnerships are just the beginning of enhancing your SEO. Once the partnerships are in place, keep an eye on them. Maintaining a connection to any company or website that carries a backlink to your website is critical in developing a consistent brand for the search engines to acknowledge. It is recommended that at least quarterly you monitor all sites where your profile exists or contain articles you have written, blogs you have posted, and forums you have commented on, or provided feedback through for negative material comingling with your positive image. Take exception to the sites who allow negative or unbecoming conversations to dictate the overall tone, and remove your backlink from their site as soon as possible. This happens a lot, and is not a personal reflection of your company, but more of an internet runs amok circumstance. As long as you stay on top of whom your website is associated, and the criteria by which it is judge, you will be in good shape.