A backlink is a hyperlink from another website to your website. So backlinks are links somewhere on the Internet that point to your site. When an Internet user clicks one of these links, they are taken to your site.
Backlinks are also known as incoming links, inlinks, inward links, and inbound links. In basic link terminology, backlinks are links received by a web node (web page, website, directory or top level domain) from another web node.
Why backlinks are important
Inbound links were significant (before the advent of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation. Now it’s mainly used for search engine optimization. The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (Google call it link popularity). The backlinks of a webpage may also be of significant personal, cultural or semantic interest to understand who is paying attention to that page.
Almost every major search engine considers backlinks to be a major factor when determining where your site will appear in the search results. The main reason is that when the search engines crawl the internet, looking for content, the more links a site has to it, the better. The search engines look at these links as something akin to votes. The more votes a site has, the more likely the site is something that the searcher, based on the keywords input into the search engine query form, is looking for, and the search engines have “learned” this.
One of the easiest, and low cost ways to improve search engine rankings and traffic is through the building of back links to your site. By placing targeted, keyword rich, back links to your site, on as many related websites as possible, a webmaster can virtually assure high search engine results (rankings), and can see a corresponding increase in their website traffic as well.
If the folks leaving linked comments, link to another “related” site, the search engines see this, and count this as a back link. Future visitors see these links too, and may visit them, and if the content at the linked site is good, may choose to bookmark (for their friends) your site.
Different types of backlinks
There are many ways your website can be deemed valuable to search engines when it comes to backlinks. All the search engines are trying to do is determine why someone would care to visit your site. Backlinks are recommendations, and the best way to get them is by means of having them mentioned on sites similar to your own or at least pages that are similar. All of those votes will strengthen your cause for top SEO. The more backlinks you have pointing back at you, the better. Let us understand different types of backlinks.
All backlinks are considered ‘dofollow’ unless it’s specifically tagged as ‘nofollow’. These are the types of backlinks you need to build in order to gain search engine ranking and pagerank.
These are the types of backlinks that are still seen by search engines, but are not given that much weight. The website owner has chosen to not have the linkjuice from their site passed on. But this can be tricky for people who leave it alone. Nofollow backlinks are usually on more respected and high trafficked websites. The result might not be improved SEO, but direct traffic to your website by means of where the link is left.
Forum profile backlinks
If you are building a website and you want to leave backlinks only on sites that you feel are relevant toy yours, then forum profile backlinks are for you. There are hundreds if not thousands for forums for a given subject you can leave a link on. The more prominent ones might have stricter guidelines, but do not let this be a deterrent to you.
Blog comments are like a double edge sword, because on the one side they have value but it can be really time consuming to do it as consistently as you will need to. Blog commenting works by you leaving a reply to a particular posts for others to see, including the writer of the post. When this happens people have the chance to chime in, and they can visit your site by means of the link you leave. You have to make sure you leave thoughtful posts in order to ensure the moderators approve them.
When you join forums related to your niche you will have the opportunity to contribute to that forum by giving your opinion and creating threads of your own. Most forums allow you to leave a link in your posts, but now a days, you will find many important sites not allowing comments or only providing nofollow links.
Text links are not easy to get, but they are still a very powerful way for better search engine rankings for your website. These often appear in the form of tiny ads placed on various websites. Seeing as how often they are paid ads the search engines do not consider this type of activity blackhat.
There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites out there where you can leave a link. Some of them are dofollow and some of them are nofollow. In any case the bookmarking sites have a purpose, some of them can be used to get direct traffic, while others are great for getting a site fast indexing. All of these sites allow you to create a profile and bookmark whatever website you want. Some people choose to do this by using software to speed up the process, but doing it manually can be far more beneficial.
How to Improve back links
First thing to do in order to create effective back links is make the websites you are linking to are on topic and that the content on there is relevant to yours or your client’s site, so if you are a carpet company, in order to create the most effective links look for websites with content to do with interior design, flooring, wall-papers etc. When getting back links there are number of things to look for on a potential linking pages, try to find a page with lesser links as possible, as if the page has several backlinks on it, the value of links lowers than a site with a lower quantity of links.
Another key area to create effective links is making sure to link using your keywords, so instead of ‘click here’ you will have your website keywords. All websites you are linking to should have a ranking and those with the highest rating are generally the ones with the highest quality of links so if possible link to those, and try to steer clear of pages which are unranked. One of the most effective ways to create links is to try and have your links displayed within content on the page, so instead of appearing in a list of all the different websites linking to that page, you will have your links appear in an article or some information that has been written on the site. This is most effective as Google sees it as being more natural and less forced, in order to do this you can even volunteer to write a piece of content for the website yourself and have your link included in that.
One last thing to remember when building these links is that there are three different kinds which are, one way, two way and three way. The links that are most effective are one way, which is just a simple link to a site from yours, and three way which is a link from your site to another site, and a link back from them but to a different one of your URL’s. The reason these are most effective is because again it looks a lot more natural and in order to conduct ethical SEO this is important.