Backlinks, how and where to get backlinks, should you buy backlinks, where to buy backlinks, backlink attributes, link building methods…all discussed here
LAST UPDATED 4/12/2012: This page used to be a rant on a crappy backlinks related product I bought but has now been rewritten as part of the true content curation people should be doing to the content on their sites as they get bigger.
Hopefully after reading this you will have a better understanding about link building, why you need to get backlinks, how get backlinks, effective backlink building, and so on..
What is a backlink, what are Backlinks?
In simple terms, backlinks are like votes from other web entities stating that the linked-to url is about “something”. The BETTER your votes quality is deemed the higher your rankings are. Votes quality can be anything, could be high PR backlinks, relevant backlinks from trusted websites,or whatever. Nobody knows exactly what backlinks will be deemed the best kinds to get, we’re all just amateur/master guessers.
Where do backlinks come from?
INbound backlinks , also known as IBLs, which are Links In from other websites to your own website
OutBound LinkS , also known as OBLS- which are “votes” or links you send out to other websites. These could be affiliate links, references to your Twitter account, links to other websites of yours (AKA cross-linking) .. just anything you link to that is not inner linking.
Inner-linking, also known as inter-linking is where you reference something on your own website.
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.
Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website’s search engine ranking, popularity and importance. Google’s description of their PageRank system, for instance, notes that Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. Knowledge of this form of search engine rankings has fueled a portion of the SEO industry commonly termed linkspam, where a company attempts to place as many inbound links as possible to their site regardless of the context of the originating site.
When we use the term attributes in regard to link building we are referring to NoFollow and DoFollow attributes, meaning that a NoFollow link tells the search engines one thing whereas a DoFollow backlinks tells them to treat it in a different way.
In the marketing forums you will hear lots of talk of people only focusing on DoFollow backlinks and totally disregarding the NoFollow backlinks, and this is a bad idea.
NoFollow backlinks can pass traffic trust and Page Rank and are a required mix of link attributes you should seek. Many of the more trusted and stable content directories are NoFollow link-givers, and since they retain their link juice by not DoFollowing they tend to pas s ore trust than link juice.
Link juice basically means “power” behind a given link to another website.
I recommend that you focus on building backlinks without regard for the follow attributes as it gives your inbound link portfolio a healthy mix, however, when getting backlinks form DoFollow entities, your focus should be to get traffic from those links, not just link juice.
Are backlinks necessary for a successful website?
Yes, because traffic has to come from somewhere, no website will exist as an island, but please know this… they are not the end-all be-all for having a successful website. They are not the end-all, be-all website promotion tool. If you get backlinks via email newsletters, that will bring traffic to your site, and even if that email newsletter site referenc eisn’t an indexed link, it still brought traffic.
We need site/link references to be made known to someone, something in order for that site to exist. A website basically does not exist unless someone knows about it.
2 Main schools of thought for building backlinks…
- Get backlinks that bring targeted traffic
- Get backlinks that raise rankings, despite the relevancy of the link sources
1- Getting backlinks that bring traffic to your websites requires some brainpower, and doing this has minimal up-front value, less immediate effects, but it’s a method with long-lasting effects.
Why? Because in order to ascertain where to get backlinks that would bring traffic, you will have to find related websites and find ways to get backlinks from them via blog comments, guest article writing, blog roll additions, and sometimes even by linking to them and receiving a pingback if your site and the linked-to site are blogs.
2- Get backlinks that raise rankings, sooner rather than later….
This is where article marketing, or content syndication comes into play. There’s dozens of ways to build backlinks in massive volume, creating what is known as link velocity, and many times these methods get DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks.
One other thing I would like to add here is… if you submit an article to an article directory and build backlinks to it for a while, it will then gain either rankings or PageRank, and despite what many people think about article directories as backlinks sources, to have an article directory article you submitted 2 years ago giving you a Pr3 backlink is quite valuable, even if the backlink is NoFollow. The article you wrote gained PR and is probably getting some traffic therefore it’s going to pass some Trust and link juice despite the NoFollow attribute.
Where to get backlinks and how to get backlinks?
We’ve covered the basics of backlink building here (what backlinks are, why you need them link attributes, and the 2 schools of thought for backlinks generation) so the question really is.. “how do you want to go about building backlinks to your websites?”
The answer is generally dependent on your budget and number of websites you need to promote.
First, here’s a list of some backlink types and sources
Directory submissions- I would use these mainly for adding link variety
Blog comments- done manually for traffic generation or using tools for link dropping
RSS aggregators- add your websites’ RSS feeds to get picked up by the RSS aggregators
Social linking, signals (Facebook, Twitter, Bookmarking, Social News sites like ReddIt etc…)
Forum marketing- done naturally, or outsourced or forum-spamming
3 way links, X-way links, reciprocal links, article marketing, guest blogging, content syndication, press releases, blog roll additions, widgets creations, themes and templates sponsoring, sponsorship of blogging contests, blog networks, wiki/.edu/.gov links, forum profiles, web 2.0 platforms, micro-blogging,etc….
There’s lot of ways to generate backlinks as you can see and while this list above might seem lengthy, there’s still more ways that I’m sure I missed.
Buy Backlinks, Yes, No, Maybe So…?
Let’s be nit-picky and be clear that whenever you use service or a tool or a person to build backlinks you’re buying backlinks via money invested or time spent, but what is most often thought of when buying links is mentioned has to do with buying link placements.
PPC advertising is link placement and an important part of many search engines business models, but if we as webmasters buy backlinks from certain websites, whether its via banner ads or text links, that becomes a shady area, meaning that paid link placements can and will always be used to game the search engines and Google in particular has been always warring against that.
Where to buy backlinks?
Depends.. are you buying link insertions and/or placements to improve search engine rankings or to get traffic to your sites? The answer to this will help you define and refine your backlink-buying options.
Many people opt for the more immediate effects of buying link placements via link building services or networks. This is usually the method Do-It-Yourself-ers (DIY-ers) go for because it’s easier and has more immediate effects and usually the backlinks generated are permanent in nature.
When buying link placements in highly noticeable websites, this is usually deemed as a rented link since the link-sellers are monetizing their site traffic by selling ad space or backlinks. This method is usually reserved for people who are tracking the referral traffic form the paid rented links and watching their conversions closely.
What I’ve written so far should give you a pretty good overview on what backlinks are, how to get them, if you should buy them where to buy backlinks and so on…
Hope this helps,