I was recently asked what a backlink is and why would one want one for their website. Here is some important information about backlinks. They are vital to the success of your site.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is simply a web link that points to another site. This is also known as an incoming link.
What is the purpose of a backlink?
In simple terms, backlinks point out other sites. These are links that people or search engines bots can travel from one site to the next.
Why are having backlinks important?
Backlinks serve a couple of important purposes. First, they get you noticed. Think of it this way; if you saw a person point to another person you might notice. If you saw many people pointing to single person it would do a better job of getting your attention. The more people that are pointing at you with backlinks, the more you would get noticed. And in this case you will be noticed by an important party, the search engine bots, also known as spiders. These bots are what find and crawl your sites to get them listed in the search engines.
Second, backlinks bring you traffic. This traffic is the real people who are reading web content and click on one of your backlinks to get to your site. The more places you have backlinks the more likely you will be seen.
Backlinks are also a bit of a popularity contest. The search engines use knowledge of the links pointing to your site to help judge how high your page will show on the search result pages. There are many other factors that also help with this ranking. At one time it was a race to see who could get the most incoming links to their sites so they would rank the highest. This created link spam. Unscrupulous people made automated programs that would slap out backlinks as fast as possible in many different ways. Once the search engines caught on to this, they changed their secret ranking formulas so that the person with the most links is not necessarily the winner. So please don’t try these gimmicks that get you thousands of links with a click of the mouse. These don’t work.
One thing that matters more in links these days is the trust or authority value of the site that is linking to you. This means that the higher the authority value of the site pointing to your site, the more the value you get. Think of it this way. You are in a university class and you point to another student. Now the professor points to that student. Between you and the professor, it would be the professor that would hold more authority and thus have more “value” in pointing.
So why bother chasing after links from sites that you have never heard of? Well, first, you don’t know the trust/authority value of a site. This is a hidden value. Therefore all links have some value. It comes down to working in a time efficient manner to get links that should be the best value for you.
For the best time value you want to find a place to put a link that can include getting some user traffic while including some trust and authority value. You should be looking to get links from sites that are within the theme of your market. If you are in the real estate market, you would not get a lot of value with a link from a dog training site: whereas, if you had a link on a mortgage site this link would be of better value to you.
One easy way to get themed backlinks is by joining conversations on blogs. You find blogs related to your market, read the posting, and leave a comment about that posting. Blogs were built for commenting. This interaction with the site users is very well liked by the search engine bots. The important thing to note here is that I said to join the conversation. This means you need to read, or skim the post and leave a worthwhile post. Don’t just leave a “good info” comment with a link to your site. This is considered as spam and will most likely not get posted and/or it will get deleted.
When posting a comment, blogs generally ask for your name, email, and a URL. This URL entry box is where you can enter your site and then leave your comment below without any links. The blog will automatically link your name to your site. If you put a link in your comment it is more likely to be considered as spam.
Want to see how it works? You can scroll down below this post and enter a comment. Yes, I said on theme links are better, but any link is better than no link.
If you have not already done so, you can download a special program called Comment Kahuna that will help you find on theme blogs that you can leave comments to and start getting links.