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Backlink Building Strategies To Help Boost Search Ranking And Traffic To Your Website
CHAPTER 1: WHAT THE HECK ARE BACKLINKS
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 one web page, directory, or top level domain from another web page.
Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today, their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO). The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (for example, this is used by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage). Outside of SEO, the backlinks of a webpage may be of significant personal, cultural or semantic interest: they indicate who is paying attention to that page.
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.
Websites often employ various search engine optimization techniques to increase the number of backlinks pointing to their website. Some methods are free for use by everyone whereas some methods like linkbaiting requires quite a bit of planning and marketing to work. Some websites stumble upon "linkbaiting" naturally; the sites that are the first with a tidbit of 'breaking news' about a celebrity are good examples of that. When "linkbait" happens, many websites will link to the 'baiting' website because there is information there that is of extreme interest to a large number of people.
There are several factors that determine the value of a backlink. Backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable. If both sites have content geared toward the keyword topic, the backlink is considered relevant and believed to have strong influence on the search engine rankings of the webpage granted the backlink. A backlink represents a favorable 'editorial vote' for the receiving webpage from another granting webpage. Another important factor is the anchor text of the backlink. Anchor text is the descriptive labeling of the hyperlink as it appears on a webpage. Search engine bots (i.e., spiders, crawlers, etc.) examine the anchor text to evaluate how relevant it is to the content on a webpage. Anchor text and webpage content congruency are highly weighted in search engine results page (SERP) rankings of a webpage with respect to any given keyword query by a search engine user.
Increasingly, inbound links are being weighed against link popularity and originating context. This transition is reducing the notion of one link, one vote in SEO, a trend proponents hope will help curb linkspam as a whole.
When HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) was designed, there was no explicit mechanism in the design to keep track of backlinks in software, as this carried additional logistical and network overhead.
Most Content management systems include features to track backlinks, provided the external site linking in sends notification to the target site. Most wiki systems include the capability of determining what pages link internally to any given page, but do not track external links to any given page.
Most commercial search engines provide a mechanism to determine the number of backlinks they have recorded to a particular web page.
For example, Google can be searched using link:yourdomain.com to find the number of pages on the Web pointing to yourdomain.com. To find link information on Yahoo type linkdomain:http://www.yourdomain.com. Google only shows a small fraction of the number of links pointing to a site. It credits many more backlinks than it shows for each website.
Other mechanisms have been developed to track backlinks between disparate webpages controlled by organizations that aren't associated with each other. The most notable example of this is TrackBacks between blogs.
Backlinks In Marketing
When we think of Internet marketing, the word “backlink” doesn’t automatically come to mind. In fact, most people who aren’t involved with a website would not even know what a backlink means. To put it simply, a backlink is any URL link from another website that will take web surfers directly to your website. So, a backlink is like a business card (in the form of an Internet address) that you gave to someone who then refers other people back to you. Using this metaphor, one can see that the more backlinks you get the more business you get too. However, that’s not the sole reason why backlinks are important in Internet marketing.
While a backlink is a type of referral, it also can be a measure of your website’s reputation. This is why major search engines use backlinks in their search algorithms. They catalogue the number of backlinks and the strength of the people who are backlinking to your site and use this in their algorithm to determine how well you rank amongst other sites that deal with your website niche. Using backlinks you can raise the visibility of your site by getting your site highly ranked in the search engine. This, in turn, will lead to more people visiting your site and thus more business.
As if that weren’t enough, the backlinks are also used to determine the worth of the website should you decide to sell the domain later. So, backlinks can turn into dollar signs, even if your site happens to be a blog, instead of a full website. That’s how powerful backlinks are!